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Home Advisor Pro Review: What You NEED to Know

Home Advisor PRO is an easy way to start growing your business right away.  However, it’s a very controversial subject with contractor’s.  Some businesses are experiencing massive success with the service while others trash talk it to no end and describe it as a scam.

Should you use the service for your handyman business?  Good question.

In this post, I’m going to discuss the controversial issues surrounding Home Advisor as well as the pros and cons.  I’ll also share my experience and some tips for maximizing ROI with the service formerly known as ServiceMagic.

Why the Controversy?

Issue #1:

At the time of writing this article, they had 575 closed complaints with the Better Business Bureau.  Despite the fact that they have an A+ rating, that’s still a lot of complaints.

This doesn’t bother me considering the fact they have been in business for so long and when you deal with as many customers as they do, you are going to have complaints.  It’s just the way it is.

Issue #2:

Several contractor’s and handymen have found out the hard way that Home Advisor actively builds links in their business’s name pointing back to Home Advisor.  Not only does HA build links back to their own site in the small business’s name, but they also list HA’s phone number.

So, if you sign up for HA, you are giving them the right to use any information on your profile to actively direct people back to their service!  I couldn’t believe it myself until I read their terms of service and then did a quick google of my business name.

Sure enough, I found that my YP.com listing had all of my business information, but the wrong phone number.  Upon dialing that number, I was connected with Home Advisor!  Wow.  Not only that, but they spelled my business name wrong.

Have you ever received an exact match lead?  Then the same thing is likely happening to you.

This is a pretty big issue for me and it definitely hurts Home Advisor’s image in my eyes.  Although it is clearly explained in their terms of service, this is not something they explained when I signed up.  It’s a little deceptive.

However, this issue can me mitigated by simply doing some cleanup work online.  I’m actively seeking these listings out and changing them to reflect my business’s correct information.

One thing I recommend doing before signing up for HA is creating your own online listings.  By doing so you reduce the risk of this happening to you.

Issue #3

Home Advisor recently changed their name from Service Magic.  Why?

Many say that it’s to hide from their bad reputation.  I mean, why else would you throw away years of building a well known brand?

Taken from the Home Advisor Website:  “We changed our name to reflect our commitment to being the #1 resource for home improvement tips, advice and connections.”

I have to admit, it’s a much better name and it will help them resonate with home owners.  They are now branding themselves as an advisor which is more authoritative than just  a magical service provider.

Whether or not they have a good reason to change their name, it still looks bad to those who have had a negative experience working with HA.

The Pros and Cons of Home Advisor


  • It’s effective.  There’s one majore reason that HA is still in business and that is because it works.  With more and more people turning to the web to find service providers, having a strong online presence is critical.  Home Advisor has an incredibly strong web presence. 
  • Good for new businesses.  Before you can start getting word of mouth business, you need to actually have customers.  HA allows you to leverage their brand to gain trust and get your first clients.  It also allows you to reach customers that you otherwise wouldn’t have the marketing abilities or funds to reach.
  • Easy to manage.  Once you’ve set up your account, it’s very easy to manage.  You can even turn your leads on and off whenever you choose.  This allows you to only use the service when you are slow or trying to expand your business.


  • Giving up some rights to your brand.  In the terms of service, it clearly states that HA can use any information on your profile to direct links to their site.  This essentially allows them to use your name to promote their business.
  • Bad leads.  I’ve received several leads that were just people price shopping with no interest of actually hiring anybody.  Sometimes, leads won’t even answer the phone.  In some cases a refund will be granted, but I’ve still paid for several bad leads.
  • Can get expensive.  Leads for bigger jobs are expensive and often cost more than $50.  However, for a handyman this isn’t as much of an issue as we usually only sign up for small job leads.

Should You Use Home Advisor?

If you have been reading my monthly reports or have signed up for my newsletter, you probably know that I recommend using HA as a way to jump start your handyman business.

I still believe that it’s very effective and have personally had success using the service.  In my first year of business, I spent $1,152 advertising with HA and gained $4,425 in business directly from leads received.  That doesn’t include the amount of business I received from referrals and return business from these leads.  HA obviously played a significant role in the success of my first year.

However, I don’t agree with some of their marketing tactics, namely how they use a companies name to direct leads back to their website.  This bothers me, but it’s clearly stated in the terms so I can’t be pissed off.  It was my decision to use their services.

That being said, I still view HA as an effective tool to grow a new handyman business and will continue to inform handymen of it’s existence.  Whether or not it’s right for you, that’s something you’ll have to decide.

Quick Tips to Maximize ROI

If you do decide to use HA to grow your business, here are some insights that I’ve gained that will help you close more leads and make more money.

#1:  Call leads immediately

This is the single most important factor to making HA work for you, even more so than having good reviews.  I’ve found that 9 times out of 10, if I call within minutes of receiving the lead, I get the business.  Some customers have even told me that they always choose the first person that calls.

#2:  Only sign up for small job leads

Leads for big jobs are expensive at $50 and up.  With price shoppers all over the place, this can eat into your profits really fast.  Thats why I recommend only signing up for leads for jobs under $15.  You will still get your foot in the door and can bank on the return business.

#3:  Eliminate leads that don’t pay

After you’ve been using the service for a while, it’s a good idea to go back over your leads and see which categories pay off and which one’s provide mostly junk leads.  I did this in April of last year and was amazed at the results.

What are your thoughts on Home Advisor?  Please share in the comments below!

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  • Tim March 20, 2013

    I got listed on Angie’s List early on, and that provided some leads, though I must say they are a mixed bag. There is nothing like real word-of-mouth. When I get that, new clients trust me right away, and I can usually trust them based on the referral.

    I wouldn’t even THINK of signing up with Service Magic or any of those types of services. You are better off posting a flyer in the kinds of stores you go to, which will lead you to the kind of people you will get along with.

    Early on, a friend asked me what percentage of jobs you go out to look at really turn into work. I’d never thought of it before. I paused before I said “All of them,” because I had never considered that they wouldn’t all turn into work. Then came Google Local Business, a free listing based on my area. Phone calls increased somewhat do that, and it was helpful, but I was spending more time on the phone and a then I, only occasionally, had visits that didn’t turn into work.

    When I was able to change my phone message to say that I wasn’t taking new clients except those referred by existing clients, it freed up a lot of phone time, and increased the goodness of fit with my customers. There is only one way to get to that point: do impeccable work, don’t overcharge, make sure they know you will come back and fix it for free if something goes wrong. Having a level of expertise that they will call you first for everything in their home helps, too.

    Signing up for Service Magic is like contracting for Home Depot. Why would anyone who can run a decent business and has a good reputation do installations for Home Depot? Why? Because they can’t find the work themselves. Why? Because they don’t do good work. That is why everyone who has ever used a Home Depot contractor says the same thing: “Never again!”

    Yes, it took a few years until I felt I could depend on the money, and a few more before I was turning away work. It is worth it, though, to have a set of core clients who call me again and again, who depend on me, treat me like one of the family, and call me first.

    • Big D March 20, 2013

      Hi Tim,

      Thanks for your sharing your thoughts. I understand why Home Advisor (Service Magic) wouldn’t be useful to you as you have been in business for a while and have a steady stream of return business already.

      However, for a new business that needs to get their name out there, Home Advisor does a great job at that. period. You may deal with some bad leads along the way, but that’s better than not having the phone ring at all. Additionally, you can still build the same long term relationship with these customers that you have built with yours, just faster.

      I’ve been running my handyman business for a little over a year now and have the proof that Home Advisor is effective. If it’s not for you, I understand. But I don’t appreciate you saying that Handymen who use Home Advisor do lower quality work than those that don’t. Sure, there are many bad handymen using HA, but to say that advertising with HA makes you less of a handyman, that’s just not true.

