Do your homework before hiring vendors/trades.

Amanda O'Reilly • 19 April 2017
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Like a picture speaks a thousand words, so does a story, and this story is becoming all too common so we want to shed a light on it and make people aware that there are safer options available.

Where do you generally look and go when you need help of any kind? Be it in your personal or professional life? The internet? Most do, but what do you reeeeallllly know about someone you’ve never met and who is posting their services online with no real digital footprint? In the digital age we live in, it is all too common to post and ad and an email address or phone number and advertise your services. The question is as a consumer … are you researching the company that you are about to invite into your home? Reading reviews? Checking BBB? Check social media tags? Most are not. They are blinding assuming, need help and “think: they are getting a good price. Are you really though?

We run a Lifestyle Management service in Canada and for the past 10 years, this is what we do. Day in day out, we respond to requests of busy professionals just like you. We are constantly vetting, researching and doing our due diligence on vendors. We know pricing, and it isn’t based on postal codes or where you live in the city.

A new client of ours, a successful doctor needed some help with some home repairs. She found a local company online and hired them. She left work to meet a series of trades so she could get quotes on the work that was required. One of the trades abruptly excused himself and said he would have to come back. He asked for her cell number and said he would reschedule. An hour later, she received a text apologizing for leaving in such a hurry but said that he had the urge to kiss her because he found himself so attracted to her. He included heart-shaped emoticons in his text. The texts continued and so did the inappropriate emojis. She felt threatened and afraid because this trade had been to her home, and knew she lived alone.

She heard about our services from some other doctors at the hospital after sharing her story and called us immediately as her issues were pressing and water related. We were appalled and assured her that THAT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN with our trades as they are not only vetted in advance, we manage and do all the liaising and manage the projects to the point that they don’t even need to be home, and if they wanted to be home to manage the projects themselves, we only ever provide safe, reliable vetted help.

Over the Easter weekend, she finally decided to block this trade after over 20 text messages and is filing a complaint with the police in the event that there are other women just like her experiencing the same type of harassment.

We have another client who is elderly who needed her windows washed. She decided to call a company that is quite well known and large, therefore assumed reputable. They contract out their vendors in order to keep up with the volume. The morning arrived, and the man showed up, tattooed and pierced and disheveled looking. For an elderly lady, this was quite disarming. She let him in regardless, he performed the job he was hired to do and left…. With her purse and all her jewelry. You see, this happens every day. She was also too afraid to call the police and report it because he too knew she lived alone.

We have yet another client that moved into a new home and hired some trades on his own as well, before learning about us and his expensive watch and his wife’s jewelry went missing.

We could endlessly list the stories and a number of times that we’ve heard about this kind of thing in the past few weeks. PLEASE make sure you know whom you are hiring! This is our reason for being and existing so we can provide safe, reliable help and suck the stress out of stressful situations.

If you’re just learning about us here’s what you need to know:

WHO – We are Balance InStyle by name, we’re Fixers. We have a wealth of experience in lifestyle management and have been in business for 10 years. We are select, discreet, unfailingly earnest in our efforts, and dedicated to our mission statement. We are unobtrusive, highly capable with impeccable manners and backgrounds. Discreet, efficient, and invisible because the last thing our clients need is another intrusion.

WHAT – We provide a wide range of services that improve, affect and enhance the quality of client’s lives. There are no limits—within reason—if you can imagine it, you can consider it done! You have a problem? We have a solution. Consider it handled!

HOW – Balance InStyle’s list of services is infinite. Our resources are limitless. We will deploy a virtual army of diligent—outstanding people or, when appropriate, enlist a strategic partner to accomplish the task. Our global database of suppliers and service providers is unparalleled. Vendors applying for preferred status within Balance InStyle’s database of vendors undergo a rigorous review and selection process. Balance InStyle vendors must comply with strict performance standards. Vendors include industry icons as well as innovative newcomers—the common denominator a single characteristic: excellence in their field. This is the defining difference: Balance InStyle’s absolute insistence on quality, safety, and reliability.

WHY – Because we feel that everyone should have access to safe, reliable help in Ottawa. Because we’ve seen it all too often that people are looking for help on the internet, or trusting ads on Kijiji and are getting themselves into trouble. We have done our homework and best of the best and that is who our clients want to deal with, that is who we only deal with.

Finding great vendors is sometimes tricky. A bad employee can cost you a year in lost productivity. A bad vendor can cost you even more.

We’ve been in business 10 years and sadly we’ve heard many more stories that have cost our clients thousands and thousands of dollars.

Next time you find yourself needing help, or you hear of someone wanting help, we hope you’ll share this story or get in touch or really make sure that you are doing your own due diligence before making that call and inviting someone into your home.

 

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