How do you guys compare to Angie’s List or HomeAdvisor?
We are only like Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor in that you can find contractors on our website. That is where the similarities end. Our contractors are hand-selected for quality and integrity and WE TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for the work they perform at your home. If the contractor does not do what they are contracted to do, we get involved and will go as far as paying up to $10,000 out of our own pocket to fix the issue ourselves if the contractor does not do what they promised.
How do you get paid?
We charge the contractor a flat monthly membership fee. We make it low enough that the contractor does not have to take it out on the homeowner, but high enough that we can purchase advertising for the group and pay operational costs. Other resources like to charge per lead or take a percentage of the job, but while that is a better model to make a lot of money, it does not lend to credibility. Because we put a $10,000 guarantee on every job, each contractor could cost us WAY more than we receive from them in a whole year. The flat fee is part of our high integrity business model.
What do you guarantee?
In short, we guarantee that you will get exactly what you agreed upon with the contractor at the price you agreed upon. We guarantee that it will be a quality job by all industry standards (this will be proven by an actual home visit with all parties present if it gets that far). 99% of the time the original contractor is able to make everything right before it ever gets that far. However, there have been a couple of times where the homeowner remained unhappy and it was determined that the contractor did not produce the quality we expect. We then took the final responsibility and paid another contractor to complete the job. We back every contractor and every job they do. We obviously can’t guarantee a great experience every time, but we do guarantee that you will not be left holding the bag if our contractors do not do what they are supposed to do. See Terms and Conditions for more specifics.
How is that $10,000 paid out? Is it an insurance policy?
The $10,000 guarantee comes directly from The Good Contractors List revenue. There is not an insurance plan that covers “Quality of Work”, which is why we have to be SO selective when choosing the contractors we allow on our team. We take on the risk so you don’t have to be afraid! If we let a contractor on our list that is low quality or low integrity, then we stand to lose a LOT of money.
It is very rare that a fix would be more than $10,000. Also, we only use our own contractors to fix the problem so that the homeowner is covered all the way through the process. WE WILL NOT WRITE A CHECK TO THE HOMEOWNER OR PAY A CONTRACTOR WHO IS NOT IN OUR ORGANIZATION TO DO THE WORK, except for specific conditions where there is not a choice. For example, if the contractor took money up front, then disappeared, and it was found that they grossly under-priced the job. Once we understand that our contractors can’t do the job for the amount the contractor agreed upon, we have no choice but to refund the money. Unfortunately this happened to us ONCE and we immediately refunded the money to the homeowners. We have since improved our processes to greatly reduce the risk of another one of the bad guys getting past us.
See what happened to the bad contractor who got past our screening process….
What do I have to do to be covered by the Guarantee?
You simply need to use a contractor who is an active member of The Good Contractors Organization. If you contracted with a contractor in our organization while they were active and they remain an active member, then there is no further proof necessary. We encourage homeowners to register on our contractors list website so that their homes are registered with us. This helps in the resolution process and proves you found the contractor through us.
What is the Complaint Resolution Process?
You can see a very detailed description of our complaint resolution process in our Terms and Conditions. It is really very simple. You contact us, and we immediately assist in communication with your contractor. If things elevate or there are continued questionable quality issues, then we will ask you to fill out a detailed form so we can start recording everything. If we need to come to your home and inspect, then we will coordinate a meeting that involves the contractor who did the work, a professional inspector or another contractor from that field, a TGCL representative, and YOU! We will walk through everything and address issues right there in front of everyone so there are no misunderstandings. At the end we will all agree upon a resolution. Keep in mind that we look at facts here and we side with the truth. If there are grey areas, we work through those as we see them.
Why don’t you show reviews on your contractors?
We do not want people “SORTING” to try and figure out which contractor is good. If we are willing to put our neck on the line on every job they do, then they are good and you don’t have to think or worry about it. We think reviews can be valuable, but RESPONSIBILITY is so much better. On websites like Angie’s List, Yelp, or the BBB, you have to depend upon the threat of writing a bad review as your “ammunition” to (hopefully) ensure you get a good job. Many complaints come from fear and manipulation and are completely unfair. We respond to EVERY complaint and validate the complaint before labeling a contractor as “bad”. Reviews do not protect you, WE do! By the way, we do offer the homeowner the ability to rate our contractors, but it is not publicly displayed. It is responded to and resolved by a human being.
