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MyOnlineToolbox cofounder
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got this link from a few of my Contractor Website Customers, and it is relevant to previous posts.

Seems HomeAdvisor (aka old Service Magic) started a new campaign to differentiate themselves from Angie's List.

Before glancing at the Link, keep just a few things in mind ...

1) Remember they both want you to sign up, but their Terms & Conditions are massive - and regardless of which way you go - please remember to go back to my originating thread that explains why you should learn about these Terms & Conditions and how they may impact your own long term marketing efforts. My Terms and Conditions thread here on Contractor Talk can be found here

http://www.contractortalk.com/f100/how-lead-gen-companies-use-your-name-against-you-137253/

2) So now go to the comparison page, and regardless of what is said, go ahead then scroll down to the bottom, and notice the Terms & Conditions, then click on it, and try to follow through. Maybe one day all these lead generation companies will have a battle to explain how they mastered to take all your money. I can imagine it now ... One will say We Take Less Money by saying we take 4 Quarters while the other will say We Take Less Money by saying we take 10 Dimes. At the end of the day, the contractor lost a buck .... :laughing:

http://welcome.homeadvisor.com/homeadvisor-vs-angieslist?m=spnm_intro&entry_point_id=27352061

And as always, I invite a senior representative (not an associate just being told what to say) from these lead generation companies to explain the massiveness of the terms, how they would never hurt a contractor's marketing efforts, and how they could honestly expect the average contractor to understand all those details in the first place.
 
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try to follow

explain how they mastered to take all your money

how they could honestly expect the average contractor to understand all those details in the first place.
It seems you lack respect for contractors intelligence and due care.
 

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MyOnlineToolbox cofounder
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Is that what you got out of the whole post ??? That made me laugh since all I do is work with intelligent contractors. And I thought New Yorkers were tougher skinned.

Nothing in the entire post is based on a contractor's intelligence ... Let's not waste time on deviating on the topic since all you will mistakenly do is hurt a another contractor's education and help Lead Generation Companies (unless that is your intent :no:).

So, with an apology to anyone who took offense to a slight typo in the midst of a large post, what I am saying to Lead Generation Companies (NOT contractors) is ....
" how can Lead Generation Companies honestly expect the average contractor based on their available time , to read and understand the biblical Terms & Conditions associated to signing up to the sites?"

If someone has the time to read all the terms and conditions, and if they (whether it be a contractor or whomever) actually understands them all, then they would more than likely not sign up for the service.

It is very hard to understand all the rights you give up to Content, so you need to read carefully, and not everyone will understand - that is not to insult anyone - it is just what the nature of the Lead Generation Companies are doing. JUST READ THE Terms & Conditions FOR YOU TO GET AN IDEA OF WHAT YOU ARE AGREEING TO.
 

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Hair Splitter
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It seems you lack respect for contractors intelligence and due care.
I would suggest going back and reading many of his posts. It's quite the opposite. Most people, not just contractors, do not read and fully comprehend what they are agreeing to. Most are designed that way and to be ambiguous in order to favor their side of the agreement.
 

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No that is what I got from the quoted passages. The differences listed in the HA ad are legitimate but yes the TOS for each HA and AL is equally wretched so we agree on that point.

I didn't realize most "average" contractors don't read, or read and then don't comprehend contracts they agree to by signature. That seems like a very reckless, irresponsible, stupid way to conduct a contracting business to me. Contractors are business people, after all, in an industry where written contracts are central to nearly every transaction.

What is the source for the conclusion that most average contractors don't read and/or comprehend contracts with their vendors? There isn't one. It's an opinion that I question.

To answer other questions, yes I read the terms and conditions back when I was considering their services many years ago and then again today as suggested by the OP. I couldn't find a part I didn't understand.

I decided to pass on those types of services since the terms and conditions are wretched as pointed out, because of the very poor reputations of the industry, and for the bag of various dirty tricks they employ to get paid for illegitimate leads, frustrate return policy claims, use non-member contact info to market their services and buying and selling old leads back and forth to each other incestuously to avoid the scrutiny that only 3 to 4 contractors get each lead claims.

