Tradespeople a Smartphone Swipe Away

Locksmiths, Handymen and Cleaners… oh, my!

Tradespeople post locksmith image by Kawin Ounprasertsuk.
Tradespeople from your device to your doorstep: locksmiths and cleaners can come to your door thanks to the wonders of mobile apps. Image by Kawin Ounprasertsuk (via Shutterstock).

As you may well know, Uber’s been taking the internet world by storm, not only due to its pricing compared with private hire taxis. It has inspired a bastard offspring of copycat applications for uses other than a cab to the airport. Nowadays, tradespeople from locksmiths to cleaners have been uberised. A cleaner or locksmith can be a swipe away.

With tradespeople, we shall look at two applications which have been inspired by Uber. One that offers a wide amount of services in South Africa, and another with similar services in Greater London, North America, and Canada.

Tradespeople of the World Unite


Coverage area: South Africa (Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria).

Launched this April, getTOD offers low standardised price rates for tradespeople within three of South Africa’s major cities. Available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, it is (quoting their website) “ideal for those ‘life happens’ moments”. All tradespeople are vetted prior to inclusion on getTOD’s database. Then they are carefully monitored through a client rating system.

The whole process is paperless, from booking a locksmith, cleaner, or handyperson, to payment and invoicing. Your invoice arrives by email and payment is made from a linked credit or debit card. On their website, the process is described as being as “easy as 1,2,3”. All you need to do is:

  1. Choose a tradesperson (i.e.: locksmith, electrician, plumber, etc);
  2. Approve the quote and him or her start work;
  3. On completion, your invoice is emailed to you. Then your credit or debit card is automatically and securely charged.



Coverage area: North America, Canada, England (Greater London only at present).

Handy was launched in June 2012 as Handybook by Oisin Hanrahan, Umang Dua, Weina Scott, and Ignacio Leonhardt. Inspired by the emerging Uber (formed in 2009), the foursome wondered if tradespeople could substitute private hire drivers. Expansion saw the company’s first incursion towards the UK. Shortly after changing its name to Handy in September 2014, they acquired the London-based Mopp.

As with getTOD, tradespeople are vetted and kept on their toes through a client rating system. There is also scope for customer accounts, useful given that 80% of Handy’s business is through returning customers. Within 60 seconds of downloading the app, you can hire tradespeople and get an appointment date as early as the following day. All you have to do is:

  1. Choose a suitable date and time via the Handy website;
  2. Within a few moments, Handy confirms the appointment and takes care of electronic payments;
  3. Download the app;
  4. At your desired timeslot, a professional locksmith, electrician or handyperson comes to your door and commences work;
  5. Job done.

All work is insured with a money-back guarantee.


CPPM Locksmiths, 27 September 2016.