Lawsuit questions extent to which HomeAdvisor screens ‘approved’ contractors

homeadvisor

This is the third lawsuit related to Home Advisor in the Denver area in over a year. (Screenshot)

A recent lawsuit questions the extent to which Denver-based HomeAdvisor screens contractors listed on the company’s website.

Aurora and Denver residents Carmen, Janis and Sean Wescott sued the company in Denver District Court this month, alleging HomeAdvisor featured Front Range Flooring and Remodeling LLC as a “HomeAdvisor Screened & Approved” contractor, despite the fact that Front Range’s owner is a felon and the company has been sued multiple times over allegedly shoddy work.

“HomeAdvisor either entirely failed to perform, failed to adequately perform, or blatantly ignored the results of, its purportedly comprehensive screening process” when it came to Front Range, the lawsuit reads.

HomeAdvisor declined to comment for this story, but noted it describes its screening process on its website.

Front Range and owner Serafim Dimitri Sofias also are named as defendants in the lawsuit, which was filed Aug. 1.

Reached by phone Thursday, a representative of Front Range, who declined to identify himself, took a reporter’s contact information and indicated he might hear from an attorney representing the company. No one called as of press time.

In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs say they hired Front Range to remodel an Englewood home after seeing the company listed on HomeAdvisor’s website, and paid Front Range approximately $200,000 between March and May of this year.

The plaintiffs allege that “the vast majority” of items for which Front Range was paid “were never completed at all or were done in an improper, negligent, fraudulent, or unsatisfactory manner,” and that the company “caused extensive water damage.”

The plaintiffs claim they repeatedly asked Front Range and owner Sofias to provide architectural plans, a copy of the company general contractor license and proof that permits had been issued for the work, but that the company never provided them and Sofias “became verbally abusive and aggressive” when approached about the issues.

The plaintiffs say in the lawsuit that they eventually learned Front Range had not obtained the necessary permits for the work from Englewood, and that they believe Front Range is not licensed to perform construction work anywhere in Colorado.

The plaintiffs allege Sofias is a convicted felon, and that HomeAdvisor had to have known about previous lawsuits against the company alleging “construction defects and negligence” because HomeAdvisor was also a defendant in at least two of the lawsuits.

“HomeAdvisor knew, from both its involvement in the aforementioned lawsuits and from the public information set forth above, that Sofias was a serial fraudster and con artist who had made a career of bilking home owners of their money,” the lawsuit reads.

The lawsuit accuses HomeAdvisor and Front Range of negligence and fraud, among other counts. Attorneys Vikrama Chandrashekar and Eric Liebman of Moye White are representing the plaintiffs.

HomeAdvisor is also being sued by a number of contractors who allege that the customer leads the company sells are “overwhelmingly bogus,” and by Denver radio host Tom Martino, who alleges that the company committed copyright infringement in select search engine ads. Neither case has been resolved, according to court records.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated after initial publication with the names of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs.

homeadvisor

This is the third lawsuit related to Home Advisor in the Denver area in over a year. (Screenshot)

The plaintiffs say the company they hired after seeing it featured on HomeAdvisor is owned by a felon and has been sued multiple times over shoddy work.

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12 Comments

James Cullen

Was with home advisor on several occasions over years. Always stopped using for the same reasons. Too many leads sent to one location, suppose to be up to three. Home advisor also cross leads from Angies list and others. So yes home advisor might look to have sent three pros but also sells the lead off to others. Over and over customers have pointed this out and even taken the time to show me. They also auto renew the subscription, which is ok to a point. Until you find out its like jumping through hoops to quit. Its either you didn’t call in time Or talk to the right person. Scam. Only allowed to dispute so many fake leads. They give you one a month pretty much. Even if you call in and do a three way call with a supervisor on a line to reach a bogus lead ,you have to reach that lead. How’s it possible to reach a FAKE lead. Three to four a month at nearly $30 each. GREAT SCAM. Literally went to the homes of a few of these leads and when able to get a response homeowners denied ever doing or going on home advisor. Just a bad company. Too many shady situations to make any contractor comfortable using them. As for the background checks I don’t know. Always had to wait to start.