      Big D

      • BroC April 19, 2014

        Just a thought on the New businesses. When I started I went out and charged less then the going rates for the first year. I found the high end shop of materials in my area and offered to do installs, resurface, etc. at around 40% less, and instructed all this would be for my first year only. I found that the Doctors/ Lawyers/ Business CEO’s/ etc. who are well known in my community would go to the high end shops to get their materials, and once I proved my expertise in my work the word was out that first year in business. I went from 8k gross 1st year to 17k, the second, 34k the third, over 70k in the 4th, and over 100 after the 5th if I recall correctly. In other words, if one is as excellent in service, ethics, craftsmanship, etc. then no need to pay others to show your work of services, just give the local high end shop your portfolio and go to their clients with the discount of work you perform acknowledging that it is a limited time offer, once all their colleague’s see your work the phone will ring off hook as your prices climb as you get busier. Have to say, I knew my experience in my services are above average and have been blessed in life to have mastered my trade and service. I am still learning though, and anyone that state they know it all, stay away from them including those that pedal services like Service Magic/ Home Advisor/ Angie’s List/ etc. Good Luck to all that are beginning, it is quite the ride;0)

        • Mike February 16, 2016

          The service is a necessary evil…..I’ve spent $14,000 with them and the ratio is about 10×1 per dollar spent on profit. The problem with them is they’ll take anyone with a pulse, business name, and no felonies. So many knuckleheads flood the industry every year doing shoddy work, and having absolutely no idea how to run a business. I’ve been in business 9 years and spend about 3k annual on marketing. No one can stay in business strictly on referrals unless you’re either 1. EXTREMELY well connected. 2. Are a 2nd or 3rd generation contractor. A true start up business has a marketing budget, read any franchise proposal before you buy in. I’ve used HomeAdvisor for 8 years, there is a new bozo listed on their site every month. They’re for sure a “burn and turn” organization. BUT, door knocking in your painters bibs in January has a conversion rate of about 2% not to mention a lot of work I don’t have time, or patience for. Most small contractors are terrible salespeople, have no marketing intelligence, and think their “work speaks for itself”. If you’re in a business where anyone with a truck and a quote form can underbid you, how do you expect to get in front of people? Go kiss ass at the local building supply will not keep you in business long. You need to diversify your strategy, set a marketing budget, re-market to past clients, and stay away from stuffing flyers in mailboxes.

      • Robert November 9, 2015

        First let me say I hate giving HA my money but it does work if you know how to sell, and offer a good service. You have to be willing to get screwed on a lot of leads. If your not open to this you shouldn’t sign up. I would say for me 50%+ are garbage leads and HA credit process is difficult, not fair, and won’t help you solve the garbage lead problem. IMO their sales people and customer account reps lie and tell you whatever you want to hear. But again you can still be successful. If your good sales person and have the ability to get the work done with 48 hours of receiving the request you will be successful. Unfortunately I spend thousands a month on HA but I profit thousands as well so it works out. IMO a lot of the people requesting leads are either looking for low prices, want the work done immediately, or really can’t find someone. My solution to HA is to charge the customers a premium for finding you through HA, and try to do the work the next day before they find someone else to get it done cheaper. Don’t believe anything HA tells you. Originally they send leads to 3 other companies but then HA staff hounds these people with follow ups. Every time a customer says they haven’t hired someone yet HA offers more contractors and if the customer agrees HA will keep sending them more contractors. After I finish a job and the customer pays I tell them next time to contact me directly and the price will be less because I won’t have to pay HA. Most consumers have no idea HA is getting rich of us contractors. If you are a bad contractor that does bad work HA is great place for you because most of the contractors on HA are garbage, use this to your advantage. Tell your potential customers to look at your reviews. I am a featured contractor on HA with a review score of better than 4.4 out of 5 and I get lots of work from people cause they say I was the only one with review score above 3. Call your leads immediately and do the work ASAP. There’s no better way to start a company on Monday and be booked solid by the end of the week. I’ve started 5 businesses of HA leads and it’s by far the easiest way to start a contracting biz. I hate giving money to the devil, but spending $2K per month to make 10K profit is worth it all day.

        • Dan Perry November 9, 2015

          Well said, Robert. HA is not perfect, but it does work IF you approach it properly. Thanks for sharing.

    • andrew May 9, 2015

      If you cant find value in being able to target specific type of jobs in specific geographical areas down to tbe zip code then you are completely clueless and should shut your business down. The membership is 287.99 for 12 months. Translation; $.79 a day for a 24/7 billboard for your company online listed on 8+ different contractor websites. Good luck with your flyers, oh and how often do you have to knock $ off a projects for your “word of mouth leads#.

      • Dale June 4, 2015

        I understand local advertisement. It’s important. However society and technology is dictating a new era in social media and online (easy convenience shopping; why wait when I can get it now mentality) Let’s look at your discount. You just decreased and average price per job by 40% right of your normal charge. Let’s say the job would have been $200 normally well you just worked for $110 to do the same job ie…you just spent $90 to work ONE customer. A traditional LEAD fee for a handyman is around $15. That would range you around SIX new (potential customers) if you are as good as you say…you could get at least ONE new customer out of the 6 and still profit the $110. However, you just had the shot at SIX new customers. Not just ONE. for a potential gain of $200 per customer and a profit of $1200 rather than just $110.
        You pay for advertising in one form or another whether it is time beating the streets or money on the paper to walk the streets. Advertising is essential. It’s all a matter of how much you can AFFORD to do! and control it at the same time!!! Good luck to all Businesses! We appreciate all your hard work!

    • Emily Goodfriend August 20, 2015

      HomeAdvisors is nothing but a scam! As a former small business owner I strongly encourage consumers NOT to use this service. They scam small businesses and have many red flags that need to come to service. HomeAdvisors does take the time to “validate” a company to post on its resources. However, they don’t work for the small businesses like they say they do, and they are only puppeteers to consumers. They consumers’ marketing trends to rip off these businesses. They make it to where the small business gives them access to a bank account and they continue to withdraw money from the accounts without a reasonable invoice or even explanation. This is not a fair company and I strongly recommend that we go away from these here one day gone the next .com agencies that only have fancy websites, someone to answer a phone, and a way to take money. Also to consumers, they do not care if you make a match at all. They do not put your needs first when they “match” you with someone. It is a scam. Please don’t use and pass it on to others in the industry. Go back to using word of mouth or a quick google search of your own. These guys need to go down!

      • Lily October 28, 2015

        Home advisor is a BIG SCAM, they just charge me over $200 for elands that I didn’t even did, customer canceled or they offered to little money to do the job omg the worst mistake I ever made to become a member of this scammers that live from small business hard earned money. they never mention this negative things when you sign up.

        • Penny Lewis February 22, 2016

          HA is definitely a SCAM. I signed up with them late last year and received nothing but bad leads. Called and emailed all of them. No answer, no call back and no email response. These leads amount to $600 + the sign up fee for a year. I’m at the moment fighting with them to give me some credits on these leads. This is not professional. We have a small business and can’t afford to throw away money. Stay away from HA

          • George Huang May 20, 2016

            I had a similar experience, but I have good look with their competitors. I use http://www.projectquote.com because its pay per lead and no other fees.

  • Raleigh Handyman March 20, 2013

    Good tips here. I would add one additional item. Anyone in the home service industry would gain long term if they put in place a system to stay in connection with past clients. As repeat business and referrals are the best source of new business any company can have.

    • Big D March 20, 2013

      That’s a really great tip. Thanks!

    • Dale June 4, 2015

      There are programs that can help you with this system…Ie MHELP Desk Software. This program can help you manage present and future customers easily. And reminds you of your past customers need to be reached out to…Alot more bang for your buck! Good luck guys!

  • Big Red April 26, 2013

    Hi there.

    I am looking to register with the various free online advertising companies but i do not want to use my own address. I read that using a PO BOX will not work or you can get penalized for it.

    Have you any suggestions on this. Did you use your own address. Would you worry about bad customers showing up to your home.


    • Big D April 30, 2013

      Hi Big Red,

      I recommend getting a mailbox at a local UPS store or other mailbox rental service. This is what I did as I don’t want customers to know where I live. It looks like a real address, too instead of just a PO Box.

      It costs about $120 every six months and is well worth the cost. I don’t recommend getting a PO Box, however. A PO box looks less professional to customers and possibly google.

      I actually wrote a post on this here: http://www.handymanstartup.com/5-reasons-to-get-a-handyman-business-address/

      Big D

      • BroC April 19, 2014

        I have a shop with an address, so not worry about customers showing up since I no longer stay there, just work out of. When I first started business though, I stayed lived there. I would get phone calls from do it your self people looking for supplies cause the ran out on there projects. I would go ahead and help out on the supplies and give them free advise on how to get project completed. They would find out I gave great advise and tell their friends how hard it was for them to do their own Hardwood Floors and tell them about my free advice but consider hiring my services instead, so I got work from helping out those that could not afford my services;0) Just a thought for others!

    • Andrew Polanski July 14, 2014

      You most definitely can get penalized for using a PO box, or even a UPS store as Big D suggested. According to Google’s guidelines (and this is word-for-word):

      “Do not create a page or place your pin marker at a location where the business does not physically exist. P.O. Boxes are not considered accurate physical locations. Your business location should be staffed during its stated hours.”

