I received a credit to my ClubLocal account
A man's home is his castle, his sanctuary, his place of refuge -- and it takes a lot of work to keep it that way! Homeowners know that their work is never done. If it isn't a major project like redoing a bathroom or a kitchen or adding a second floor (we've done all of that), it's a minor project like painting a room or replacing a door or a window or rewiring the phone or cable system (we've done all of that too!). And don't forget regular home care services like cleaning or plumbing or heater maintenance! Sometimes it seems like such a pain to look for reputable people and book the service, you end up putting it off and delaying, delaying.... until all of a sudden you have a leaky roof and realize your home is crumbling around you.
A couple of weeks ago I was introduced to a great new site that lets you book home repair services online: ClubLocal. ClubLocal contracts with reputable contractors and does all the vetting for you, so you don't have to spend time scouring the internet or polling your friends for recommendations. You pay a fair price, and everything is charged to your ClubLocal account, so you have all your home improvement records together.
ClubLocal gave me the opportunity to try booking a service with them, so I decided to book a sofa cleaning service since our sofas were looking beyond disgusting. Booking a home service with ClubLocal is so easy. I do practically everything online, so why should this be any different? With ClubLocal, you can select the day and time you want your service done. And halleluiah, they offer 2-hour time windows instead of the usual 4-hour windows, so you're not stuck at home waiting for a service pro!
When you book your service, ClubLocal will show you which time slots are open. You can also enter more details about the service you want done, which is really useful when you're not booking a standard service like air duct cleaning or a car wash. For instance, if your toilet is clogged, you can type in your toilet brand and model so the plumber can make sure he arrives with all the proper spare parts.
I love how ClubLocal keeps you informed every step of the way. In my case, within 10 minutes after booking my upholstery cleaning, I received an email saying I had to reschedule because the service pro would not be able to make it during my requested day and time.
1) The first reminded me of my appointment (which was great because I had actually forgotten! how perfect for scatterbrains like me!)
2) The second informed me that the service pro was on his way; the email also gave me his name and photo so I would recognize him (a nice safety feature). I also received a phone call from the service pro confirming his arrival.
3) The third and fourth emails were estimates for the upholstery work -- one, for the upholstery cleaning that I had originally requested, and the other, for an optional Scotchguard procedure that the service pro offered to me when he arrived at my house and checked out my sofas.
4) The fifth email was sent after the job had been done, and included the final invoice.
All the documents that had been emailed to me are also stored in my ClubLocal account. That's another great advantage to using ClubLocal: everything is stored online in a single place. No more storing drawers full of old receipts and faded business cards! ClubLocal has all the details of the work done on your home, including estimates, the final job invoice, the name and contact information for your service provider, so if you need to do the same work in two or three years, you'll have everything handy.
Quite possibly the only place where the information flow is not so transparent is the service pricing. There are sample prices for services on the ClubLocal website, but they are just that: sample prices. Even when you book an appointment, the booking window does not indicate how much the service will cost! I had to call a service rep to pin down actual prices for the services.
I do understand that for certain services, such as plumbing and electrical work, it is impossible to pin down a price until the service pro arrives at your home and does a preliminary inspection -- but it would be nice if ClubLocal could show actual prices for standard services like carpet cleaning, car washes, air duct cleaning and so on. But that minor shortcoming is definitely not a deal breaker -- after all, you can always do what I did and speak to a service rep and ask for prices. I am definitely planning to use ClubLocal again. Next up: air duct cleaning!
ClubLocal started in the Dallas Fort Worth area, and you can book well over a dozen kinds of home improvement services with them -- plumbing, handyman work, electrician, appliance repairman, etc.... They also have a limited presence in the SF Bay Area, with 7 kinds of services, but the list is growing, and hopefully they will expand to other cities soon. Check out ClubLocal ASAP -- right now, for the SF Bay Area, they are offering a $100 credit to your ClubLocal account so you can try booking a home service like cleaning a sofa or 2 hours handyman work or clearing a clogged drain!
Disclosure:I received a credit to my ClubLocal account so I could try booking a service with ClubLocal and share my thoughts on the process. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.