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Unread 10-18-2007, 02:45 PM   #1
Bill Vincent
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A list of contractors by area

As most of you know, I spend most of my on line time in a couple of forums that are 99% homeowners. Several times a week, I'm asked, either in open forum, or by email, for recommendations for tile guys around the country. Many times, I'll recommend specific people either that I know personally, or from here, where I've seen impressive examples of their work, as well as spending enough time on different topics to know that they're up to date, and know what they're doing, and obviously (by the fact that they're in the forum AT ALL), trying to better themselves as installers.

There have been many times, however, where I've had people ask me from areas where I DIDN'T know someone, either personally, or from here, although I DID remember seeing that location at one time or another under someone's name here in the Pros Hangout. Yesterday was just such an occasion, when someone asked me from Philly.

I shot off an email to John, asking about the possibility of initiating a section here on site, where contractors and installers would be listed by location, as opposed to by name, so if someone from "East Gish" came looking for an installer, they could go to the directory, look up East Gish, and see if there's anyone close to them. If not, then broaden their search to their state, and see if there was anyone even within driving distance.

The problem is that might open John and his partners up to liability, due to the fact that it could be construed as the site recommending the people in the directory. I'd like to know what you all think about it, and what could be done to alleviate the liability problem.

This would be a winning situation for everyone involved. The customers would be getting a quality installer (again, as evidenced by the fact that they're in here trying to better themselves to give a better finished product). The contractors in here would obviously make out because of another source of business, and the site would make out because I guarantee you it would be a very noticeable increase in traffic to the site.

Whaddya think?
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Unread 10-18-2007, 02:59 PM   #2
chuck stevenson
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Bill,

Interesting concept.

Some contractors only want new work. The slow down in new construction will weed out the hit and run contractors, for both new and old work.

As far as a "list", how would contractors be qualified?

I think a Forum disclaimer could be added below each "listee" contact information, but, as you pointed out, why would the Forum want to expose themselves to possible litigation?
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Unread 10-18-2007, 03:08 PM   #3
Davy
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Well, this has been talked about before and it doesn't matter to me as long as something can be done about the liability situation. Just because someone is on this site or any other tile site doesn't mean they are going to do a good job. Yes, I do think that most would. If we are going to have a list I think they should be active on the boards on a regular basis. Just my opinion.

We have no list now and folks call me an average of 1 call every two weeks. That's just from running across my posts here and there. If I stop posting, the calls will stop for the most part on their own. Staying active has it's benefits.
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Unread 10-18-2007, 03:11 PM   #4
Bill Vincent
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why would the Forum want to expose themselves to possible litigation?

They wouldn't, which is why I'm posting this to get some ideas to alleviate that problem.

As for the rest, each person could specify what work they specialize in, whether it's new, old, tract, custom, renovation, period restoration, etc.. As for qualification, that's a good question. I know that the people I've recommended from in here are people who've been in here for a long time, and as I said above, I've spent enough time in here discussing, or lurking watching them discuss with others, different topics and problem resolutions to know that they know what they're doing. For some, it would be easy to qualify themselves, just my listing their state license number. However, there are people like myself, who live in states where not only are licenses not required, but they don't even exist for tile guys.

Other things that could be listed with each name would be professional organizations, such as NTCA, etc.. Also, websites, and things like that.
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Unread 10-18-2007, 04:16 PM   #5
ceramictec
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Lightbulb

maybe instead of a referral page just list members companies on here by location.
and It will be up to the user if they want to contact someone.

there also could be a small disclaimer that says:

The user agrees that John Bridge Ceramic Tile Forum cannot be held liable or
responsible for any event that takes place with the companies that are listed here.
John Bridge Ceramic Tile Forum does not own the independent contracting companies
and therefore cannot guarantee the performance of the contractors, nor can John
Bridge Ceramic Tile Forum be held responsible for damages or liability of work performed
by contractors listed on this site. Choosing a contractor is done so at the risk of the user.
John Bridge Ceramic Tile Forum is an information source for consumers, which is offered
with the intention of providing information in order to help the customer make a more
informed decision. It is up to the user/home owner to do their own due diligence on the
tile contractor they select by calling local Suppliers, Homeowners & General contractors
they have worked with. It is up to the user/home owner to make sure they have found
a qualified contractor and feel comfortable with their selection.