      One can argue “well my location is staffed with a UPS employee during business hours”, but that doesn’t work with Google. They want it to be staffed by someone from YOUR company.

      The other option is a virtual office, but even then, it’s against Google’s guidelines.

      The correct way with Google is to list your address, but checkmark the box that will allow you to hide your address from being displayed (Google is actually now starting to decide themselves – automatically- on whether they will hide your address).

    • PHIre and eARTh March 12, 2016

      There are some po box places that allow you to list the box as anything you want as long as the number is the same. For instance you can say “Suite 101” instead of “PO boX 101” and this makes it seem like you have an actual office when it is just your po box.

      I have found one in my area in San Diego.
      Generally the only companies that offer this sort of thing are privately owned packaging and shipping companies. The one I use is owned by a Vietnamese couple. You wouldnt be able to do this through your post office. As this isnt techincallg illegal but it is frowned upon by the powers that be.

      But the way I look at it is I am doing honest work I just cant afford nor do I need an office. And dont want to use my home address.

      I am a drafter and structural designer / fabrication designer. So all of my work is on a computer.

  • Glen Betts April 30, 2013

    Big D,

    Having recently moved to a different state to be close to my children and grandchildren, I am effectively starting all over. Your comments about HA relieved my mind as I was facing those same issues you mention above as I was beginning to wonder what I was doing wrong.
    In a phone call with their customer service I strongly recommended they set their system up to only let a “client” click on one contractor a day for a specific task instead of hitting three or four and playing the “cheapest route” game.
    I’ve had only two successful leads out of two dozen so far, so I’m not impressed at all, but I’m going to adjust my leads with your suggestions for now to help get my foot in the door locally.

    • Big D April 30, 2013

      Ya, you need to play with it to see which leads are getting you good customers. One category that didn’t pay off for me was the handyman/random tasks or something like that. I got only price shoppers looking for the cheapest option.

      Let me know how it works out for you.

      Big D

    • MR January 18, 2014

      hmm, 2 successes out of 24, thats close to 8% lead to sale. Its not bad IMO. You gotta realize there are other handymen in the industry too and are probably bidding on the same project. So if the consumer wants to go cheap, they’d go with the cheapest option available to them.

      I think in general handymen are not very business savvy .. businesses run on numbers. Not everyone walking through the door will be a buyer. But overtime you will see a trend where a given % of those who walk through the door will be buyers. And it all depends on how much you get out there.

      Like D said, if you are starting out, your first 2 years are crucial .. you pick up jobs, do em cheap if you have to, do em well, and make sure you get repeat business and referrals from them.

  • Maria June 3, 2013

    I am not sure about the process of homeadvisor can you please explain me. What do you means by Lead???

    • Big D June 4, 2013

      A lead is basically a job opportunity with a specific customer. When somebody goes to HomeAdvisor looking for home services, they fill out their information and the type of work they’re looking to have done.

      Home Advisor then sends that information (the customers name, phone number, address, and job needs) to 3 service providers. These 3 service providers can then contact the customer and try to get the job.

      When I say call the lead immediately, I’m referring to the customer who is looking for help with their home.

  • Eric June 7, 2013

    Big D!!! This is an awesome article but I thought you were way to lenient on Home Advisor. Glenn mentioned above that consumers should only be able to post one job request per day. That is a good idea but the problem is on the backend, HA shares every lead they get with as many prospective sellers as they possibly can. This causes three things to happen. First, the consumer ends up getting bombarded with calls IF they gave a real phone number so they get annoyed. More importantly, the contractors paying $50 for the lead are competing with each other right out of the gate. Third, HA get rich by reselling leads, annoying consumers and having their clients compete for jobs that very rarely close. I also didn’t realize that they require access to profile info AND placed their phone numbers and links on their clients’ profile pages. Thanks for sharing this. I’m going to advise some of my clients of this that are still using these guys. I can’t believe these guys have built a billion $ business operating this way but I am thankful because how we solve this problem is so fair in comparison.

    • Big D June 9, 2013


      Thanks for the comment. However, I have no evidence or have seen nothing to suggest that HA sends the leads out to as many people as possible. According to their claims, they send regular leads to 3 home service providers and no more.

      As for the issue with the customers getting bombarded, that’s why it’s so important to call first. As long as you aren’t rude or aggressive and are simply trying to help the customer, I don’t think this will have any negative affect on your branding.

      Big D

      • Craig May 6, 2014

        I’ve spoken to a few friends who used Home Advisor or Service Magic (previous name) and while they were told only 3 contractors would be given a lead, in reality they saw up to as many as NINE others shared the same lead.

      • Jeanne July 23, 2014

        We have been using HA for several years now and in the beginning it did pay off. Right now I have suspended our leads because we are way too busy with work from word of mouth and other avenues. I do agree with Eric that HA sends more than 3 out per job because we have encountered this numerous times. We also have experienced contractors being sent out that are not qualified or experienced in the work that we do. They under cut us and then 6 months later they are calling us to repair the work that the other contractor messed up. This happens quite frequently. Right now we are booked out with work until October and are researching different lead generating companies instead of HA.

      • Chris October 10, 2015

        I did a test on homeadvisor. I submitted a lead under a different name. I was called by 5 contractors. I also received that lead sent to my company. That meant it went to 6. I told all of the contractors that I did not own the home yet and was just looking for information. I then called homeadvisor as the customer and said I made a mistake. I told them I do not own the home and did not realize I would be contacted. I told them I don’t want the contractors charged. They lied and said they don’t charge contractors for leads. I then submitted a request for refund as my company. Guess what? They said they verified the customer was the owner! Stay away

        • Dan Perry October 12, 2015

          Thanks for sharing that test, Chris.

          • Jon January 14, 2016

            I have found Home Advisor to be elusive and simple dishonest about their service.While I agree a new guy in business needs a mechanism to locate leads HA is not the best solution due to the fact they lie.

    • Thomas May 12, 2016


      What type of client do you serve?

  • Ravis August 13, 2013

    Thanks for the great article. I have been using HA since 2007….glad I did when the crash hit in 2008 is AZ!!!! Yes I get some price Checkers and bad leads but over all the only business for 4 years came thru them. I win 2 out of 3 contracts all the time. I also ‘cleaned’ sites to my number as you did. Now I have a client base and still get leads. In the design business every drafter out there now does side work and HA is one way to continue to show them up.

    • BroC April 19, 2014

      Sounds like one needs two different names of business, one to register with HA for their leads and the other so HA can not override your business name/numbers with theirs. Have to say, that is enough for me to never do business with HA.

      • Dale June 4, 2015

        Incorrect and Mythical and creating slander. Home Advisor does NOT sell leads. And ONLY send the leads to a MAXIMUM of 4 contractors. However, there are companies who home advisor cannot control that take the leads and re-sell them. You have to offer equal opportunity to ALL businesses and not discriminate. Home advisor can only screen if the business is trying to represent a business that is willing to market and advertise with them. STOP making Home advisor the bad guy. Home advisor can regulate fraud and when they find out that it’s happening legal actions are taken. But it is not made into a PUBLIC spectacle for all to know about. Can you then discredit Home advisor? Truth to the lie. Thanks I wish you all the clients and customers in the world

  • Jeff Richard Morrison August 25, 2013

    What’s Going down i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It absolutely helpful and it has aided me out loads. I’m hoping to contribute & help other customers
    like its helped me. Great job.

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  • kemccull256 November 12, 2013

    Its not necessarily what HomeAdvisors does, its what the lie to you that they don’t do. They will lie to you about what exact match is and what they do to attract exact match leads. they will basically steal your market identity then feed it back to you at 150% of a market match lead. In other words, they will insert (somehow, I dont know how) their contact info in seemingly every place you have contact info for you company. So, anyone that looks you up gets their contact info. So rather than contact you directly, they contact HomeAdvisor. Then HA bills you 150% of the market match price for this. If you have paused your leads, you dont get the info.

    Its not what they do, its what they lie to you to get your business. this is fraudulent. And needs to be reported. Oh, by the way, now they have a “listing” that clients can review and call you directly. For $30 per month flat. No choice. Ask them to produce what this is? they cant. Another rip off.

    this needs to be report to you state Attorney General.

    • Gabe Kis November 17, 2013

      Your 100 percent correct. Companies like this are destabilizing the economy with their propaganda. It’s only good for them and their day is
      coming real soon . They are being investigated and a stoke of a pen in a reputable paper will go national once the AP gets ahold of it.

