Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Great Expectations from House Call

Frustration results when reality isn't in line with expectations. Delight is just the opposite, it happens when reality exceeds expectations.

Before: Overloaded closet.
Last Thursday, my overloaded closet collapsed from the weight of my hanging clothes. I dreaded the thought of finding a reliable and capable handyman.

For months, I'd been quietly watching a team of former Qualcomm alumni working in the corner of a cafe. Their startup was a location based handyman service called House Call.

After coming out of stealth mode, I heard their presentation at One Million Cups. I liked their handyman screening process and I loved their promotional legwork. House Call came up with an innovative way to canvas a neighborhood and post door hangers. They first looked up the USPS's delivery routes since that's public information. Next, House Call hired college students to hang their collateral – but how do you supervise their work? Simple, have each student fire up Map My Run and wear it while hanging the door hangers. The students upload their GPS data to House Call for verification and payment.
Original nails vs. new 3" screws.

I tucked their service away in the back of my mind for the next time I needed home maintenance. So, when my clothes came softly crashing to the ground I gave them a call.

I recommend not booking through their website. Instead, use their iPhone app since it has much more functionality. By using GPS, House Call can detect when handymen are in and out of your area. Their app also informs customers when the handyman is on his/her way along with their photo.

Although I could book a specific handyman based on ratings I chose to let House Call pick one for me since rapid response was my priority. Within an hour House Call called me to get the details of the job. Less than 30 minutes later, José called me to book my appointment for Friday. 

After: Happy hanging clothes.
The next day, José showed up on time, looked over the work, and turned to. He definitely wanted to do the best job possible. First he showed me the difference between the small nails the builder originally used and his three inch screws. He then asked me if I wanted the sunken screw heads filled in and painted. Thanks, that was much appreciated, but no thanks since I didn't have matching paint.

Both the quality of José's work and his attitude exceeded my expectations. Unlike Angie's List, which only provides reviews, House Call vets their contractors.

This company is a recipe for success with funding in their pocket and the team from Gimbal at the helm of House Call.

Author: Joe Moreno

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