Over the years I have talked to thousands of customers, and one of my first questions is how did they hear about us or what other sites did they use to find contractors? The typical response is they used places like Google or Yelp. Every so often we hear customers saying they found us Angi or Home Advisor.
Why are consumers using Home advisor or Angie’s List (AKA Angi)? Mainly because when you get online some of the first ads that pop up are Angi and Homeadvisor. Angi spends an obscene amount of money on SEO and marketing!
This does not mean that Angi and Home Advisor are honest or a reliable platform for referrals! In fact, Angi got their BBB revoked and got an F on BBB rating and this has happened in the few years since their merger with Home Advisor. Read some of the reviews on BBB for Angi. How could the contractors be reliable and trustworthy when a company has had over 2000 over complaints! The most in BBB HISTORY!!! To be revoked you have to do the unthinkable!
The type of contractors that are on Angi’s are bottom of the barrel! In fact, the reviews that are written on Angi or Home Advisor are not even pre-screened like they are on Google or Yelp. Anyone can leave a company a review and most of the reviews are fake. Google goes through a very thorough verification process to screen the users and blocking any suspicious reviews – Angi does not.
What’s even worse, is if you have a bad review and you are an “Angi Certified” the company will remove the bad reviews at your request. This is why so many people have perfect 5-star reviews on their profiles within Angi. Google does not even have a department for such disputes and their algorithms are so advances it will even detect spam or fake reviews.
The sales people at Angi and Homeadvisor are ruthless and they get paid commission. They do not care how or who uses their platform! They will give any contractor a “Angi certified” stamp with the right amount of money. They lock their contractors in for thousands of dollars of leads with a secret annual contract that you are not allowed to breach or you will be penalized with 40% fees! Yes, to cancel service you would pay 40% of your contract agreement! So if your agreement is $2000 a month (which may seem like a lot) but considering each lead is $200 its really only 10 leads a month! If you decide to cancel after the first month you have to pay 40% of $22,000 which is almost $9,000.
As a contractor they promise you will only compete against 1 or 2 other companies, but I tested this for myself. I had 10 contractors calling me for a week straight! As a customer they literally dump your number into a pool of hungry contractors and you are bombarded with calls for weeks straight. You get so overwhelmed that you dont know who to call.
What you fail to understand as a customer using Angi’s platform to hire contractors, is that all of these contractors are unreputable, unqualified and do not have the experience or real feedback (fake reviews) that they claim they do. They are suckered into signing contracts with Angi and then have to fight for every single bid they can do. This makes it almost impossible to sift out the chaff from the wheat.
The People of the State of California v. HomeAdvisor Inc (now better known as Angi)
The following describes a pending government action that has been formally brought by a government agency but has not yet been resolved. We are providing a summary of the government’s allegations, which have not yet been proven. On March 14, 2018, the San Francisco District Attorney has entered a complaint for permanent injunction, civil penalties, restitution, and other equitable relief against HomeAdvisor Inc. et al. The complaint alleges that HomeAdvisor used radio and television ads that misled consumers into thinking service personnel hired through the platform have all passed criminal background checks. The district attorney is seeking a permanent injunction that would require the defendants to stop making false and misleading statements, as well as civil penalties and restitution.
BBB files indicate that this business has a pattern of complaints concerning product, refund, customer service and billing issues. Complaints submitted to BBB allege the following:
A company that has this many issues, will send you unqualified contractors. Because if they are continuing to fake the leads and like noted above “poor” quality leads that means as a consumer what you will get is a “service pro” that is either not qualified to do the work, or is desperate because he is a new business or a business that cannot create his own business reputation outside of ANGI. We have also heard from customers that many of the bad reviews that they have left contractors have been disputed and removed. Its very similar to using ebay. When you leave a some bad feedback, Ebay will make you jump through so many loopholes for this bad feedback to stick, most consumers just give up because it isnt worth the hassle.
So why are people using Angi and HomeAdvisor? Well, its because they are a huge company, and people think because of their size they must be reputable right? Wrong. HomeAdvisor is a company that was once called Service Magic. This company use to call us hundreds of times a month in hopes of selling us their leads. This was back in the mid 2000’s. However, Service Magic was sued in a class action lawsuit about shady business practices. In fact, they were selling leads to contractors that were not even real. And they would tell all contractors that they were only selling the leads to 3-4 contractors at a time. However, they even the real leads they would send alerts to hundreds of contractors and as soon as a lead would be sent they would collect a commission. This wasnt a small commission of $1-15 that google charges. It was a whopping $100-150 per lead depending on what category you were in. That means if they send the same lead to 50 contractors they could make potentially $7500 off of one lead. This was extremely unethical and the FTC stepped in and shut them down.
Service Magic went through a massive class action lawsuit and in just a few short years, they re-branded and became HomeAdvisor. They spent more money on internet traffic and marketing, and spread their horizons to television. However, their business practices did not change. They continued to do the same things, like sending leads to multiple contractors the only difference is, now they send leads to unqualified contractors to make up the difference in what they used to make. Because the FTC limited the amount of clients one lead could be sent to and restricted any fake leads. HomeAdvisor decided to use their abrasive sleazy cold calling telemarketer skills to lure in new businesses. In fact, most contractors that are on HomeAdvisor have no real internet presence and have only been in business for 1-2 years. Home advisor targets mainly new business owners and they rarely go after contractors that have been in business 10-20+ years. Just visit the Better Business Bureau and look up Home Advisor – they have over 1000 reviews most of which are a 1-star. This is right off the BBB website about HomeAdvisor:
In fact the state of California is suing HomeAdvisor yet again!