The member that suggests I didn't have a problem with what was there misinterpreted something I wrote since my post was directed at the OP's suggestion that average contractors are incapable of comprehending written contracts when their industry is based on written contracts.

I also read the other posts by the OP.

If anyone thinks I am here to detract from contractors education, then perhaps you should read some of my posts. For the record, I do not recommend purchasing leads, I believe the terms of service are one-sided and you should not agree to them or do business with lead gen companies. I also do not believe it is wise to sign contracts that you do not read and/or do not comprehend. I also recommend leaving the industry if you insist on doing so and finding a padded room to live in so you don't hurt yourself wandering about unsupervised.

If it is indeed true contractors are signing contracts they don't read and/or understand then I guess you are spot on reading it for them and explaining it. My hats off to you for that.
 

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contractors intelligence is questionable when they get suckered into paying for leads.

The fact remains that pre-qualified profitable projects are right under most contractors' noses, but they are blinded by lead generating companies promises who have absolutely no clue about the contractors market, their business model and target audience.
 

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Hair Splitter
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contractors intelligence is questionable when they get suckered into paying for leads.

The fact remains that pre-qualified profitable projects are right under most contractors' noses, but they are blinded by lead generating companies promises who have absolutely no clue about the contractors market, their business model and target audience.
We all pay for our leads one way or another. I have had good success with HA. No listing hijacked and credits on pretty much all bogus leads. But that's not what this is about.
 

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Polebarns when youve been here more then 5 minutes you will see who is who, and MOTB always approaches his insight by the way of education first. Give it away marketing if you will but it is good info.
 

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Polebarns when youve been here more then 5 minutes you will see who is who, and MOTB always approaches his insight by the way of education first. Give it away marketing if you will but it is good info.
I've been reading the forum for years. Join date is not an accurate indicator to rely your assumptions on. I didn't note any insights.

I did note my disagreement with the OP's assertion that average contractors fail to read or comprehend contracts before signing them whether some portion of the general public is that stupid or not. If any contractors here do so, I also advise against it but that sets the bar low enough for Captain Obvious to jump over.

The OP claims "all he does is work with intelligent contractors". That group, I would hope, does not sign contracts that they don't read and/or don't understand. If those he works with do sign contracts they don't read or understand then I struggle to agree he works with intelligent contractors. I would use another word.

The TOS have been called "massive", "biblical" and "incomprehensible". They are none of those. A bit long maybe. I read thru them in minutes and understood them fully as I am sure most contractors could do and would do with relative ease despite the claims otherwise before they commit money to them.

I didn't like the TOS either so I did not sign up but they are not difficult to understand nor so burdensome that I do not have time to read them when the agreement would result in perhaps $50 at a time for perhaps a half dozen times per day being automatically deducted from my bank account.

Asserting disagreement with derogatory claims about peers in my industry I believe to be false is also educational and insightful. No one here has a corner on education and insight. I don't run off because a member of the establishment has made hopefully much better points on days gone by.

Suggesting that no contractor has the available time to read the "massive", "biblical" "incomprehensible" TOS and then immediately suggesting they do so in the next paragraph is absurd.
 

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Just saw this HA ad on facebook

Home Project Coming up? Don’t bother with other services that require you to pay a membership before you have full access. HA does not have a paid membership for homeowners, and doesn't ask for any credit card information.

I do delight in HA kicking AL in the chops. They deserve each other. I will grab the popcorn.
 

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So I guess your point it that most contractors do read the TOS? And the reason HA is a 100+ million dollar business is because of all the people who have read the TOS and said "that sounds good, im going to sign up"

The point is no one reads it and no would can comprehend the identity hijacking a company like these can have because most just dont know how the internet works.
 

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Yes to the first question. No to the absurd 2nd statement. I understand the point and disagree with your conclusions. I believe most read AND comprehend enough of the TOS to decline signing up.

SMagic had about 80,000 "service professionals" in it's database when they changed their name and focused more on home oriented services. They also have an international presence in numerous countries that are a substantial part of those numbers.

Those "service professionals" before and some after included adult nannies, appraisers, funeral directors, massage therapists, florists and a whole chit house full of other service businesses that are not even what you nor I would consider trade contractors in the construction sense of the word.

