Have you ever needed a TV service installed, an appliance repaired, carpets cleaned or plumbing fixed? Chances are you have been in your house with a complete stranger from a servicing company that may or may not protect customers by vetting employees. Here are some warning signs that consumers should be aware of when opening the door for a serviceman or repairman:
- Somebody arrives unexpectedly or is not the person you expected
- He/she can’t produce valid company identification.
- He/she doesn’t have proper paperwork.
- He/she continuously invades your personal space.
- He/she enters rooms outside the immediate service area and/or shows interest in household items other than the reason for the visit.
- He/she raises inappropriate topics of conversation.
- He/she shows unusual interest in you or your children.
- He/she appears or acts less than professional in any way.
- He/she brings a friend on the call.
- He/she asks to use your restroom.
Independent research completed in 2011 showed that one in five consumers did not feel safe when these individuals were in their home. Of this number, 35 percent were still concerned about their safety even after the service person had left their home.
To combat these fears, here are some basic questions consumers should ask the service company prior to setting the appointment:
- Do you background screen your employees and contractors? What is the name of the person coming to my house?
- What type of identification will the person have? A badge? An ID? Paperwork?
- Will there be anybody else accompanying the person?
- Will the person need to come inside my home? And where in my home will the repairman need to go? My garage? My bedroom?
- How long should this service take
When the service person gets there, call a friends, spouse or neighbor so the repairman can hear you say, “The TV service person just arrived. I will call you as soon as he/she leaves which should be about 30 minutes.” This will indicate to the serviceman that you are aware of the timeline and have alerted another person to his/her presence.