Kane In Your Corner: User complaints against HomeAdvisor reference website

Posted: Updated:
HIGHTSTOWN -

A website that promises to prescreen home improvement professionals is racking up complaints from homeowners and contractors alike, a Kane In Your Corner investigation finds. 

Danielle Belly says she paid over $900 to a company called Allstate Dependable for a roof repair that was never done. Belly says she trusted the contractor because she was referred by HomeAdvisor, a service that claims it screens and approves home improvement pros. 

When Allstate Dependable’s roofing crew arrived at her home in Hightstown, Belly says “I’d hear banging noises and I’d assume that’s what it sounded like when a shingle was being nailed down.” But the next day, when she asked a friend to inspect the work, he told her nothing had been done. She sued the contractor and won a judgment but has been unable to collect. She’s upset with both the contractor, and with HomeAdvisor for referring them.

“They need to do a lot more research into the companies they’re backing and putting their brand on,” Belly says.

Belly is just one of hundreds of homeowners who feels that way. 

Last year, Kane In Your Corner told the story of Anibal Perez, who hired a company called Above All Construction and Sealcoating to redo his driveway. “I paid them $2,500, and after that, I never heard from them,” Perez says.

Perez was also referred to his contractor by HomeAdvisor. The company’s comprehensive screening process apparently missed the fact that Above All Construction’s official business address was a campsite in Flanders. By the time Kane In Your Corner arrived, a campground employee said “they kind of up and left, ran from here in the middle of the night.”

Above All Construction has since had its license revoked by the state. Perez is still out his money.  

The Better Business Bureau of Colorado, where HomeAdvisor is based, reports it has gotten over 1,000 complaints about the company. While hundreds are from homeowners, the BBB says more than half are actually from contractors who paid to be part of the service. “They’re telling us things like they did not expect to pay for the leads that they’re getting, or the leads that they’re getting are sometimes duplicate or invalid,” says Krista Ferndelli of the BBB of Denver/Boulder. Despite the complaints, the BBB gives HomeAdvisor a “B” rating, saying complaints have decreased and the company generally makes a good faith effort to resolve them.

Brooke Gabbart, a HomeAdvisor spokesperson, says, “We use the best tools to screen the owners or principals of a business,” adding, “We will remove pros from the network if they do not cooperate with our conflict resolution team or if they have a pattern of poor reviews.” Belly, however, contends it took “an extraordinary amount of time” for HomeAdvisor to remove Allstate Dependable from its network after she complained.

Allstate Dependable is now shut down. Its former owner did not return messages.

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