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Every week, join Whitney Quick as she helps you navigate life as a smart consumer. You'll cover everything in avoiding the latest scams, including phishing emails, medical equipment fraud, understanding layaway, hiring a reputable tax preparer, and even digital spring cleaning. Add to your toolbox and flip through your Consumer Handbook Thursdays during NPR’s Morning Edition at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., only on KRCU.

Consumer Handbook: Hiring A Gutter-Cleaning Service

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Michel Ngilen/Flickr, License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode
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Clogged gutters can cause a variety of problems in rainy weather, such as major water damage to a home, and now is an ideal time to clear them. While some homeowners opt to clean their own gutters, many others hire a professional company to handle the job, whether they need to be cleaned, covered, repaired, or replaced. 

The Better Business Bureau advises consumers to do their research before hiring a company to clean their gutters, or purchasing new ones. Common complaints included dissatisfaction with the quality of work provided, contract issues, failure to complete the work, and refund policies. 

When hiring a gutter cleaning company, research the company’s track record. You can search for a business’s BBB Business Profile to learn if it’s a BBB Accredited Business, get free information on its history of complaints, and read customer reviews. 

Shop around and get quotes from different businesses. Make sure bids consider the same set of criteria, and remember: the lowest may not necessarily be the best. If one bid is significantly lower than others, the contractor may be cutting corners or may not understand your work requirements.

Always get verbal promises and estimates in writing, and request a written and signed contract before work begins. Find out if the company offers any type of warranty or guarantee, verify license and insurance, and ask about a lien waiver. Request a receipt marked “paid in full” when the job is completed, and your final payment is made.

 

Cape Girardeau native Whitney Quick is the Regional Director of Better Business Bureau in Cape Girardeau, MO, and is responsible for outreach efforts in Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois. Quick is a graduate of Cape Girardeau Central High School and Southeast Missouri University where she majored in public relations. Quick enjoys helping educate consumers in the southeast Missouri region by sharing consumer tips with groups and educating them about BBB’s resources.