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How can Montrealers protect themselves when looking for snow removal services? Here’s a few tips

Click to play video 'How Montrealers can protect their investments when it comes to snow removal' How Montrealers can protect their investments when it comes to snow removal
WATCH: Winter is not too far off and homeowners are already planning for snow removal. But how can consumers ensure they're not snowed in if their contractor suddenly goes belly up? Global's Tim Sargeant has some tips.

Fall is in the air and many West Island residents are thinking about hiring snow removal contractors, knowing winter is around the corner.

But some are skeptical after losing their money last winter when contractor Bo Pelouse declared bankruptcy in January leaving thousands without service.

Read more: West Island snow removal company scoops thousands abandoned by Bo Pelouse

The Quebec Consumer Protection Office has listed several tips for potential clients as they shop around for new contractors.

Among them, consider writing a cheque to the company’s trust account or make payments in at least two separate installments.

“Talk to your friends, talk to your neighbours. I personally don’t think you should get somebody that nobody else has,” Victoria Adelin told Global News.

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She started a Facebook page dedicated to snow removal information for West Island residents.

She’s hoping it will help potential customers make an informed decision.

“There’s a lot of people that just don’t know things about certain companies. Just to help them and not get them in that same position where they lose money,” she said.

CONSUMER PROTECTION OFFICE TIPS: Avoid providing a down payment

Another person who’s written about the tips is Murray Levine. The Dorval resident reminds people that they should pay fair market value for snow removal service.

And he says other municipalities should follow the city of Côte Saint-Luc and publish the tips offered by the Quebec Consumer Protection Office online.

“Côte Saint-Luc deserves to be commended. They’re very proactive,” he told Global News.

Linda Rodrigues uses a snow blower and shovel to clear driveway and walkway at her Dorval home. But she feels for seniors who feel nervous about re-hiring a snow removal contractor.

“Most of the people I really felt sorry for are the seniors because they have no other way of getting their driveways clear,” she said.

The City of Dorval is also considering offering some tips on its website or Facebook page to help guide residents as they shop for a new contractor.

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Click to play video 'West Island drivers gas up after Bo Pelouse closure hits Pointe-Claire gas station' West Island drivers gas up after Bo Pelouse closure hits Pointe-Claire gas station
West Island drivers gas up after Bo Pelouse closure hits Pointe-Claire gas station