03 Aug In The News 8/4/2018
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Remodelers Pile on HomeAdvisor Suit, Add Their Own Gripes About ‘Bogus’ Leads
Reader responses to our first story echo complaints made in civil suit.
By Sean Wallisch
Contractors are voicing their support for a recent lawsuit against HomeAdvisor, which alleges the company misrepresented its services, provided illusory leads, and engaged in deceptive and fraudulent sales practices with home service provider members.
“I got the same treatment. Would love to join the group!” said Mark Pelletier of M.V. Pelletier Inc.
The class-action lawsuit was filed by home improvement companies in eight states earlier this month, and attorneys for the remodelers named in the suit say the plaintiffs’ allegations were corroborated by more 880 current and former HomeAdvisor members.
After REMODELING published our story on the suit, a slew of comments came in from fellow remodelers, echoing complaints made in the lawsuit.
Here’s what people had to say:
Nicholas Austine, owner of Cosmo’s Contracting, says the company gave him “recycled leads,” as well as leads from people who hadn’t requested any work or even lived in the state.
“Thank goodness someone is finally doing something about this service, if you want to call it that” says Randy Foster of Cholla Contracting. Foster ended his subscription immediately after calling a lead who had started a remodel 30 days prior.
Thomas Nastasi of Shoreline East Construction Group simply commented “Spent hundreds of dollars on terrible ‘exclusive leads.’ Couldn’t have been worse.”
Ronald Suave of Ronald Suave Green Design Build Remodel said he put a 4 year block on his credit card for all HomeAdvisor charges. He says the firm tried to charge him twice more during this period, even though his “leads were paused.” Suave says HomeAdvisor is “worthwhile if only as a place that people can see my reviews.”
Jim Lockhart of Lockhart Construction says he was “surprised and not so surprised” about the reaction the lawsuit. When he first tried the service, after two weeks he had spent over $700 and had no leads to show for it. While trying to cancel his account, a HomeAdvisor rep convinced him to continue his membership without the lead service. Since then, Lockhart says he’s received 90% of his new leads from HomeAdvisor and the site “is great for exposure.”
“Can I recover what they cost me back in the beginning? Probably not, but I’m okay with that” says Lockhart. “For the $300 yearly membership, I’m getting my money’s worth”
REMODELING reached out to HomeAdvisor for examples of satisfied customers, but the firm has not responded yet. In response to the lawsuit, HomeAdvisor said, “We don’t comment specifically on pending litigation. We strive to create a positive, successful environment for our customers, service professionals, and employees. We take all concerns seriously, and take action as appropriate.”