Why is it important to do your homework on contractors that you hire to do work in your home?
We all would like to think that we can trust any professional company that we hire to do work in and around our home. Fact is consumers cannot trust every company and the consumer needs to do their homework to help protect themselves from non-scrupulous companies that are looking to take advantage of the unknowing consumers.
This is a true story that we were involved in and this kind of actions do happen more than you realize.
We received a call a couple of days before Christmas on a late discovery death that the family needed our help in getting cleaned up. With our busy lives and jobs that take us across the country is more and more common for family to go days without speaking or seeing each other.
The daughter who lives in a different state reached out as she had found her father passed away in his home and had been there for an extended period of time. Although her father was separated from his second wife and the divorce was in the process the estranged wife was still the legal owner with the father passed.
The wife trying to help the situation called a company out of Jacksonville. She felt assured that a national company who claims to specialize in biological mitigation could help her more than a local family owner company. Despite the insurance warning her of the possibility of legal trouble is she used this National Company.
The wife signed the contact and the national company did the job, or so they claimed.
What they did in reality was only remove the biological fluids that were on the floor and what was soaked into the carpet and padding. Nothing else was done to the home.
Our scope of work for the job was to remove all biological fluids from the home. Remove the soaked carpet and padding. Remove the rest of the carpet and padding in the room affected. Clean and treat the subfloor due to staining, allow to dry and seal the subfloor. Hepa vacuum the entire home to rid it dirt tracked in by authorities and to remove all the flies from the home. We would have removed any trash from the kitchen and bathrooms plus any food that may rot and create an odor problem. We would clean the restrooms to ensure that they can be used by family needing to come in to the home later as well as wipe the kitchen down. Finally we would ozone the home to remove any odors that were lingering. All biological waste would be boxed and disposed of at an approved biological disposal site.
You would think that by reading what was done from one company to the other our family business should be much higher on cost. You would be wrong in a very big way!
Our cost for our staff, PPE , equipment and disposal was around $3,500.00
The cost of the national company and you may want to take a seat if you’re not sitting.
The cost was $57,000.00 from the national company.
We have been doing biological cleaning since 1998. We hold master certifications in biological cleaning as well as water, fire, smoke and mold. We are as qualified as any other company in our nation to do this job and there is no way a cost of 57,000 is fair and just.
This is what is about to happen though. The home owners insurance will not pay this claim as they know it is fraudulent. They may offer a counter of $5,000 knowing that is above fair but the national company will not accept that offer. That contract that the wife signed holds her legal responsible as well. Leaving the estate vulnerable for the unpaid bill. When it goes not paid the national company will take it to court and get judgment against the estate. This will happen as it has many times in the past. This national company has a poor reputation in our industry and with insurance companies.
So now the family has lost a loved one which is hard enough to deal with. They have an estate to deal with which is not easy. Now though, they will be tied up in legal battel for a bill that is erroneous and fraudulent.
Associated Services Cleaning and Restoration has been in business since 1975. We are a family owned and operated business serving Tallahassee and surrounding areas. We give pricing for our jobs and the price we give is the price we go by. We pride ourselves in having proper communications between the family that we are helping and the insurance. What happened to this family should not have happened.