I called Handyman Connection (HC), a franchise, in Arlington, VA to request an esimate to repair the frames and tracks for 6 mirrored glass hallway closet doors. Their service appealed to me for several reasons: (1) there is no charge for the estimate, although they do charge a minimum of $75 to do any job; (2) their "handymen" are guaranteed to have at least 10 years experience, have been interviewed in depth, and have had references and backgrounds checked; (3) they "match" the handyman to your required work; and (4) the work is guaranteed for 1 year.
They sent a person who clearly misrepresented how he was going to repair the doors and overestimated the lenth of time it would take by more than double. While they don't charge by the hour, they do need to know how long the work will require in order to give a fair estimate. The handyman also asked for $85 up front for materials -- this is when he was going to "rebuild" the frame and tracks. I was reluctant to give him a check, and asked that he bring me the receipts -- which he seemed hesitant to do.
However, I did give him a check (which he cashed within an hour after he left here). Later I called the company who told me that their handymen ususally pay for the materials themselves and ask to be reimbursed against receipts as soon as the work begins. The owner of HC apparently spoke with the referred handyman about providing me with receipts and about returning my change.
The handyman claimed he was available 24/7 on his cell phone; however, when I called the night before to confirm his arrival the next morning, his cell phone doesn't take message. He phoned the next morning from Home Depot saying he was getting the materials (mind you, he'd had had my $ for ten days)and would arrive little later. He finally began the job about 45 minutes after he was supposed to begin, and he managed to drag out the work over the next 2 1/2 hours -- all he actually di was screw in additional screws to the frame. When I asked why he wasn't rebuilding as he claimed he would, he said he couldn't find the materials. Finally at 11:45am he was finished, and expected to be paid for the job to rebuild the frame/tracks that he had estimated would take 6 hours. I asked for a 50% rebate on the estimate because he had totally d misrepresented what he was planning to do. I was given only $150 off the estimate I had signed...which was probably at least $100 less than it should have been.
I would rate his work as "fair" ...not at all what I would call carefully finished work. When I questioned the owner of HC about why he "matched" this handyman to my job, he said that the handyman liked to "solve probelms," although he was really a tile person.
The handyman did give me my receipts and my change, but wasn't really forthcoming about returning the unused materials until I insisted.
I didn't feel comfortable with this handyman when he came to estimate -- he was too pushy and couldn't explain clearly why it would take so long to repair and why he needed so much $ up front. He gave me lots of double talk. The lesson I learned for next time is to just send the handyman on his way if I am uneasy a out anything that he says or does. I really felt that the "match" was not carefully selected by HC and that this guy was a petty hustler.
But, be wary of whomever HC sends to you. Make sure that the "match" is appropriate and that the estimate seems reasonable. Don't let them pressure you into signing a contract on the spot to have the work done.
Thank you for letting me "vent" my dissatisfaction with this company.