Anyone who has had the unfortunate experience of hiring, an unlicensed contractor knows how important it is to do background checks, look for appropriate state and local licenses, bonding and insurance requirements for workers. But even with the rise of customer review sites, we still hear stories like this one out of Lake Worth, FL. last month, about unlicensed contractors being arrested for fraud, theft and other charges. In fact, juries have leveled multi-million dollar judgments against home service companies who failed to do background checks on workers who committed crimes against a customer.
Looking to solve this problem, Chicago based SAFEClickID launched a unique membership service for home service companies this morning. The membership organization targets home service companies who are proactive about customer safety and security and agree to certain criteria set forth by SAFEClickID. Things like maintaining appropriate licensing, bonding and registration as well as background checks on all employees who work in or around a customer’s home, contract or otherwise. In addition, these approved workers of member companies will be required to carry a SAFEClickID-issued photo ID badge which can be viewed online before a worker arrives.
SAFEClickID differentiates itself from other sites that list scores of companies and charges customers to join and write reviews by placing the burden on the home service companies to foot the bill to prove they are serious about consumer safety and security. Companies also agree to have employees (including contractors) screened every 12-months by a firm accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners, verify completion of these screenings and only dispatch workers to customer homes who pass. In addition, companies also need to agree to internal vetting by SAFEClickID and maintain at least a ‘B’ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
“We don’t want SAFEClickID to be for every single company,” said SAFEClickID founder Howard Hamilton. “We are unlike any other organization in that we do some upfront vetting on the company — not every company will be accepted. We want SAFEClickID’s focus to be quality versus quantity.”
Everyone has a home repair horror story, which is exactly how the idea for SAFEClickID started according to company statements. Hamilton, who worked in sales and wife stayed at home with their young children, urged him to stay after a couple carpet cleaners made her feel uncomfortable. Hamilton said, “It may not have led to a terrible situation or crime, but it was just uncomfortable for people to be left alone with workers.”
Article first published as SafeClickID Targets Home Service Businesses Serious About Security on Technorati.