News 5 Investigates is asking how the Colorado-based company “HomeAdvisor” manages to maintain a nearly perfect rating with the Better Business Bureau despite hundreds of negative reviews and more than 1,400 complaints.
HomeAdvisor is no stranger to controversy. Earlier this year, the District Attorney in San Francisco sued the company over “deceptive” television advertisements.
The Better Business Bureau has been known for decades to help people find reputable businesses by publishing information to help consumers make educated decisions.
The consumer “watchdog” launched a scam tracker app, posts consumer reviews, complaints, and even gives businesses a score from “A” to “F”.
However, if you turn to the BBB for information on HomeAdvisor, you’ll likely notice some of the complaints against the company are “hidden” from public view.
Dmitry Lipinkskiy, owner of Roofing Insights, recently published this YouTube video questioning the BBB rating system.
Comparison between HomeAdvisor and My Pillow:
BBB-accredited business; A- Rating
766 customer reviews and 1-star “rating”
1,407 complaints in the last 3 years
Not a BBB-accredited business; F Rating
474 customer reviews and 3-star “rating”
254 complaints in the last 3 years
Despite having less complaints and less negative reviews, My Pillow has earned itself an “F” rating.
News 5 Investigates noticed most of the recent complaints against My Pillow are publicly available, but multiple complaints against HomeAdvisor are “hidden”.
We asked the BBB about why some complaints are not visible to the public and received this response:
The complaints in question are in between phases of our complaint process; to publish the content of those, we first have read through and redact all personally identifiable information. We aim to have all complaints published within 2 weeks after they have been closed out in our process. What you see are the placeholders of those forth-coming complaints. You can rest assured anything within our purview will appear for all the interested public to read, and go back through complaints on older pages to see the details of all complaints closed before mid-October.
Since our initial inquiry to the BBB about missing or “hidden” complaints, some of the complaints are now public. Others are still “under review” and we’ll let you know when they are published.
As far as the BBB grading system is concerned, we learned it’s possible for a business to get a lower rating even if it has less complaints than another similar size business.
How is that possible?
The BBB says there are other factors that play into their scorecard system. The “A-F” letter grade system doesn’t solely rely on a total number of complaints or bad reviews. The BBB takes into account whether companies respond to those complaints in a timely manner and show a good-faith effort to resolve the problem.
You can read more about the BBB grading system here.
HomeAdvisor declined to comment on Lipinskiy’s YouTube video, but did issue the following statement regarding the complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau:
For more than 20 years, we have been focused on the best interest of our customers. We have a robust team that offers a problem-resolution service to any customer who reaches out about any problem.
Regarding the lawsuit filed by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office which alleges HomeAdvisor used deceptive advertising practices, the company issued the following statement:
We are committed to ensuring HomeAdvisor customers receive a best-in-class experience from our network of skilled service professionals. This legal matter is solely about how our background-check program is described in our advertising, not the merits of our rigorous background-check process, which leverages leading third-party services in combination with our own proprietary technologies. We disagree with the claims made in this case and have appealed the order. We continue to ensure that our advertising remains fair and accurate. We encourage all of our customers to learn more about HomeAdvisor’s background check process by visiting this link.