  • Gabe Kis November 17, 2013

    FTC and FBI complaints were filed in NYC against Home Advisor and ehardhat of Woburn Mass. Ehardhat steals business identities extracts commerce across state lines via the Internet. It lists business names with photos and bios without the business owners consent and redirects the calls to Home Advisor. It’s false advertisment,fraud, fraud by deception. Both companies simulate relationships with companies that they have absolutely no affiliation with to lure the consumer into their vast network. Liutenant Weston checked out ehardhat and said it looks like they left in the middle of the night. Prosecutor Casey Silvia located the owner Fabio Espindula and he claims he is still in business with nearly 3 million contractors
    In his network. Leads are generated falsely and sold to Home Advidor. The consumer feels duped and won’t pick up the phone. Contractors credit cards are charged weekly. I smell a rat and media exposure coming real soon . The complaint was filed by renowned celebrity contractor Gabe Kis.

  • Gabe Kis November 17, 2013

    Big D ,
    The previous comment is correct. Contractors are recruited by Home Advisor via Crsigslist. They are told that consumers contact HA. That’s a blatant lie. All my ratings with Service Majic were 5 stars. When I bailed is when they switched to Home Advisor and jacked up their fees by 80 percent. I’m not paying that kind of money for worthless leads . HA refuses to let their contractors leave. They keep wanting to update credit card info and also strong arm contractors into paying for leads they did not turn on.
    They turned me into collections and then dropped it when I threatened to go public. I was clearly under the impression the Home owners
    Contact HA. Look at the bottom of your invoice. It clearly says
    helping you build your business 1 homeowner at a time. Home Advidor formerly Service Majic has about 84,000 contractors in its network after 13 years. They now fraudulently get there leads from ehardhat
    Phony directory that boasts it has 2.800.000 contractors in their network
    With all the calls going to HA. It’s called Fraud. Ask reporter Amy Woodward
    at the Golden Transcript in Colorado why the CEO Chris Terrell of HA
    paid her editor a visit to squash the story. Going to an attorney is a waste of money. Home Advisors business practices need to be made public.
    That’s what they don’t want. They make money out of lies and
    steal money from working people’s credit cards weekly. I have an excellent reputation and HA is a company that is an online thug. Get a piece of all the action. It needs to be regulated by Federal authorities. Time to call the BUNKO SQUAD.

    • BroC April 19, 2014

      Filing with your attorney general is free and a help to weed out Companies like HA!!! Sometimes the Attorney General will do a class action suit where one can be compensated for damages along with others that businesses like HA damaged!!

  • CAS December 29, 2013

    I just signed up and will give it a try for a couple weeks but if I decide to stop the service, will HA still have rights to all my company links as you say is in their contract? And to top that off…I never received anything written from them stating their terms???

    • Dan Perry December 30, 2013

      I’m not sure whether they will still have rights or not. You do have the ability to clean them up yourself and correct the info at anytime, though.

      • Dale June 4, 2015

        I’m sorry but, I have to put the truth to the lie…HOW can HA steal an account linked information to your ONLINE presence? You have accounts and advertising with So called reputable advertising sources that you have access to and PAY them to advertise your business. HOW does home advisor get into YOUR account. NOT POSSIBLE. Home advisor. has an exact match # on your profile for the TOP 3 spots that consumer can call and be directed to you as an EXACT MATCH LEAD. Other companies who take information off of the web can extract and information from anywhere…ie…Manta, Yelp and have our number listed on a FREE listing that was taken from ANY source…and so on. Home advisor use your profile information to gain your company additional visibility and direct customer to you and pays for SEO based on key words in your profile to BOOST Your BRAND and NAME Recoginiton. Truth to the lie

        • Dan Perry June 8, 2015

          Read their terms of service, Dale. It says it all right there. And, this is not a lie. They actually used my business name and signed up for a directory that I hadn’t signed up for yet, with my business name and their phone number.

          I didn’t write this article to bring down Home Advisor or make them the bad guy, I did it to simply educate others to make a good decision. In fact, if you actually read the article, you’d see that I actually recommend the service.

  • jana March 3, 2014

    kemccull256 is correct. I just got off the phone with a customer service rep at HA. Their sales rep flat out lied to me in his initial phone call, neglected to tell me about “auto accept” and I am being billed for leads that I declined. Ironically, our company happens to be remodeling the home of an FTC attorney 🙂

    • Dan Perry March 4, 2014

      Sorry to hear that Jana and thanks for sharing it here on the blog. Let me know how that ends up working out for you!

  • Dave King March 5, 2014

    Got another call from an HA “telemarketer” last night. I’ve talked with these guys/gals off and on for the last three years, even before the name change.

    Funny thing about this call compared to the one in December 2013: the “agent” politely apologized for calling me, noticing that his records revealed HA had not recently received any requests for window cleaners in my area. The person who called last time mentioned nothing about that and was actually a bit rude when I said I was not interested in working with HA.


  • Robert March 6, 2014

    Hello, home advisor has , and is servicing me well, there’s always something about anything you might not like, there’s some customers who may not like your work, but that doesn’t mean everybody feels that way, good day

    • BroC April 19, 2014

      What is your Position at HA Robert? I can see that HA needs to get people they have on their Payroll out and about to squash the real thoughts of their services!

  • Amy March 21, 2014

    I have to say home advisor also known as service magic is a true scam. You would think since the service
    Pays to keep this thing in business they would defend you when you have an unhappy customer, think again! I also know for a fact they do not do a fu
    Check of your business as they state to help ease the mind of homeowners as I am off that. After spending thousands in advertising with home advisor, we received two bad customer complaints, mind you out of hundreds of leads , dropped us like a bad habit. Went to rejoin with our new company name and two years later I called about something and saw my cell phone number associated with the old account and they dropped the new company. Who are these people and company? They need to be stopped and service professionals and consumers beware! You can do
    The homework yourself and switch to Angie’s list! They double dip on leads they give that are supposed to be exclusive! I understand not eveyone is going to be happy but if I could help just one person stay away from
    This scam company I am happy! They have bad reviews all over the Internet and anyone who likes them
    Does not fully understand the way they work but you will find out as I liked them once as well until you need them to defend you, their customer as a service professional!

  • vince March 24, 2014

    Truly a waste of time and money. Tried them as Service Magic as a handyman and only landed one job. Tried them again as Home Advisor and landed zero jobs. Their business model is built on non-verified leads and people looking for free information. Over half of the leads I received had bad contact info. Their CS reps are rude and you have to fight for every lead replacement. I have much better results prospecting leads via my local chamber of commerce, BNI, and other networking groups.

  • Mike April 1, 2014

    Okay i just Got on phone with a representative at home adviser, and he gave me some info on how this Home Adviser Pro Lead program works. I am not sure this is the best fit in Plumbing field. They get less than hundred leads on monthly basis and there are probably 50 and above plumbers listed in the area. So each plumber gets about 2 leads. Now an average lead that a company might get could be even more than that, so what is the reason being listed in their directory? just to get 2 leads? a month? you wont get all the leads and probably you wont even earn the money you paid. I would really recommend having a directory and just letting people add their business there such as Yelp.

    • BroC April 19, 2014

      Excellent evaluation of HA, Angie List, Service Magic to Yelp!!! I have found my customers to put positive on Yelp about my services, so great way to get referrals!!

  • Dan April 9, 2014

    I’m the owner of an AC company in the Phoenix area, after realizing home advisor uses your company name to attract business, I dropped them, they are still using my company information without my permission, and also have a CPM. (Google ad campaign ) using my company information, basically I am competing with Home Advisor for my own name, we are a $1mill company with 35% of our customers coming directly from google, do the math on that! If you are using home advisor, what ever you currently generate from online or organic searches, home advisor gets that same dollar amount using your name! Think about that! We track every lead! I made my third and final call to home advisor, tomorrow I’m going over the initial terms of service, contacting the attorney generals of both states, filing complaints at every outlet possible, including the corporate commissions, I’m then starting with this state, going to research every contractor in my field using Home advisor then personally inform them how it works, what they stand to lose. I informed home advisor for the last time today, I am devoting 100% of my time and I have Two office employees I will have working on this matter when it doesn’t interfere with normal business. If you don’t mind, I would like to post updates on this forum

    • Dan Perry April 10, 2014

      Thanks for sharing, Dan. By all means, please post updates here and let us know how it goes.

    • BroC April 19, 2014

      You might consider also to tell your prospective clients that your competitors use HA (if you know this for a fact), Service Magic, Angie list, etc. and that they need to go online and see how deceptive their practices are through reviews. I bet you will find them wanting your services. Hope you can get HA to cut loose your listings/ phone numbers/ association. What a nightmare. Glad I checked out this site on all, shows one needs to build their own reputable business and not let these internet companies get ahold of your business identity!

