Top Ten Tips For Choosing a Reputable
Snow Plowing and Salting Contractor
Tip #1 - Don't Flip Through the Yellow Pages- Ask Neighbors, Family and Friends for Reliable Referrals
The Yellow Pages are a valuable way to find local businesses. The problem is, all businesses look alike on paper. That's why you need to ask around when you want to choose a snow removal service. "Word of Mouth" is the best form of advertising for any company.
Tip #2 - Stay Clear of Snow Removal Companies That Have No Physical Address- Post Office Boxes Don't Count
All reputable companies have physical addresses. Stay away from places that offer you no more than a phone number and a post office box as contact information.
Tip #3 - Talk to At Least 3 or 4 Snow Removal Companies, Not Just One
First, talk to as many snow removal companies you can find that look promising. Then, narrow the field down according to their specifics. Finally, choose the snow removal service that will best fit your needs and budget.
Tip #4 - Be Specific About Your Snow Removal Needs and Find Out Exact Costs
Before you choose a company, you'll need to decide what specific areas of your property you want cleared of snow. For example, do you want just your driveway cleared, or do you want snow removed from your steps and sidewalks as well? Find out exactly how much you'll be charged for each area. It may be cheaper to shovel your sidewalks yourself.
Tip #5 - Ask the Right Questions About Each Snow Removal Company
a) Are You a Legal Business or Is This a Part-Time Job? How Long Have You Been Doing Snow Removal?
b) Do You Carry Liability Insurance? How Much Are You Covered For?
c) How Do You Charge for Your Snow Removal Services? By the Visit, Month, or for the Entire Season? From What Date to What Date Do You Consider a Snow Removal Season to Be? Do You Offer Discounts, Such as if I Pay for the Season in One Lump Sum?
d) What Type of Snow Removal Equipment Do You Use? Do You Hand-Shovel Sidewalks or Use a Machine?
e) How Many Snow Removal Trucks Do You Have, and How Many Employees?
f) Do I Need to Call You, or Will You Automatically Come Out When the Snow on the Ground Reaches a Certain Level?
g) How Often Will You Remove the Snow at My Address During the Times When There's a Heavy Snowfall? Once a Day? Twice a Day?
h) What Happens If I Move Or Otherwise Decide to Cancel My Contract?
Tip #6 - Get Everything in Writing; Don't Rely On Verbal Promises
In a perfect world, a verbal promise or a "Gentleman's Handshake" would sufficiently seal a business deal. In the real world, these don't mean much. Neither one is a binding legal contract. They won't hold up in court in case you have to sue to get your money back.
Tip #7 - Check Each Snow Removal Service Out With the BBB
You can easily log-onto the Internet and find the Better Business Bureau office that serves your area. Then, it's as easy as typing in the name and address of the snow removal service you're considering using. You'll find out if the company has complaints against them, and what each one is.
Tip #8 - Check Out Each Company's References
Again, because of the nature of the world, just because a snow removal service gives you a list of referrals, it doesn't mean these are all satisfied customers. Call some of the references listed to find out about the company. Current or past clients can give you some heads-up you need to know.
Tip #9 - Don't Choose a Snow Removal Service Based On Price Alone
It goes without saying that the cheapest product or service isn't always the best choice. When you choose a company, compare prices, services offered, as well as other details to make the best decision.
Tip #10 - Read the Contract Thoroughly Before You Sign On the Dotted Line- Question Any Part You Don't Understand
Don't allow the representative of the snow removal service to tell you what the contract (allegedly) says, then insist you sign it. Read the entire contract for yourself. Ask questions about any part you're not clear about. Make sure all the details are in writing. Don't sign the contract until you're 100% satisfied with it.
Also, check out our "7 Important Questions" page for questions you should ask the contractor you are considering snow plowing and perform ice management for you - we think you will find the information very helpful in making your selection.