Finding a dependable specialist to fix a leaky pipe or trim a branch might be challenging. Until recently, your best choice was to read through the Yellow Pages or inquire around, hoping to find a reliable tradie by chance.
Then emerged the so-called “sharing economy,” and now it’s the other way around. We can assess a tradie’s background and qualifications online, and we can also post job openings on tasking platforms and have tradies contact us.
How Does it Work?
We evaluated several websites, including Hipages, ServiceSeeking, and Oneflare. All of them are somewhat different, but the core procedure is the same:
- You submit your assignment on the site. Various tradespeople will pitch you their prices to undertake your project.
- You evaluate their quotes, go through their profiles, read their reviews, and ask questions if applicable.
- You hire a tradesperson to complete the work.
How Much Does it Cost?
It’s completely free to post a task, and you’re under no obligation to employ anyone. Tradies, on the other hand, pay a fee each time they submit a bid for a job or may even pay a membership fee. You’ll only pay for the services of a tradie when you hire one.
Why Use Tasking Sites?
The primary advantages of using these sites are that you can read reviews of their past and current customers and avoid calling around for bids. However, whether you find the tradie online or referral, there are no assurances that their job will be up to par.
The site hosts over 100,000 businesses. Cleaning, relocation, construction, decorating, and bookkeeping is the most often sought services on Oneflare.
Firms have profile scores, which increase if their ABN, license number, and contact information are verified. According to one of Oneflare’s employees, the firm keeps a close eye on each company’s customer feedback. It helps them use real-life experiences, not just licenses and certifications, to assess quality. According to Billy Tucker, the site presents former customers’ feedback without filtering.
The ‘Verified’ emblem indicates that Oneflare has validated a company’s public liability insurance and its ABN. Companies that display the ‘Home Care’ assurance emblem are protected by Oneflare’s limited warranty, which covers up to $500 for repair and renovation work by another Oneflare firm in the case of carelessness or willful damage. If they don’t show up for the work on time, firms having the ‘On-Time Guarantee’ label will pay you $50.
The gates installation was well done. I was pleased with the results. Not all the quotes were suitable. Within hours, the replies were quick, and they all turned up when they said they would. You have to be clear and firm about what you want.
The site hosts over 197,000 businesses. Firms on the ServiceSeeking site offer services for virtually all professions, from accounting to graphic designing. But the most common categories include gardening, cleaning, relocation, handy jobs, and electrical work.
All firms on the website have passed an ID confirmation, have a valid ABN, and have declared online that they are licensed to perform the tasks they offer. According to ServiceSeeking, if a firm receives two customer complaints, they’re kicked out of the site. This policy encourages businesses to strive to deliver quality and on-time services.
ServiceSeeking does not provide insurance to its customers. Therefore, you should double-check that your employer has a satisfying insurance policy.
CHOICE TIP: Unlike most services, ServiceSeeking has no cap on the number of quotes you may receive from firms using. Click the “Stop Quotes” option to prevent getting bombarded when you’ve had enough.
The site hosts over 130,000 businesses. Hipages—”hi” is an acronym for home improvement—has been in the business for over a decade. Their most popular categories are cleaning, plumbing, electrical jobs, gardening, and structuring.
CHOICE TIP: Hipages has more significant costs for tradies than many tasking websites (based on their packages), implying that you might not get the low-ball offer you were looking for. However, this isn’t always a bad alternative if you want excellent work performed by a skilled tradesperson instead of an odd-jobber seeking a fast buck.
Hipages has a “Trust and Quality” staff that reviews and verifies the credentials of all companies and tradesmen who have signed up on their site. After a recommendation has been validated, the staff tests them over a phone conversation and provides them with a ‘Verified’ icon. Any bad marks are factored towards the tradies’ ratings. Hipages seeks tradespeople with a high volume of consumer complaints and offers them mediation.
While tradies promise to “operate with the highest professionalism” once they join, it’s hard to tell if they will, especially since Hipages accounts only display good evaluations. This implies you will neither be able to share your bad experience with the business nor will you be able to hear about others’ feedback unless it is positive.
Hipages does not provide insurance to its customers. Therefore, be sure the company you’re choosing has enough insurance.
Quotes, Nasties and Undercuts
Please be cautious of the businesses offering uniquely lower quotes. Going for the lowest quote also leaves customers with less room for negotiation. Some clients have felt that they were persuaded into accepting lesser than they’d hoped for.
While it’s fair to anticipate preset quotes, tradies frequently increase them if the work required exceeds your description when applying.
A tradesperson should never change a quote without providing you with satisfying reasons or the chance to bargain. You also have the freedom to change your decision and refuse to hire them even after they’ve arrived at your location.
Please remember to include as much detail as possible in the job description. This will protect you from quote creep. You should, however, expect to make your selection depending on an on-site inspection quotation and, if needed, to bargain.
What to Do If Things Go Wrong
- Continue to communicate with the tradie or firm and voice out your opinion. You should follow up on any written agreements via emails, letters or chat systems.
- When you cannot negotiate an agreement, seek assistance from your state or region’s consumer protection office and file a written statement.
- You can present your case to the proper court or tribunal in your state or territory if the consumer protection agent cannot assist you or if you are dissatisfied with their decision.
- If you used a credit or debit card for payments, contact your bank for a refund as soon as possible.
- Explore the ACCC website or call the ACCC to be fully informed about your rights and Australian Consumer Law.
- Inform the tasking service of the incident; they can decide to follow up with the employee or dismiss them.
- Write a review to prevent other consumers from making the same mistakes you did.
Always be mindful of your security, especially when staying solitary. With the help of consumer reviews, you can make a better selection on the website.
Do Your Homework
Although their internet profile may state that they’re licensed, double-check the qualifications of the person or company you’re employing.
You could be contented to engage an incompetent individual to complete modest jobs and repairs, but do they have insurance? If anything goes wrong between you, you may not get help from a consumer protection agency.
Tips for Hiring Tradies Through Tasking Sites
- If possible, include photographs to help you explain your requirements precisely.
- Expect a flurry of emails and phone calls.
- Once you’ve gathered adequate quotes, remove the ad.
- Double-check the license or registration with the proper authorities in your state.
- Discover customer reviews by doing a broad online search using the company’s name.
- Inquire about liability insurance certificates of currency.
- Don’t blindly accept the worker’s price; they must give you a quotation to obtain your contact information, but it might be negotiable.
- Get three quotations and compare them based on what they provide instead.
- Prepare for an on-site assessment so that all parties are aware of the project’s scope.
- If feasible, contact and pay via application or website.
- Put everything down on paper. For work worth more than $5000, a large domestic building contract is usually necessary. However, some consumer associations, such as Consumer Affairs Victoria, advocate that all remodelling work be documented in writing.
- Regardless of how you pay for the job, ensure you receive a receipt.