In the olden days — that being not even two years ago — if I needed a service professional, I would ask friends for recommendations or turn to the phone book and peruse the Yellow Pages until I found a name that sounded familiar or an ad that looked somewhat interesting.
I would call at least three businesses and wait to hear back. Sometimes I would wait several days and not hear back, so I would call a couple more names at random until I got at least three firm quotes or bids. Then I would cross my fingers and hope for the best.
Today, thanks to the Better Business Bureau, there is a much easier way to get the job done, whether you need a new roof, landscaping, taxes done or a day at the spa.
The BBB’s eQuote lets consumers and business owners get quotes and information for goods and services from businesses you can trust: BBB Accredited Businesses.
It’s easy to do. Log on to wynco.bbb.org
and click the “request an e-quote” button in the bottom right-hand corner. There you’ll be asked to enter the business category and/or location for which you’re looking. For example, you want bids for carpet so you type that in and then you’re asked for a specific category. You choose carpet stores.
Doing so brings up a list of BBB Accredited Businesses matching that category. You can click on each business to view its BBB Reliability Report to see its grade (BBB Accredited Businesses must have a B through A= rating), how long it has been in business and if there have been complaints and if so if they were resolved. If you want to get a quote from that business, check the box. You can select as many businesses as you want. Then you’ll be asked how you want to be contacted and the type of information you’re looking for — estimate, information or proposal — then you press “send.”
How easy is that?
Close to 800 consumers have used eQuote since it became available in April. To put it to the test, Barbara Read, vice president of communications for the Better Business Bureau serving northern Colorado and greater Wyoming, used eQuote when she and her husband needed their house painted. It worked so well they used it again when they needed a new driveway.
After indicating the type of business she was looking for, Read winnowed the choices by selecting those that were BBB accredited, locally owned and within 25 miles. She read their Business Reliability Reports. She checked boxes for three businesses and clicked “next.” She then filled in her contact information and indicated she wanted businesses to call with quotes.
And then she clicked “send.”
“All three businesses responded right away,” she said. “Both times.” Read didn’t stop there. And neither should you. She asked for references. And she asked if they have proper business licenses and workers’ comp insurance and asked to see proof.
“Our experiences were awesome,” Read said. “It really made finding a reliable contractor easy. Any one of them would have been great to work with.”
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or call 970-484-1348 or 800-564-0371.