How to Stay Safe From Coronavirus During Service Calls

Let your handy skills make some extra money for you.
Photo by By kurhan / Shutterstock.com

The coronavirus has stopped ordinary day-to-day life in its tracks. But some things – broken pipes, stalled refrigerators, disrupted cable service – roll on.

If such misfortune visits your household, waiting for the lockdown to end is not an option: You need to make a service call now. But how do you do so in a way that reduces the risk of contracting COVID-19?

Consumer Reports recently suggested taking a few extra steps when you schedule your next service call. They include they following.

Try to avoid signing paper documents

CR suggests that you call the company sending the technician and request a “touch-free transaction.” This would mean that you would not have to touch papers, pens or anything else that the technician typically would bring into the home.

Ask how the technician will keep you safe

Prior to the appointment, ask the company if the technician will be instructed to remain at least 6 feet away from everyone in the household. Also, ask if the technician will wear a mask or gloves, or take other steps to keep you safe.

Clear a path to and from the work area

You want service pros to do the job right, but with a minimum of wandering around. So, clear a path to the work area, and keep the area itself as clean as possible.

CR notes that by preparing ahead of time, the technician will need to touch fewer things while in your home, and spend less time on the service call itself.

Allow technicians to wash their hands

CR notes that in some cases — such as when working with wiring — it may be impractical for the technician to wear gloves at all times. In such instances, offer the technician soap or hand sanitizer to clean up before and after the service call.

Tip with care

If you plan to tip, CR suggests putting money in an envelope and leaving it somewhere where the technician can pick it up instead of handing the cash to him or her. Or, use an alternative method. According to CR:

“If you want to use a mobile peer-to-peer payment app, such as Apple Pay or Venmo, to tip someone, do it while the person is in your presence and confirm every detail before you send the money to make sure that it goes to the right person,” recommends Christina Tetreault, senior attorney at Consumer Reports.

Wipe down surfaces after the technician has left

Studies have shown that the coronavirus can remain on surfaces from hours to days. So, after the technician’s work is done, make sure to wipe down any surfaces he or she may have touched.

Looking for the right disinfectant? Check out “5 Household Cleaners That Can Kill the Coronavirus.”

Wash your own hands thoroughly

This should go without saying at this point, but when the service call and post-call cleanup are done, wash your own hands thoroughly.

To do so the right way, read our tips in “Beware These 7 Hand-Washing Mistakes.”

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
The 2 Biggest Retirement Fears of Baby Boomers
The 2 Biggest Retirement Fears of Baby Boomers

Boomers have a lot of worries as they age, but two stand out.

6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman
6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman

Beware: The self-proclaimed personal finance expert has a track record that suggests more sizzle than steak.

2-Minute Money Strategy: How Should I Invest My Retirement Savings?
2-Minute Money Strategy: How Should I Invest My Retirement Savings?

If retirement is on the horizon, you can’t afford to take too much risk, but you also need to make as much as possible. Here are your options.

The 3 Biggest Regrets of Retirees — and How to Avoid Them
The 3 Biggest Regrets of Retirees — and How to Avoid Them

Rescuing a retirement from regret starts with these steps well before it’s time to quit working.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Whether you resell it for a big profit or add it to your own wardrobe, this type of clothing is a hidden steal.

10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

This Simple Mistake Might Weaken Your COVID-19 Vaccination
This Simple Mistake Might Weaken Your COVID-19 Vaccination

Avoid doing this before you get vaccinated.

10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years
10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years

The cars that owners hold onto the longest have one thing in common, a new study shows.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider
Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider

A new study has bad news for the millions of Americans who spend money on multivitamins.

10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

11 Products Now in Short Supply Due to the Pandemic
11 Products Now in Short Supply Due to the Pandemic

Many goods we take for granted have become tough to find in 2021.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

9 Things You Should Never Leave in a Car
9 Things You Should Never Leave in a Car

Thinking of leaving these possessions in a car? Prepare for unexpected consequences.

9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar
9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar

Cleaning with vinegar can save you a lot of money, but using it like this can cost you.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021
Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021

More than 700 prescription medications have seen price hikes so far this year. Here’s a look at the worst.

10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently
10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently

These habits and characteristics can help put you on the track to success.

7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50
7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50

As we age, our bodies wear down. Here is how to cut costs associated with some common ailments.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.