Find a Better Gutter Cleaning Company and Avoid Fraud with These Helpful Tips!
Being a homeowner, there are some very important
questions to ask
BEFORE choosing a gutter cleaning company. The following article is
long, but taking the time to read and understand it will save you hundreds
over the years.
Ways companies misrepresent themselves and rip customers off
Lying about the number of years they've been in business
Lying about the number of customers served
Price Range Scam
Bait and Switch
Charging per downspout in Groupon-like deals
Charging per foot in Groupon-like deals
Trip charges in Groupon-like deals
Common Misrepresentations in our industry.
There are several untruthful and unethical practices that have become
commonplace in our industry. The most prevalent and important to be
aware of are:
1. Lying about the number of years one has been in business.
You can go to www.bbb.org to check how long a
company has truly been in business. If their word and the facts don't
match, how can you trust them with working on your home?
2. Lying about the number of customers a company has served.
This is when a company says they have serve 40,000 homes in Atlanta, when they
have only serve 4,000. Here is a good rule of thumb to figure out the
truth. If they say something like, "40,000 customers served," call the
company and ask them how many crews they have. Take the number of
services a year they provided and divide it by 2,000. This gives you the
number of crews. If the number you came up with doesn't match the
company, this is a big concern. We have found companies with two vans
claiming to serve 40,000 homes a year. This would mean each van does 83
homes a day (if there is no service on weekends). (ABGC)
3. Price Range Scam. This is one of the broadest scams
out there. You call a company and provide your information and, over the
phone, they give you a range, usually within 10-30 dollars, which the actual
price of your cleaning may fall in, but guaranteed not to be higher than the
highest amount. The company entices you with the low price, but it
always ends up being the highest possible price within the range. Any
professional, seasoned company should be able to give you a set price right
over the phone. (AGC, ABGC)
4. Fear of the Bait and Switch. Bait and Switch is when a
company advertises one price and you hire them, but then it turns out the
price is different; and not because there was confusion about the details of your home, or
you have covers on your gutters and told the company you thought there was
nothing over them. No, the price is simply changed. Bait and
switch happens more in the carpet cleaning industry than in gutter cleaning.
However, the consumer fear is there and some gutter cleaning companies
manipulate this fear. They tell them that other companies offer what
seams to be a low price and then change that price once onsite. The
truth is, these companies make you afraid of hiring a company at an affordable
price, so you end up hiring a more expensive competitor for the same service.
You should never pay more than what you have to for service. The key to
avoiding this issue is to get the price in writing and read the information
that comes with that price. If the company offers to send you a set
price in writing, it is highly improbably they would attempt to raise the
5. We Recommend Ourselves. This is when a company claims that
they have been chosen as an "expert" of some radio or TV station, or they have
joined a consumer watch and reviews service that offers the company as their
chosen professional. 97% of all these types of websites and services are
simply paid-for advertising. Websites like ServiceMagic.com, Citysearch.com, Kudzu.com,
ToFixIt.Com, cbs46.com, wsbtv.com, ajchomefinder.com, and others are sites
that companies pay in order to be listed and offered as experts. We have
even advertised or continue to advertise in some of the above, but we never
claimed that the Atlanta Journal Constitution chose us as their expert, or
that we are Home Depot's gutter cleaning experts. If a company still
feels like they need more help, they'll design a website that is fake and list
themselves as a chosen service. When you think you see this, look for
other services on the website. If this huge professional website has
only one gutter cleaning company listed, or only two-to-three companies for thirty-some categories, it is a tell-tale sign of a company
manipulating you into thinking they are professional.
6. Unprofessional Quality of Work. Beware of small-time
handymen who claim they can do the work. The following are just a couple
of the photos we have taken of unprofessional repairs.
7. Charging per downspout in Groupon-Like Deals. We have seen one company do a deal through Groupon where they sold the Groupon for only $49, but what as not listed in the fine print of the deal is that the company, for this deal, did not consider the downspouts as part of the deal. What the company would do is charge $10 per downspout for doing the basic cleaning. The customer thinks they are buying a deal, but ends up paying more than going with a fully priced company like us. (QPGC)
8. Charging per foot in Groupon-Like Deals. A company did a deal on Groupon where they only did up to 125 ft of gutter for the deal. Anything about and beyond that, they charged extra. The problem with this is that the amount of time to do a gutter cleaning doesn't really change so much with different lengths of gutter. The other issue is a concern of whether that company will do an accurate measurement. Several people who bought that Groupon left incredible harsh reviews stating they felt ripped off and taken advantage of. The company was also going at a rate of $1.80/ft. It is not a common practice to quote and charge per foot for gutter cleaning, but a fair and appropriate range for doing so is $.90-$1.20/ft.
Do You Have Workman's
Compensation and General Liability
Most companies have insurance policies that protect you and your home against possible damages
caused by a laborer. Most companies DO NOT have Workman's Compensation, the policy that
protects you in case a laborer becomes injured or ill on your property. Any
company performing service on your property should have a Workman's
Compensation policy. Though it may seem to be a requirement, there are several
loopholes companies use to legally operate WITHOUT the policy.
In this instance, if an employee of a non-insured company is injured on
your property, your homeowners insurance could be sued for medical bills and
Every company with these
policies will have an insurance certificate. You should receive a copy
of this policy by email or fax BEFORE you ever agree to service.
Companies without these policies will tell you they will mail a copy to you or
bring one out when they perform the service. They say this because they are
counting on doing the service
BEFORE you get a copy of the policy.
