Imagine, you live alone and you are locked out of your home. You have a meeting at work soon and you are in a panic. What do you do? Go to your neighbors; ask for a phone book to find a locksmith. You find a full page ad and call the number in the ad. You tell the dispatcher that you are locked out of your home and that you are in a hurry. The dispatcher tells you that a locksmith will be there in 20-30 minutes. You feel a sigh of relief and you wait patiently for the locksmith to arrive. A car drives up to your home and a man gets out with his tools. You feel a rush of excitement just knowing that he can get you into your home. He picks your lock in a matter of a few seconds and then hands you a bill with an amount more than you expected. You are shocked and somewhat irritated about it. You pay the locksmith the amount he billed you for despite the fact that you feel it was wrong. You get into your home and you rush to your meeting. Later that day, you call the same Locksmith Denver company to complain. They tell you that they will assist you when you file a proper dispute. You choose not to file one, but still complain about their services and how much they charged you. What is the problem here?
The problem is that the consumer wasn’t prepared. They went with the first locksmith company they found and didn’t ask any questions. The consumer has made his or her self completely vulnerable to a situation when it could have been prevented. There are plenty of ways to prevent a situation like this. All of the following tips can be used for many different types of services.
The first step any consumer should take when purchasing services is to do their research. Look through the phone book, search online, or ask friends for referrals. Once the consumer has a list of numbers, they should call each one and inquire about each company. This could take some time, but has a rewarding payoff.
A few details that a consumer may want to discuss with each company could be:
- The average time it takes for the service technician to get to their location
- If the company is licensed, bonded, or insured.
- The amount of the service charge (the amount it takes to come to your location).
- Other charges that will occur on the bill.
- Brands that the company carries.
- Warranties on the service or products.
- The return policy.
- Guarantees that may be offered.
During this process one may find a few qualified candidates. At this point, the consumer could keep all of these numbers for their reference – options are always nice. If they must decide on one company, they could inquire more into the company. Maybe they would ask about their company motto or if the company is a green product supporter or not. It could be anything at this point that would make a consumer lean more towards one company more than the other(s).
2. ASK MORE QUESTIONS
Some companies work nationwide. Meaning they probably have a call center with local technicians throughout the nation. This isnt necessarily a bad thing, but perhaps communication isnt very strong between the company and the technicians they contract with. The consumer will still be in control. Before the technician gets started working, there are details that should be agreed upon between the technician and the customer.
Details such as:
- Proper licensing, bonding, and insurance information.
- The service charge and any other charges, this is very important!
- Terms of services.
- Or anything else you find to be important as well.
If a consumer cannot come to an agreement with the service technician they are not obliged to purchase their service.
3. NOT SATISFIED? KNOW HOW TO FOLLOW PROPER PROCEDURE.
When a consumer is not satisfied with the service, they can fully exercise their right to dispute it. This may require that the consumer call the company, gather information on how to go about filing a proper dispute. Once this is completed, the company will follow their own policies and procedures to work with the consumer and solve the complaint. If the company fails to attempt to work with the dispute, the consumer should report their complaint to the BBB or the FTC.
You are the consumer, follow the advice (and maybe find more) and perhaps you will find that companies arent/are as bad as you think. Responsible consumers report fraudulent companies and not companies that do good business. Companies should not be slandered if the consumer didnt take correct procedures on their end. That would be like a friend of yours having a complaint about you and slandering you all over Facebook when they didn’t attempt to speak with you about it. Consumers have rights, as well as service providers. Remember that and good luck on your search!