FTC fines HomeAdvisor $7.2 million for deceptive & misleading tactics

Federal Trade Commission FTC

HomeAdvisor, a Denver-based company that provides home improvement project leads to service providers—including small businesses operating in the “gig” economy—will pay $7.2 million to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

In March 2022, the FTC issued an administrative complaint against HomeAdvisor– a company affiliated with Angi, formerly known as “Angie’s List” – that alleged that HomeAdvisor used deceptive and misleading tactics in selling its leads.

Specifically, the FTC charged that since at least mid-2014 HomeAdvisor had made false, misleading, or unsubstantiated claims about the quality and source of the leads the company sells to service providers who are in search of potential customers.

The agency also alleged that HomeAdvisor often told service providers that its leads result in jobs at rates much higher than it can substantiate.

The FTC alleged that HomeAdvisor’s sales agents misrepresented that an optional one-month mHelpDesk subscription was free.

Following a public comment period, the FTC has finalized a consent order against HomeAdvisor, settling the allegations. As part of the settlement, HomeAdvisor will pay up to $7.2 million for redress.

The final order also prohibits the company from making any false or misleading claims regarding its leads, including that they concern individuals who are ready to hire a service provider or who submitted a request for home services directly to HomeAdvisor.

The FTC’s lead staff attorney on the HomeAdvisor matter was Sophia H. Calderón of the FTC’s Northwest Region. The Commission vote approving the final consent order and response to public commenters was 3-0.

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