What happens if I have a bad experience?
The fact of the matter is that bad experiences can happen anywhere you go, including The Good Contractors List. We can’t guarantee that everyone is going to have an amazing experience every time they use one of our contractors. It would be foolish to think that ANY of our contractors would ever satisfy 100% since we are all human. If you avoid things because you think there could be a chance you have a bad experience, then you won’t be experiencing many things. We know our contractors have a heart to create great experiences, but even the best fail sometimes. The best we can do is listen and respond to EVERY complaint and we take all feedback very seriously. If a pattern seems to be forming, we give the contractor a chance to comply or we remove them. There have been cases where it was bad enough that we removed them immediately, but again this is VERY few and far between.
What kind of complaints do you receive?
It doesn’t matter how good a contractor is, being a contractor is like being a juggler. Eventually, a ball will get dropped. There are too many variables for this not to happen. So the bulk of our complaints are minor, but understandably very frustrating to the homeowner. The common complaint you are going to hear anywhere is that the contractor didn’t return their call or forgot to call them back after speaking with them. The contractor missed their appointment or showed up late. There are times that the expected finish date is pushed back (anything from a worker being sick to bad weather can delay a job considerably). In some cases, there are people who complain about the price, but our contractors are not even close to the most expensive in their fields. Pricing complaints are obviously based on what the homeowner “feels” is too expensive. All of these types of complaints are still quite low with our contractors, which is amazing, considering we have well over 200 contractors juggling hundreds of jobs. We are quite proud of the team we have created.
How do you choose your contractors?
We have identified three distinct types of contractors. The first group we call “Buck in a Truck”. They are usually the cheapest, but it is because they don’t carry insurance or have the resources to back their work. If something goes wrong, then these guys usually can’t handle the loss to fix something. We only allow contractors on our list that have the proper amount of insurance and have financial stability in their business. On the other end of the spectrum is “Mega-Contractor”, their overhead is so high that they are forced to charge higher prices and upsell the whole time they are in your home. They may get there the fastest and have the nicest trucks, but YOU are paying for it all. We will only bring on a Mega-Contractor when they are not providing emergency services like AC repair, Electrical, or Plumbing and they must watch their rates to be competitive. An example would be carpet cleaning. They will never say “Your house is going to burn down if you don’t let us clean your carpet right now!” Most our contractors are what we call “the honest guys in the middle”. They aren’t the cheapest and sometimes not the fastest, but they all offer fair and honest rates for the value you receive.
Do you regulate your contractor’s pricing?
The short answer is “No”, but pricing is something we take into consideration when we are interviewing our contractors. We have specific things we look for in contractors that join our team. We are looking for a group we call “The Honest Guys in the Middle”. Our contractors are not the cheapest, because they carry the appropriate amount of insurance and manage their businesses to be stable enough to handle unexpected issues, but our contractors are also not the most expensive. It is also relevant by the expectation of the homeowner. Many homeowners don’t expect to spend less than a couple hundred dollars when they call a contractor, while some may think our contractor is a crook for charging a $49 service fee for driving to their home and giving a diagnosis.
Why does only one contractor show up?
In the Dallas / Fort Worth area we assign every contractor a “home” zip code. If the homeowner’s zip code is an exact match with the contractors assigned zip code, then it takes you directly to their page. However, you can click on the graphic that says “See other Contractors” and it will show you the other contractors in that specific service. It will show a list of the closest contractors based on the distance between your zip code and the contractors assigned zip code.
I called a contractor that was listed and they said they didn’t service my area. Why do they show up if they don’t service my area?
When you do a search on our website, it presents EVERY contractor in that heading. The website shows how many miles away the contractor is from your home zip code. So, there is a chance that the contractor will be too far away to service your area, especially in headings where there are only a few contractors. There is currently no way to limit where the contractor shows up, so we apologize if they do not service your area. If the contractors under a specific service says they do not service your area, then please give our customer service line a call and it is possible that we have a contractor close to you who does what you are needing, but they are not listing themselves under the service you were searching for. Our customer service line is 972-567-5919.
These are just a few of the kinds of questions we hear from homeowners. We realize that our processes can be a little difficult to understand, because frankly it seems too good to be true to have a place that really does take responsibility for the contractors on their list. If you have any further questions, feel free to email us through our Contact Us Form and research us online to see if you can find anything to doubt us.