Mike R

I used Home Advisor as a contractor. It didn’t take long for me to realize what a scam they are. Luckily for my customers that I’m an honest, transparent, quality contractor. My background is clean and drug free, but they signed me right up without factchecking us. After they robbed all they could out of us with fake bogus leads we pulled away from them. I wouldn’t recommend them to consumers or contractors. They were bought out by another well known competitor, so they are one and the same now. Same deception, different name. They should be brought up on charges for theft and fraud.

davebarnes

People actually believed HomeAdvisor was vetting contractors?
The only vetting they do is: “did the [pay for advertising] check clear?”
Next you will tell me that HomeAdvisor does not nuke negative reviews.

Yelp is not perfect, but it is better.

Mike L

Interesting feedback. I know for a fact that pros are screened by a separate team during the service pro procurement process. Some license checks are even done as a call to the county. I’ve seen this in person. Home Advisor is a reputable company feeding a great industry.
Sure, the model of pay per leads may be more expensive than personal sourcing, but it’s a great way to bring a steady amount of work to newly growing and even substantial businesses.

Jonathan Prince

All home advisor does is verify that the contractor has a current, valid license. The homeowner can do that for free, online and in under two minutes with nothing more than a name.

Sadri kortoci

If a company on United States deserves to be shut down entirely is Home ADVISORY .They have made monopoly lead generation for contractors and they are fake leads on 100 leads more than 40-60% are not good leads and even that HOME ADVISORY after staying for like 30-1 hr to get them on phone with costumer service they don’t even care for any credit back ,just time to get them on phone time to go over the leads is un payed time also if you don’t call on certain times even the lead is fake they dont even consider giving you credit and each contractor has to call for same lead if the lead has bad phone nr thats the only time u may get credit ,as fare SCREENING as they put ads on TV thats false ect ect .

Steve C.

Had the same experience with home advisor, fake leads, people who only wanted to know what a service would cost, one woman told me that I was the 7th person to call from home advisor, and that she used Angies list originally. It time for another class action suit from the Federal general attorneys office.

Steve C

Mike L. you are a dreamer, the parent company should never had been allowed to buy both home advisor and Angies List. Little bird told me they are looking into buying out two or three other companys.

Gregg Cantor

Home Adviser is a notorious pay to play lead generation service who sells homeowner information to third parties. Interested consumers needing services immediately get inundated with calls and emails from providers. I shopped Home Adviser as a homeowner and have proof of their lack of screening and vetting contractors. One of the companies who solicited me was unlicensed. Unfortunately due Home Advisers massive marketing campaigns, many consumers suffer damages.

Wayne Sary

As a homeowner I can tell you that I was totally ripped by a contractor that arrived at my home shortly after I searched online for a local contractor for concrete work. I was told by these inept contractors that home advisor sent them. I am an elderly man with serious health issues and cannot handle the stress of people taking advantage of me. These contractors did not in any way shape or form provide me with professional work. I am presently paying to undo their mess that became mine. When I complained to home advisor they told me I had to go through arbitration with these scoundrels. My health would not allow me to pursue such a lengthy adventure with those who still make my blood boil at the thought of them. When I asked home advisor what the word” advisor” meant to them I could not get answer. Since then, I have talked with others who have received inadequate services through home advisor. I would really like to be part of a class action lawsuit for homeowners.

Gregg Cantor

I wanted to follow up after my last comment about Home Advisor. There was a comment here from another consumer ripped off by Home Advisor who wants to be part of a class action suit. I encourage you to speak out about this service. They should not be allowed to advertise as an “Advisor” or claim to provide screened and vetted contractors without standing behind consumers.

There are other national referral services like Angie’s List, Build Zoom, Pro Referral by Home Depot, Yelp and Houzz. There are paid and free profiles through these sites. Either way, don’t count on there being much in the way of vetting or screening of pros.

Here is a post that will help provide clarity about some of the services:
https://murraylampert.com/the-good-and-bad-of-home-contractor-referral-services/

As a design – build firm in San Diego for 44 years, we don’t pay lead generation services for prospects. The only directory we subscribe to is Houzz only for visibility and to feature our firm. Many of these services are paid a commission by the contractor. As a consumer beware because the lead fees are probably being tacked on to the price by the companies who subscribe to these services and you are paying for it.

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