If you removed all of the non-trades and all of the foreign providers the number involved in the construction trades in the U.S. is substantially lower. That number I do not know nor do you. There are about 730,000 known construction companies in the U.S. and I believe that number excludes at least tens of thousands of undisclosed underground trades businesses.

I believe most contractors read and understand enough of the terms of service to make the choice to decline. Perhaps I am wrong. I am only speculating. But you also are speculating as is the OP. Perhaps you are wrong. Either way, we disagree.

Citing the sales figures for SM is hardly persuasive to your point of view. Hell TNT knows what they do and he still uses them.

If you are one that didn't read the TOS or don't understand them or how the internet works, I can see why you would get annoyed about my calling that decision stupid. Perhaps I shouldn't have used such an inflammatory word.

To be frank with you though, I think signing agreements you don't read or understand would be stupid even if I am the only person on earth that read the TOS.

I'm sorry that my opinion that most contractors are more responsible and intelligent than that annoys you. I'm not hear to agree with everything I read. It's a discussion and at the very least I thought it started out unnecessarily disrespectful and inaccurate of contractor peers. I give them more credit than you do. I haven't met one in person that signs agreements that they do not read or understand.

Saying "no one" reads them or understands them enough to know to decline is complete and utter nonsense despite their annual sales. You nor the OP have any basis other than your own personal anecdotal evidence to suggest your point of view is any more true than mine. We can disagree. It's gonna be all right.
 

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I have more then speculation to tell me contractors sign up. I have to just look at the 10's of millions HA and company brings in.

I dont find anything MOTB has ever posted to be disrespectful, but I suppose if your sensitive you can make a case out of anything.

I do know that in your sub 100 posts you go around and start pissing matches. So keep it up, you will be on vacation before you know it.
 

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Polebarn,

'Visibility' for any service provider on this site is very valuable. For some it's all about what they (service provider) might receive. MOTB gives more value to non service members than most, not expecting anything in return...especially in the area of the lead gen contracts.
And what you see here in his posts is "PURE" MOTB. Methodical, intelligent, well informed, posts oriented toward this community first and "visibility" second. His clients are exclusively contractors. His services in SEO are strictly orientated toward education/coaching. Don't believe he expects to sell anyone on services by the majority of his posts. Tho as with any good marketing may help get a couple of the 6-7 "rubs" needed to get an ideal client to look at his site/services.

Now is there something wrong with him visibly being a "Service provider" and giving value-benefit to this community in his area of expertise? IMHO he's pretty low key on the "Salesman" side of being a service provider here.

Nothing wrong with being a bit skeptical about it, I was. Did a little research, talked to a client of theirs, and ultimately Brian (MOTB). Polebarn, you have it all wrong.
 

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MyOnlineToolbox cofounder
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi all,

Was offline with soccer all weekend, and wow ... it is fun to see when one contractor reads a post so differently than everyone else.

But thanks to the majority who have known me for sometime and know I am trying to educate those who do not understand this online stuff.

It dawned on me that the person who is writing these comments seems to have an issue which doesn't seem right.

Take a second look and you will see the wording is way too good, and maybe just too good to be true. All the acronyms (ahem ... abbreviations for those who do not know what it means :laughing:) are just too perfect too. And grammar and punctuation is just too good to be true. So I sent to his website (which is terrible) and it doesn't come close to how he presents himself here. My suggestion is to take a break here, go back to your own website, and work on it since you are obviously talented in expressing yourself so why not put some effort into your own site? :rolleyes:

So instead of questioning me and some tidbit detail of a post, I will question him back ... I believe either a Lead Gen company is paying him, possibly with credits for leads, to taint the main objectives of the forum thread. Or it may actually be a Lead Gen representation in stealth mode. Reminder Lead Gen companies are making hundreds of millions so I can see them doing their own stealth tactics. It has happened to me elsewhere. Hard for me to believe any contractor would take offense to the original post. Hard for me to believe a new contractortalk forum member would go to such lengths to explain himself in this particular thread. I am sure the person questioning and/or attacking me will say something along the lines of "Not me" ... :whistling

Sorry for the post getting deviated from - it is obvious the person doesn't want to have contractor's to stay focused on the issue. No big deal, but thanks for the replies.
Brian
 

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Brian , (MOTB)

I apologize for offensively questioning your surprising (for me) comment about contractors inability to read or comprehend agreements they sign.

