Why You Should Hire Bonded as Well as Insured Service Companies
Insurance will pay for accidents where customer’s property gets damaged. A bond is for dishonesty for not only the company owners, but also for the employees of the company. A surety bond as it is legally named, will pay the customer where there are actual criminal charges filed against the business owner or their employees for theft. Whether it be from the owner of the company or one of the employees. A bonded company is just a better company to do business with. This shows that not only the business owners are honest but also insures that their employees do the same.
Myth #1 – Most Services are Bonded and Insured
A lot of service businesses are not bonded. Average customers think the company must be bonded if the company is reputable.
One couple in Washington recently learned that you should always check a company’s bond. Ask for proof of the Bond and the insurance.
A couple in Washington State recently hired a tree service while they were on vacation. Agreeing to the bid for $8000. The couple decided to let them do the job. Knowing that they were dealing with a reputable company. They decided to get the job done while the family was on vacation to Disney.
Their job was done. However, after they finished the job one of the employees stayed behind as everyone else left the job site. He then burglarized the people’s house that he had just worked at. When the people came home the next day, they found two laptops missing as well as a lot of personal paperwork. You can read more about this incident here.
Myth #2 A Bonded Company Will Charge Me a Lot More Than My Normal Service
I have been in the tree service industry for over 10 years. Insured for as long as we’ve been in business. However, last year, I checked into getting a surety bond as well. Imagine my surprise when I found out that my bond was only going to cost me $116 a year. I pay about $165 a month for my million dollar insurance policy.
Was I worried about theft? No, not at all. However, so that my customers didn’t have to worry about it either, I was willing to pay the $116 per year for a $10,000 surety bond.
Any reputable company is going to charge more than one that is not reputable. However, they are not in competition with the guys that have no insurance and no bonds. The guys that are only weekend warriors or just trying to make a little money and have not put in the time and service to actually build any kind of good reputation.
Last Year I Lost A Job and Gained a Customer Over a $100 Price Difference
We were doing some routine tree pruning last year. One of my customers asked me how much it would be to remove a tree that was between a flower bed and a fence. The neighbors driveway was on the other side of the fence. I gave her a bid and she told me she would call me when she was ready to do the job.
A few months later my customer called me back to get me to remove another tree slightly smaller than the one that I bid before. When I asked what happened to the tree that I bid earlier, she explained. She was at work when her neighbor called. Someone had stopped by looking for tree work. The bid was $100 cheaper and since they were splitting the cost of the tree, he wanted to use that tree service. She agreed to let her neighbor hire the tree service that had stopped by.
When she returned home that day she found that the tree was still 8 feet tall. Her retaining wall for her flower bed was broken. And her neighbor had already paid the tree service.
Later when she got bids to rebuild the retaining wall for the flower beds, she found that it would cost her $1200 to replace the wall. She decided that she would never use anyone else again to do her tree service again.
When You Find A Bonded and Insured Company That You Are Happy With Stay With Them
Once I have worked at someone’s property at least twice I count them as my loyal customer. Therefore I will do my best to try to give them the best deals. We usually try to charge them slightly less than a new customer that may be less loyal. I will also usually throw in little tasks extra for a loyal customer where I would charge anyone else.
Why Do Loyal Customers Get a Better Deal?
I do these things to show my appreciation for the customer loyalty. However, when one of my customers call me back or I check with them as I am in the area. And they have been having my competitors doing work for them, I take it personal. I will usually ask them if I have done something to cause them to hire someone else. I always get the same kind of answers to these questions. They stopped by. Or another company was working for a neighbor and I just thought I would use them to do it that time.
Talking to other service company owners, I have found that I am not the only one that feels this betrayal by a customer that hires someone else. We do this for a living. Think of it this way. What if you went into work Monday and you know that you are going the extra mile on a daily basis to make yourself indispensable to the company that you work for. But when you show up to work, you not only got passed over for the promotion, you got laid off because someone else was there over the weekend and they were given your job out of convenience. How would you feel?
A bonded and Insured, Reputable Company can be an Asset to Your Life. Companies that are both Bonded tend to be more responsible. You will never have to worry about accidents or theft from that company.