Tim Brown Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, and strategic marketer focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses and construction companies. Construction companies are finding canceling their service with Home Advisor is difficult – and when savvy business...
Construction companies are finding canceling their service with Home Advisor is difficult – and when savvy business owners have reviewed them and did a video on it – home advisor offered them a refund, essentially a bribe of over $1,000 to take it down.
So you be the judge – is Home Advisor Pro a scam?
This article will give you everything you need to know about Home Advisor – if it’s legit, and if you should use it.
There are several different perspectives in this article from very savvy people – and you won’t want to miss any of it.
This is for the people that have been scammed by Home Advisor.
Because sites like this don’t monitor themselves – and even collaborate with people like Better Business Bureau to get taken seriously, despite un-ethical business practices. Let’s see how long it takes them to change their name (like they’ve done before.)
Clue #1: Re-branding several times to avoid association with lawsuits
This brave business owner decided to just keep up the video – and get’s down to talk about Home Advisor’s GlassDoor reviews (reviews from employees for previous employer) that talk about the fact that ServiceMagic which has 100’s of lawsuits.
You tell me – does changing your name over and over again mean you’re proud of your reputation?
How do you have an A+ Rating on Better Busines Bureau with 86% negative reviews?!
A couple fairly telling Home Advisor reviews from Better Business Bureau (these are the last 3 from business owners)–
This company is a scam. I have been using them for several months for the company I work for and I have always had problems with leads that do not answer the phone or respond to voicemails and emails. The number of these has been growing on a monthly basis and I am very upset as I have lost so much money! I have had people hang up, tell me they never were on Home Advisor, or they were just on their site and not wanting to talk to companies..This company is a complete scam so to all companies out there.. beware and stay away. They don’t even want to try and work with you, they just say sorry we don’t credit for unanswered calls… we have an excellent coordinator calling, emailing and all else… too many bad leads. I hope others are aware of and end business with them as well. Be warned that they now own ******* **** and ********* as well. I wish I could give 0 stars!
Homeadvisor is an expert company in ripping off businesses. * They lack good follow up and customer service – when you submit a complain nobody gets back to you. * They charge you for services that you have not enrolled and for leads that you are unable to address like if you get a lead at 2 am in the morning you better get up from you sleep and call otherwise when morning calls you will have no chance. * Anyone in the company can sign up for their service but to cancel you need a background check and the owner has to call. * They don’t explain their services properly and deceive you about how to go around it just to get you sign. At the end of the month you will have no profits and just a big bill to pay them. I would not recommend them and would find a different way to market the business and find lead sources.
We have had many issues over the years with HA not issuing credit on FAKE or WRONG numbers or just outright bad contact information. To Home Adviser, they still view this as a LEAD and have rejected countless requests for credits even when we have a “number that has been recently disconnected.” This is BAD BUSINESS. I have spoke with many other AC contractors that have these same issues. After 3 years of fighting these issues, we are done and will be moving our business else where, I’m tired of fighting these credits. I also find it silly of them to loose $6,000 / year on a $20 credit. I guess this also show’s how they conduct business poorly. So much for the customer is always right.Home Adviser promotes good business strategies through their review platform, but they do not abide by the same rules. More of us contractors need to call them out on this. Google “Home Advisor, FAKE LEADS” what you will see following that will blow your mind and make you think twice about using their services.
Clue #2: Former employees seem to think they are scamming people
Given – some employees just might be sore for being fired. Employees talk about the management encouraging them to lie in order to sell – which is crazy. Check out the GlassDoor Reviews. The video above talks about contractors getting sold leads for jobs that weren’t even in their state, and for a period of time they weren’t giving them a refund on those leads.
Clue #3: You don’t own the customer, HomeAdvisor can rank for your name in Google
I can speak as a Search Engine Optimization specialist – if another company can rank for your companies name and then sell the leads back to you, you’re getting a raw deal. HomeAdvisor makes you sign the right for them to use your brand name in their materials and pages on their site – which essentially could take away customers that would have just come to your site and become a lead in the first place. Terrible deal.
Clue #4: People have had to close their bank accounts and change their phone number just because of Home Advisor
Can you just think about the lunacy of that for a second?
Clue #5: You’re competing with tons of companies for the same leads.
You can imagine – if you get 15 leads, and every single one of those is going to a bunch of other companies – that you don’t really have that great advantage.
The customer didn’t express interest in you as a provider, which is ideal. It’s much better to get a lead from your website or from another source where someone has come to you in particular.