It is clear from the supportive responses in the thread from contractors that are more familiar with you, I hold the minority view of the participants in the thread, as well as others I am sure. I obviously have ruffled feathers of those that respect your view.

Since I am very careful to read and comprehend all agreements I consider and decline or sign, I find it rather shocking so many contractors apparently do not also take those steps I find crucial.

I wouldn't think of signing anything I did not read or comprehend. I also don't think those contracts terms are any longer than I would expect, but our expectations are obviously different. Perhaps that's somewhat unique but not with the business folks I run with.

Not that you or others need any suggestion from me, but I would think any contractor not reading and comprehending contracts that they sign could benefit from a reminder from you, that not reading or comprehending any contract that they sign is a foolish decision.

I made the effort to edit my posts to take out the offending language as this is a public forum reflecting on all of us. I was clearly being unnecessarily disagreeable. My wife was happy to point out when we discussed the conflict.

The compliments for my communication skills are noted and appreciated, as is the harsh but fair critique of my light weight beginner website.

As for being offended, I was not offended at any point in the least. I simply disagreed entirely with your statements that contractors do not read or could not comprehend written contracts, since that isn't the case for me or for any contractor I know personally. The sensitive and thick skin thing is misplaced as there was no offense taken by me whatsoever. I simply disagreed 100% with your statements that I quoted. I see now I was in the sole or minority view. I'm good with that.

As for the conspiracy theory, I am a pole barn builder in NY with a habit of looking into things of interest to me very thoroughly, as I did with online lead services, including reading and understanding the contract terms. After looking into them, I declined across the board to sign up for the same reasons that have been stated all throughout this forum hundreds of times. I also have a habit of challenging that which I believe to be inaccurate. At times I take it too far, as was apparently the case above.

To be clear, I don't disagree with you that the terms of service for online lead services are damaging to contractors for giving up content ownership, carte blanche future editing and identity hijacks.

My beef was with your assertion that contractors don't read and would not be able to comprehend a contract that they signed. Apparently, much to my surprise, it is indeed a problem as seriously as you have suggested.

I also took the advice of JBM to chill out, since he made a crystal clear suggestion I was being irritating. I also took the time to read JBM's many posts on SEO, website on page, etc. I am glad I did. JBM is obviously remarkably informed and helpful as well on the subject and his websites are top notch.

All the best to you and your efforts to inform the members and assist them with their goals,

Mike
 

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MyOnlineToolbox cofounder
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
To be clear, I don't disagree with you that the terms of service for online lead services are damaging to contractors for giving up content ownership, carte blanche future editing and identity hijacks.
Thanks, that was the real point. The rest was just a misunderstanding in wording. I'm cool and appreciate your reply. Have a good day. Brian
 

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Hey MOTB,
been a minute since we've conversed back and forth, I've been pretty busy myself with redesigns and such with my own site.

I have a question for you, and maybe its worth its own post as a response.

Ideally, what would you like to see in a sites Terms and Conditions? Specifically, what are the things that irk you the most that you would omit?
Also, love us (them) or not, we like you are in business to make money, nobody likes working for free, especially contractors (having been one myself), we do in the end try our best to bring you solid leads. Now I think the key is how you generate your leads and finding the key to pre qualifying your leads so that you deal less and less with tire kickers.

I work a circuit of home and garden shows (have for over 7 years now) across the country and have become very close with several different contractors that have been giving me input on what they'd like to see out of lead gen companies. Recently a cabinet guy in Austin was telling me what he was paying to be on Houzz and though they seem to charge a lot, the leads are generally good and of a higher caliber. So we tossed around some ideas which I'll get to after your response, because I think you have good critical thinking and ask the right questions, I actually read a lot of your posts because I think you hit the nail on the head on a lot of things, though some things may just be a little too critical, but none the less, your opinion is valued. So again, what is it you'd deem ideal?
 
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