Angie’s List Sued for Misleading Consumers on Background Checks

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A bad summer has gotten worse for HomeAdvisor parent company IAC/InterActiveCorp. Following the class action lawsuit filed against IAC and HomeAdvisor July 16, 2018, in Denver, IAC’s Angie’s List Inc. is now the subject of a civil false advertising case filed by the San Francisco District Attorney. The charge? Deceiving customers into believing that Angie’s List has background-checked the people coming into their homes.

According to the complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court, Angie’s List’s made statements on its website, smartphone app and television ads that are misleading. The DA alleges that Angie’s List only background checks the “principal/owner or relevant manager” of some businesses, even though it tells consumers viewing its “how-it-works” webpage that “Our Angie's List Super Service Award winning providers, as well as all advertising companies, have been background checked.”  Similarly, an Angie's List's television ad tells consumers, “Annual background checks, another reason to get Angie’s List for your home.” 

"We embrace innovative businesses, but it is imperative that consumers are not misled," commented District Attorney George Gascón in a statement on the suit. "It is a matter of public safety that consumers are provided accurate information, especially when they are deciding who to let into their homes.”

The suit seeks a permanent injunction requiring Angie’s List to stop violating California law. It also seeks civil penalties for these unlawful business acts and practices, and restitution.  

A similar suit, filed by the San Francisco DA in March 2018, targeted HomeAdvisor with the same allegations. In May, the San Francisco Superior Court granted a preliminary injunction against HomeAdvisor Inc., prohibiting the company from broadcasting television or radio advertisements in California that state or imply that HomeAdvisor performs background checks on all service personnel who come to a consumer’s home.

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Angie's List, HomeAdvisor, lawsuit, lead generation, IAC/Interactive Corp.

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