Mobile

ClubLocal launches ‘Uber for home services’ to take hassle out of repairs

Taking care of home repairs is a hassle, particularly if you have a busy schedule. ClubLocal is trying to fix that with an online service that pre-screens home service professionals and a guarantee you’ll be satisfied with the work. The company continued its national roll-out today, bringing the service to the Bay Area.

ClubLocal is like an Uber for home services like appliance repair, carpet cleaning, electrical work, house cleaning, painting, plumbing, etc. Typically finding and booking one of these appointments involves time-consuming online searches, chats with neighbors, quality and safety concerns, inconsistent pricing, unpredictable wait times, and no guarantees. ClubLocal wants to improve this process by putting it online.

ClubLocal emerged out of ReachLocal, an online marketing firm for local businesses that was founded back in 2003. CEO and cofounder Zorik Gordon said that after years of experience working with local businesses, he saw how challenging it was to transition their business models online.

“Despite the rise in e-commerce, local goods and services are still almost exclusively purchased offline,” he said. “Consumers have come to expect transparent pricing, responsive service, and guaranteed satisfaction from online purchasing, but when it comes to buying local services, consumers still expect inconvenience. The local service industry is valued at $1 trillion and currently has less than 1% online penetration.”

You can sign up for ClubLocal for free. The company does all the legwork in advance to identify the most qualified professionals based on background checks and customer ratings. Users select the service they need on ClubLocal and book an appointment online or through the iPhone app. They receive a free service estimate based on pre-negotiated, set market rates, and all the service professionals are licensed and insured. When the repairperson is on their way, users receive en route notifications to pinpoint the time of arrival, like on-demand ridesharing apps Uber and Lyft. After service is complete, you pay for your service, and all the estimates, receipts, and warranties are stored in an online account.

The company puts a heavy emphasis on its Satisfaction Guarantee. Gordon said the company rigorously screens the professionals it uses, but in the event that something unexpected happens or you are unsatisfied, ClubLocal will fix the problem at its own expense or reimburse you. Gordon said this distinguishes it from competitors that might present a list of vendors for you to choose from.

The success of Uber has led to a crop of  Uber-inspired mobile apps for on-demand services. YourMechanic  is an “Uber for car maintenance,” and Homejoy is an “Uber of house cleaning,” and there are a couple startups out there trying to be the “Uber for food.” ClubLocal’s “Uber for home repair” is now available in Dallas/Fort Worth and the San Francisco Bay Area. It went live in Dallas in July 2012 and completed thousands of jobs. Eighty-five percent of rated jobs get a 5 out of 5 star rating. ClubLocal has 50 employees and is based in Los Angeles.

Photo Credit: eye of einstein/Flickr


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