How do you usually find a new handyman, plumber or electrician?

Perhaps in the simpler times of the 1950s, inviting a perfect stranger into your house to fix a few things didn't make you feel so vulnerable, but things are different now. There are a lot more fly-by-night service companies, or service people who don't know how to interact respectfully with women, for instance.

Thankfully, we have a lot of resources at our fingertips, now there are web sites for consumers to post their own experience and comments - in the same way members post their own product reviews on SheSpeaks Do Tell. People use these online sites (mainly serving larger cities at this point) to establish and verify a service record for local household services. Now online referrals are available for the gamut of products and local services.

I've moved fairly often in my adult life, and it is always a tough process to identify the best qualified and most professional furnace repairman or electrician. So, what is your method to rid household problem madness?

Yellow pages|It still seems like the most direct route ? let my fingers do the walking (16.4%)

Internet|I don't need a phone book anymore and, even local services now have web sites and testimonials. (13.1%)

Friend's recommendation|Unless its an emergency need, I take time to ask discriminating friends.) (68.5%)

Newspaper, TV or radio ad|Ad campaigns seem to stick in my mind and I haven't been burned yet. (2.2%)

How do you usually find…
  • Jingle By Jingle
    on Aug 06, 2007  

    Well, actually, my husband does most of the stuff at our house, but otherwise we find everything online! Friends and family can be helpful, too, but even then, I usually have to find the contact info on my own, so the internet is my best friend!

  • jemappel By jemappel
    on Aug 06, 2007  

    I use a combination of friend's recommendation and the Internet....I'm on a parent's email list in my community so people post questions all the time asking about local services. So without email, and without the local community, getting those recommendations wouldn't be so easy.

  • mariavw By mariavw
    on Aug 06, 2007  

    I voted "friend" but actually lots of my "friends" are people who are on internet groups with me. We have a GREAT local Yahoo group for my county with a nice group of people (many of whom I've met in person). So a friend is just as likely to be someone I originally met around town as it is someone I originally "met" online :)

  • sissy546 By sissy546
    on Aug 06, 2007  

    Four yrs ago when I moved to my area and needed to find help with painting my home inside I first called my local police department (small town) to see if they could recommend a person to do some painting etc, and the chief of police and his wife ask if they could do the work and I hired them and got a beautiful paint job in my home.( and they got the extra money they needed for the boat they were buying).I also learned a lot about the area from them while they were here and ofcourse felt completly safe with them here. Since then I have used word of mouth.

  • didama By didama
    on Aug 06, 2007  

    I rely on my recommendations from friends or trusted online communities. Why bother with the "yellow pages"? It all feels like paid advertising to me. My friends are a reliable alternative.

  • bryansbestgirl By bryansbestgirl
    on Aug 07, 2007  

    I usually go on line~there is soo much available if you just know where to look!! If, occasionally I can't find what I am looking for on line, then I will ask a friend or rely on the yellow pages.

  • krystalm13 By krystalm13
    on Aug 07, 2007  

    I ask a friend. Nothing wrong with yellow pages or online info, but I like to know the person I'm letting in my home is trustworthy :) Thats something you can't find out from the internet.

  • GG1976 By GG1976
    on Aug 07, 2007  

    I won't pay anyone for anything unless I get a recommendation first. That's why I love this site. I feel like I have a ton of resources to pull from here.

  • AnnaAm By AnnaAm
    on Aug 07, 2007  

    I typically rely on recommendations.

  • cammy6928 By cammy6928
    on Aug 08, 2007  

    I have had some bad experiences using rcommendations from friends and some good ones using the yellow pages. Therefore, I continue to use the yellow pages and always stick to my own community.