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Amazon Expands Home Services To 20 New Cities, Seeks 'Home Assistants' (arstechnica.com) 23

Amazon today said it has expanded its Home Services business to 20 new cities across the country. Home Services is an under-the-radar offering from Amazon that lets customers hire professionals for things like plumbing, furniture assembly, car repair, home cleaning, and more. From a report on ArsTechnica:Home Services launched in 2015 and is now available in cities including Boulder, Colorado; New Haven, Connecticut; Indianapolis, Indiana; Trenton, New Jersey; and San Antonio, Texas (among other places). The expansion comes as Amazon seeks applicants for a new position called Home Assistant. The Seattle Times reported a couple of listings in the Seattle area for those jobs, which call for applicants with hospitality or service experience. Home Assistants would be "helping Amazon customers keep their home" by "tidying up around the home, laundry, and helping put groceries and essentials like toilet paper and paper towels away."
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Amazon Expands Home Services To 20 New Cities, Seeks 'Home Assistants'

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  • I heard that was the place for all in home assistance of value. That's what I'm told...by my friend.
  • Just as soon as Amazon buys Taco Bell.

    • by dysmal ( 3361085 )

      All restaurants will be Taco Bell because they've always been Taco Bell. There has never been any other restaurant. Just like Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia.

  • I just have a bad feeling about this.
  • by Yvan256 ( 722131 ) on Monday November 14, 2016 @03:35PM (#53283603) Homepage Journal

    Furniture assembly, eh? Well, I already know how to program in assembly. I can't imagine furniture assembly being much different.

    • I can't imagine furniture assembly being much different.

      Programming in furniture assembly is a bitch and a half. When you are finished with your program, either you have too many instructions left over, in which case the program is missing essential code, or you don't have enough instructions to actually finish the program at all.

  • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Monday November 14, 2016 @03:36PM (#53283623)

    The local unions need to sit down with some local devs and figure out their own solution or become irrelevant.

    "Alexa, schedule a plumber for tuesday" is infinitely easier than wading through the phone book (as most of these trades don't even have websites), calling up a guy and scheduling it around their schedule (not mine).

    • by Jaime2 ( 824950 )
      Nah.. they'll just blow the competition's cars up. Not joking [laborers.org].
  • Damn, memory's going: wasn't there a site that tried to do this? Give it your location and the kind of task you had (plumbing, electrical, whatever), and it would match you to one of the people who had registered with the site to offer their services.

    Ah, here it is: Thumbtack [thumbtack.com]. It doesn't have the best reviews, from professionals trying to use it to get contracts [sitejabber.com]: some people think it's doing like dating sites, only with virtual customers instead of virtual women.

    It's not a bad idea, but you need a lot of professionals to reach critical mass. You also need a good ratings system, because anyone can claim to be a professional, but quality varies...um...widely. Ideally, you'd like to keep the incompetents out in the first place, just like a store should avoid carrying counterfeit products.

    This will also open the door to the same kinds of issues that Uber and Lyft have: Are these professionals (if they are individuals) really independent contractors, or are they employees? Who is liable, when the amateur plumber floods your house? Really, it's not an area I would expect Amazon to dabble in - it seems to me that they are just inviting all sorts of unpleasant legal problems.

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      Who would hire someone to come into their home off Amazon?

      I could sort of see this work if Amazon had a transparent background check process and some kind of difficult to rig quality rating system.

      But really, someone in my home doing personal services? I need more than just 4 stars and an online rating, I need to talk to the people they've worked for in the recent past and a fair amount of personal information.

  • by H3lldr0p ( 40304 ) on Monday November 14, 2016 @03:50PM (#53283753) Homepage

    They were called maids. At some point that got changed to hired help and a few less savory things.

    At one time we had a middle class that could afford to support people who worked in their home. Short of a gigantic economic shift that's still true. I'm at a severe loss as to how Amazon is going to make this affordable and simultaneously worthwhile for people to pursue as gainful employment.

    • I'm at a severe loss as to how Amazon is going to make this affordable and simultaneously worthwhile for people to pursue as gainful employment.

      Amazon are going to exploit someone. Either the customer or the tradesmen (probably the tradesmen).

      As an aside, I had a lift in an Uber car last week, and asked the driver how he liked it. He said it was his last shift, as he couldn't make any money out of it.

  • We need more workers rights and not people who are being forced to pay for stuff like uniforms fees with them not even being W2's or have stuff like min wage.

  • Not spamming or anything, but as a hobby I built something similar and started on it before amazon had this. Its called myKhee [mykhee.com] and we are focused on small home projects only. There is an expedited verification, and is geared towards amateurs. Home owners post quick projects, and people find them quickly on a map to complete them for quick cash. The idea is let people make quick cash by finding things they think they can do close by, and the home owners gets it done quickly.

    I think this is a better

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