  • Phillip Howell April 9, 2014

    I started using ServiceMagic in 2002 and at first it was great, it generated a ton of leads and I was probably at a 90 percent win ratio but over time and as ServiceMagic developed it morphed into a way to rip off contractors andshandyman providers I personally have generated leads to test the quality of leads that I was receiving, I generate a lead as a customer I accepted the lead as the handyman then as the customer I remove the lead and ServiceMagic kept th leade fee. ServiceMagic has always done a poor job of educating their customer on that we the handyman pay a fee for their information they’ve always done a great job of finding ways to collects fees.I was even charged fees from work done by repeat customers that had posted a job to get the competing price quote. I didn’t except the lead so the customer contacted me directly. Servicecmagic did a phone follow up with them. When they found out they had use my company they charged me. Its inthe ttons. So if you are using these people be very mindful of all there charges and fees. They are sneaky.

  • Larry May 2, 2014

    Hmmm… glad I found this info about Home Advisor. I think I will continue to work by word of mouth and local advertising. I am a hard worker, have a lot of experience in many areas, and am told I do very nice work. My wife and I are okay with our lifestyle, even during lean times. I don’t feel the need to get drawn into a less than desirable situation just for a few jobs a year.

    I recently received a call from HA trying to recruit me to their program. I surprised them by pointing out several restrictions specific to Ohio (ie Ohio only licenses “Commercial General Contractors & skilled trades.”) It is instead, local municipalities that register and license “Residential General Contractors.”

    Handymen in my market are REQUIRED to be licensed as such. However, most of the handymen I have talked to in my area are not licensed, bonded, or insured. I advise anyone seeking to do business, especially in my market, to go through the process (And expense) to become licensed. I feel anyone calling themselves a professional should carry those credentials. HA did not seem to know of that requirement here locally.

    I am a licensed, bonded, and insured general contractor serving Upper Arlington, Grandview Heights, and Hilliard, Ohio that specializes in minor home repairs, small renovations, and handyman services. While skilled, I am still always looking to better my abilities, and I actively seek out ways to meet new customers; as is prudent of any small business owner that plans to be successful.

    I know my way around a home and I also have a lot of experience in marketing; I was Recruiter of the Year when I was in the Navy; worked for Sears Home Improvements generating leads and then doing outside sales, when they were in business as well. I am okay with slow growth. I treat customers like family and they spread the word for me. I don’t see that changing.

    Best wishes,

    Larry Spears
    Liebert-Spears, LLC
    General Contractor

    • Mike R March 12, 2015


      I have searched and searched but am unable to find licenses for general residential contracting in Ohio. My electricians and Plumbers are required. Some municipalities require you to be registered, but that just means they want you to have insurance. Is there something I am missing?

  • Daniel May 13, 2014

    Hi Dan and fellow concerned HA and SM marketing people,

    I too, before finding this site, found out that HA had taken my identity and address and put their own ph. #, so what did I do? I copied and pasted their phone # and changed it to my number. It took a little doing, sometimes calling the site and others would send a pin# for you to change the listing and others like Google would send a post card, but I did it!!

    Unlike Dan and Home Improvement people, I was on for basement, additions, and home building. Did try smaller tasks but, I hardly called back right away and probably should have, even with the bigger tasks. The % of leads that I won was roughly 1 out of 10. One month spending $1000.00 I might have gotten two basement remodels. From being on SM and HA, I actually landed a Home Build and that was a referral from a previous SM customer!!
    So HomeAdvisor does work but you have to go through the bogus, browsing, whim, false, NUMBERS, etc. I know that it is a pain, believe me! —

    I try other sources- Angieslist for example, the first year I was on the list, I received two jobs totaling $175,000 (2 additions). So I thought “why not pay $1800 to be on the top of the list” -nothing came of it that year! Weird!

    Thanks Dan for your help in this!


    • Dan Perry May 15, 2014

      Your welcome, Daniel. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • AL b. May 25, 2014

    I too am a HA client. Could somebody please explain how I can get my business info from HA to My own. Such as changing their Phone # back to my number. I can’t believe they are actually using my information to direct internet calls back yo them and then charging me for that same lead! I would like to clean up my sites. Thanks for your help on this!

    Al B.

  • Donna W. May 30, 2014

    My husband runs a plumbing, heating, air conditioning business and we have been clients for quite some time, first with ServiceMagic and now HomeAdvisor. The problem we always saw, was that the same lead was sent to over a dozen contractors when we were told several times the same lead only went out to 2 or 3 contractors. I would call immediately the customer after receiving the fax. Approximately 9 out of 10 times, they would say they already found someone. And guess what? We still have to pay for that lead whether we get the job or not. Very disappointing, to say the least.

  • Amy Setlock June 26, 2014

    Thank you for this great article and comments.
    The business I work for was looking into using HA, however once learning all of the information you guys disclosed hopefully I can talk them out of it!

  • Mr. C. July 1, 2014

    Let this be a cautionary tale to those considering enrolling with Home Advisor as a service professional. This e-mail chain between me and E*** from HA is only hours old, and is indicative of the low character, nefarious goals, and underhanded tactics of this operation.

    I am the owner of a licensed and insured general contracting design/build firm in NC. I had been on the phone with HA after receiving an unsolicited phone call from them (first mistake). When asked where they got the company information they said the Chamber of Commerce, so I listened (second mistake). It sounded pretty good, so, over the next 4-5 months I would periodically take their calls but say that I was not quite ready. Then the rep that had been calling me was replaced by E***. In sales techniques this would be the ‘Closer’ coming on the scene. I let him pitch me for 35 minutes & thought it sounded pretty good, but still hesitated to enroll. Then he did a search at the Secretary of State and found that I had not filed my annual report for the LLC… Thanks! So I scooted down there and filed it. Voila! That was cool, and I thought, “Wow, they really do check out the potential enrollees. These guys might be the real thing. Hot leads here I come!”

    When I asked him to send me an enrollment package, he sent a link to the HA page. By law, they must publish the Terms & Conditions, and there they were. I read them to the letter. Not good. Then I came to this site and heard the comments. Case closed. Third mistake not made. Below is the exchange edited to protect the innocent, and the jerk from HA.

    Honestly, though, I’d love to print the name, but I really do not want any cyber trouble from this guy.
    **********, E***” wrote:

    Mr. C****,

    I need to set a 3 minute appointment with you today so that we can wrap up enrollment. We’re not going to handle any details, start talking about the clients, or anything else. Just finish enrollment. It takes three minutes. That’s it.

    Once that is finished, we can work with your schedule whenever you have time to go through details. But today, I have to finish enrollment with you. Details and adjustments can be made whenever you have time later. Call me ASAP.


    E*** **********
    Phone: 913.529.**** | Online Marketing Consultant


    Can do. I’ll give you a call in a bit.


    **** C****
    ***** ***** Llc

    From: “E*** **********”
    To: “Mr. C.”
    Sent: Monday, June 30, 2014 4:14:07 PM
    Subject: RE: Appointment

    Ok perfect. What time are you thinking?

    E*** ****

    Phone: 913.529.**** | Online Marketing Consultant |
    I didn’t call, instead, I penned this reply.
    From: **** C. ********/ ***** *****, LLC
    Sent: Monday, June 30, 2014 5:08 PM
    To: **********, ****
    Cc: ************* C.
    Subject: No enrollment.


    I’ve hit a major roadblock that prevents enrollment in Home Advisor, but I’m glad that I was able to dig this up prior to taking a step. Green Build Llc will not grant perpetual, irrevocable license to anyone at anytime, specifically Home Advisor.

    ***** ***** Llc, and/or **** C. , does not agree to license Home Advisor to use the corporate or personal identity in any way, at any time, for any reason.

    This excerpt from the Terms & Conditions is not acceptable:

    “Grant of License. You hereby grant HomeAdvisor and its users a perpetual, non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, assignable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use, store, display, reproduce, modify, create derivative works, perform, distribute, print, publish, disseminate and place advertising near and adjacent to your Content in any format or media (whether now know or hereafter created) on the HomeAdvisor and apps in any manner that we deem appropriate or necessary, including, if submitted, your name, voice and likeness throughout the world, and such permission shall be perpetual and cannot be revoked for any reason.”


    **** C.
    ***** ***** Llc



    Honestly that’s fine. At this point, I doubt you would be a good fit for us. But for arguments sake, what are you afraid will happen? We are an industry leader and subsidiary of a Fortune 500. Your concerned that we want to ADVERTISE YOUR USER GENRATED CONTENT (ratings and reviews, pictures, company information)? Are you aware of what we do?

