Finding the perfect service provider, what to avoid, how to price a project, items on the agreement and settling disputes.
From time to time, we all need help to fix, service, repair or replace something that we own. It could be an item in our home, vehicle, or someplace else and even if you are the type that likes to do it yourself; frequently we all need help. Most projects will be completed at your place of residence so it is very important that the service provider you choose is worthy and can complete the project in a safe manner.
Using JobBullet allows you to save because you get you pick your price. It is a new business concept that is widely used in Europe so we have incorporated it in the U.S. Saving money is great with JobBullet but also we want you to have a pleasant experience so we have outlined some tips that can help you with your project.
JobBullet.com encourages Professionalism
JobBullet.com expects each service provider to adhere to integrity, professionalism, and be an ethical citizen of their community. By this we mean, that they should be there to work, do a good job, and be paid for their work. We cannot guarantee that all our service provides will be able to meet this simple guideline so that is why we expect you to ensure that you feel completely secure before you hire any service provider.
Only believe what you can verify
We cannot offer any guarantees that the service provider you choose has all the qualifications or licenses needed for the project. Some types of trades require specific licensing and bonding administered by the local government. It is important that you check with your locality to determine all the legal requirements. It is completely OK to ask for verification of any certificate or license a service provider claims to have.
Finding the Perfect Service Provider
View each service provider's profile as you would a resume. Did the service provider take the time to complete their profile with accurate grammar? Did the service provider do a spell check? The certificate that they claim to have, is it valid? What kinds of recommendations and feedbacks does the service provider provide? Are they commendable? Although spelling might not be the best skill of a service provider but it gives you an idea of their reputation. Someone that cares about their work and integrity would also care about their online image. Even though, we provide tools for you to research service providers, it is in your best interest to verify the documentation to ensure that they are accurate and relevant. If you are looking for someone to wash your car, it may not be important that they have a degree in Mathematics. Ensure that the credentials they have are relevant to your project. Do not take chances, you will kick yourself later.
Pricing the Project
It might be challenging to determine the final price for your project. At JobBullet, we allow the customer to determine the price and the best way to do this is to decide what the project itself is worth to you. Don't over price it because then you are paying more than you should, also if you under price, then that might jeopardize the quality of the work you receive. A good tool to use is to determine what you would sell the final project for if you were going to sell it, then work back words to determine the final price. You are not obligated to pay the price you quote so until the final agreement is signed by both parties, the price you determine is really just an estimate.
When hiring a service provider, verify all credentials including but not limited to licensing, insurance, bonding etc. This is your property that you are trusting to someone else so make sure that the service provider is capable of completing the project in a safe and legal manner.
Nothing is valid unless it is written down
As you decide on your service provider, make sure that you put all agreements on paper and then have both parties sign it. If necessary consult a notary public (Your bank will usually provide this service to you free of charge) No oral promises should be taken serious unless it is written down and signed. It is better to be safe than sorry. The agreement should have specifics of the work being requested and all necessary details. When you make payments, always have the provider sign a receipt of payment.
Sample questions to ask your service provider:
- Why have you chosen to provide this service as a business?
- What are the names and phone numbers of previous customers that I can call to verify you did a good job?
- If things don't go as planned, what will be your next move?
- What city did you register your business?
- Can you provide a legal license to do the service you provide?
- How will we maintain contact with each other?
- Is your address a permanent address and how long have you resided there?
- Ask if they will be using anyone to help them with the project. If so, ask that all participants must be interviewed before you will allow them to work.
If you feel satisfied with their responses, you can move on to check their references. Don't be shy to turn down a service provider. It they do not meet your satisfaction, contact a different provider.
Sample questions to ask when you call references
- How would you grade the service provider's work?
- Did they keep you informed through out all phases of the project?
- Did they provide answers to questions that met your satisfaction?
- Did they seem receptive to your input?
- Did they show up on time? Did they clean up each day?
- Were there any unexpected costs? If so, what?
- Was the project completed on time?
- Would you recommend the service provider and would you hire them again?
Sexual harassment and criminals
You must be careful who you let into your home and around your family. There are criminals and sexual predators out there. We ask that you run their name through the local database to determine that your service provider is not a criminal. You should have the provider show you their legal ID so you can call your local law enforcement to ensure that you are not hiring a criminal.
Things to Avoid
Avoid hiring a service provider who:
- Tries to get you to pay upfront
- Hesitant or unable to provide verification of credentials
- Not able to provide a physical address of where they reside (a utility bill is a good way to verify).
- Appears transient or is more interested in giving you a major discount rather than providing quality work
- Quotes a final price without seeing the job
- Does not have references
- Asks if they can borrow tools
- Tells you they know someone that has done a similar job or that they've seen it done before but they have no experience in doing it
- Is not able to tell you the going price for what the project costs in the market
In addition to the above, taking the following precautions which will help protect your property and increase your chances of success:
- Make payments as the project gets completed. Do not commit to make any final payments unless the work is completely finished. When the work is complete, ensure that you are fully satisfied before agreeing that the work is complete.
- Do not sign any agreement that has spaces that still need to be filled out.
- Seek advice from an attorney if there are any documents that you do not understand.
- If financing is necessary, shop around. Don't accept any loans from the service provider or someone they recommend unless you are aware of the lender.
Always use an agreement form so that you and the service provider are both aware of what is expected from each party.
The agreement should be signed by both parties and for better protection seek a notary as well.
The agreement form at the very least should include the following:
- A complete description of the project and pertinent details.
- The physical address of the project, the service provider's insurance, and license information.
- The final agreed price of the project.
- How the service provider will be paid and the intervals of the project at which they can expect to be paid.
- Any warranties, promises, or agreements made between you and the service provider.
- If the project needs to be altered, you should put down any changes made to the initial agreement and have both parties initial that they are aware of the change.
Proper communication between both parties is usually the best way to handle any dispute.
Handle all disputes immediately. Do not wait until the project is over to discuss.
Both parties need to be cordial and understand that most disputes can be handled in a tame and respectful manner.
If both parties aren't able to handle the dispute, contact a local arbitrator. If you are still unable to handle the dispute, then contact the local authorities to handle the dispute. It is best to not let any dispute get out of hand. If both parties agree and sign the agreement, there shouldn't be any disputes because the agreement should make each party accountable.