ECN Forum

about those maintenance gigs

Posted By: sparky

about those maintenance gigs - 10/17/09 12:11 AM

anyone here have reviews on Facilty Maintenance, Service Magic, or similar on line tradesmen-r-us gigs ?

~S~
Posted By: electure

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 10/17/09 04:46 AM

Here's some reviews of Service Magic:

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/servicemagic.html

http://service-magic.pissedconsumer.com/

dunno
.
Posted By: sparky

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 10/17/09 12:23 PM

ouch!

but thanks Electure, guess that may be a road i don't want to go down....~S~
Posted By: HotLine1

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 10/18/09 12:06 AM

Sparky:
I haven't heard ANY thing good, or for that matter worthwhile, for any of the web based 'finders', 'groups', or whatever 'find you work' hucksters.

I know of two guys who fell into the sales pitches over the years...sign up & wait...& wait & Wait.

Posted By: CDS

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 10/18/09 04:23 PM

I don't know about Service Magic yet , but here is my review of maintenance companies "Servicecom , American Home Repair etc ".
For me the " not to exceed " , service call prices etc have been within my rates
All of them that I have used take at least a month to pay , some 60 days .
Some have contact numbers to check on unpaid invoices , and some don't .
We haven't used a company yet , that we did not have to call about payment of at least one invoice.
It is a pain to collect if they don't have a contact number .
We have been approached by some companies that want us to sign a contract ,We run from these .
Overall these have been successful for us . If we had enough calls from the phonebook , I would probably drop them because of the 30 to 60 days , but for now I would rate them better than we expected .
Just take them on a case by case basis , they are definitely not all the same

Posted By: RH1

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 10/18/09 06:51 PM

Service magic simply places Google Adwords ads that are triggered by keywords such as "electrician". The customer is lured to fill in a "request for service" form and Service Magic sells the information submitted on this form to as many dopey contractors as possible.

Just place your own Adwords Ads and cut out the middle man.


Posted By: sparky

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 10/18/09 10:10 PM

i guess headhunters are the same all over then.....~S~
Posted By: mikeD

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 01/28/10 08:22 PM

A lot of paper work and if you dont get somthing signed that your suppose to they dont have to pay you. Did some work for one of those home warrenty companys u talk about a head ache they pay you for 1 hour and after that u have to call them to get more money for the job.over the phone on the phone with them for a min of 30 min.
Posted By: Rewire

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 01/29/10 12:32 AM

I have landed $15,000.00 worth of jobs off service master to date my total investment has been $500.00 .I have had a few tire kickers but I called my service rep and they credited my account.
Posted By: sparky

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 01/29/10 12:56 AM

i signed up for life alert. so now i'm installing the infamous 'fallen and can't get up' boxes in my local area

it's like one wierd episode of golden girls after the next

the things we do for a livin'....

~S~

Posted By: CDS

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 01/29/10 12:58 AM

Glad it worked for you , service magic was a bust for me . 4 jobs amonth , 5 electricians trying for them
Posted By: CDS

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 01/29/10 01:29 AM

Sparky , any details ?
where to sign up ?

do they have a set price ?
Posted By: sparky

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 01/29/10 03:05 AM

Originally Posted by CDS
Sparky , any details ?
where to sign up ?



Life Alert Emergency Response System
TAMPA, FL
1-800-294-4553


Quote
do they have a set price ?


yeah they do CDS, based on whatever the prevelant service call rate in the area might be. They will also try and send you out of your 'service area' , but will negotiate the set fee if they can't get anyone else closer

~S~
Posted By: sparky

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 06/29/10 12:06 PM

Reporting back on the FM deal here.

These people are a hard dollar.

Everything they do is elevated to crisis management, and then they hide behind the anonymity of e-mails and faxing orders with little to zero human intervention

All their crisis's are 'not to exceed' $500, and if it does , they go into meltdown mode

EVERYONE hates these people, i show up and introduce myself as being from FM , and managers spit on the ground before they can even say hello

I've noted that some of their clients are getting trades from 2 states away, even though they are lousey with said trades right next door!

speaks volumes im(not so humble this a.m.)o....

