If you read The Lima News on July 20, you know by now that this will be my last column as president of the Better Business Bureau, West Central Ohio Branch. After nearly 20 years at the helm, I am retiring.
This is my 516th column. I used this opportunity, offered to the BBB by The Lima News, to tell people about what is going on in the business world. This is a way to alert the public and businesses about all the scams, schemes and swindles that can trip up the unsuspecting.
I hope I have saved some the trouble and expense of getting swindled or scammed.
This column will continue by the capable hands of Cheryl Parson, who has been the Branch Manager and Operations Director for a long time. In many respects, Cheryl knows more about the nuts and bolts of the BBB than I do. Please give her the respect and attention you have given me over the last 20 years.
My last official day will be July 31, 2013. I am looking forward to doing some volunteer work and getting involved in various projects. I have spent most of my time in Lima doing some kind of public service and intend to continue that work in some capacity.
I will be involved with the BBB’s “In Pursuit of Ethics” program, so you will be seeing me in that role in the near future.
But enough of that, let's take a look at a couple of scams that may be affecting you.
One of the very first columns I wrote concerned the “Travelers,” those folks who migrate across the Midwest every summer and try to con you out of some hard-earned cash by claiming to be able to fix your roof, gutters, porch, siding or driveway for very little money.
They often are very personable, charming and hard to resist. They always have “some material left over from a job down the street.” They also have no fear to attempt a high-pressure approach if they think it will work. They always do “something,” and the quoted price always has a way of escalating. Once they leave, they don’t come back, and the job they leave you with is either half done or not done even to the lowest standards.
The best way to deal with this is to realize that if you are aware of any problems with your property, take care of it yourself with a local company so you have someone who is accountable.
The Medical Alert scam is still with us. People are calling senior citizens, telling them someone has purchased a medical alert system for them, and all they have to do is answer a few questions. You may be given a number to call back, and you may be asked for your “numbers” that you should not be giving strangers. Those that bite, end up being charged a monthly fee for a device that may never arrive or that does not work.
As I end this article, I have to give a whole wagon-load of credit to Terri Haver, who proofreads and corrects this work. Without her, there are times my writings would make no sense at all. Thanks Terri, and thanks to you all for your support and attention.
Neil Winget is the president of the Better Business Bureau serving West Central Ohio. The BBB may be found on the Internet at www.lima.bbb.org.