There wasn't nearly enough information on the internet or booking process for using HomeAdvisor and I want to be the one to shed light to help others in similar shoes. If you have never booked with HomeAdvisor this is a bit of a what is going on for beginners that I wish I had when I started.
A month ago I was looking for someone to do the first mow of the season on our tiny side yard. It was fairly overgrown and neglected so it needed some professional help. Unfortunately all the businesses I had reached out to were booked solid for weeks. We needed the yard taken care of ASAP for a home inspection at the end of the week. In my digging through the various sites, I guess the HomeAdvisor group had managed to get my contact and called me. The sales person was kind and seemed knowledgeable. He signed me up for the membership and said someone would be out to do the yard the same week, and gave me the day and time.
At this point I didn't know anything about how they work and actually thought it was a lawncare group that I was talking to. Which it wasn't... it was the sales person for HomeAdvisor following leads.
When the day rolled around I heard nothing until an hour before the scheduled time. Then I got a notification along the lines of "no one accepted your project, it has been rescheduled for two weeks from now" I was pretty confused since I thought someone had already been confirmed to show up, since that's what the sales person had made it seem. I called support and a kind lady gave me a discount and moved the project to the end of the week. Which also did not get filled and auto moved the project date... again...
Since I really needed the work done that week, I used Task Rabbit to get the yard taken care of for the inspection. It was same day work and was three times what I would have paid through any other service.
I still had the open project on my profile, now with a new date a few weeks out. In the following week, after all the shifting of the schedules, I was getting notifications of potential businesses wanting to talk about my project. By time I was able to explore these links, they weren't active anymore. But from what I gathered, they were people using HomeAdvisor to get leads.
The biggest confusions I have had with this process how to book and who to pay. After seeing that businesses were reaching out and there were contractors listed, I had then assumed that no one had filled my project previously because I didn't go out and book with one of the contractors they had listed under my project. So I then started reaching out to the leads and even had one come out and give me an estimate in person. The one in person scheduled with me for a date close to me HomeAdvisor date. I asked them how I would pay and they said I would pay cash or a check directly to him. I shrugged it off even though the price he gave was not close to the number listed with my project. I was just happy to have someone confirmed for the project.
From here I didn't do anything to my HomeAdvisor profile because I thought everything had finally settled, I confirmed a contractor to come around the time I had put on my project. Well this is where the confusion unfortunately continues.
On HomeAdvisor I had the project listed as a Wednesday, the contractor I scheduled with was going to come Friday. It was so close to the original date I didn't mind and didn't think that it not reflecting in the app was too important. When Wednesday rolled around to my surprise a different person showed up. I was confused and they said HomeAdvisor already paid and sent them. I was befuddled but since they were there and there was work to be done I let them do their thing.
Since the work got done I canceled the other business that I had booked with one on one. It was and still is confusing who to pay, the money is all in HomeAdvisor's control, though they haven't charged my card yet. Even now with the work is complete.
Now that my rant story is over, I have some better idea on how the process works. And most of it boils down to the poor communication from the people I had talked to on the phone. Here's a break down.
How to Project:
Once you are signed up and want to start a project, go in and select the service, date and time.
Day of, you will be notified via text if someone will be coming or not to do your project. If I knew this I would have been paying better attention to my notifications these scheduled days.
- If they are coming you will be told who they are and when they will arrive. The app/website will also show a GPS of their arrival.
- If the project isn't filled the date will be moved out a week or so to provide time for someone else to fill it. You can go into the app and adjust this date to best suite you. On the new day the above step will be repeated.
If you want to have more control and certainty of the work being done, you can use the site differently. Start off again with signing up and starting a project, select time and date ect.
When you see the project listed in your account, you may see "matched pros may contact you" followed by a list of businesses. In this case, you might get calls or texts from pros who see the project and are offering to fill it. If you do get in contact with them, via you reaching out or them contacting you. When you book with them, you are no longer working/paying through HomeAdvisor. You are now working directly with the contractor. Once confirmed with the contractor, you will need to close your project in the HomeAdvisor app or you may double book the project.
What is nice about HomeAdvisor is you know the price right when you make the project, and it appears that will be what you eventually pay when they send someone to fill your project. But if you work directly with a business the rates will be what ever they charge for the work, which can also change if their estimate wasn't accurate.
I do like how HomeAdvisor works, and I know there are mixed reviews out there from both consumer and business. I think the biggest gripe I have was the communication and information I was presented did not match what the service I received was. I believe if my first attempt to get the yard mowed had resulted in the instant booking and wasn't rescheduled, I would have been far less confused. But because everything was up in the air so long and I wasn't getting straight answers, I was really confused how the process even worked.
Best of luck to all that are needing house work done!