Excerpted from Curbed San Francisco post by Adam Brinklow
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced Tuesday that his office is suing Colorado-based home services site HomeAdvisor, alleging that the company doesn’t bother with criminal background checks that it advertises and routinely sets up San Franciscans with plumbers, electricians, and repair specialists who have not been properly vetted.
Founded in 1999, HomeAdvisor markets itself as the “most comprehensive Internet tool available to consumers looking for home services.” Customers use the site to engage contractors for repairs and remodels.
According to this week’s suit, HomeAdvisor frequently refers to contractors listed in its marketplace as “screened” and subject to criminal background checks. But the DA’s office claims that few such checks ever happen:
HomeAdvisor’s advertisements are false and misleading because they are likely to deceive consumers into believing that all service professionals hired through HomeAdvisor who come into their homes have passed criminal background checks. That is not the case.
The only person who undergoes a background check is the owner/principal of an independently owned business. HomeAdvisor does not conduct any background check (not even on the owner/principal) when the business is a franchise, dealer, or independent contractor of a larger national company.
You can read the full post here.