A wake-up call for home repairs

Next time, let him call you.

Next time the toilet backs up, have the plumber call you. With SevaCall.com, a new site that connects customers with local services, you can type in a request online and get a call from a plumber — or handyman, maid, landscaper or locksmith — in 90 seconds.

“Seva,” pronounced “say-va,” is “service” in Sanskrit. It also sounds like “save a call,” co-founder Manpreet Singh says — which is exactly what the company aims to do. 

Singh came up with the idea while at Wharton earning his MBA. His brother, Gurpreet, also a co-founder, owned computer-repair company Geeks On-site. Gurpreet got so many requests he kept having to turn customers down.

“He would be booked with another job, or it was a job he didn’t do or location he didn’t service, and the consumers were frustrated. They didn’t want to spend time making call after call to find the right person,” Singh says. “So I thought, there has to be a better way to find local professionals.”

The company launched in the Washington, D.C., area, where the brothers now live, and just expanded to Philly — a city with plenty of need for emergency home repair. “When I was in business school there, a lot of us lived in row houses, and they constantly had issues that needed to be fixed,” says Singh.

So when the heater starts acting up, all you need to do is select a category from a drop-down menu, indicate if you want service right away (broken toilet) or another time (landscaping) and write a sentence or two describing what you need. In under two minutes, you’ll get a call from someone nearby who knows what the problem is and is ready, willing and able to tackle it. “Instead of reading reviews, deciding who to work with, calling and getting voicemail or people who can’t help, we allow the consumer to choose from high-quality companies who already know what you want, and want to help you,” Singh says. “It makes the whole process simple and easy.”

Check the ratings
   
Seva Call doesn’t officially guarantee the quality of the companies who will call, but it does use an algorithm that evaluates them based on ratings and reviews on sites like Yelp and Citysearch, plus Seva Call’s own history of doing business with them.

There’s an app for that

Seva Call  is rolling out a mobile app for iPhone and Android, so customers can place a request right from their phones. The app will use voice recognition technology, Siri-style.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.