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Why your neighbor’s referral of a handyman is Fake News

It’s common to ask friends for referrals on any number of services – babysitters, dentists, people who mow lawns when you’re away. But do you ever wonder if these friends really KNOW if the handymen they refer are any good? Can you give your friends’ opinions on handymen the same weight as, for instance, the indispensable guidance we regularly receive from famous, Golden-Globe-winning Hollywood actresses?

Hey, I’m sure your friends are great friends and great people, and all that, and far be it from me to get between you and your friends. So let me break this to you as gently as I can. At least when it comes to the issue of referring a handyman, chances are your friends do not know ‘diddly-squat.’ How do I know this? Because here’s what they would actually HAVE to know, to actually KNOW diddly-squat.

1. Can that handyman be trusted in your home? – You are about to let a stranger roam your house, giving him access to all your prized possessions, including your family members. Did your friend run a criminal background check? That’s too bad because when we at Fix St Louis do, we learn that about 1/4 of all handymen who apply to us for jobs are convicted felons.

2. Does that handyman REALLY have insurance? – If I showed you the bill that Fix St Louis pays each year for insurance, you would probably suspect “no.” And if you think this insurance is only to protect you against implausible events, like the handyman stubbing his toe, then retaining OJ Simpson’s legal team to sue you for millions, think again. One of our handymen once fell off a ladder bringing down a $30 open can of paint with him. And while the only resulting damage to my technician or the homeowner’s property was a small number of nearly invisible, microscopic flecks of paint deeply embedded in the grain of the hardwood floor, our insurance company paid out thousands to refinish all of the contiguous flooring throughout the main floor. Now, tell me the truth — under those circumstances, would your friend’s handyman similarly be able to make you whole?

3. How long will you have to wait? – If that handyman consists of one guy and a pick-up truck, and is available immediately, chances are he doesn’t have much of a practice. The best ones are tied-up for weeks or months at a time because they WANT to be. Big, long-lasting jobs sure beat scrambling around for small jobs. On the other hand, we at Fix St Louis SPECIALIZE in and are organized around small jobs, so we can typically fit you in within a week or two.

4. Other than your friend, are most of that handyman’s customers satisfied? – Your friend may have had 1-2 successful experiences with that handyman. But, there isn’t a handyman out there who screws-up or goes AWOL every single time. Yet, there are PLENTY (if not most) who create unhappy customers on every 3rd, 4th, or 5th job. So, maybe your friend confirmed that the handyman can hang a shelf, but what else does that handyman know how to do among the dozens of possible handyman projects (e.g. plumbing, electrical, drywall, carpentry)?

With Fix St Louis, you don’t have to wonder whether we make customers happy because you can look it up on the web: A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, top 5% on Angie’s list, 4.5 out of 5 rating on Home Advisor (also, be sure to read the comments).

I’m deeply sorry you may now have to add your friends to the growing list of folks these days we’re told we cannot fully trust. That’s OK, maybe your friends can just stick to what they’re best at, like being friendly to you. But at least in regard to handyman services, you now know that we at Fix St Louis aren’t faking it — we’re the real thing.

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis