When you are looking for someone to provide service either for your home, business, or possibly even your personal health is your primary concern finding the lowest cost provider? You most probably wouldn’t focus on pricing if it was regarding your health, so why would you emphasize the lowest cost service provider?
Regardless of decisions affecting your health or your home, finding the right contractor or service provider is very important because making the wrong selection could impact you for years to come. Remember the expression, “don’t be penny-wise, and pound foolish? When it comes to finding the right contractor to work on your home, there are several things you should research before you engage the service provider or contractor.
In the State of Florida, many contractors are required to be licensed. Depending on the occupation, there are different licensing agencies where a potential client can examine the licensing status of the service provider. While there are no licenses required for window treatment companies, a customer can check with the State of Florida Department of Commerce to see how long the business has been in operation. Generally speaking, companies that have been in operation for less than five years can not be considered established. And companies that are not well established are known to take shortcuts in an attempt to lower the substantial overhead and costs of running a business today.
What are some things to consider when you are thinking about hiring a contractor to work on your home? First, after learning how many years a company has been in business, ask about the number of employees and their lengths of employment. A company with five or six employees (not including family members) generally doesn’t have the ability or expertise to manage larger projects, or they may not be able to respond to any issues in a timely manner. A company with employees with less than several years of employment experience could mean a company with regular or rapid turnover – which is a potential warning sign! This could mean the company doesn’t manage or treat its employees well and most likely fails to provide satisfactory wages or benefits to their employees.
Second, ask the company for a copy of their general liability and commercial auto policy insurance. Don’t be fooled if you see a work vehicle that is wrapped with bright graphics – this doesn’t necessarily mean that they have commercial automobile insurance! And more importantly – check to see the level of general liability insurance that they should be carrying. If the company can’t or won’t provide such proof of insurance, in the event that their employee is injured at your home they very well may make a claim for injury on your homeowner’s property insurance, making you the financially responsible party!
Third, when it comes to window treatment companies does the company have certified decorators and installers? A professional company such as US Blinds takes continuing education very seriously, and as a dealer for the best brands in the industry we are required to undergo yearly training and certification or risk losing our dealer status.
And finally, are you making the right decision to select a contractor or service provider solely based upon reviews? How is it possible for a company that has been in business for only several years to have hundreds and hundreds of likes on Facebook? Or even worse, how can a company garner a similar amount of Google Reviews when they have been in existence for only a few years? It is known that unscrupulous companies can use software programming or bots (short for automated robotic programming) to artificially boost Facebook Likes and Google Reviews. Some companies even resort to paying friends and associates to give them reviews to artificially boost their standing in the eyes of an unsuspecting public.
Many times consumers will make these very important decisions based upon incomplete or potentially misleading information. When in doubt, ask the company to let you contact the person who posted the review. If they can’t or won’t provide that information, it is very likely the review can’t be verified because the customer quite possibly doesn’t exist, or may be in another country altogether!
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