1. Don’t make decisions at your front door
If someone comes to your door with an offer, ask that they leave you with material to read about their services.
It’s always okay to say “no thanks” or to ask if you can contact them at a later date. Here are ways you can say this:
“Thank you for your time, but I’m not interested.”
“No thank you; I’ve already committed my budget for the year.”
“I’m going to need more time to think about this. Can I call you later to discuss?”
“I’d like to review the offer before I make a decision. Can you leave me with some information?”
2. Resist high pressure sales tactics
If the service provider insists that you sign a contract or put down a deposit right away, claiming that they will offer a special rate, this is a major warning sign. A legitimate service provider will be just as happy to consider your business tomorrow.
3. Research the service provider
Ask for the names and phone numbers of people the service provider has worked for in the past. Phone these references and ask them: what was the quality of the work, was it done on time, and was it within budget?
Contact the local Better Business Bureau to find out what they know of the service provider.
See what other people are saying about the service provider by searching online for their name and the word “reviews” or “complaints”.
4. Read the contract and make sure it’s complete
Read the fine print before you sign the contract. Ask the service provider to explain what things in the contract mean if you don’t understand them.
Make sure the contract includes:
- the date on which the supply of the services will be complete
- the service provider’s contact information
- when payments are due
- any promises the service provider has made about quality