HAVERFORD, Pa., Nov. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- In a class action lawsuit pending in federal court against IAC/InteractiveCorp (NASDAQ: IAC), a media and Internet company, and its operating business, HomeAdvisor (formerly ServiceMagic), Chimicles & Tikellis LLP filed an Amended Complaint on November 14, 2016 on behalf of tens of thousands of home service professionals nationwide, comprised primarily of small to mid-size home contractors. The Amended Complaint, filed in AirQuip, Inc, et al. v. HomeAdvisor, Inc, IAC/InteractiveCorp, et al, Civil Action No. 1:16-cv-01849 (U.S.D.C. District of Colorado), by three home service professionals based in New York, Florida and Indiana, charges IAC and HomeAdvisor with violations of RICO - the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act – and state law claims, and seeks monetary and injunctive relief on behalf of the home service professionals.
The Amended Complaint alleges how IAC and HomeAdvisor charge home service professionals (and often automatically debit from their bank accounts) hundreds of thousands of dollars for business leads, sight unseen, that are purportedly qualified new business opportunities from targeted, serious, qualified and project-ready homeowners who are seeking the services of home service professionals. Based on a months' long investigation by Plaintiffs' Counsel, including interviewing former employees, home service professionals and homeowners from around the country, the Amended Complaint details how IAC and HomeAdvisor hard-sell the service to unsuspecting home service professionals so as to charge them for thousands of leads that are actually illusory and the product of a systemically defective process that is incapable of producing project-ready and quality leads.
The Amended Complaint alleges that leads are generated through third-parties, including from sweepstake entries premised on free giveaways, and the home service professionals are then charged for the leads, notwithstanding that IAC and HomeAdvisor have not vetted nor taken any measure to ensure that the "leads" are of the necessary nature and quality to constitute a qualified lead. Consequently, Plaintiffs' Counsel's investigation uncovered, as detailed in the Amended Complaint, that the home service professionals are charged for leads comprised of: persons not interested in the offered services; wrong or disconnected phone numbers; wrong contact information; persons who are not homeowners; persons who never even heard of HomeAdvisor; projects that were completed months or years prior; contacts for homes that were listed for sale; contacts for vacant or non-existent residences; and leads sent to a number of home service professionals far in excess of the number represented by HomeAdvisor.
Such conduct on the part of IAC and HomeAdvisor, as detailed in the Amended Complaint, is uniform and systemic, and appears to be motivated by the objective to materially pump up revenues and report "record" growth at HomeAdvisor so as to position it as the next IAC spin-off. As the Amended Complaint alleges, "Such purported growth however, has been built on a fraudulent business model, and has been achieved at the expense, livelihoods and on the backs of the Home Service Professionals." The Action seeks to bring an end to this conduct.
A copy of the Amended Complaint is available at www.chimicles.com. If you are or were a HomeAdvisor home service professional and are interested in discussing your legal rights, and/or you have information relating to this Action and the claims asserted therein, please contact Plaintiffs' counsel Nicholas E. Chimicles, Kimberly Donaldson Smith or Stephanie E. Saunders toll free at 1-888-805-7848 or via e-mail at KMD@chimicles.com or SES@chimicles.com.
Nicholas E. Chimicles
Kimberly Donaldson Smith
Stephanie E. Saunders
CHIMICLES & TIKELLIS LLP
One Haverford Centre
361 West Lancaster Avenue
Haverford, PA 19041
Telephone: (610) 642-8500
Toll Free: (888) 805-7848
Fax: (610) 649-3633
For over 30 years, Chimicles & Tikellis LLP has pursued hundreds of securities, consumer and shareholder rights cases and recovered billions of dollars for its clients. The firm is nationally recognized, and its litigators hold many professional honors and distinctions. .
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SOURCE Chimicles & Tikellis LLP