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Remodelers Sue HomeAdvisor, Claiming They Got ‘Bogus’ Leads

Plaintiffs claim digital marketplace concealed information about its services and charged thousands of dollars for worthless contact info.

Combined logos of HomeAdvisor and Angie's List

Home improvement companies from eight states have filed suit against HomeAdvisor, alleging the digital marketplace misrepresented its services, provided illusory leads, and engaged in deceptive and fraudulent sales practices with home service provider members.

The plaintiffs seek class-action status for the lawsuit, which was filed July 16 in U.S. District Court in Denver. All eight plaintiffs joined HomeAdvisor between August 2014 and August 2017. During that time, HomeAdvisor added nearly 100,000 paying home service providers and grew its total number of providers to 181,000.

In their suit, the plaintiffs are requesting compensation for actual and punifit damages and an injunction to prohibit HomeAdvisor from continuing its alleged wrongful conduct.

In response, a HomeAdvisor spokeperson told REMODELING: “We don’t comment specifically on pending litigation. We strive to create a positive, successful environment for our customers, service professionals, and employees. We take all concerns seriously, and take action as appropriate.”

The Pennsylvania-based attorneys representing the eight plaintiffs, Chimcles & Tikellis, specialize in class action lawsuits. In 2016, Chimcles & Tikellis filed a lawsuit on behalf of three home service professionals against IAC and HomeAdvisor. The previous lawsuit also targeted HomeAdvisor’s lead generation and the case is still ongoing.

Attorneys for the remodelers named in the suit say the plaintiffs’ allegations were corroborated by more 880 current and former HomeAdvisor members. The initial court filing also includes accounts from seven former HomeAdvisor employees who, the filing says, allege the fraudulent nature of the company’s business model and suggest illegal activity took place at the company’s Colorado headquarters.

HomeAdvisor is a digital marketplace that advertises connecting homeowners with local service professionals. The company is a subsidiary of internet and media company InterActiveCorp. In 2017, HomeAdvisor merged with Angie’s List to form ANGI Homeservices, the world’s largest digital marketplace for home services.

HomeAdvisor advertises “ready-to-hire” homemakers, “qualified leads,” and “highly targeted prospects” for its members, the suit says. The plaintiffs allege most of the leads they were charged for by HomeAdvisor were “bogus.” The plaintiffs claim to have been charged for leads with disconnected phone numbers, incorrect contact information, involved people who were not homeowners or never requested services through HomeAdvisor, were stale leads from previously completed projects, or were contacts for vacant or non-existent residences.

One plaintiff alleges receiving 28 leads in a month and had only two progress to jobs.

The lawsuit also alleges that members are not informed in advance how much they will pay for each customer lead; the fee ranges between $10 and $140. The court filing claims the majority of HomeAdvisor leads are generated through third-party affiliates and not by HomeAdvisor itself. The lawsuit also asserts that members are unable to turn off leads to avoid lead payments and that HomeAdvisor leaves canceled members’ profiles on their website, redirecting stale leads to current members.

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Harbor Freight – Making a difference for High Schools and the Skilled Trades

Harbor Freight Tools for Schools - Logo
We think high school skilled trades teachers are worth a million bucks. Actually, we think they’re priceless. And that’s why we’re excited to announce that we’ve doubled this year’s Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence to $1 million!

A few months ago, I shared with you stories of the amazing skilled trades high school teachers who won last year’s prize. We were so inspired by their commitment and passion for teaching that we wanted to do more. This year, we’re awarding more than $1 million in prizes to even more outstanding skilled trades teachers and their public high schools.

Three first-place winners and their schools will receive $100,000 ($30,000 to the teacher or teacher team, and $70,000 to their high school’s skilled trades program), and 15 second-place winners will receive $50,000 ($15,000 to the teacher or teacher team, and $35,000 to their high school’s skilled trades program).

We’ve seen firsthand the impact that skilled trades teachers in this country are making in the lives of students. They’re teaching them how to repair cars, how to weld, how to build houses, how to install electrical systems and plumbing, the list goes on and on. These educators are giving our young people tangible skills that lead to great jobs after high school graduation.

Skilled trades teachers are heroes, and it’s time to recognize them. If you’re a skilled trades teacher at a U.S. public high school, please apply. And if you know a great skilled trades teacher, please forward this message to them and encourage them to apply.

Applications are open now through July 6 at hftforschoolsprize.org. Stay up to date on the latest prize news on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

We can’t wait to shine a spotlight on the great work that these teachers are doing!

Sincerely,

Eric Smidt
Founder
Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, LLC

Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, LLC, is an affiliate of The Smidt Foundation
For more information, please visit:  https://harborfreighttoolsforschools.org/.