Grading the Test            

Over my last couple blog posts I gave you all information regarding a test that I proposed to my children in terms of finding a plumbing company to repair issues to the kitchen sinks plumbing. And as stated they chose I won’t go through all the reasons for choosing again, suffice to say it was based on good research and they presented themselves as a reputable and professional company. The next step of course, was to call them for a booking and see for myself the difference between online appearance and the results in real life.

When I called into the company, I was greeted by a welcoming and friendly individual over the telephone. I gave them a brief description of the issue that I was having, and was told that the issue sounded relatively easy to fix, but that they would send someone by for a free inspection and estimate regardless. This I took as a good sign, as it would be too easy for them to simply book the service and come and take my money regardless of the efficacy of the job done. So I agreed to having the individual come by, and we set a time and date.

The second bonus mark for the company came on the day that we set the inspection for, as the plumber arrived exactly ten minutes early. I was prepared to give them a grace period of up to an hour after the scheduled time, you see this is a service they’re doing for free, and there’s no guarantee that I will even choose to go with them if they do find an issue and make a quote. This showed me two things: one, that they operate with professionalism even when they don’t stand to make guaranteed money. And two, that they honored the verbal agreement we made over the phone. This gave me a much better opinion of the company than I already had before they ever showed up.

When the plumber was here, he had all the necessary tools with him to get the job done regardless, which showed initiative, but not in a pushy fashion. He spent about five to ten minutes under the sink, and then a couple minutes on top looking everything over. He then gave me a run down of the issue under the sink, and what he could do to fix it. He told me that the repair would take, at most fifteen minutes if I wanted him to do it while there, or book another appointment time, and gave me the quoted price. The price was quite reasonable and I asked him if he had the time to do it right then. Exactly twelve minutes later, the issue under my sink was solved. He charged me the exact quoted price, and was on his way. I have nothing but great things to say, and no one but my kids to thank for finding the exact right choice for our needs.

The Results of the Test

Many of you may be wondering how my children did on their little mission to find a plumbing company to repair our sink. I am proud to say they made a great choice. After looking at a few different options, they presented me with their top pick: When I asked them why they ultimately decided to suggest this company to me over the many others they found online, here were the reasons they gave:

  • This company had a full website with plenty of information for reference. It was clear that they had invested time and effort into creating a helpful resource for their customers. This is always a good indicator of a serious company.
  • There were many detailed reviews available written by individuals who have many reviews under their belts. This is always a good way to tell whether a review was written by someone with a fake account set up explicitly for the purpose of increasing the rating of a business from a legitimate customer who has written many reviews – good and bad – for a variety of other businesses and services.
  • The company offered free estimates for their services, which allowed us to determine whether the cost was within our budget. We were also able to compare the price to similar competitors to determine whether it was within a reasonable range. While most homeowners certainly do not want to overpay for plumbing services, the cheapest option may not always be the best choice either. A business that provides an estimate that seems to good to be true will probably end up surprising you with additional fees or charges later on.
  • Their website specifically mentioned pipe repairs and kitchen plumbing. My kids don’t know much about plumbing in general, so this bit of information on their website helped them figure out whether this business would be able to help us with our specific problem. Of course, virtually all plumbing companies are able to assist with this issue, but for other services it may be important to figure out whether the company provides the specific service you are looking for. Are they a residential or commercial services provider? Do they specialize in any particular area? Do you fall within their area of service? It is always easier for customers to make a decision when this type of information is readily available.

Of course, I did my own bit of research before going ahead and calling the company to schedule repairs because I have a tendency to worry excessively. I want to make sure that this pesky problem with the kitchen sink was permanently fixed. Nevertheless, everything looked to be correct, and I felt confident that the company was well qualified for the job.

Even though I double checked, I already knew my kids had made an informed and thoroughly researched decision. They have really learned how to navigate search engines and find reliable sources for information. I know that they will do just fine with any online shopping in the future.