    But we both know that isn’t the issue. Good luck John.

    E*** **********

    Phone: 913.529.**** | Online Marketing Consultant |

    From: “**** C. /***** *****, LLC”
    To: “E*** **********”
    Sent: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 11:44:43 AM
    Subject: Re: No enrollment.


    Yes, I’m aware of what you do: Home Advisor requires it’s enrollees to grant irrevocable, perpetual license to their business identity. The extent of that licensing agreement (or Terms & Conditions as you call it) is out of balance with the scope of the advertising and referral service. Looks to me like Home Advisor is collecting perpetual licensing agreements for it’s own purposes. I’m glad that I caught that before it was too late.

    Your oblique closing comment, “but we both know that is not the issue” is interesting… What is the issue ?

    **** C****
    ***** ***** Llc

    … and that is the end of the exchange so far, about 7 hours ago and no reply. I’m glad, too, because my initial thought when E*** wished me good luck was to reply, “Luck You, Too.”

    Pressure technique, then a switch to attack after being rebuffed… amateur and unprofessional. It was just like all the posts here said, only because I did not enroll was I spared the experience of paying them to snatch the corporate identity. E*** was not happy, his grammar and spelling fell apart and he printed IN ALL CAPS !!

    When E*** pivoted to “…not a fit for us…” it was right out of the HA playbook: just like the folks on this thread had been treated.

    So, thank you so much for all of your comments. They have been very helpful to me. Getting deep into the Terms & Conditions was the right thing to do, and for all of you that read the excerpt, go back and read the whole thing on the HA site. It is still in force after enrollment. The rest of the agreement is even more alarming. Note the part about the limited screening process on the Contractors; they don’t really even do the vetting process well. Check laws in your state, though, but HA has a pretty firm grip on you and will not be willing to let go. Thanks again to all that enrolled, got hosed, and posted warnings here.

    To those professionals that have yet to enroll with Home Advisor… RUN AWAY and don’t look back.


    Mr. C.

  • I think the “No home advisor for any reason” and “Home Advisor is the best thing ever” people are both wrong. It all depends. I happen to have a perfect experience with home advisor. It all depends on your busness goals, industry and other factors.

    -I happen to have a monopoly in my area for the service I provide. So I get only exact match and don’t have to worry about leads going to other providers. 25% of new clients of mine come from HA.

    I am not a “get a few customers and stop growing” type of business. So for my company its nice to keep getting leads every few days to increase my customer base. Also, durring my startup phase, it also helped allot, as it was as if my business was “turned on”. I got my first lead within a week of starting, and averaged 3-5 a week. (again results will vary by industry) I had 200 customers plus by the end of my first season in business. As my customer base increases I add more capacity.

    The problem in general with the home improvement/maintenance industry, is simply that most individuals are experts in what they do not experts in business. They don’t know to monitor return on investments and so on. I average $2.54 per customer acquired because of home advisor. This seems cheap considering my category charges $18 per lead. But I label my customers by HA lead or referral from HA lead. Although you might spend 18 or even 50 per lead directly, if your work speaks for itself, you can end up with free referrals from that lead. I had 36 customers (from a home owners association) from one single $18 dollar lead. They referred me to the president of the HOA. I think the moral more than just HA, is to have good metrics when assessing the return on investment with advertising efforts. If you make $50 per hour doing your work, and you spent 2 hours going door to door to get one customer, you spent about $100 in your labor getting one customer. Even at $50 per lead, you could have gotten 2 leads for the same capital effort. Just making up numbers to drive home the point that you either have to keep track of the const of all forms of advertising, both in dollars and in time, or hire someone to do that for you.

  • Nestor N. G. July 22, 2014

    Just what I was looking for. Definitely everyone will have different levels of success and failure, but with the information that you provided we have better understanding of what to expect. Great tips to Maximize ROI

  • Action 1 Restoration December 17, 2014

    If you are looking for leads to purchase, one of the best areas is to find a vendor that will offer exclusive leads. You will pay more for your leads as they are exclusive and they will usually be phone call leads vs lead for leads, but they are well worth the higher cost if you are willing to pay for them. There are company’s that charge double Home Advisor’s cost per lead, but since they are phone call leads and exclusive leads, your conversion will be much higher. Also, generally these company’s will not touch your brand name either, which protects your own leads coming into your company. This is just something to think about as a good way to get more leads.. I hope that helps.

    • Ed January 20, 2016

      Can you mention the name of those other sources of leads?


      • Mike at Leadsmasher April 14, 2016

        I work with contractors on an exclusive basis (not Home Advisor style). Feel free to drop me a line if you’d like to talk about generating leads for your contracting business.

        Home Advisor has a pretty bad rep for putting quantity over quality in their service offerings. Treating contractors poorly and charging for unqualified leads are catching up with them. The best thing to do is to do your own SEO or hire a pro to generate calls for you.

  • Tom January 20, 2015

    I’ve used Home Advisor in the past and most here are correct, that they sell leads to multiple clients or you have to pay more to be exclusive. I’ve signed up with a smaller company – MyProHome, which so far has been great, except they limit the amount of leads you get due to quality. So far, I’ve been able to see each lead before purchasing and they can be quite cheap. A basic roofing lead I purchased was only $10. I would recommend finding the competition like MyProHome as the bigger companies appear to sell leads to just about anyone! Happy building, Tom.

  • roi exp July 8, 2015

    To get ha to remove their # on your listings, call and get syndicated exact match removed. There are different settings for exact match

    • brian April 3, 2016

      how?? explain please

  • Gabe July 14, 2015

    What I really find intriguing, is that customers are not even aware of the exact match. Homeadvisor matches me up with customers, that are unaware of exact match. To me its another excuse to charge 20.55 It can be effective, for example, I’ll get a call from HomeAdvisor agent stating, that Mr. Or Mrs. X wants to speak with you. All along the customer doesn’t realize HA is matching them with me. They simply just want to speak with me, which is good, but for HA to say they are an “exact match”, is insane! It’s like when you meet someone on a date, we cant assume wedding bells in the future!! I wont lie it does have it goods too. It just needs to be tweaked. If peopke are just shopping maybe homeadvisor should have a section for “price shopping” and charge a small fee or something, I would pay the small fee for price shopping. Niw if they are ready to hire then thats different. Im just tired of paying for leads that: Dont answer their phone, thst after 5 or 10 calls they finally pick up and say they hired someone else or are not interested. There has to be a better way. There’s been weeks where I make good money. And thats HA MO, they’ll tell you on the phone you gave to yake the good with the bad. If your Coca Cola or AT&T they can afford a loss. We small companies can’t ALWAYS afford it! Does HA give a s**t, most likely not.

  • Keith Simmonds July 19, 2015

    I am a flooring contractor and was disturbed to find Papa’s flooring in my city (and yours).
    Papa’s flooring sneakily extract clients details and pass them to Home Advisor, and HomeYou. Without informing the client that a subcontractor will call, and without telling the flooring contractor that the lead was generated on Papa’s flooring website.
    try subsituting your state and 2 letter code into the address above.

    Also papas drywall repair

  • Raymond August 26, 2015

    Home Advisor charges $20 to $30 PER LEAD, which leads are already serviced by other businesses or given to every competitor in the area. DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME!

  • Shaun September 9, 2015

    So I’ve been in business do sprinkler install/service and repair since 2010. Found this way way way cheaper website and get tons of leads. And have 8 five star reviews all in the 1st month I signed up. It cost $2.80 for the leads. Once I get the lead and I reply to it. I get charged. If they don’t reply to me then I get my money back. I’ve probably made around $6000 in one month from the site. And probably spent about $75 on leads. My budy as a tree service business and he’s blown up from the website. We both said we wish we found this site years ago. It’s called thumb tack dot com You won’t be disappointed!! I’m still going to advertise through home advisors and a few others. But thumb tack is worth every penny by far!! Good luck everyone!