Clue #6: Charges after you cancel and beyond what you paid for.
Apparantly you can pause a campaign for 15 days – but then when you call you cancel they will tell you that you can actually pause for 90 days.
Clue #7: Some leads aren’t even aware how HomeAdvisor got their information.
Scary, and potentially bad for your company reputation. Also very interesting that these YouTube videos have a crazy amount of comments like this:
Clue #8: Home Advisor Destroys the SEO on Your Website
The number one reason that you should avoid Home Advisor is that it can ruin your website, and your online presence. Because Home Advisor can pay for more SEO and Paid Ads they can beat you down with that route. I invite you to work with me on the SEO instead, as then you will own the lead and the customer. Home Advisor targets people that are looking for the cheapest option.
Only use Home Advisor in desperate situation – and build your own websites presence instead.
“Get a lifelong, and return customer and not someone looking for a one and done customer and looking for the cheapest price.. We stay away from HomeAdvisor and I would advise you to do the same.”
Building Your Own Website Presence (the Alternative to Lead Generation Sites)
So yes, it may seem easier to go through a lead generation site like Home Advisor. However, if you truly want to take your marketing to new heights, investing in your own online presence through creating a website will help your business grow. Websites and other digital touch points (like social media) can help you establish your brand identity and will give your business a sense of transparency. A finely tuned site with smart SEO tactics that incorporates targeted, well-written content will benefit you far more than Home Advisor.
If you are absolutely set on using a lead generation site, here are some higher quality options other than Home Advisor:
Houzz – Houzz is probably one of the top lead generation sites for contractors and home builders, though there are cons associated with it, such as Houzz owning everything on a contractor‘s profile, including pictures, and expensive cancellation fees. However, there are many contractors who have built their entire business through Houzz and it is certainly an option worth looking into.
Yelp – Yelp receives a lot of traffic for people looking for services. But because this avenue is cluttered with competition, including those who are willing to pay to be more visible. Yelp should be utilized, but not as main form of lead generation. Instead, it should be used to help your website presence.
Home Advisor is an online marketplace that connects homeowners with licensed, pre-screened, approved service professionals who offer home renovation, remodeling, and maintenance services. They offer technologies that allow customers connect quickly and easily to service professionals. They can utilize Instant Booking, and instantly schedule appoinments without having to go back and forth between phone or email trying to schedule a time that works for everyone. Instant Connect also speeds up the process, which is a service connecting customers with a Home Advisor specialist within minutes of their request. They also offer integration with smart devices such as Amazon Echo and Apple Watch.
Home Advisor is totally free because of advertising fees paid to them from those service professionals that participate in the HomeAdvisor network. HomeAdvisor steps in to make the connections between the new customers and these service professionals, who pay a secondary fee for each lead they receive and connect with. Your free account on the website, My HomeAdvisor is your own personalized tool that keeps all your profile information secure, and it’s the place you can review service requests, professional matches, and manage all personal info.
HomeAdvisor’s website details their 4 step process of screening their service professionals before matching them to the customer.
Step 1 – Licensing
HomeAdvisor confirms that the service professional holds an applicable state-level trade licensing for the services they claim to be providing to consumers.
Step 2 – Criminal Records Search
In the state in which the owner of the company is located, HomeAdvisor utilized third party data sources to conduct a criminal search for any relevant or active criminal convictions associated with the service company. The extensiveness, and comprehensiveness of the National Criminal Databases do vary from state to state, so HomeAdvisor takes this into consideration, and ensures this information discovered is accurate. This includes a registered sex offender search. HomeAdvisor checks websites that consolidate state sex offender information to confirm there is not match based on the name of the owner/principal of the company.
Step 3 – Legal Search for Civil Judgements
Again, HomeAdvisor uses third party data sources to check for filings associated with bankruptcy, liens, civil legal judgements, etc. in the state in which the owner of the company is located. Only instances occurring within the 12 months prior to the service professional’s application for membership on HomeAdvisor are considered.
Step 4 – Identity Verification
Lastly, HomeAdvisor confirms the social security numbers of the business owner, confirming their identity. This is mainly applicable to small businesses.
Have questions about HomeAdvisor? They have a number of ways you can get your questions answered. You can call them Toll Free at 1-877-800-3177, where you can ask general questions or get connected with your local service provider. Not able to make a phone call? They have live chat on their website M-F 6am-5pm and Sat-Sun 7am-4pm Mountain Standard Time. If you are not quite ready for contacting them for services, they have a helpful FAQ section for popular Q & As.