When you consider doing business with a company, you want to know its track record and that you'll have recourse if there's a problem.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Dun & Bradstreet Subscription
- Hoover's Memberships
- DSL Lines
- Internet Access
- Pencils Or Pens
Find out if the company has a legitimate address and business phone number.
Stay away from a business that uses a post office box as its corporate address and can only be reached by leaving a message on an answering machine or with a call-center operator.
Find out if the company is licensed by the state.
Ask if the company is a member of any professional association. You can verify its membership by contacting the organization directly.
Look for TRUSTe certification on a Web-based business's home page. Other organizations also specialize in certifying, rating and reviewing Web-based businesses. View their sites for information.
Check the company's complaint record with your local consumer affairs department or state attorney general.
Tips and warnings
- Avoid businesses that solicit door-to-door, pressure you to make immediate decisions, or offer exceptionally good "deals" and long-term guarantees.
- Rely on your intuition. If you sense some discomfort, walk away and find another merchant or service provider.