  • Ruddy Richards September 19, 2015

    HA has a new way to screw you around, I get a bogus lead ( not the homeowner or for work I don’t do),I request a credit nd I goes to their internal ” credit review” dept…then they bill me on Friday. That’s BS. They also forgot to tell me that when I turn off my leads and turn em back on…that’s a new “month” to them. The next new trick they have is ” instant booking” the customer tries to set YOUR schedule for the appt. They charge 105.00 for this and it does NOT count in my spend target. I told em no when they asked…they sent me one after that..then tried to say..” Oh No Sir, you opted out AFTER we sent you the lead.” I had to fight em on that. Seem like a biz that says we only deal w/ upright CTRs…sure do some crappy biz practices

  • M Walter October 19, 2015

    I’ve discovered that Home Advisor is scamming their clients. I was phoned by two separate service providers that said they got a lead from them when I did not do so, plus it’s not even applicable (carpet cleaning when I don’t have carpeting). They also had my first name different from what I would use. I informed both companies that they are being charged for leads that are bogus. Since the name they had for me only appears on legal documents, it is my belief that HA buys or obtains homeowner information and gives it to clients so they can charge for non-existent leads. I’m sure they give refunds if asked but I have no doubt they often get away with it because their clients don’t realize it.
    Warning to service companies: because of this fraud, I will not only not use Home Advisor, but I will not trust to use any services they endorse.

  • Kevin October 21, 2015

    I just signed up with HA. Two leads so far, one was another contractor testing the site, HA said they would refund. So far they never charged me for it so I guess that’s good.

    Second lead came in with the customer quoting the flowing:
    “Consumer Comments:
    I am a renter and I could smell the mold in the carpet and closets when I moved in.I need some guidance, the owner doesn’t believe me. I have a lot of symptoms that match mold exposure.Please call me, the problem is how I can afford the testing.”

    You can see in the last sentence she cannot afford to even pay for service. I do mold remediation, this lead wasn’t even requesting mold remediation, only stating a problem she has with her landlord. Pretty sad lead if you can even call it a lead. I called HA, they said they would submit to their refund department for review. Again, there haven’t been any charges for these 2 bogus leads on my credit card statement.

    Thanks for all the other reviews. I’m going to activate my remodel services lead flow. I am a licensed contractor who does mostly insurance related repairs. In my first month of business I am at $50,000 in sales from direct leads from insurance adjusters but I’ve been in this game over 15 years, those leads were earned long before I started my own company.

    Anyway, I will update if I have any success with HA. So far, as long as they don’t charge me for the bogus leads, that’s ok. I feel like if they can send a lead where I can actually do a site inspection, provide a quote, meet the owner, and get a chance to sell my service- the price seems legit if I am doing mold remediation jobs and remodel projects.

    Will keep this thread posted!

    -Kevin R.

    • bill November 24, 2015

      GET as far away, as fast as you can, from this scam. Im a Mechanical contractor they flood you with so called leads and charge you for every one weather you accept them or not, they charge your CC weekly. BEWARE you have been WARNED!!

  • Nick October 27, 2015

    I got a sales call from Home Advisor recently for my junk removal company in WA State. The lady who called said they had lots of junk removal requests in my area and wanted to make sure my business qualifies for HA so that I can use the service. She asked me if I had my general contractor’s license, I told her I don’t because junk removal businesses in my state don’t require a contractor’s license. She said that it IS required. I told her that it is NOT required, explaining that I have a business license and that is all that is required. She kept telling me that it’s required because her “system” says so. I told her to call the state licensing department and confirm that it is not required. She continued to argue with me, acting like she wish she never made this call (bad attitude). She said she would “ask around” at the office and call me back. She never did.

  • Paul December 16, 2015

    I tried Service Magic for one year, This is how it worked out! They was the Pimp and I was the Ho!

    • Anthony May 19, 2016

      Now that is the absolute FUNNIEST & TRUEST thing said on here!! To my fellow small-service entrepreneurs… PLEASE watch your money and ALWAYS protect your investments!! Ohhhhhhh… and stay FAR FAR FAR FAR away from ThumbTack.com!!

  • Jay January 9, 2016

    All lead sites are populated with low quality contractors who are unable to generate their own leads through word of mouth.

  • Mike January 13, 2016

    I started with home advisor to build my company but little did I know when they came to me that I was about to get taken advantage of. I do free estimates and they have sent me all over gods creation to look at jobs but the customer’s are not wanting nothing done but a lot were either wanting land clear cut which I am not a logging company or there was rental where people would go through them send me on a wild goose Chase when it was another tree company but when I figured it out and called them it was an excuse on this and that and I had to still pay for the lead. Not until December I I learned there was a credit program but again little did I know they didn’t care and still want their money and I have only done 4 jobs for home advisor and not one of those jobs was over 100.00. I requested my .money back and refused to give it back so they stole my money and said no refunds. So now I owe them 457.00 for jobs I didn’t do or get much less go price due to the ratious was not I’m my range or close to where I lived. Home advisor will lie to you and make you think everything is ok and that they have your back but ready to make us contractors pay for their mass ups.

    • brian April 3, 2016

      completely agree, they pay to be first in google search and they are ripping off contractors trying to find work by sending same leads to multiple contractors and only one gets the job ( maybe ) and most of the leads are a complete waste of time as most if not all customers ( ha, i use that term loosely ) never return phone calls or emails. they promise to credit you for jobs that don’t pan out, but it never happens. one ha employee that i spoke to on their online chat line said, and i quote, ” oh, i’m sorry but we never refund any money, whoever told you we did was mistaken”. and to the a-holes that say only crappy company’s can’t get this service to work, scru you. i have had my customers for many years ( some for 13 years plus ) and home crapvisor lied to me when i asked if their was any jobs out there. ” o yes, tons of people looking for pros in your category” bs. i have been a professional cleaner / handyman for 28 years and this company takes advantage of struggling company’s and takes even more of their hard earned cash and probably laughs all the way to the bank. they should be put out of business and be forced to give all the millions of dollars they stole from hard working professionals and be forced to call and complain to their own company for days on end as i and i’m sure many pro’s have had to do for days on end. ha is an absolute rip-off, period.

  • Cody February 2, 2016

    HA recently called my company. “We have a water heater we need installed quick its an emergency” When I called in their was no water heater, just wanted a sign up fee with no guarantee of any work. Complete joke and a waste of time imo

  • Thomas February 8, 2016

    When I first set out, I did have word of mouth service. If I didn’t, I would not have set out to begin with. Our work is always of top quality. Even with our price range being equally competitive we would receive our work in waves. Using the former Service magic for leads was a way of maintaining projects in between the waves.
    Yes, we ran into false leads, paid for leads that were tire kickers, annoyed by the fact they presented links and such back to them. We were spending upwards of 2000 per month on leads. These leads paid off and brought additional word of mouth business.
    I would keep a record of all the leads. I downloaded them.
    Every 3 months we sent out flyers to the former leads, about the services we provide. This was a valuable resource to get us started. After 2 years of using the service we stopped. Not because it was not producing, we simply no longer needed the service.
    As I stated, it is not perfect, you will receive false leads from individuals that are only looking, you will receive leads of phone numbers that no one answers or is the wrong number. This is not very common, maybe one or two a month in our case, and yes, it was annoying. But as I said, to help us through the slower periods, it was a nice help.
    Another nice feature was the ability to select specific zipcodes and municipalities to avoid working in areas that we were already familiar with being a “dead” zone. Meaning very few calls are ever serious from the area. We cover a very large area, so the specific locations was important when avoiding false leads.
    We are also a professional company, uniformed, clean rust free vehicles with proper business markers.
    I have seen other contractors that were poorly dressed in ripped blue jeans, greasy shirt, smelling of b.o. and booze in a rusty beat up truck bidding on the same job and was also from service magic/home adviser. ( I have a feeling this is the majority of those that complain) If this sounds like you here is some advice, if you don’t get the job… it is most likely not the service.
    We landed 7 out of 10 leads on average. Those leads generated additional work by word of mouth as well as repeat customers.
    Its all in how you use it, how you market your self, and how you present your self.

  • Randy February 13, 2016

    Home Adv is a rip off I don’t think it is right for them to charge for leads you don’t get and they send leads for summer projects in winter and most people are just price shopping and in addition to the sign up fee I have been charged for 8 leads and not a single job from it. They are the ones making the money some of the leads for painting was 82 bucks. They don’t explain the price that they set for their leads. I have wasted gas going to these price shopping people who have no idea of a cost. If I was to get a job I will be working for free to pay my loss so who really comes out you do the math. People who are in support of this company I wonder if they have been paid or just telling a lie.

