What is a fair price? And why does service.com keep using the phrase fair price in much of its marketing materials and even in our terms and conditions?
First, we have to travel back to when we started building the service.com marketplace—and explain some of the interesting little secrets we learned about the home improvement industry.
We learned that not only are homeowners distrustful of service pros, but service pros can be equally distrustful of homeowners. There seems to be little faith in getting a new roof or HVAC system installed at a fair price.
Often, homeowners are suspicious as to whether the pro is going to cut corners on the installation or that the materials are sub-par. The majority of the time, this is unfounded, but one bad burn sears deep in the memory of person, shading their experience forever. General contractors of mid-sized (and smaller) companies, like Two Men and a Truck, are often concerned whether or not the homeowner is going to pay when the service is performed.
A Fair Price Marketplace
Service.com is trying to change this lack of trust by introducing a Fair Price marketplace. Our project managers review quotes for pricing, materials, terms, and milestones to ensure that a project is quoted according to industry best-practices, and we make sure pros get paid for doing quality work.
It’s amazing how many people operate in the grey area when it comes to home improvement—we are not just talking about service pros—we have seen homeowners abuse pros as well.
We have seen homeowners do a 180 on the plan after agreeing to terms, withhold payment, or become irrational regarding work that was performed: contractors are not miracle workers. They can only do as much is feasible with the budget given.
On the flipside, we have seen inflated pricing by pros, gouging the elderly or other homeowners who have no other choice but to accept the quote and financing terms or shoddy work due to limited means. And, conversely, we have seen homeowners get taken advantage of due to their wealth, being charged more for a job that costs a middle class family less, even when it is of the same scope and scale. We have also seen desperate homeowners ripped off by contractors after natural disasters or during insurance claims.
These situations are simply immoral, and we aim to fix the problem. Service.com strives to build tools to help reduce and, eventually, eliminate these problems. We feel that a fair price given by a roofer or HVAC contractor can yield a business that is quite profitable in that they know the homeowner is going to pay, and they will find good work easily without having to pay a large portion of their revenues on advertising costs.
Once our marketplace is used by millions nationwide, we will have created a scheme of homeowners and service pros who work together to build a better way to do home improvement. We can then turn our focus on additional aspects of the home service industry.
We feel that we can help pros find what they need to grow, while improving compensation and responsibly sourcing building materials. Many people don’t realize that asphalt shingles—the most common roofing material in North America— is largely a petroleum based product and can be recycled.
This philosophy is even our mission statement “While providing a simple and convenient way to serve homeowners, we will educate and empower service pros by enabling opportunities that can help their businesses grow.”
Because of the service.com marketplace and our technology— we truly can change home improvement. We can give homeowners great service, make sure pros earn a profitable business, and address environmental concerns, looking toward the future with eco-friendly materials that are sustainable — all at a Fair Price.