When running a small business there are a great many companies that will help you run smoother, meet new potential customers and hopefully grow. We as a company have been around 25 years and have seen it all. There are businesses that we partnered with that have lasted 7-15 years and there are bad companies that make promises they can not keep. Home Advisor is one of those bad companies.

We had been read out to from Home Advisor 3-4 months back to participate in their lead program. We don’t mind some lead sites, they give you an opportunity to take customers who don’t yet have an established relationship with a contractor and make them into your lifelong customer through great service and quality work. We were hesitant to get on board at first because Home Advisor used to be called “Service Magic.” We worked with “Service Magic” 7 years back and found them to be terrible. Our account executive explained that they are under new management and told me about a 3 month trial that would be perfect to prove his statement. If you have never worked with Home Advisor, they charge contractors around $20-$80 per lead (dependent on the service type they deliver ex: furnace install, smoke detector repair, etc).

When we first signed up for Home Advisor, we did so on a recorded phone line and Home Advisor records all their calls as well. We settled on a 3 month trial (a special they have been running) but told our account executive that we need to know what their policy was on bad leads. They explained that if a lead with false information or a duplicate came in, they would refund us for the amount. I asked the account representative what happens when a lead states via email or on the phone that are only shopping for the cheapest price? My account executive explained on a recorded line “Dan, we are not going to charge you for bad leads and will take care of any shoppers.” He went on to state that Home Advisor provides only quality leads. I told my executive that we would participate as long as they waived the automatic renewal at the end of the 3 months. He got approval from a manager to do so and even agreed that Home Advisor would read out to us 2 weeks prior to the end of our trial to review our results and talk about if we wanted to sign up for a full term.

We began getting leads the next day. We received around 6-8 leads over the week and deemed them all to have no potential for any work. If seemed that these prospect customers were just looking for advice, asking about projects that they may do if their son finally moves out of the basement. Last but not least, they wanted only pricing over the phone for jobs that were impossible to give anything better than a $3000-$4000 price range difference, so the lead didn’t want us come out to their home. I called Home Advisor and they declined crediting us for the bad leads and went on to advise that we pause the leads for the maximum amount of time of 3 months. This surpassed our trial that we had so with no renewal agreed upon made our campaign cancelled unless we chose to reopen it again.

The rest of our trial term went with no leads as requested and out of the blue, we got 2 leads over a weekend totaling $144 or so. I reached out to Home Advisor and they stated that they do not ever waive the auto renewal. I told them to pull the call on their end and listen to the agreements I made with the account representative. They explained rudely that they do not save their calls that are older than a month and no longer had the call available. I told them to make it right and waive the cost for the past 2 leads so we could part ways on a neutral note. The manager who I explained this to said he was sure they could resolve this and would get back to me. Three days later, I had to call back whereas nobody reached back as promised. I got a different manager who was even ruder than the last and demanded that I produce my recordings to exonerate me of the $144 they had charged for leads I did no ask for. At this point I told him if they were going to make me dig into recordings that were 3 months old I was just going to expose their company for who they are online with them.

In summarizing: I will be posting the recordings to youtube, Vemio, WordPress and every other social site to advise great small businesses to stay far away from Home Advisor. They use illegal practices and would rather suck $144 out of your blood then deliver decent service.

Feel free to send messages with any questions or advise and don’t let big companies ruin small business America!

2 responses »

  1. fixitmanarizona says:

    I was with Service Magic many years, and it was fine, actually. When they changed the name (NOT different management) things started to go downhill. The website became too complicated to use, the emails sent with customer information became impossible to use (can’t just copy the info out of them to file,) the voice quality of leads received over the phone became worse and worse so that they were barely understandable (they now use a very bad computer generated voice program that cuts out half the time) and their leads have gone downhill.
    I used to get quite a lot of business from customers referred by them, but now the percentage of jobs I get from their leads is practically nil, not worth paying for, especially since they doubled the cost of them. Also, lead replacements are near impossible to obtain unless it’s something obvious such as the customer provided incorrect information, such as a bogus callback number, etc.
    Basically, they COST me money with no benefit now if I use the pay-per-lead portion of the service. I have considered cancelling their service but instead simply put my leads on hold so I pay them little if anything, simply to keep the service so prior customers can find me on their site! They do have an option to do this with no pay-per-lead service, at $300 per year, which seems reasonable, however, they want it up front and I’m hesitant to do that. They just recently told me I would be able to have a different type of service where they let me preview leads (with no customer information) before accepting the lead, however, that turned out to be wrong, since they’ve sent me two leads in the past day which are not only more expensive than ever, but useless to me, and they sent the information, NOT A PREVIEW.
    I’m NOT LIKELY to keep them now.

  2. Laura says:

    Hello, I hope you can help me with this.
    I registred my company at Home Advisor Yesterday and they told me that I only must pay the membership annual charge ($289dlls). Today, I logged in to my account and my surprise was that they will charge a monthly fee for ($400dlls) for ”Market Match Spend Target”. I dont understand what is that fee. They never told nothing about that. Iam very scared with that. Can I cancel my HA account? I think this is an abuse. Thank you.

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