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BBB: Tips to consider before hiring a snowplow contractor

BBB: Tips to consider before hiring a snowplow contractor
Posted at 3:35 PM, Nov 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 15:35:21-05

We knew we couldn't avoid it forever - snow is on its way.

With winter just around the corner, you may be looking to hire a snowplow contractor. Here are some tips from the Better Business Bureau to consider before hiring:

  • Look for experience. Check to see if everyone working for the company has relevant experience, not just the owner.
  • Ask about scheduling. Some contracts do snowplowing part-time, which means they may not be available to clear a driveway when needed.
  • Get more than one estimate. At least three estimates are recommended before making a decision. Ask for all costs upfront to avoid any surprises and keep in mind that the lowest price doesn't always mean the best service.
  • Ask about insurance. Find out who is responsible for damage to your property during the winter season. Find out what type of insurance potential contractors provide. Look into home owner's insurance. Is your contractor required to have a permit or a license? Make sure the contractor has the right coverage.
  • Review the contract. Always make sure there is a written contract. A representative should come and take a look at your property to note the services requested and any obstacles. Understand cancelation fees and any extra charges that may apply.
  • Split the payments. Find out how the company expects payment. Most take two forms: pay per plowing or pay per season. If you're expected to pay everything upfront, consider it a red flag. Most will split fees into two or three payments.
  • Beware of scams. When a company is reluctant to answer question, won't supply the right information or is unwilling to give references, there could be cause for concern.
  • Check with the BBB. The BBB provides background information, complaint history and resolution to complaints in their Business Reviews.
  • Report a scam. Use the BBB's Scam Tracker.