With winter around the corner, the Better Business Bureau of Upstate NY is warning homeowners how to avoid scams by snow removal companies.
Here are a few things the BBB recommends for every person looking to pay for private snow removal this season:
- Get the contract in writing. "Never settle for a verbal agreement"--that opens homeowners up to a number of possible issues with service.
- Get more than one estimate. The BBB also says most reputable companies will make a home visit before offering any kind of estimate.
- Do not pay in cash. The BBB recommends paying with a credit card as an added protection if there are any issues later on. Cash can make it difficult to get any money back.
- Be wary of a company asking for all money up front. According to the BBB, most snow removal companies will ask for fees in two or three split payments. If a company wants all the money up front, that could be an indicator of a scam.
The BBB points out a business's longevity as another important piece of information to consider. 7Eyewitness News spoke with Frank Spagnuolo from Grabber and Sons Landscaping in Cheektowaga. The company has been plowing homes and businesses for 30 years and said they'll be serving more than 1,000 customers this winter.
"We always update our equipment to make sure we have the proper equipment to do the job," he said. "And to make sure our vehicles are durable and dependable so we're not breaking down on the site."
The BBB asks anybody who notices a business or offer that sounds like a scam to report it through the BBB's Scam Tracker.