Better Business Bureau: Hiring a trustworthy pool service can be slippery

May 19, 2014 at 12:19 a.m.

By Tracy Bracy

With temperatures rising, consumers may have already filled up their home pool. Pools can add a luxurious look to your property but can also require some hefty maintenance.

Start your search with the Better Business Bureau's Member Pages at to find bureau accredited businesses in your area.

If you are referred to a business by friends, verify the business is in good standing at before contacting them. Get at least three bids from businesses. Be sure to find out the maintenance your pool requires and what additional services will cost.

The bureau's Request-a-Quote service is free to use and will allow bureau Accredited Businesses to send you quotes via email. Visit to get your quote.

Don't let severe weather sneak up on you

Knowing what to do before and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared. The Better Business Bureau encourages you to have a plan in place in the unfortunate event of severe weather. Know what you will do and where you will go should you have to evacuate.

If severe weather strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water or electricity, so it's a good idea to have an emergency kit with some basic essentials. Place copies of important family documents, such as birth certificates, passports and insurance policies, in a waterproof, portable container. Finally, whether shopping for insurance before or looking for a company to help after, be sure to check the company's Better Business Bureau Business Review at

Avoid Memorial Day ad scams

Memorial Day is not only a kick-off to summer, but it's also a big time for shoppers to look for some good deals. The bureau urges consumers to spend wisely on those extra savings and "sales" you see in advertisements.

Advertisers often use words like "regularly" or "originally." If the business uses the word "originally," the original price should be the most recent price before the sale. It's difficult for sellers to compare their lowest price with all competitors. If advertisers claim they have the lowest price, they should have evidence to verify their claims.

Advertisers must clearly disclose the condition of a "free" offer. Stay a savvy shopper by visiting

Avoid scam texts to keep your financial information safe

Many consumers have their bank account conveniently at their fingertips. The bureau warns to watch out for text messages that pose as bank alerts asking you to confirm account information. These scam texts, known as smishing, are an easy way for cons to steal personal information. The scam may consist of a text message that appears to be an alert from a bank claiming you need to update information. However, be cautious as the phone number or website often prompts you to share private financial information. Or the link may download malicious software that gives scammers access to anything on your device.

Tracy Bracy is the regional director of the Better Business Bureau for Corpus Christi/Victoria. Contact her by email at



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