I don’t know about you all, but the prospect of snow is already freaking me out. Yes, it’s all pretty for the first week or so, but after that, it quickly gets old. But alas, it is inevitable and one of the drawbacks of living in a great place like Chicago. So we might as well deal, right? Well, the New York Attorney General has released a statement on how to avoid fraud when choosing a snow removal service. Many of these principles could be really be applied to hiring anyone and are quite useful.
- Obtain several quotes to plow your driveway. This will give consumers a good sense of the range of prices currently being offered.
- Don’t accept a quote simply because it’s the lowest. If a quote is very low, the contractor may run out of money before the winter season is over or the contractor may not have money to pay for repairs when a vehicle breaks down.
- Use a contractor that has been in business for a few years. The winter season brings out many people who decide to get into the snowplowing business. New businesses may have the best of intentions, but may not have the necessary experience.
- Check to see if your local government requires snow plow contractors to be licensed. If so, use a contractor who is licensed. Use a contractor who is insured and has proof of insurance.
- Check for complaints with the Better Business Bureau.
- Pay one half of the contract at the beginning of the season, and one half at the end to help ensure that services promised will be provided.
- Pay by check so you have proof of payment.
- Get a signed contract that has the name, address (do not accept a post office box) and telephone number of the snowplow operator. The contract should spell out how much snow must fall before the operator is required to plow your driveway.
- Obtain proof of identity of the contractor. Ask to see the contractor’s driver’s license and copy down the address and identification number. Copy down the license plate number of the vehicle that plows your driveway.
- If you have special requirements, spell it out in the contract (for example, if you are an emergency responder who must have your driveway plowed by 7:00 a.m to get to work — make sure it is in the contract).
Source: Fox 23