On Choosing Personal and Professional Services

Mar 28, 2014 Posted Under: business, internet, personal

My son asked me about selecting a dental insurance plan while he is at college.  The options included choice of an HMO plan or a PPO plan, the difference being: less out-of-pocket (copay) cost but a more restricted collection of dental service providers for the HMO plan.

This led to thinking about the general problem of selecting personal service providers like doctors, lawyers, financial advisors, contractors, etc.  There is no general way to evaluate these people and the quality and cost of their services.

The professional certification boards would seem purposed to this kind of evaluation, but when you get down to it, they are paid for by their membership, and thus tend to gloss over past problems and try to recommend each member as equally qualified.  The Better Business Bureau is notorious for protecting its business clients instead of the general public.

So, we are usually left with asking people we know for recommendations.  This can work out well when the person recommended is in fact qualified and provides excellent service.  But here again, people tend to gloss over “little” problems they may have encountered.

We ought to be able to provide better rating services in this day of broader connectedness and information sharing.  But how to appropriately fund such an effort to preserve quality of service as the principle metric?  Access to the rates the service providers pay for liability insurance would lend perhaps the most accurate evaluation.

A business opportunity with lots of problems to be solved?

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