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Discuss Better than RatedPeople or MyBuilder? in the Plumbing Forum area at

  1. JamesBourke

    JamesBourke New Member

    We're taking part in TechStars startup weekend and have read through your feedback on this forum regarding websites like Rated People or My Builder and understand your frustrations with them. Particularly having to pay for low quality leads or time wasters.

    We have an idea that should should eliminate quote processes, weed out time-wasters, mean that you never pay for leads never have to quibble over price and give you full control over job specs.

    The key differences between our idea and the other competitors is that instead of providing quotes to customers and then completing the deal offline you will create pre-packaged solutions for the standard jobs that you do on a regular basis that customers can purchase online.

    For example, an electrician could put up a pre-packaged solution for interior lighting. It would cost £X per interior light installed.

    The customer then selects the quantity of lights they need and pays for the order online. Just like they are online shopping.

    So you have no need to provide quotes, no need to buy leads and you can create only the jobs you want to do and at the price and spec that you set out from the outset.

    Obviously this will only apply to the standardised jobs you do regularly and can accurately price for. ie. not large highly customised projects.

    In addition to this we would like to add a feature on the front page of the website whereby customers can ask questions about their home improvement problems before they buy the packages. We believe this will attract more people to the website, generating more sales for you.

    We would really appreciate your feedback on this idea, if we get enough positive feedback then we can turn this into a reality for you.

    The two questions we have are;
    1. What are your thoughts on creating pre-packed solutions for standard services?
    2. Would you be happy to answer questions from potential clients if It could help you generate more sales?

    We welcome any questions from you too!

    If you like the idea, then please also visit to sign up for the waiting list and share with your friends. The more people that do, the more likely that this idea becomes a reality.

    Thanks in advance!
    • Dislike Dislike x 4
  2. ShaunCorbs

    ShaunCorbs S. Mod Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    It's a good idea but nothing in our game is able to be a standardised cost, too many pit falls

    For example to change a set of bath taps

    How easy can you get at them (can you even get at them as some baths have them on the long side)


    How can I turn the water off (high pressure system your not too bad but low pressure can be fun)

    Fit taps

    Turn water back on and snap the valve breaks etc or air lock

    The list can go on etc

    So you can end up having a bill from £120 to 6k +etc

    Just for a set of bath taps
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. JamesBourke

    JamesBourke New Member

    Thank you very much for your detailed feedback it really helps.

    We're learning that even for small predictable jobs this isn't typically possible.

    Would love to know what you think about these two possible alternative ideas that will also solve the problem of paying for low quality leads that don't convert into sales.

    1 - Unlimited leads and quote as many as you like for X per month

    2 - You quote based on your conversation with customer on the site just like with rated people etc but then the customer pays online - so you only pay a small percentage of the sale instead of paying for the leads so you're never out of pocket.
  4. Chuck

    Chuck Active Member

    Leads are worthless unless about one in three of them turn into profitable work. You won't get anything like this quality from a website. It's for this reason small businesses value (a) repeat trade, (b) personal recommendations so highly. If you're any good you get close to 100% and ca 50% yields respectively.

    You can't quote based on a 'conversation on a website'. You have to see the site and, once that happens there is nothing to stop the plumber and customer cutting you out of the picture.

    In my opinion, there is no gap in the domestic heating and plumbing market for middle-man schemes. British Gas and a couple of other big players own the space and a startup competitor will simply run out of money waiting for the first customer.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  5. Stanios

    Stanios Plumber GSR

    The biggest issue with your concept in my eyes is say tap replacement is standard service all your registered plumbing businesses will offer. What happens next is guys who charged £100 in the begining got undercut by guys who just joined who were then undercut by following members. In two years time the average price went from £100 to £20 customers get crap work done because you need to be in and out in 10 minutes.

    With regards to the websites mentioned I think its healthier for customer to do the enquiry not for the business the be the one coming forward. I advertise and if someone likes what they see they are 80% in direction of accepting my quote. If I am just some Bob cold calling them I have a montain to climb.
  6. Last Plumber

    Last Plumber Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    With all due respect it sounds like yet another 'slice of my pie' idea.
    • Agree Agree x 5
  7. Michael1960

    Michael1960 Plumber

    I keep well away from any third party involvement with work, it took me 6 months to get paid from a " Maintenance company" work ive done for nationally advertised call centres is fraught with mis communication and people taking jobs who do not have a remote idea about our trade. Unless desperate for work, advertise and put yourself about and build up a good name and buisness for yourself. Customers are paying for an intermediate that they dont need.
  8. townfanjon

    townfanjon Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    If I ever have to use any of these type of sites, I will honestly give up , or I could flog my body, nah maybe not
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  9. GasManD1988

    GasManD1988 New Member

    Hi, your link is dead? Are you still active with this idea?
  10. SimonG

    SimonG Trusted Plumber Top Contributor!!

    Another race to the bottom where only the organisers make money off of the skills of others.
  11. GasManD1988

    GasManD1988 New Member

    must be..

    Do you know anywhere to get decent work leads from Simon?
  12. SimonG

    SimonG Trusted Plumber Top Contributor!!

    Don't use anything other than a 12 quid a year parish mag. Gets an odd job now and again.

    Luckily I'm in a position now where I don't have to chase work, it tends to just come and find me.
  13. YorkshireDave

    YorkshireDave Plumber Top Contributor!!

    The root of issues with these sites is trust. Specifically a lack of trust on both sides.

    Customers are fed a diet of dishonesty by media such that their default position becomes that all trades people are theiving liars. As customers have no idea what is require to effect their desired outcomes, when person A says do it this way, and person B says do it that way they (even though both are proably correct) the customer is left feeling like they are being ripped off through this pre-conditioning. They have insufficient technical knowledge to appreciate that both can be correct and that, really, it's simply a matter of personal preference for the customer. Nonetheless, the negative stereotyping is reinforced due to simply offering choices.

    Trades people distrust customers too. What no one talks about in our industry are the serial arseh0les posing as customers. These sites often attract them because they are given a fresh new set of victm tradespeople many of whom are inexperienced and cannot either sense or defend them selves againt the BS.

    If you wish to put together a site that breaks this mould, then may I suggest you consider first how you will police and protect the innocent parties from both rogue traders AND rogue customers? To me, the first thing you have to do is have a three strikes and out policy with zero tolerance. You need qualified people to inspect and adjudicate and decide. If the guilty are named and shamed and banned by every means possible then you will begin to see confidence developed in the brand and concept.

    So, at the core of all of the above sits a methodology that has, at its heart, measurement for how people FEEL treated. Without it, IMHO, you are wasting your time because measuring only process & procedure will not capture the customer experience.

    Have fun...

    PS I used to do this stuff ;)