Could A Loophole In Popular Furnace Contractor Referral Sites Put Your Family At Risk?

Categories: Furnaces | Comments
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I would think most people who use contractor referral sites HomeAdvisor or Angie’s List just don’t know who else to turn to, and they don’t want to take a few minutes to do a little research on local heating and air companies here in Denver. It’s probably unlikely that someone who has already had a good experience with one of the well-known Denver furnace repair companies would turn to a contrtact referral website.

Let’s say you don’t already know of a reliable Denver furnace repair company you can call. Maybe you’ve seen the commercials for HomeAdvisor’s service, so you decide to enter your contact information on the HomeAdvisor website. HomeAdvisor then sells your information to as many as four contractors. Within minutes, you are besieged with frantic phone calls from several heating and air companies offering to show up at your house. That’s how the HomeAdvisor service works in a nutshell.

HomeAdvisor’s third-party vendor uses a national criminal database (“NCD”) to screen our service professionals. The comprehensiveness of the NCD varies by state. Please be aware that the reporting in the NCD is particularly limited in the following states: AL, CO, DE, GA, ID, KS, KY, LA, ME, MA, MI, MS, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, SD, UT, VA, VT, and WY. For more information, click on the “Instant Database Searches” tab on the following webpage: http://www.backgroundchecks.com/ourdata/coveragemap

One of the benefits HomeAdvisor touts to homeowners is that they have ‘pre-screened’ these heating contractors for you, and they have… to an extent. HomeAdvisor screens the owners of the companies that are listed on their website. So if the company HomeAdvisor sold your information to consists of just the owner working out of his truck or his home, then the guy coming to your house has indeed been background-checked. As long as you’re okay with the trade-offs involved with trusting your furnace repair to a one-man operation, you can be reasonably confident you aren’t allowing a dangerous person into your home.

tech seal of safety

However, if the company HomeAdvisor sold your information to has employees other than the owner/technician, how do you know you can trust the person who is actually coming to your house. The simple answer is you don’t. HomeAdvisor only conducts screening checks on the owners of the companies they sell leads to. That’s not a knock on HomeAdvisor. It would cost a fortune to conduct background checks on every employee of every company they sell homeowner information to.

So how can you be certain that any technician a furnace repair company here in Denver sends to your home has a clean record, and they’ve been background-checked and drug-tested? Simple… look for a company that’s been awarded the Tech Seal of Safety designation. Any company that’s been certified through the Tech Seal of Safety program has entered into a legally-binding agreement to only hire technicians who have passed both extensive background checks, as well as ongoing drug testing. That means you can know without a doubt that every single one of the company’s technicians has a clean record.

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DISCLAIMER/BRAG: Altitude Comfort is one of only two heating and air companies in Denver that has been certified through the Tech Seal of Safety program. Brothers Plumbing and Heating is the only other company in Denver to have achieved the Tech Seal of Safety designation.

It’s not my intention for this post to come across as being critical of websites like HomeAdvisor. It’s simply meant to point out the difference between relying on lead-generation websites such as HomeAdvisor that only screen the owners of the heating contractors they sell your information to versus finding a top-tier company that goes the extra mile to ensure your safety, and the safety of your family before hiring any technician they wold send to your home.

If you’re simply looking for heating repair services on the cheaper end of the spectrum, and you don’t care if the technician coming to your home has been background-checked, then lead-generation websites like HomeAdvisor might be a good option. You’ll have three or four contractors calling you at the same time trying to get your business.

haggling

I’d assume most of the contractors buying homeowner information from websites like HomeAdvisor don’t have a big enough base of loyal customers who trust them with their furnace repair needs. So those contractors probably rely heavily on the flow of leads they buy from HomeAdvisor and other websites. So you can probably squeeze them since they know you’ve got three other contractors calling you at the same time.

However, most homeowners are looking for reliable furnace repair service from a company they know they can trust with their home and their family. If that’s what is important to you, then be sure to look for a company that’s been awarded the Tech Seal of Safety. You’ll have peace of mind that you don’t have to worry about what type of people are in your home with your family.

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