The reason is that they don't have a policy. If you are home when the
service is performed, they may claim it is still in the mail, or that they ran
out of copies, or they simply forgot. They are putting you at risk of being
sued for thousands if an accident should occur, and dramatically raising your
homeowner's insurance premiums.
Understand that more than half of all gutter cleaning companies
Atlanta DO NOT have Workman's Compensation insurance.
There is no substitute for Workman's
Compensation. A waiver of responsibility will be useless if the matter
should reach the courts. Also, business owners who perform labor
themselves will tell you that by law, they don't have to carry Workman's
Compensation for themselves. That is true. However, these are the
exact types to be cautious about. They are the ones that can profit from
their own accident on your property that you'll end up paying for.
Are Your Employees Fully Insured?
Wait, isn't that the same as the last question?
Actually, it isn't. You see, another way a company can commit fraud and
put you at risk is by hiring what is commonly known as "day laborers." A
day laborer is an individual whom the company picks up at a gas station or in
front of a hardware store, gives them a uniform shirt to wear, and then throw
them on the roof for cash they pay under-the-table. Workman's
Compensation insurance is paid by the company based on their staff and
payroll. This means that day laborers are not covered. In fact, if
the insurance company was to discover the use of day laborers by a company
they insured, the policy would be dropped and the company would be sued for
So when a company uses day laborers, but they have an
insurance certificate, they are lying to you and defrauding you.
They are most likely charging you a premium price to put inexperienced,
illegal labor on your roof to do the dangerous job of cleaning your gutters.
Not only are they breaking your trust, but alsothey are breaking the law. If
a company comes to your home with day labor, they are defrauding their
insurance company and defrauding the government of taxes. At this point,
can you trust them not to defraud you? Many of the companies that
commit this fraud have been in business for several years and have thousands
of customers. Be cautious of any company you hire, no matter how
professional they appear.
Issues of Immigration
Atlanta's Best Gutter Cleaners is a liberal company with
liberal ideals. With having a diversified staff, we have had experiences
over the years with customers questioning the legality of our employees.
Though all of our staff are legally hired, carry id, and are certified
roofers, they still came into question either because of their nationality or
race. Though it is always unpleasant to experience this unfortunate
profiling, it has become a widespread concern. It is a fact that in some
cases when a company hires illegal day laborers, the employees are not legal
residents of the United States of America. In the past couple of years,
these issues have received greater media coverage and government legislation.
Whatever side of the fence you stand on with this issue,
whatever the current law, America's welcome mat has always been "Give me
your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The
wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless,
tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" Though
we feel every man, woman and child have the right to come to America and
establish themselves here, current law prohibits us from hiring any immigrant
who is in the country illegally. Since we are an honest and ethical
company, we cannot break that law.
The flip side of this is that a company that knowingly hires
illegal immigrants does not have issues with breaking the law, nor do they have
concerns of putting you at another level of risk. New programs have been
created to identify, capture, and export illegal immigrants to their homeland.
By hiring a company that employs illegal immigrants, you are in fact hiring
those immigrants. If some were arrested while on your property, you could
be held liable for a $1000 fine for each immigrant from the ICE. The
company you hired can evade trouble by saying they were a "middle man"
subcontracting to the laborers. Therefore, you become the direct employee.
This is the danger in working with a company using day laborers to begin with.
Don't take the risk. Learn more at
What You Can Do
1. Ask for a copy of the insurance by email BEFORE you
Only schedule AFTER you receive it.
2. Get a set price in writing.
Tell the company that you will be home for the service (even if you
wont) and that you wish to speak to every member of the cleaning crew, to
make sure each person understands exactly what you want in regards to service
and what your concerns are in regards to your home. If there is any
difficulty in this communication, or any member of the crew does not appear to
be fully knowledgeable and trained, you will turn away service.
3. Ask for the names of every person who will be at
your home, and verify the names when they arrive. It is your right to
ask for identification of any person performing service on your property.
4. Most importantly, never pre-pay for service or provide
a credit card number till after your service is completed.
A company that cuts corners and saves cost by hiring illegal labor and
defrauds their customers should not be trusted with the privacy and integrity
of keeping your credit card on file.
5. Ask for a link to their reports at WWW.BBB.ORG and check out the
If you hire a company that turns out to have illegal labor, you should
report them to their insurance company carrier. They are committing a
crime and putting your homeowners insurance in jeopardy. The insurance
company is also being defrauded by the company. When
the company you hire tries to save money, they may end up costing you money.
Atlanta's Best Gutter Cleaners is proud to have some of
the few, if only, fully-insured professionally trained gutter cleaning crews
Atlanta. We provide quality service at affordable
prices, often the same or lower than even the non-insured companies.
Though we have the guaranteed lowest price on gutter cleaning in
Atlanta, we do not compete with companies that are not fully insured. It
would be the same as competing with criminals.
We proudly provide premium gutter cleaning service to the cities of
Atlanta, Alpharetta, Roswell, Marietta, Kennesaw, Woodstock, Smyrna, Mableton,
Holly Springs, Acworth, Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Pine Lake, Decatur,
Ellenwood, Lithonia, Lilburn, Avondale Estates, John's Creek, Norcross,
Duluth, Tucker, Chamblee, Buford, Suwanee, Cumming, Dacula, Snellville, Stone
Mountain, Milton, Jones Creek, Canton, Fulton, Gwinnett, Dekalb, Cobb.
.Lowest Price Guarantee:.
If a gutter cleaning company has a business license, is fully-insured by worker's compensation and general liability insurance, advertises gutter cleaning as the main function of their business, and has a lower price than us, we will be the price by 10%.
, Atlanta's Best Gutter Cleaners - 6365 McDonough Dr, Norcross, GA 30093 - 770-677-6690