I had recently seen fancy ads on TV advertising HomeAdvisor. They advertise for home repairs, roofing, gutters, and modest remodeling. I thought I would try them. I contacted them and soon I was in touch with one of their subcontractors. A very professional lady came to the house to view the needed repairs. She was intelligent and represented herself well. However, she could not price the work. She had to return to her office for pricing.
The next day she called. She said her company had an $800 minimum. Well, that was way too much for the modest gutter repair I needed. So, I added leaf guards to the order to maybe use up some of the $800 minimum. She called back the next day and said the price was now $1,385.
What she didn't know was that I am a pretty good cost estimator. Some of my banking clients have me recheck the cost estimates of some of their commercial construction loans. I knew I was being overcharged. I worried that I was considered "Senior prey," a despicable marketing concept.
I kept looking and found a local man to do the gutter repair and leaf guard installation for $400. It took about two hours. Of course, he had material cost of the leaf guard material, and the height of the work added an acceptable premium. The $400 was fair.
Moral of the story: Stay local, if you can. Check prices from three contractors, if you can. Avoid clearly "low ball" estimates, and run as fast as you can away from HomeAdvisor. You don't need to be paying for those
$1 million per minute ads.