They like to move the goal posts too, first a job is 'critical' i.e.- do what it takes, after it's billed out it gets downgraded to 'general maintenance' , forgetting all about the crisis=$$$ sunday night deal.

Or they'll insist you didn't get whatever piece of paperwork 2 months ago after being confronted on an invoice

So i've been playin' their own game against them....

Went to one of their calls the other day, parking lot lights out. Found out from the manager that it's been that way for 4 months

4 months!

they call every other day asking for an eta, at first i said they needed to pay up on the 70+day old invoices out there.

Now i just say it's raining, or the parts on the truck

effectively placing the job in limbo

they violate the first rule of biz

don't want quick & pay slow

so if you've read my rant thus far, tread carefully if considering a stint with these people folks

~S~
Posted By: CDS

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 07/02/10 01:06 PM

Almost out of the maintenance gigs .
The last one we have been using (American Project Repair ) is getting as bad as the rest .
We have 5 late invoices , including one to replace fixtures , it was a quote that was agreed upon before we started . How can you justify being late to pay a quoted job ?

They only pay after they get paid , they say they have 45 days after the invoice is approved . Who knows what approved means ? Also the 45 days is an estimate . It seems to me that they can string you along until the invoice is too old for a civil suit .

I never liked the idea of a maintenance co , I only took them because business was so bad .
I guess I am done with them now . It has been my experience that when you begin to complain about payments , the companies stop using you .
Posted By: sparky

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 08/03/10 09:08 AM

just got off the phone to one of their 'make peace with the wee folk' reps explaining why thier gig is predetory

now they're sending out some sort of vendor relations specialist to deal with me

guess i'm just not falling in line with the corporate gestalt as well as i should

i told them if this was thier idea of sensitivey training , they'd best charge up the taser....

~S~

Posted By: renosteinke

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 08/03/10 01:09 PM

I want to thank those who have posted here with real world, specific replies. The ad copy is wonderfully full of meaningless generalities - some actual DATA makes all the difference!
Posted By: ICEBRUSH

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 09/25/10 03:03 AM

We used Service Magic a year ago or so. It did not work for us.
Posted By: sparky

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 11/16/10 10:50 PM

update>

i had to send FM to collections , for a job i did in March 2010

of course, i gave them every opportunity to forgo this, as most headhunters take 40-50%

and they gave me nothing but bullsh*t

now there's a 'specialist' assigned to that particular invoice, and doing her best to move the goal posts on the deal again at that

this specalist has no less than 3 contact numbers in her e-mail

i've tried to call her a number of times, no soap, guess it's all going to be a one way relationship no matter what

so here's some from the field, real world news Reno

would you sign on with them after reading this thread?

if you your doubts, then this thread is somewhat useful to those blue brothers out there looking for an honest day's work

and hey, that's what this place is all about, right?
~S~
Posted By: renosteinke

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 11/17/10 01:04 AM

Thanks for the first-hand feedback!

Not that I doubt a mans' motives .... but you can learn a lot reading 'junk' novels. Let me explain ...

In 1989, he published "Journey," a novel based upon the adventures of some of those who answered the Great Alaskan Gold Rush. One telling part of the tale were the various guidebooks, outfitters, and well-meaning folks who - and Michener documented these folks for real - who gave the travelers some very, very bad advice - largely because NONE of them had ever been anywhere near Alaska, nor had they travelled the route thay advised.

Now, that novel hit home with me ... for no other reason than that I had just finished a 'journey' of my own, one that 'everyone' knows so much that 'just isn't so.' I have since found that to be a common part of so much advice that is given, in so many discussions. Sure, I'm an expert on pesticides - because I played one in a TV show!

