Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has finalized a consent order against Denver-based HomeAdvisor, Inc. – a company affiliated with Angi, formerly known as “Angie’s List” – settling allegations that it used a wide range of deceptive and misleading tactics in selling home improvement project leads to service providers, including small businesses operating in the “gig” economy.
The FTC’s March 2022 administrative complaint against HomeAdvisor charged that since at least mid-2014 it 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 complaint also alleged that HomeAdvisor often told service providers that its leads result in jobs at rates much higher than it can substantiate. Finally, the complaint alleged that HomeAdvisor’s sales agents misrepresented that the optional one-month mHelpDesk subscription was free.
In addition to requiring that HomeAdvisor pay up to $7.2 million for redress, the final order 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 Commission vote approving the final consent order and response to public commenters was 3-0. The lead staff attorney on the HomeAdvisor matter was Sophia H. Calderón of the FTC’s Northwest Region.