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Home Renovation Contract Fraud
Taking the guesswork out of hiring a contractor has proven a successful formula for Homeservice Club of Canada. Its members don't have to cross their fingers when hiring a contractor; instead they rely on the Club's unique quote system to get the job done on time and on budget with guaranteed standards of workmanship. For homeowners, the system not only guarantees the work, it ends the stress of dealing with contractors. "I can't believe how much Homeservice Club has helped me," says member Ann Buffer of Toronto. "I've had a roof leak for a few years now, and every time I called a contractor they did minimal amount of work, and were paid handsomely. A few weeks later my roof once again begins leaking.
I contacted Homeservice Club, became a member and immediately within the same day they assigned me a contractor who had a very credible track record. My roof was fixed quickly, and I was happy with the job. Their system guaranteed I would not be screwed over as I had in the past." For contractors, the system ensures they are kept working at capacity with less time spent on sales and administrative tasks. It frees them to spend more time doing the work they do best.
The Club's unique "quote" system and its Double Guarantee set it apart from simple contractor referral businesses. In-office service representatives take calls from members who pay a small yearly fee. Each representative specializes in different trades such as masonry, roofing, and electrical. When a member calls in to request a quote on a renovation or repair, the appropriate contractor is assigned to the job and will be have to complete the job. On larger jobs, the member is encouraged to get at least three quotes from Club professionals. The jobs are equally distributed amongst all contractors to keep each and every contractor satisfied and working at their full capacity. The representatives monitor the progress of each job and are in touch with the member to ensure the work is being done to their satisfaction. If the contractor can't or won't complete the job properly, another is dispatched to remedy the problem. And finally, both the individual contractor and the Club guarantee the work. "We take the hassle out of home renovations," explains Club president Richard Felton.
"There's the convenience of calling one number no matter what job you need done. And the peace of mind knowing that the person you are letting into your home has been prescreened and bonded by Homeservice Club?." But, says Felton, the most important aspect of his business is the "Double Guarantee" he offers homeowners. "You hear about renovation nightmares all the time - contractors taking the deposit and skipping town, or not finishing the job. That's what sets us apart in the home renovation business - we guarantee the job will be completed to the customers' satisfaction," Felton said. "We add our guarantee to that of the individual contractor. If the job is not done to your satisfaction, we'll send someone else in to fix it - that's a double guarantee of satisfaction for the member." Homeservice Club? has been in the business of protecting homeowners since Harry Felton opened its doors in 1961 to protect homeowners against "shoddy workmanship and fly-by-night contractors". Today, his son runs the family business, but the concept remains true to his father's vision. For a small yearly membership fee, homeowners have access to a network of over 400 licensed, bonded and insured contractors in every trade imaginable.
The contractors are all independent tradespeople who compete with each other for members' business, keeping prices competitive. Club members also have access to an extensive shopping network offering discounts on everything from cars to travel, security systems to real estate, and insurance to appliances. The Homeservice Club model is a win-win deal for both the homeowner and the contractor, says Felton. "We take the hassle out of hiring a contractor for our members and we take the hassle out of running a business for our contractors - everyone wins," he added.