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!