We have put together some important information from feedback collected from our customers that they found helpful when seeking a shredding service.

Non-Local Providers

Many shredding services will advertise to appear local but the truth is far different. It is not uncommon for many in the shredding industry to offer coverage to multiple metropolitan cities several hundreds of miles apart, all with 1 or 2 trucks. Offering coverage from New York to South Carolina or from Maryland to Philadelphia is a tremendous undertaking that is plagued with problems that ultimately impact and undermine service.

How do they plan to service your account when their trucks are in New Jersey or North Carolina?

Select a shredding service whose core service area is Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia.

National and Franchise Services

Many national carriers offer strong brand recognition and a perception of an even stronger commitment to great customer service. They often fail to live up to this expectation once the sales presentation is over. Service requests are routinely routed through centralized call centers and “service technicians” are reassigned due to high staff turnover. As a result, the stream of new drivers and account representatives never learn your business’s needs or become familiar with you, your staff or the facility.

National services typically will entice customers with attractive pricing that is contingent on a long term service contract subject to annual rate increases, termination clauses and miscellaneous fees and surcharges.

Is This the Business's Core Service?

Lately, moving companies, electronic recycling firms, record storage, cardboard recycling companies, uniform carriers, and box rental companies are offering “secure” shredding. Would you take your car to the local oil change shop for a major transmission repair? Why not? They both service automobiles, right?

Just because a business is successful in one area doesn’t mean it will be good in others. Concerns regarding security, cross utilization of employees, Chain of Custody and proper employee screening rise to the top of the list. Moving and recycling companies often use their existing unscreened drivers to complete shredding pickups. Often, you open the door for the barrage of sales calls attempting to cross-sell you unwanted services. In fact, most of these companies outsource their shredding to third parties.

Always work with a local firm with several years of experience in business that specializes in secure document destruction. An established local shredding service such as ours is well worth a few extra dollars and will in every case exceed your expectations.

Crazy Eddie Prices

As with everything, be leery of low-ball prices. The courts have long ruled that it is the legal responsibility of a business to properly screen all vendors and contractors to ensure competency to perform the services they are contracted to do. A Certificate of Destruction as a result of the lowest bid price regardless of qualifications will not absolve a business from legal recourse and litigation should the service fail to perform its services.

It is very common for “cut rate” shredding providers to not own any shredding equipment but merely act as middlemen and outsource their shredding to third parties. Some providers will assure customers all materials will be shredded in a timely manner but in truth the actual destruction will occur when convenient to them—sometimes weeks or months after pick up. After all, how would you know—right?

These services are typically not Certified Shredding Operations, even if they advertise as meeting or exceeding the NAID or GSA Standards. Quality shredding done right is about security, reliability and service.

What we always recommend to “Value Conscious” customers, who feel pressured to select a third-rate paper shredding service, is to consider spending a few dollars more for a local on-site shredding company. It can save you thousands of dollars in legal bills down the road.

GSA Approval

All shredding services in and around the nation’s capital should be GSA approved. The federal government is the largest employer/entity in the region and has thousands of business opportunities for qualified secure destruction firms. The General Services Administration (GSA) approval is an extensive examination and vetting process in which a business is screened, audited, verified and approved to offer their services to the Federal government. One of the key elements to the GSA approval process is the financial integrity and overall health of the business seeking approval.

If a vendor is not a GSA Approved business a red flag should go up and inquires should be made as to why they are not or can’t be.