Service Magic Does Not Screen Contractors For Insurance
Okay, they do screen them. But not in a way that is beneficial to the consumer. In order to be qualified to be considered a "quality pro" at Service Magic, a service provider must first demonstrate that he or she can pay for that status, and then (according to Service Magic) they must pass a background check for felonies. That's it. Those of us who have hired, fired, and worked with contractors know that there is more involved with becoming a quality pro than the two hoops that Service Magic requires.
A quick Google search of Service Magic will result in their website (of course), followed by hundreds of scathing complaints from home improvement providers claiming to have been scammed by Service Magic. Read through these complaints, and you will soon get the impression that service providers are generally unhappy with the greedy way in which Service Magic conducts itself.
"So what?" you may say. A gaggle of contractors who believe that they did not get their money's worth of marketing and leads does not necessarily spell trouble for consumers. But let's go back to the "screening" process. What is missing from this picture?
The most glaring thing, conspicuous in its absence, is INSURANCE! Check the site for yourself. See if you can find one single mention of contractors' insurance requirements for the "quality pros" that will be sent to your home courtesy of Service Magic. There must be thousands of pages on the site, and plenty of "tips" and "advice", but you will find not one mention of the insurance coverage that a home improvement contractor should carry. Why is this? Is insurance not an important part of a contractor's bid package? According to Tim Thomas of Service Magic, insurance is not high on consumers' priority lists when considering professionals to work in their homes. Really? What consumers are we talking about? In this litigious society, are we to believe that insurance coverage for workmen in and around our homes is not required, much less a priority?
The truth is that most homeowners understand the importance of insurance coverage for the contractors who may work for them. What is probably also true is that homeowners who turn to such a large, well-publicized site make the assumption that Service Magic would include insurance certificates in their qualification process for contractors. After all, there is a great big "seal of approval" on the home page. Surely behind that seal would be something as minimally required of a professional as insurance. Sadly, Service Magic is terribly misleading to people who have become accustomed to believing what they see on the internet.
You could call them yourself to ask them about their vetting process, but they no longer have a number posted on their site that connects to an operator. It seems that it is much easier for them if the process is entirely automated. That way they do not have to answer embarrassing questions like "what are the professional credentials of these contractors?" and "do the contractors that you will send carry workers compensation insurance?" Maybe it's just best to do the vetting yourself!
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