What happened was, a horrible windstorm took a big branch off the neighbors’ maple; it reduced one of our eavestroughs to scrap metal on the way down. Getting it fixed was (surprisingly) Net-mediated and pain-free.
I say “surprisingly” because every homeowner knows the pain of dealing with residential construction/repair contractors. They’re hard to reach, they tend not to show up on schedule, their interest in your job is inversely proportional to its size, and they’re relentless upsellers: “Fix that gutter? I’m not sure it’s worthwhile, why don’t we put in new gutters all around and hey, it’d be a good time to re-do the roof while we’re up there!”
I looked up a couple rain-mitigation businesses online and called them both on a Thursday. One was closed for the day, but at the other an intelligent human answered the phone, took the address and the details and said “I’ll send a guy around, we’ll get back to you by Tuesday.” On Monday I got an email from Conner quoting a price that sounded pretty reasonable. But I’d noticed that the next gutter over was a bit bashed too, so I asked about that. He wrote back in an hour saying he’d have the guys look at it, and if it did need fixing, it’d be pretty cheap because half the cost was getting the crew and truck and ladders and so on over to our place.
They came and fixed it that week, did a great job, emailed me the invoice as quoted, and I called up and read my credit-card number to the accountant.
It’s weird that this experience is so unique I feel the urge to blog it. But yep, pretty soon the whole business world will have entered the 21st century, and will life ever be less irritating.
By the way, if you’re in Vancouver, I recommend Precision Gutters.