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Shady Business Practices- who can you trust?

Who can you trust? At Altitude, we pride ourselves on honesty and transparency with our clients. For service-oriented businesses, it’s vital to remain open with clientele to establish a great working relationship. Unfortunately, shady business practices are all too common and that is why doing your research is essential. Who can you trust? This is all best illustrated by example.

I live in Bethlehem and am trying to get rid of an old window box air conditioner that no longer works. I looked at the Bethlehem Recycling Center website which makes it clear that they do not take AC’s but says to contact them for a referral to someone who does. I called and was quickly referred to Gooze’s Refrigeration.

When I called Gooze’s Refrigeration, the guy said he could pick up the AC from my house for $60 or I could drop it off (in Fountain Hill, on my way to work anyway) for $25. His exact instructions: Make a left on his street, then into the first alleyway. Go into the next alley and drive uphill until you reach a house with a 2-story garage. Park and bring the AC to the side of the house. Put the $25 cash in an envelope and place it in the freezer of a refrigerator running next to the garage. He probably won’t be home so freezer payment works on the honor system.

Does this sound like a legitimate business practice? It is surprising that this is where the city of Bethlehem refers people. Maybe they aren’t aware of this backyard drop-off deal? As a young female, I like to avoid situations that have me carrying large, heavy objects down alleyways alone in less-than-desirable neighborhoods and then leaving my cash in freezers.

So who can you trust? First of all, trust yourself. If something sounds off, or someone seems like they aren’t being honest with you, or if it sounds too good to be true–raise a red flag and find out more.

My air conditioner troubles continue.

Check online for reviews

  • Do they have a Google listing or come up high on searches?
  • What are people saying on sites like Yelp or Angi?
  • Are they listed in directories such as Dun & Bradstreet?
  • Are they a member of any professional organizations? The Better Business Bureau?

Do your research

  • Use the power of social media – pose the question to your network of friends and acquaintances to hear their thoughts or experiences.
  • Does the business have a website, address and contact information?
  • Question whether your referral is from a trustworthy source. Mine was, but I still had to look into it.

Yes, Gooze’s Refrigeration is a legitimate, listed business. But I will still end up taking my AC to the Allentown Recycling Center and dropping it there for the same $25 it would cost to foray into the backyards and alleys of Fountain Hill. I cannot stress enough how important it is to do your research – if you’re going to be paying someone, it’s your responsibility to make sure it is for work you can trust.