Teaching Through Application

I recently gave my children a mission: use the internet to find us a qualified plumber. The pipe under our kitchen sink was leaking badly, and our temporary attempt to bandage the problem with duct tape was not holding up very well. I had been too busy lately to address the issue right away. With things finally calming down for the week, it seems like the best time to finally tackle the problem. We haven’t had any plumbing work done in a long time, and I no longer remembered the name or number of the company we worked with when we first bought the house. This was a great chance for me to teach my kids how to use the internet to find reputable businesses.

Anyone can put up a website in this day and age, and there is no shortage of fake reviews and dishonest recommendations out there. Even as an adult, it can be difficult to discern legitimate businesses from unscrupulous scammers. I provided my children with a list of criteria to use to help them narrow down the options. The rest was up to them. At this point, I have enough trust in their ability to filter through the information they find online to know that they will pick a good plumbing company.

This activity is a simple way to let your kids practice using search engines for the purposes of finding goods or services. As any adult knows, the internet becomes one of your main sources for looking up new businesses, whether it is for some plumbing work, home renovations, or carpet cleaning. And more than a few of us have had negative experiences with companies we find online due to lack of research. It is not hard to find reviews, or cross check with consumer report sites. There are also directories which have stringent requirements for the businesses they list. These are all great ways to find out whether a company has a good track record. Unfortunately, reviews can be written by anyone and need to be taken with a grain of salt whether good or bad. And directories may fail to filter out businesses that do not meet standards.

The best way to ensure your money is well spent when paying for goods or services you find online is to take the time to do the necessary research. Refer to more than a single source for information, and learn where to find reliable recommendations or information. Hiring a contractor or repairman can be costly. Don’t risk paying for shoddy workmanship or – even worse – improper work that will damage your home.

This is a valuable skill for your children to learn as well. With online sales growing in popularity, it is only a matter of time before your child becomes a young adult with a credit card to use for online purchases. Teaching them how to look out for scams online will prepare them for online shopping as well as finding trusted service providers in the future.

Welcome to PG Web

The internet is a wonderful resource for learning and exploring, no matter your age. However, it is not an exaggeration to compare the internet to the wild west – there is every little power to regulate or control the content that is created and shared, and this can be dangerous for many reasons. It especially poses a threat to children who may be more easily manipulated, influenced, or mislead. As parents, it is our obligation to monitor our children when they are on the web. This is not always an easy task in this day and age. The computer is an important tool in education, and also often provides the main source of entertainment and amusement for the current generation. Without hovering over your child for hours on end, how can you effectively protect your children from potential dangers?

First, it is important to establish what threats exist when your child has online access. Concerns can range from your child stumbling upon an adult website to inadvertently interacting with a stranger who has ill intentions. Other issues parents should be aware of include:

  • Exposure to hate speech or other harmful ideology
  • Exposure to age in appropriate content (violent images, coarse language, etc)
  • Online harassment by peers or strangers

The answer is not to place heavy restrictions on your child. After all, they are not at fault for the inappropriate content available on the internet. The web is a crucial resource, and the ability to effectively use technology is a growingly important basic skill to possess in order to thrive in the modern workforce. Instead, the key is to properly educate your child on safe internet use, and provide them with a guideline for their safety. Some level of monitoring and preventative measures are needed, of course.

This blog will help you ensure a PG web experience for your child by providing you with tips and tricks you can use to keep your children safe while online without unnecessarily holding them back from learning, growing, and developing a sense of responsibility for how they use this invaluable tool.

I am a parent myself, and this blog project is something that I’ve thought long and hard about. I know that I am not the only parent who feels some sense of worry every time my kids open up an internet browser. We have sat down and talked at length about my expectations, and this has allowed me to ensure that they are on the same page as me about what constitutes safe and appropriate use of the web.

I hope that other parents out there will find this a helpful resource for learning how to talk to their children about internet use in a constructive and productive way. The ultimate goal is to help your children safely navigate the web and understand its numerous benefits as well as drawbacks. Not only will this protect them, but also help them develop the crucial skills needed for school and the working world.