Now, anyone can have a bad day ... but a pattern begins to suggest that the problems do not lay with the complainers.
Posted By: sparky

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 11/24/10 12:01 PM

a grand anology Reno

and right now, i just happen to know many who are gold rushing off to other parts of the country for work....

~S~
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 11/24/10 05:47 PM

The thing to remember about gold rushes is the outfitters made a lot more money than the miners.
Posted By: renosteinke

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 11/24/10 06:29 PM

Greg ... are you trying to continue the analogy - and suspect that the referral service makes more than the tradesmen?

Imagine that ....
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 11/24/10 07:59 PM

That was my point. For some reason tradesmen seem to undervalue their services and businesses are more than happy to go along. My wife is always marking up the bills she gets, giving the trade more money. She says everyone loses if the trade is losing money on the job. The end will be ugly for sure when he finally figures out he busted his ass and didn't make a dime. Part of the problem is most people have only worked on one side of the fence or the other and do not understand what the other side faces.
Commerce only works when everyone along the chain makes a reasonable amount of money.
Posted By: HotLine1

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 11/24/10 08:16 PM

Greg said....
"Commerce only works when everyone along the chain makes a reasonable amount of money."

I have ti say...Amen!

Key word is reasonable!
Posted By: homer

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 11/25/10 01:49 AM

Unfortunately the idea of reasonable profit is not what is taught in the negotiations seminars for purchasing agents and project managers. The seminars teach how to bully and play vendors against each other. Reverse auctions are commonly used by large companies to let small and large contracts. It is also common to question every rate and challenge every bill. The people who manage the obtaining of skilled trades to accomplish repairs are rewarded financially for their ability to avoid paying bills, their ability to delay paying bills. It is like a collections company in reverse. It is not by chance that there are so many companies operating in this fashion. This way of doing business is commonly followed by many in the corporate world today. That is why the economy is in such a sad state--The connected chain of buyers who have no money cannot purchase the goods of the sellers.
Posted By: sparky

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 11/25/10 02:36 AM

sounds about right Homer

and now they can deal with my collection agency

i'd rather loose 1/2 to them , than continue running this mobius logic strip i've been subjected to

~S~
Posted By: renosteinke

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 11/25/10 02:33 PM

It's hard not to have tunnel vision when you can only see one face of a situation.

We've spoken before about slow-pays and other bad customer habits. I recently told my current 'big industry' employer: you want the 'best price,' stop jerking the vendors around. So far they haven't got the point, being fixated on the 'they need us more than we need them' viewpoint. OK, fine - that's why you get to pay 3x what little ol' me paid as a contractor.

Lest we get off point, though .... one of the claimed advantages of these referral services is that THEY handle the collections, and take the risk. That's the claim; as responses to this thread show, that's not the way things really work out.

Instead, you take a larger risk for a smaller slice of the pie.

There IS a role for these folks. When my parents had their basement flood, the insurance agent pointed them to one of these- and we got the sorts of contractors we needed promptly. I thing my mother made no more than three phone calls. Cheap? Not on your life! (The old maxim about there being three types of work -good, fast, and cheap... and you only get to choose two- proved true).

In essence, these outfits really are nothing but a variation on the 'general contractor' theme. The customer calls them, and they send you their pet subs. It's just a marketing twist. The customer thinks 'I called Mr. Super,' rather than 'I picked a GC at random from the book.'

THERE may lie a lesson for us and our own marketing efforts.
Posted By: sparky

Re: about those maintenance gigs - 11/25/10 03:54 PM

Reno,
there's been a number of 'we're going to start making your life easier' emails from FM's PR entity

this has come on the backs of two of their largest customers having problems, 1)blockbuster video's bankrupcy, and 2) Friendly's resturant having some sort of dispute with them

in either case, instead of isolating the vendors from the snafu, they use us as the kicking post

my invoice in collections with them (a march 2010 job) has been subject to thier ongoing #2 dispute.

im(not so)ho (and i've made this perfectly clear to them), if they continue to operate unethically, they can do so without this tradesman

~S~
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