Homeowners - must read to the bottom.
Contractors - stay for the payoff, if you don't mind the length.
Wow. I am one of the few consumers who hired a contractor based on HomeAdvisor's unverified "verified" positive reviews. The only accurate one was negative and not "verified" so I disregarded that cranky old lady and her kitchen disappointment.
What I should have done is my own legwork. The same few contractors were listed as the best and closest to the job site. I checked the BBB, and they (let's call them Co. "J") were listed but not yet rated. No big deal, I thought, plus I had two other quotes in hand.
Sidenote: A cranky lady posted her review of my NATIONALLY NEWSWORTHY general contractor the day after it was opened with the BBB. Doubt it was a coincidence.
Basking in the satisfaction of a not so solid due diligence completed and impressed with the very humble and polite (yes ma'am, and Ms. before my name every time) enormous Santa-like GC, I hired him.
Let the games begin.
Seasoned contractors will be familiar with the timeline.
Got a really spectacularly bad "estimate" for the work. (Through an equally questionable e-estimate service called Joist.) I chalked it up to a language barrier and wonky Joist UX. No biggie. I got a little more specific quote after I requested it be more, or at all, specific, and I got basically the reply text I sent him as a Joist file. That was...um...okay. I don't need to hassle this huge sweet man who's just trying to make a living, right? Or penalize his crew for a lack of contract writing skills, right? I mean, HomeAdvisor wouldn't risk its national profile for any old HispanoSanta, surely.
After a blistering and impressive first two days, they were gone. About 5 days later a really excellent sub of theirs showed up and I was alright again.
Then, the exodus, then a brief return. Enough to make it seem a good idea to get the job done asap. So, a mid-job payment of $1500 and a definite promise of...
No workers on site for over a week. Then, a predictable family crisis.
Then I go back to the sites where he was so highly reviewed.
A very quick comparison with his FB feed and the confluence of his main sub having the same name as a 5-star review, and his best friend from high school, 5 stars. And I'm pretty sure his sister, 5 stars...all matching the VERIFIED reviewer's first name and last initial?
Wait, maybe there's an old docket file of him getting sued, under another company name, likely.
Enter Google, who's all:
"Why didn't you ASK, baby? Have I got a STORY, for you!"
Truth is, it was many stories, many MANY and money money millions. About $50 million in cocaine transported from a town in your coffee-growing Capitol to a major Texas city, and then on to the gulf and beyond.
What I'm saying is this: I assumed that HomeAdvisor would at LEAST do a search for repeated federal convictions? If it is the third swipe on the first page to learn that this guy at least TWICE rolled over on very organized, very Latin crime "syndicates," and AngiesList has a background check policy, why was I encouraged to hire a proven felon, liar, and adept scam artist? Because there is no interest in the outcome, only clicks and margins.
And contractors, google your associates...because they won't.
Length of Use: 3–6 months
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend