Home Advisor is a national lead generation company formerly know as Service Magic. They developed a very bad reputation among service contractors which may have lead to the name change in 2012.
If you are a homeowner considering using Home Advisor contractors for your next service project, you may want to think twice before choosing them. Just by submitting a potential project for bid, Home Advisor generates anywhere from $40-$200 by selling your information to up to 5 contractors. The tradesmen that purchase these leads are generally new in business and looking for work. Contractors have a very high fail rate for the first few years of business, when selecting a water heater professional you should look for a plumber that has been in business at least 3 years.
Home Advisor has been accused of deceptive advertising practices for ignoring license requirements on the County level. Home Advisor ensures that the contractors are pre-screened and licensed. However, for such jobs as installing a water heater that require a plumbing license, they match homeowners up with non licensed contractors. Home Advisor creates hundreds of individual websites that target specific zip codes and counties throughout the US. While they are able to invest the time to create manage a website targeting a specific service in a specific city, they are not willing to invest the time to check with the County building license requirements. Not only is this a disservice to the homeowners using Home Advisor, but they also flood the market with contractors that are not appropriately licensed or insured driving down a fair labor rate.
Home Advisor has targeted my specific market by setting up a fake website that appears to be a real business specializing in water heater installation, the site is called “Water Heater Pros”. They have several URL’s setup that are targeting specific cities and zip codes in my area. When you call the number for the business it redirects you to Home Advisor.