Always read every line of every contract when dealing with anything besides Apple iTunes. I have spoken to a recommended home inspector, who was available and able to setup an appointment for later in the week. We spoke on the phone briefly, exchanged information and I went on my day. Later in the day he sent me an email with a link to complete the pre-inspection paperwork. The first portion was pricing chart, which outlined 3 different pricing packages. Honestly, to me the middle price included some services which I felt should be included in the standard package, but the rest looked like filler charging hundred more for some flyers and pamphlets that would never get read. The top tier had some additional services, which might be nice to have done, but not worth the triple the price.
All that looked acceptable, as the package was at the stated price and offered the core of what I wanted to have done. Then it continued to the agreement. Lots of words did not sit well with me and the agreement. Below is a link to the agreement on the main website.
This is my first time having a home inspection done, but I felt in part the reason for having a home inspection done is to have someone to blame if a pre-existing condition is discovered after the house is occupied. This contract basically states that the inspector takes no liability and can not be held accountable for anything stated or missed during the inspection. Fine, that is what it is.. and probably boilerplate for all home inspectors in this sue happy society.
I continued reading, and accepting what was presented until I got to paragraph 16 and 17. This is where I decided to not continue to work with this inspector and choose a different inspector who is truly independent and not a franchise.
Relationships/third party providers. Pillar To Post Inc. may have an affiliation with third-party service providers (“TPSP”) in order to offer value-added services to clients. Pillar To Post Inc. and the Inspector may receive compensation for such services. Pillar To Post Inc. may also arrange for these TPSPs to send literature or make post-inspection contact with the client. By executing this agreement, the client expressly consents to the disclosure of client’s personal contact information to Pillar To Post Inc. and TPSPs.
The Inspector may collect data which may be used by the Inspector, and which may be provided to Pillar To Post Inc. for use by Pillar To Post Inc. The collected data will primarily consist of data relating to the visual inspection conducted, but may also consist of other data relating to the property inspected, client and/or client representative personal and contact information, and demographic data.
The Inspector and Pillar To Post Inc. may also provide collected data to third-party service providers (“TPSP”) in order to offer value-added services to clients, as described in this agreement.
It does state the following, but very hard to prove they will abide by this and not leak the data in the future:
If client does not wish to receive literature from or be contacted by TPSPs, client shall simply notify the Inspector.
Other than interaction with TPSPs and aggregated data, the Inspector and Pillar To Post Inc. will not sell or rent the collected data to anyone, or share the collected data with any third party except as necessary to fulfill client requests.
In the information age we live in, contact details are bought and sold by the thousands on the internet. The more refined and accurate the information the more valuable. Having worked in the marketing field, specifically in a home improvement vendor space, I know new home owners are extremely valuable and likely targets for marketers. I have chosen not to complete the contract and notified the inspector that I would not be having him inspect the structure at this time.