something like that.
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Unread 10-18-2007, 04:17 PM   #6
Deane100
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Liability is not an issue...There are countless ways/disclaimers to alleviate any potential liability. "JBF DOES NOT ENDORSE ANY CONTRACTOR ON THIS LIST, CUSTOMER MUST EVALUATE CONTRACTOR TO ENSURE THEY MEET THEIR ...BLAH...BLAH...BLAH"

Seems to be a demand for such a list. I'm always seeing posts asking for a tiler in such and such an area. As a provider of everything tile, seems like the forum would be filling a current void.


Many sites have such lists. The only down side is that they all charge a pretty penny to list with them.
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Unread 10-18-2007, 04:33 PM   #7
Scottish Tile and Stone
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Hmm I never get phone calls. I must not be well liked..


Not sure if the list would work or not. If something went wrong, you KNOW the homeowner is gonna be back here ranting and throwing a fit. Its the american way.
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Unread 10-18-2007, 04:37 PM   #8
jgleason
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The problem, as I see it, is not one of liability but with who determines which folks get to be on the list and those that should be excluded from it. Lots of potential for hurt feelings here if the forum decides you shouldn't be on the list.

My solution - If you are a pro and want folks to contact you then make sure your signature contains a link to your company web site and you mention the geographic area that you cover. The more active you are on the forum the more likely folks will see your posts. Once they see your nice professional demeanor on the forum and know which geographic area you serve, the more likely they are to contact you.

This is a win-win situation. The forum benefits from having pros actively dispensing solid advice and you as the pro are more likely to be noticed by those folks reading the forum and in need of a good tile person.
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Unread 10-18-2007, 04:42 PM   #9
Old World Tile and Marble
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seems like a disclamer is all that is needed,i would be interested to see if anyone is close to my area as well for shared work as well as long as they dont mind if their sigma gets eaten
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Unread 10-18-2007, 04:50 PM   #10
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We've figured out the disclaimer thing. That's not the biggie. The major concern is qualifying people to be on the list, as Joe mentions. We at JB Forums feel that we're obligated to list fully qualified people. Because someone is on the boards and says he's (she's) a pro doesn't make it so. Maybe we need job pictures -- that sort of thing.

And no, we wouldn't charge anyone to be on the list, even though Flatfloor is already sharpening his pencil.
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Unread 10-18-2007, 05:02 PM   #11
Deane100
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"And no, we wouldn't charge anyone to be on the list, even though Flatfloor is already sharpening his pencil. "

I can't say how good it is to hear that...I've always thought one of the best things about this forum was the feeling that it existed for one purpose only-to share information from people who do what they love and love what they do. It's a throw-back to the initial premise of the internet; to share information for free because, well...it just makes sense to.

Glad over the half a dozen years I've been learning here that it has remained the same. It's a testament of careful attention to the direction of the site.
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Unread 10-18-2007, 05:14 PM   #12
ceramictec
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Just have an area of the members from this forum by state, county, etc. and their profile. and then just direct the homeowner to that page.
they will check in their area for someone on the list. it will be up to them to decide, select, investigate, etc.

John, the picture thing will be a problem and wouldn't do much good with Google Image, etc. I can send you a picture of a 67 Corvette, doesn't mean I own it. hehe

and having the Admin here qualify a contractor will be a nightmare, who's gonna call their references ?
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Unread 10-18-2007, 05:15 PM   #13
Bill Vincent
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Joe-- The problem is that I get the requests in other forums, and I can't remember where everyone is in here. There are literally hundreds of good qualified people in here from all over, and it's tough to keep track of everyone!!

BTW, package received! Thank you!!
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Unread 10-18-2007, 05:19 PM   #14
ceramictec
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how about a John Bridge Ceramic Tile Forum Rolodex ???
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Unread 10-18-2007, 05:25 PM   #15
jgleason
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Perhaps a "sticky" thread with one post from each forum member that is offering their services. Keep it short and to the point. Might have to have a couple of regional threads - New England, South, West, etc.

Still have the issue about how to qualify the folks that get to go in those threads.
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