When a Quote Seems Too Good to Be True


Have you ever heard the expression ‘If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is’? I’m sure you have. With this expression in mind, what things should you consider if you receive a quote from a service provider or tradesperson that almost seems too good to be true, and may be far lower than the other quotes that you have received? Should you jump on the quote simply because of the cheap price?

Let’s think about some of the reasons why the quote may be so cheap, and this may help you to ask a few more questions of the contractor before going ahead with accepting their quote.

Are they a reputable firm?

If you receive a quote from a service provider that seems too good to be true, then the first thing you will want to look into is the reputation of the company in question. Have any of your friends used them before? Do they have a website you can examine? A quick Google search of ‘[company name]… reviews’ can usually flag up any previous bad experiences others may have had with the company. Websites like Rated People and My Builder can also be your best friend here.

Are they using the correct equipment/materials?

The next thing you will want to know is whether they are going to do the job properly. To find this out, you could ring the company and find out what kind of equipment or materials they will be using to complete the work. When you have this information, you could then also ring some of the other companies you have had quotes from – more expensive quotes perhaps – and ask them the same questions, to compare the service being offered. While doing this you will usually get a feel as to whether the company in question are really competent to complete the job at hand.

Are there any service guarantees included?

You may also want to check whether the company has any sort of customer service guarantee in place. This is a funny area I suppose, as anyone can create a ‘service guarantee’. Still, having something is better than nothing, right?

Do they belong to any trade organisations?

Another clue as to whether a company is likely to provide a good quality service is whether they belong to any of the relevant industry trade organisations. To be a member of these organisations, you usually have to maintain a certain level of service which is viewed as being the industry standard. You will also have to pay a registration fee, which many cowboys will not want to pay. Don’t just take a company’s word for it that they belong to these organisations, however. Be sure to instead ring up the trade bodies themselves to make sure that they are actually members, as they claim to be.

Are they employing skilled workers?

You could also ask to see some sort of proof that the staff which they are using to complete the job are adequately qualified.

Are they disposing of waste correctly?

If the job to be undertaken is likely to involve some element of waste disposal, you may also wish to question the company as to how they plan to dispose of this waste.

A False Economy

We all love to get a great deal and this can make a cheap quote very appealing. If the company providing the quote turn out to be suspect or incompetent, though, then you could find that you end up having to fork out twice to get the job done properly at the second time of asking.

So, if you do receive a quote that seems too good to be true, be sure to do a little bit of homework on the company providing the quote before accepting it, to ensure that they will complete the job to your satisfaction and in an ethical manner. It’s not always easy to find out all of the information you would like to know at the outset, but if you make the effort to at least try, then you might just find that this saves you from a potentially negative experience further down the road.

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