How to Not Get Taken Advantage Of by the Service Industry

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Who doesn’t like it when people do your work for you?

Asking for help is great for those secure enough to do it, but having someone come in and take a chunk out of your to-do list and leave you with time to relax and spend some quality time with your Hulu Plus? That’s pretty close to the dream if you ask me.

The whole thing seems kind of ridiculous when you say it out loud, but in today’s pop-up business and gig finding economy, we have never seen such a turnout of companies that are making this situation more possible than it is now –and it is making the good life that much more accessible for everybody.

There are companies that make money off of doing things for you in pretty much every area of daily life: From mundane and domestic responsibilities to white collar accounting and budgetary assistance.

There are companies that will come and do your laundry and handle your dry cleaning, and companies that can come and pack your things for you if you are hoarder but want more space in the spare room. There are also services that send people over to wash your dishes, and even alphabetize your records for you! Oh what a time to be alive…

But, in a world of offered services that range from everything such as instant taxis to people who come over to your house to water and talk to your cactus, it’s easy to become over trusting of the services out there that all seem to want to help you.

Below is why you should be knowledgeable of the tasks you want handled before you outsource them to people who identify themselves as professionals –from tax pros to mechanics to personal chefs.


It’s what you don’t know that they take advantage of.

The idea behind the service industry is to take care of something so that you don’t have to. From there, business can make it more luxurious or simple as they want to make it, but it is the reason as to why you contract these businesses to help that needs to be assessed first. This question has two answers, and they are as follows:

  • You are hiring this business to help you because you simply don’t want to accomplish the task yourself.
  • You are hiring this business because honestly don’t know how to accomplish the task yourself.

If you simply don’t want to take care of the task at hand, whatever it is, but if pressured you genuinely do know how to accomplish it yourself, then you can relax. Chances are that you are not going to be taken advantage of the outside help that you assigned to help you. If you have absolutely no clue on where to begin with the task though, this is where there can be a problem, and it is this lack of knowledge that this article takes its main point in: you should hold a basic knowledge of anything that you hire somebody else to work on for you.

Obviously, when you go out to eat to a restaurant, we don’t mean that you should know how to replicate the 5 coarse meal that you just ate (but if you do know how to replicate a fancy meal all from just memory, that is amazing and I am insanely jealous of your abilities), what we are saying is that if you are going to be paying a high price for a service to be done for you, you should understand what exactly you are going to be paying for.


Trust as a product.

Companies gain business through the avenue of trust. When they gain your trust, chances are that eventually they will say that you “need” something else that you currently don’t already have –and because of that already laid trust, there is a chance that you will blindly just say yes to whatever they recommend. This is not always a bad thing, because there are a lot of companies that you conduct business with every day that are not trying to rip you off, and really are worthy of your trust.

Regardless of how much you trust a company or service provider, you should still go into every situation with at the very least a basic knowledge of what will happen, that way if there is a recommendation that sounds completely out of left field, the little alarm in your brain will go off and let you know that you should get a second opinion on that.

Why? Because if you are told that you need to pay to have a complete overhaul done on the project in question, but really are just in need of a single part replacement, wouldn’t you rather pay to have that one piece swapped out than the whole thing?

If spending money needlessly is your thing, then go right ahead and take every first opinion that you get, but chances are that you are into saving money where you can…that kind of is the point of this entire website isn’t it?

Get second opinions whenever you can when it comes to the more expensive services out there. Expensive auto repairs, home improvement jobs, or even procedures at the bank. You’ll more than likely be saving yourself a ton of money if you take the simple step of being cautious.

No one blames the customer who is careful –they are just being responsible!


Trust is earned, and earned repeatedly.

The most common places that you can be ripped off are not within the new businesses that can bring people to your home to do your laundry or cook for you or scrub your floors, but the age old businesses such as banking and car repair shops and accounting –all places that we normally turn to regularly to handle aspects of our lives that we otherwise do not very easily understand –even after years and years of repeated patronage.

We put a lot of trust into these businesses, which can be a good thing for when things work out successfully, but don’t blindly give your trust to anyone or any business just because they have proven themselves to be trustworthy in the past. Trustworthy people can sometimes make mistakes, and there is always a risk that someone who we thought could easily be trusted actually shouldn’t be.

To be on the safe side, you should know what exactly your hired help is going to do for you, and have a basic knowledge of how they will be doing it.


Still aren’t convinced? A quick example…

Your car is making that noise and rumbling again. Your fist thought is to pull into the auto shop and have it looked at and to just have it taken care of. Before you do that, you decide to try to decipher what the issue is beforehand, so that you can walk into the auto shop with some kind of idea of what to expect price wise. The good news is that because you live in the digital age, troubleshooting a problem has never been easier: you punch your problem into Google and several possibilities pop up onto the screen that you can talk to your mechanic about. One of the options on the screen meets the description of your car’s current ailment, and says that the problem is easily fixable with a simple and fast hose replacement. Sounds easy and inexpensive doesn’t it? At the risk of doing more damage to the car by doing it yourself, you take it into your mechanic to do the procedure for you.

At the auto shop, your mechanic takes a look at it and regrets to inform you that it looks like he is going to have to replace that one hose, and all the others, and also replace most of the engine because of X and Y and Z and blah blah blah… He looks at you and tells you to just sign here and he and the boys can get to work on gutting your poor little car.

But guess what –you did your homework (if you can call a single Google search homework) and tell him you just want that individual hose swapped and that will be all. End of discussion.

If you didn’t look into the problem before hand, there is a solid chance that you would have taken your mechanic at his word and agreed to pay for a complete engine overhaul when all you needed was a simple hose replacement…which would have cost you only a few bucks plus labor versus a couple thousand. Your basic knowledge of what you really needed done just saved you a ton of money (thanks Google!). Obviously, you shouldn’t always make life changing decisions based on what you read on “Car WebMD” (is that a thing for cars?), but having a basic knowledge of what is to be expected of a service is better than riding into the fray blind.


Whether its banking, a trip to the auto shop, picking a new preschool for little Timmy or Beth, or even the service that shows up on Friday mornings to walk your dog for you, you should know what the service is going to entail. More than that, you should understand at least in a basic sense, how this person that you contracted to work for you will do this job.

If you agree that how this person does their job and is to your liking, then it looks like you have found your guy (or gal) for the job. We’re not saying that you should trust nobody ever, but being cautious is much safer than being too easily giving of trust. You are trying to avoid being taken advantage of.

So before you start hiring everybody to do all of your work for you, you should do a little digging on how to do these jobs yourself first. You’ll be richer for the knowledge and experience, and also from the savings.

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