What: HomeAdvisor helps you find jobs as a handyman, electrician, plumber, general contractor, landscaper and other building-related trades

Expected pay: Varies by the job

Husl$core: $

Commissions & fees: $350 annually + an undisclosed additional amount for “leads”

Requirements: Be over the age of 18 and have a credit card

Where: Nationwide

Review:

On the surface, it seems like a reasonable idea. You pay $350 annually for a “pro” subscription 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 HomeAdvisor’s leads to the Better Business Bureau. (The BBB inexplicably gives the site an A+ rating, despite noting that 93% of the company’s reviews are negative.)

The crux of these complaints, which are shockingly consistent, is that Home Advisor’s leads are bogus. The leads, that usually cost $20 to $30 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.

This sounds like a miserable deal to us. SideHusl suggests you advertise your services on a local (and, importantly, free) website such as CraigsList or Nextdoor. If you’re just getting your home improvement business going, Takl or JiffyOnDemand are better alternatives. 

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. Amazing how the BBB can be bought…and still has an A+ rating with 37 positive reviews out of 577 (at time of this post). Wish zero stars was an option. $800-1000 lesson to check these scams out a little more thoroughly next time. Lesson learned. Good luck!

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

After starting with Homeadvisor we discovered that we were being sent incorrect phone numbers, numbers of people who did not want to be contacted at all. We receive leads with no way to contact them but are still charged over $20 for each lead that we cannot contact. When we turn off the leads they come back on and we get leads without knowing about it. It’s a good way to lose a lot of money with little to no return.

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 have been with Home Advisor since October 2017. There has not been an return on the investment. After returning lead calls in less than two minutes on average, I have discovered more than half are no connection or wrong job task calls. When informing Home Advisor about this no refunds are ever given, they state that since the call rang through I would be charged. Stay away from Home Advisor and spend your advertising money through a more reputable service.

I’m a small General Contractor, Remodels and New Home Construction. I was busy when I signed up. I was given $400 worth of Leads, the $400 worth of free Leads 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 of the $100 leads that were not qualified leads whatsoever. Instead was given 4 leads that expired before I un-paused my account. This is a SCAM for contractors. Homeowners and Contractors don’t waste your money with these guys. They need to be investigated. I don’t know how this is legal.

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 myself 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.

I own a small contractor business in Richmond TX. This service is a waste of money, definitely no return on investment. Example: Last 2 leads I received has 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. The good leads they seem to farm out to 3 + companies. Just beware of service.

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. I had to make a special trip and go in person to my bank to get a refund on a lead on which the company had promised me a credit, then charged me after all and refused to give me that $30 back. All this despite the fact that the zip code was incorrect and was actually well outside my coverage area (a generous one hour travel radius). 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. The most infuriating thing, though, even beyond the lack of leads, was being charged for a bogus lead outside my coverage area, being promised a refund, then being charged on my credit card anyway, and being told I could only have an “in-house credit,” i.e. a credit against future (presumably non-bogus?) leads. They were very apologetic but “that’s just our policy ma’am.”

All I wanted to let you know that if you are a Contractor out there, 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 and/or customers already had too many call that sent from either HomeAdvisor or someone else, to the point that they would not accept any more bids from me. They gave me no chances. I asked for the refund and they refused to refund all my irrelevant leads that they have once sent to me. Please be alerted before you sign up with them. Good luck!

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