Take the Chill off Choosing a Contractor

Nov. 5, 2013

As the winter winds blow in blistery temperatures and plenty of snow, the Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin is issuing a warning to make sure that seasonal services won’t leave you even more bitter than the chilly weather.

“At this time of year, people look for seasonal work often without doing the necessary research first”, warns Randall Hoth, CEO/President of the BBB Serving Wisconsin.

“It’s easy to see an ad for a snow plowing service when you’re up to your knees in snow and want to hire them immediately,” he said. “Instead, prepare in advance and do the necessary checking before hiring. Questionable contractors look for opportunities like this to get paid for services up front and then don’t deliver.”

Snow plowers, chimney sweepers, furnace and air duct cleaners, and heating services are typical of firms consumers look to hire this time of year.

The BBB offers this advice regarding searching for seasonal work:

Check with the BBB: Check to make sure the company you are looking to hire hasn’t had complaints, or that complaints have been resolved. Also, click on “Find an Accredited Business” and then the type of business you are looking to hire (example, “snow removal”) at bbb.org to find accredited service providers in your area.

Verify. Make sure that the business meets all state and local requirements, including any necessary licensing. If you are unsure, ask for references from previous jobs. If they cannot provide you with those, look elsewhere for help.

Beware of storm chasers. Especially when winter storm alerts are issued. They might offer services they cannot deliver and ask for payment upfront. Be wary of hiring people right before or right after a big snow or cold front moves in.

Don’t feel pressured. Do not make a quick decision when hiring. A reputable firm will wait for you to do your research. Beware if high pressure sales tactics are used or payment in full is demanded up front.

Payment. Always pay with credit card or check, not cash. Never pay in full for services until they are completed and to your satisfaction.
Document. Make sure to obtain documentation of the transaction. Get a contract and ask for a business card. Be sure you have the company’s complete name, address and phone number.

For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.wisconsin.bbb.org or 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee)

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.

Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» 10-year-old girl dies after freeway crash in Dane County 04:56 PM

» Wauwatosa unveils convenient, affordable water online water bill payment options 11:01 AM

» Wauwatosa East girls basketball team uses big second half to beat Wisconsin Lutheran 10:15 AM

» Plenty of positives in Wauwatosa West girls' basketball loss to Kettle Moraine 10:01 AM

» Wauwatosa East boys basketball team could battle for GMC title 09:46 AM

» Wauwatosa West swimming team has bright future with talented underclassmen on the rise 09:37 AM

» MacGillis, Barkow share Wauwatosa West boys volleyball MVP honors 09:23 AM

» Wauwatosa West boys basketball team looks for improvement 09:15 AM

» Sports Notes: Nov. 26, 2015 09:03 AM

» Wauwatosa East volleyball season has solid season despite just missing another trip to state 08:46 AM

» Wauwatosa Hurricanes return three state qualifiers — Danny Larson, Cal Hartt, Avery Weishoff 08:16 AM

» Milwaukee County Zoo celebrates first birthday of young gorilla 11/24

» Wauwatosa stores set Thanksgiving, Black Friday hours 11/23

» Tosa's city health department earns national accreditation 11/23

» Free screening of 'Most Likely to Succeed' held Dec. 1 11/23

» Wauwatosa stores launch Small Business Saturday event 11/20

» Updated state championship game rankings of area prep football teams and players 11/19

» Wauwatosa dealership taking 'extra precautions' after four vehicles were stolen Updated:  11/19

» Wauwatosa East girls basketball team has plenty of experience returning 11/18

» Wauwatosa East's Potter earns two team cross-country awards 11/18

» Wauwatosa West girls to field experienced basketball team 11/18

» Wauwatosa East's Ripple ends career with impressive showing at state swimming meet 11/18

» Wauwatosa West freshman Julia Larson does well at state swimming championships 11/17

» Wauwatosa West's Alicia Picard, Alyssa Piek, Nicole Mystrow earn top tennis honors 11/17

» Christian Laettner hoops camps at Wauwatosa East successful 11/17

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss



Hidden Tosa


"Hidden Tosa" is a semi-regular feature where reporters Rory Linnane or Rachel Minske explore the closed down and closed off parts of Wauwatosa.


Local Business Directory