Woman out thousands after HomeAdvisor recommends 'trusted pro' for repairs

Pam Andres says a home improvement project turned into a mess, and she’s not getting any real help from HomeAdvisor. (KCTV5)

A Johnson County widow says a home improvement project turned into a mess, and she’s not getting any real help from HomeAdvisor.

Pam Andres decided to upgrade from gravel driveway to concrete.

Her son has Down syndrome and cataracts. He kept falling and injuring himself. Andres knows nothing about concrete, so she turned to HomeAdvisor, because they screen the contractors.

“They've checked him out. He's supposed to be good. They review ... they do all that. HomeAdvisor was my backup,” Andres said.

But Andres says the recommended company did a botched job. They left trash and construction debris behind and never finished the project.

“I’m hurt, I’m really, really hurt. What kind of man would take advantage of a widow with a Down syndrome son and do this me? What type of person is that? And HomeAdvisor approved him? That’s terrible!" Andres said.

Andres says she was stunned to learn HomeAdvisor’s response when she turned to them for help. Someone from the company offered her “thoughts and prayers” and then some useful links.

“That doesn't fix my driveway! That doesn’t give me my money back, and he’s still out there,” Andres said.

HomeAdvisor sent Andres information on her “local contractor.” It turns out, Superior Contracting was out of Avon, CO, but HomeAdvisor could not provide a full address.

KCTV5 News checked, and Superior Contracting is not a real company registered with the state. We tracked down the contractor who admitted it was a startup and no one ever got around to getting a business license.

KCTV5 tests HomeAdvisor

Investigative reporter Angie Ricono started her own company to see what sort of vetting HomeAdvisor does on local contractors.

She created Angie’s Flowers and Landscaping used the KCTV5 studio address, provided her auto insurance as liability insurance and listed her best friend as her “professional reference.” No one ever called.

Ricono was contacted by a sales representative. She then proceeded to tell the representative she has never professionally landscaped a yard and lacks a business license. The representative was willing to move forward with a background check and get started.

Ricono contacted HomeAdvisor and was provided the following emailed response:"We use the best tools available at the state and national levels to screen the owners or principals of a business prior to allowing them to join the HomeAdvisor network. Superior Contracting has been removed from the HomeAdvisor network since late last year and we have reached out to Ms. Andres to offer assistance to help her complete her project."

Home Advisor also assured Ricono that despite what she was told on the phone, her company would never have been recommended because Home Advisor would have discovered she lacked a live plant license.

Driveway still a mess

Andres says she’s having a tough time finding someone to fix the driveway because no one wants to take over a botched project.

Other companies have advised her to rip out the driveway and start over because the driveway already has a large crack and the problems will continue to worsen.

In the meantime, senior citizens from Andres' church helped fix major problems. Bob Knabe and Linda Florence helped Andres build a retaining wall and dig a trench to her backyard to solve the flooding problems.

Andres is grateful for all the help but says she’s still disgusted with her contractor and disappointed in HomeAdvisor

“They should have had my back and they didn't. They have left me hanging, and I’m still hanging,” Andres said.

Copyright 2017 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.


Investigative Reporter

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