As many of you know, HomeAdvisor has been blitzing the airwaves with their service to find contractors for home improvement projects. So it was not unreasonable that we try them out when we found that we had 3 projects that we wanted carried out while we were on vacation last summer and our dog boarded so he wasn’t in their way.
We’ll tell you about our 3 contractors (2 great, one not) our experiences with HomeAdvisor and how contractors feel about dealing with them.
The floors and rugs: excellent job
We had our hardwood floors redone about 20 years ago and the finish has begun to wear off, and dirt was ground into the heavily trafficked areas. We interviewed 3 contractors and settled on one of the more expensive ones, because they would move and replace all the furniture. Since we were redoing 4 rooms, there was no way we could to it for them because there just wasn’t room for all the furniture in the other rooms. The contractor we selected, Custom Floor Installations of Lake Carmel, NY, did an excellent job in all respects. We returned from vacation to beautiful new-looking floors, with all the furniture where it belonged. Five Stars.
Since we were having the floors redone, we also wanted two oriental carpets cleaned as well, and we hired Poohbear Rug Cleaning (also known as PJ’s) to take the carpets away and return them when we came back. They picked them up the day before we left, and brought them back the weekday after we returned. The rugs were clean and they put them back in place perfectly. Also Five Stars.
We also decided to have our asphalt driveway sealed: another job best done when the dog is away. From three contractors, we selected Driveway Doctor of Bridgeport, explaining that we wanted the work done during the second week we were away. Scott quoted a fairly low price and promised to patch several holes with asphalt before sealing, and do it during the second week. He didn’t. In fact, he called that week to ask how our vacation had been. He hadn’t started and thought we were back. I told him it needed to be done by that Saturday when we returned. It wasn’t.
In fact, when we called and left messages on the phone number on the HomeAdvisor web site, he never returned our calls. We finally contacted HomeAdvisor, who both called him and gave us his cell phone number. He finally showed up to do the asphalt patching a week later. Then we had to call to remind him that he still needed to seal the driveway. This took 2 more weeks, but when his driveway worker showed up, he didn’t first seal the cracks/ When we pointed that out, he promised to come back and do that and reseal over the cracks.
Our review vanished
He never came. In fact, after two more calls, it was apparent that he wasn’t coming back. So, we went to post a One Star review on Home Advisor. However, there was no sign on HomeAdvisor that we had hired him, so we created a review anyway. Our review was never posted. Since it was a One Star review, HA noted in a popup that they may call me to check on the report. They didn’t. And the review still hasn’t been posted.
A few weeks later, we got an Email from HomeAdvisor reminding us that we’d get a $50 credit if we hired 3 contractors. Of course, we had hired 3 contractors, but either HA or Scott had deleted records of that third contract, because he had never completed it satisfactorily. We contacted them to point that out, but they never responded.
It looks like there are very few negative reviews on HA, because they can be (and have been) deleted. This tends to skew the ratings, and makes me suspicious of the entire enterprise.
What do contractors think?
It doesn’t take much effort to find a site that reviews businesses like HomeAdvisor, and the reviews at SiteJabber are really very negative indeed. Contactors complain about being billed for bad leads, and referrals that are irrelevant to their business. So you might very well be ones of those bad referrals and the people you talk to might not even be in the business you are looking for.
We think there are better services to use than HomeAdvisor, and would never use them again.