Seattle startup Porch this morning fired the latest salvo in the home-improvement wars, promising to guarantee the work of its approved home-improvement pros up to $1,000, aiming to attract more homeowners to its online platform.
Porch says its guarantee will apply to professionals who have been pre-screened by the company, passed a background check and agreed to adhere to the “Porch Pledge” of providing top service to customers. Professionals eligible for the Porch Guarantee will be designated by a special badge on their profiles on Porch.
If something goes wrong, the company says it will send a professional back out to the project to make it right, with Porch paying the pro up to $1,000 to fix the work, with the homeowner covering anything above that.
The announcement of the Porch Guarantee comes amid rising competition among online platforms for home improvement work, ranging from established companies such as Sears to new startups such as Porch and Pro.com. Amazon Home Services launched earlier this year with its own “Happiness Guarantee.” Amazon handles this differently, promising to refund up to $2,500 of the cost of jobs booked through its service.
Porch says it’s in a unique position to offer a guarantee because of its existing relationships with home-improvement pros who use its online platform, and the data the company has collected about home-improvement projects across the country.
“A guarantee is good, but it’s not strong enough without the data to back it up so people can pick the right professional from the start,” said Asha Sharma, the company’s chief operations officer.
The company is launching the Porch Guarantee in 28 markets, and says more cities will be added next year. Porchy has been piloting the program in Chicago and Seattle for the last two months, with just one homeowner taking advantage of the guarantee during the pilot. “It wasn’t anything monumental — they just weren’t satisfied,” Sharma said, explaining that the company sent a professional back out to make it right.