Knowing what questions to ask is essential in avoiding problems with potential bait and switch scams. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification is a nonprofit certification body that sets and promotes high standards and technical proficiency within the cleaning industry.
Here’s what you should expect from a quality-oriented, reputable cleaning company.
No hidden costs. Expect itemized costs for services and firm prices before technicians begin each portion of the work sold. Consumers should never fell pressured to accept anything more than the services they request.
Customer Satisfaction. Cleaning firms should offer workmanship guarantees in writing. Don’t trust a verbal guarantee. Get it in writing. Without a written guarantee, an unscrupulous cleaner may develop “amnesia” when it comes to honoring their guarantee.
Vacuuming. The cleaner should by vacuuming high traffic and open areas where soils accumulate.
Moving furniture. Unless clearly specified, moving of most furniture to clean carpet underneath should be considered part of the normal cleaning job. The exceptions to this would be difficult to workstation. If in doubt, ask the cleaning company when the appointment is set.
Carpet stain resistant applications or deodorizers. If your cleaner applies a stain resistant coating or a deodorizer, expect to pay more for those additional services.
This is a great article I found about not becoming a victim of fraud.
DON’T BE A VICTIM OF CONTRACTOR FRAUD – by David Horowitz www.fightback.com
If you own a home, at some point you will likely need to hire a contractor for minor or major improvements or repairs. There are two main types of contractors you would hire: general contractors and specialty contractors. A general oversees the entirety of a project and hires subs who perform a specialized type of labor, such as plumbing or electrical work.
Although there are many ethical, honest general contractors, you may hear horror stories of contractors who have ripped off homeowners, scammed victims, the elderly, underbid jobs purposely and/or disappeared with deposits and left incomplete work behind. The following tips will help you to make sure you don’t get ripped off:
Get Referrals and Bids: Ask friends and family for trusted referrals. You may also contact your local Home Builders Association or check on the Better Business Bureau site (also check their google reviews page online).
Get a minimum of three written bids for the work that needs to be accomplished. Provide each contractor with identical details for the project so you have a basis for comparison. Bids should include an itemized list of fixed costs for labor and materials.
Do Research Before Hiring: Ask to speak with past clients and find out if they were satisfied. Make sure the contractor was easy to work with and communicated well if there were any unexpected costs if workers showed up on time and properly cleaned up and if the work was done well and to specifications.
Search online and check whether complaints have been filed with your state or local consumer affairs agency or licensing board.
Check Licensing, Insurance, and Bonding: These are important forms of protection for you as a consumer. Bonding protects you if the contractor doesn’t complete a job, doesn’t pay for permits or fails to meet other financial obligations. Ask a contractor for a bond number and certification number, then verify it through the issuing surety company.
Verify insurance by asking to see a certificate of insurance. Call the insurance company that issued the certificate to verify that the policy is current and has the right coverage for your project.
Find out more information about what licensing is required where you live through your state licensing board, local building department or consumer protection agency. Make sure the license is current.
Check Permits: A reputable contractor will get necessary permits before starting work on a project. Check your local building or planning department for information on what permits are required and verify the permits a contractor says he or she holds.
Put Terms In Writing: A contractor will likely have a standard contract he presents to you. Make sure the contract includes a start and completion date, a detailed payment schedule and a detailed description of the scope of the work. It should also include an obligation for the contractor to get any necessary permits, a list of materials being used, information about warranties covering materials and workmanship, and how changes to the original contract will be handled.
Protect Your Pocketbook: NEVER pay in cash. Be leery of companies requesting what seems to be an unreasonably large down payment for a job. Made sure payments made to the contractor are contingent upon dates of completion. Don’t make the final payment or sign an affidavit of final release until the job is done. Ask the contractor for a lien release or lien waiver, as laws in your state might allow the contractor to file a lien against your home to satisfy unpaid bills.
Keep records and photos. Keep copies of your contract, change orders and correspondence, and a record of payments made. Take photos of the job from beginning to middle to end. You may need them if problems arise with your project during or after construction.