HomeAdvisor provides job leads to all types of contractors, but the leads are expensive and often useless
Expected pay: You set it
Commissions & fees: $350, plus charges for leads
Requirements: Be over 18 and have a valid credit card
HomeAdvisor says it provides job leads for a wide array of home contractors, from plumbers and electricians to cabinet makers and handymen/women.
And, on the surface, it seems like a reasonable idea. You join the site’s “pro network” to for about $350 annually to list your services on the site, which brags that it has 500,000 service requests per month and some 164,000 professionals in its network. The site then sends you leads for jobs that match the type of work that you do.
But red flags are everywhere.
The first is that the site doesn’t specify just how much you might get charged for each lead, saying that the costs “vary based on service type and location.” Although contractors realize that a lead is never a job guarantee, hundreds of contractors have complained about what they allege are bogus leads to the Better Business Bureau. The BBB has logged more than 1,400 complaints and now says it has “identified a pattern of behavior.”
In March of 2022, the Federal Trade Commission issued an administrative complaint against the company, saying it engaged in misleading and deceptive practices in getting contractors to sign up. This complaint has not yet been settled.
However, it’s worth noting that the District Attorney in San Francisco also filed suit against the company, saying that its pitch to consumers was also misleading.
You can find a summary of all these complaints here.
The crux of these complaints, which are shockingly consistent, is that Home Advisor’s leads are bogus. The leads, that usually cost $20 to $90 each, ring to disconnected phone numbers; consumers who say they never asked for home help; or consumers who are looking for a service that the contractor doesn’t provide, according to the complaints.
In addition, when you sign up for HomeAdvisor, you’re giving them permission to hound you — even if you’re on the Do Not Call registry or have asked them not to contact you in the past — to market to you, in addition to contacting you about leads.
If HomeAdvisor offers a special deal that would make you work at a significant discount to your normal rate, the site’s terms and conditions say you need to accept that job anyway.
We consider this site a five-alarm fire that contractors should avoid at all costs.
Moreover, there are a bunch of sites that you can use for free to get real business leads, including the increasingly popular neighborhood social media site, Nextdoor. One local contractor told me he gets 80% – 90% of his business from referrals on this site, both through paid advertisements and free word-of-mouth.
Additionally, a site called ToolBelt can connect you with other contractors needing subcontractors in the West. TaskRabbit is also worth considering. It charges no fees to contractors and it books real jobs at professional rates. If you happen to be in Boston or Chicago, check out JiffyonDemand.
What their users say (From the Better Business Bureau)
From a contractor in TX…Don’t waste your time or money signing up for HomeAdvisor. Horrible leads and poor customer service. I won’t bore you with too many details, but my story is basically the same as the rest of the hundreds of negative comments on here.
$1,000 for fake leads
Hello I’m a contractor and I really had the bad experience with home advisor. Spent around $1,000 dollars for fake leads or people that didn’t want to be bothered . They over charged in leads not the price they mentioned when you first join. I would not recommend this to anyone
They claimed to be able to send more business to me, but the only people calling are from Home Advisor. They have sent me numerous false leads resulting in hours of lost revenue. I removed myself from both their calling list and their email list, but they keep calling and emailing. Wish I never spoke to them in the first place.
I’m a small General Contractor, Remodels and New Home Construction. I was given $400 worth of Leads, which cost me over $1500 for leads that had nothing to do with what I did. Or the poor homeowners had been overwhelmed with phone calls from contractors. So I finally had my account paused and was promised a credit but not a refund. This is a SCAM for contractors.
They have stolen over $560.00 from me in the past 2 weeks. Customers set appt with my company, I confirm, and a day or so before the appt., Homeadvisor cancels the appt without letting me or the customers know. When I request new appt with the customer, or a refund of the money HomeAdvisor took from my company for the leads, they refuse! That is nothing short of theft.
Waste of money
This service is a waste of money, definitely no return on investment. Example: Last 2 leads I received had nothing to do with my business. Homeowners select incorrect category; however, I’m charged with a lead fee. I called HomeAdvisor. They decline reversing lead charge.
Do NOT give Home Advisor your credit card!! In fact, don’t sign up with this company at all. They practice deceptive advertising and have unethical business practices. Furthermore, I had signed up because of an email in which Home Advisor claimed they’d had 19 “recent” requests for my specialty, and yet, in one month, I got ZERO leads in my coverage area, which is a booming metropolis of over a million people. So, all I can figure is that they were either lying or their definition of “recent” must cover a period of over a year.
Contractors, HomeAdvisor is not as good as you think they are. They will deplete your bank account before you even could get one job. I signed up for only one week and it cost me $500 without any deals. Some leads are not even within my job descriptions. I asked for the refund and they refused to refund all my irrelevant leads. Please be alerted before you sign up with them. Good luck!