  • Tobias Frost February 24, 2016

    I did some research on HA and i have to admit they sorta p*ssed me off with there sales calls to sign me up. I also have had two customers that wanted me to fix mistakes from junky homeadvisor contractors. I guess as a legitimate handyman I don’t really want to be associated with HA

  • Chris D February 25, 2016

    I used Servicemagic 16 years ago and in the beginning as a new handyman service it helped to get established in the first couple of years. Then the service and leads became horrible, just horrible. I spent countless hours on the phone with customer service to get refunds on junk or bad leads. Old leads regenerated and no call backs,including no details the consumer is describing. Here’s their position and the root of the problem. They sell or provide you a lead/ contact info. What happens after that is up to you, regardless you are charged no matter if the lead never responds or its old regenerated, or no description. As far as they are concerned they don’t care. If they send you the lead, you pay for it good bad or ugly, no matter the quality, or if the consumer/lead responds or not, doesn’t matter if the consumer/lead doesn’t fill out any details or description. It doesn’t matter. They claim they sell you the info and what you do with it is up to you. So contractors you take the risk they do not. In other words they have no guarantee and do not stand behind their product. They say we should take the good with the bad. While some or in my case a low percentage is good leads, but it is clear to me the bad far out weigh the good. It took me 30 hours to assess the good and bad leads and for men 1 lead in 16 turned out to be a lead that turned into good business.

    Yes the company Servicemagic had a horrible reputation years ago and they simply changed their name to Home Advisor. I was told time and time again by their sales people begging to have us rejoin as Home Advisor because it was not the old Servicemagic. They are now Home Advisor a new and improved company, now they are different. THEY ARE NOT DIFFERENT, they are exactly the same when it comes to their customer base contractors selling the same shitty regenerated leads, with no description, in correct information, and leads that do not respond and Home Advisor expects their clients to bear all the risks and not guarantee the product they sell. I stated with a $500 budget and in less than 30 hours they slammed me with 16+ crappy leads for over $505 plus $288 for annual membership for a grand total of $793 for one good lead that paid me $690. I promptly canceled and was told my $288 membership fee was not refundable. So do not try this service after you learn exactly how they treat you, because you are bearing all the risks.

  • mark March 1, 2016

    BEWARE OF LIARS, CHEATS, and Thieves

    I signed up with Home Advisor for a second time. the first time was ok, a few bumps and bruises along the way, but I would have given them a 3 star rating in 2013. now they get one star, and if I could give zero stars I would. I signed up for a plan that would send me $300 worth of leads a month. in the first 3 weeks they BOMBARDED ME with $550.00 worth of leads. they say they send this out to 2 other people, but I saw 2 of my leads receive up to SEVEN people, 2 of which were not even for the service I provided (Painting) and they got leads for SNOW REMOVAL – WTF???? really? I called my “rep” (which is only my rep for the first 29 days they say, then they don’t care about you anymore), and all I heard was how horrible his job was, and how he was so overloaded. Save yourself the hassle, and build your own website that generates your leads for a tiny fraction of what home advisor will screw you out of.

  • Scott Lang March 8, 2016

    After a year of disappointments, I ended up cancelling the service. A charge showed up out of nowhere and I was told it was because I cancelled 5 days after the “new billing cycle”. Funny, the first guy (who I’ll call “Slick”) on the phone didn’t explain to me that’s what was going to happen. Oh well, I’ll read my terms of service more carefully next time. Home Advisor didn’t work for me, I’m a guy with a truck. To stop work and chase down leads is not my business model. If you go with them be prepared. Read the contract carefully so you know what to expect.

  • Alexandre Rezende March 18, 2016

    Home Advisor is a JOKE.
    I sing up for a year and I cancel it in 15 days.
    They just like to send Leads for however and for many people they can.
    I’m F. piss with HA. This is scan.
    Thank you guys to share.
    Good Luck!

  • A Customer March 21, 2016

    I called a company “directly” to ask about a project on Friday. It turns out their bookings had been handled by Home Advisor (no one disclosed this during the call to Company X). As a result, I began receiving dozens of calls and emails from different contractors who had details about my job “from Home Advisor”. I finally called Home Advisor and they said Company X had been in their network but was not any longer and they didn’t know why my call was routed to them, but indeed there was a profile for me and they agreed to delete it. They said it would be several days before the calls and emails might stop. So, beware legit businesses, Home Advisor is happy to transmit a job inquiry theoretically called in “directly” to your company to dozens of other contractors who will contact the prospective customer and try to bid it. I am the exact case of that happening. I was stunned at the positive reviews for Home Advisor so I thought I’d come share my experience somewhere that it mattered. And no, there’s no other ratings or referral service that I prefer or recommend. I just had a bad experience with a fake front door to Home Advisor.

  • Brandon March 22, 2016

    Hi my name is Brandon and I’m a sales consultant at HomeAdvisor, let me help to maximize your amount of potential customers. We can get you the leads in the area you want to make money in and get you in front of more homeowners. Email me at B.Killings@homeadvisor.com or call me directly at 719-624-2387 thanks and we look forward to working with you.

  • Nik March 28, 2016

    HomeAdvisor gets it’s leads by simply paying to show up first on Google searches. So, when someone searches “Home Remodeling Company Atlanta, GA” – HA will pay a couple bucks to show up #1 on Google. The consumer searching (AKA the Lead) clicks on HA. So, this lead that HA just paid a couple dollars for, they turn around and sell the same lead to 5 different companies for $30+ each. (Price of lead depending on industry).

    I work for the Berry Company, we sell the same program HomeAdvisor uses to show up first on Google. It is called an SEM campaign. Basically, what you do is select zip codes to target, and keywords to target. So if you are a plumber, you target words such as emergency plumber, plumbing contractor in ____, best plumber near me, etc etc. Then, we make your company show up first on Google to generate more calls and leads. This is EXACTLY what HA does.

    The three biggest pro’s with this compared to HomeAdvisor are –

    1) The lead goes to you AND ONLY YOU. No other company gets the same lead
    2) The lead is calling you, instead of you having to race to call them and hope to be the first lead. Also, sometimes contractors purchase a lead – and call them, but they do not answer -wasting money. This eliminates that issue as well.
    3) The closing rate goes WAY UP, as you are the only company getting the lead, and since the middle man (HomeAdvisor) is cut out – that helps a ton as well.

    The packages start at $350 per month and go up, from that we see an average of 15-25 leads the first month (remember these are leads that you only get, they are calling you, and they are searching for specific services you offer) and that increases as the months go on. The reason being the campaign is critiqued as the hours, days, weeks & months go on to make sure it is getting better and better.

    If you want to learn more, please email or call me – I can do a phone consultation or a webinar to show you how the SEM program works, and how simply it is to cut out Home Advisor. My contact information is below.

    859 444 2194
    937 610 4167

  • John April 2, 2016

    This company does not understand the word no I am not interested. they call and harass me constantly with emails and calling me at all on hours when I told him repeatedly I’m not interested I am a solo handyman person and I am busy beyond belief and I do know I need anymore work. BI think this is a scam and I will be contacting certain people to make sure that they stop calling

  • Dale April 11, 2016

    Thanks to all above for taking the time to chime in….I haven’t signed on with them but they do have my company information….should I be worried that they’ll use my info even though I haven’t signed on with them?

  • Bo May 5, 2016

    The biggest problem is that – like Angie’s & others – there’s no PRO (architect or engineer) that has inspected the worker enough to qualify him as a good referral. The only criteria is that they are in the club via cash investment.
    Now when considering a good worker, they have a good enough reputation or good worker friends – both helping them get jobs foe free.
    On the other side of this coin, consider that any jerk might be the worker’s client, since they get referred to him for free. Better to get a client/Owner from a friend or past client that liked your work.
    Spend your hard earned money with your local BBB – that’s the place everyone knows deals in honesty and holds the tools to negotiate disputes & settlements via trade-savvy volunteers.

  • Emmy May 11, 2016

    Stay away from Home Advisor! These guys think its funny to harass contractors that refuse to buy from them. I politely refused multiple times and finally had to ask for a supervisor which they laughed and refused to let me speak to and finally after multiple smart rude comments and an out right refusal to let me speak to a supervisor I am having to contact the better business Bureau to take care of this. I in no way want affiliated with these people and have my customers treated this way. And to think with the non stop harassment rude behavior profanity and multiple hang ups to annoy intentionally they ask people for a ss number to do background checks. This is scary. I can only imagine what they do with personal information. Please don’t have anything to do with these people its a nightmare getting away from them.

  • nick May 12, 2016

    I’m getting a bobcat skid steer and I’m gonna be doing land clearing and stump grinding an also a little dirt work? would anyone recommend
    HA to help me start and grow?

  • Richard May 16, 2016

    I think Home Advisors is a scam. I signed up and paid my 200+ member dues on a Fri.afternoon .That Sunday got my bank account hit for fee. Wasn’t suppose to get leads yet. Continued to get phone calls from customers, H.A. weren’t doing there job but were still hitting my bank account. Called them about it, they won”t give the money back only credit. That”s thief in my understanding. Shame on them!

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