Choosing the right services - how do I know if a service is good and right for me?
Connect to Support East Riding was set up to make it easier for everyone to find the care and support they need. There are some important things you need to know, and think about, to make sure that you are making the right choices, and keeping safe, if you choose services from this site.
Connect to Support
The site is run by a national company called "shop4support". Companies and individuals can put themselves onto this site and there are no checks made about them - if shop4support are made aware that there are problems with a particular company or individual they can take steps to remove them - but there are no initial checks made. You need to make your own checks and feel comfortable about the services you are purchasing. This section provides information and advice about how to keep safe when using this site.
Initial conversations with a care provider is a good introduction to a future relationship and how easy it will be to talk to or work with them.
- Were they easy to get hold of?
- Did they get back to you when they said they would?
- Did they offer to meet with you to discuss your needs in person?
- Did they ask if you want to talk to other people they support or if you have checked their feedback and ratings on Connect to Support?
Your support provider should confirm a price that will not change after you and they have signed the contract, unless by agreement. Please note that this may be a different amount to that stated on Connect to Support.
- How is the price put together? and what does it include?
- If you are buying equipment or assistive technology,
- is postage and packing included?
- do you need anything else, for example, someone to fit it?
- If an hourly rate is quoted for support, is this for 1:1 support or shared support?
- Are there any extra charges that you need to know about?
- Does the rate cover everything that you will need?
- What will happen if you need more support during the contract - how will this be charged?
- Do you want the provider to invoice you or will you pay another way?
- You can pay safely through Connect to Support by credit card, debit card or paypal. Check how the provider will accept payment as some may also accept cash or cheque.
- Do not give out your payment details unless you are sure the person is who they say they are and do not send cash through the post.
- Always ask for a receipt. If you pay through Connect to Support you will receive this automatically with your full purchase history.
- Your support provider might want to include an annual price increase in your contract - make sure you are aware of this
- There may be circumstances when prices need to be reviewed - make sure that there is a clear process for how you will be told about this
- Bear in mind that specialist provider agencies may cost more but may have more skills to support you and may be a better choice - make sure you consider this when making a decision
If things go wrong you want to be certain that any problems can be solved quickly and efficiently.
If you are buying equipment or assistive technology
- can you send it back if it is not what you expected?
- what are the terms and conditions to do this?
Who should you contact if things go wrong?
Is there a complaints procedure? Is it easy to understand?
Do you think that potential complaints will be taken seriously and investigated?
Does the procedure tell you how they will feed back to you about what is happening as a result of your complaint - and what you can do if you are still not happy?
- People's circumstances change and there may come a time when you need to cancel your support agreement. You need to know you can do this easily.
- Is there a procedure for ending your agreement?
- Is there a notice period?
- Are they any 'exit fees' such as staff salaries or other costs?