We all know what it feels like to lose your hard-earn cash to some unscrupulous character. This pain is so much greater when the amount involved is large, which is often the case when contracting a service provider. Here are 4 of the most common scams that I have seen service providers in Zambia pull and how to avoid them.
Sometime a service provider will ask you to pay the full amount in advance of the work. You run the risk that they take your money and you never see or hear from them again.
1. Agree on a partial payment or a milestone-based payment
2. Sign a contract for any major works.Ask us for a sample contract you can use
3. Don’t pay in cash, use bank transfers or even mobile money so that there is a record of payment
We all love a good deal but we also know that cheap is expensive te? Quite the conundrum mwe! Be careful of a service provider who provides a quotation that is much cheaper than others. They may be planning to adding other costs and expenses ‘later’ once the project has started. A very low quote may also be a reflection of their experience or workmanship.
1. Get multiple quotations from other pros and compare
2. Research the service provider. Every pro listed on Rivuuz has a profile that lists their qualification, experience and reviews from past clients
3. Sign a contract with clear procedures for project changes
Some service providers may offer a great labour charge but then plan to make extra money from inflating the cost of materials needed for your project.
1. Get multiple quotations from other pros and compare.
2. Purchase the materials needed for a job yourself, if possible
3. If you can’t buy materials yourself, call suppliers to independently verify the costs
In some cases, a service provider may buy cheaper, lower-quality materials than the one they included in their quotation. This allows them to pocket the difference in material costs.
1. Purchase the materials needed for a job yourself, if possible
2. If you can’t buy materials yourself, call suppliers to independently verify the costs
Of course, there are many other scams out there that are not in the article but I hope this article has given you some helpful tips to protect yourself. Always do your homework before hiring a service provider, especially when there are large amounts involved. Rivuuz does some of this work for you by vetting all the pros listed on our platform before they join and showing you reviews from their past customers.