ServiceMagic.com Revolutionizes Battle Against Home Improvement Fraud
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In Time for Spring Home Improvements, ServiceMagic Introduces a Free Tool to Screen Contractors and Help Consumers Protect their Most Valuable Investments GOLDEN, Colo., March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- ServiceMagic.com, the nation's leading online resource for consumers looking for screened and rated home service professionals, is launching a next generation online tool to combat one of the most frequent consumer complaints: home improvement and contractor fraud. This free service, called ScreenAPro, is now available to homeowners nationwide. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050810/LASERVMAGLOGO) At http://www.screenapro.com, ServiceMagic will give homeowners the ability to check the background of any home service professional in the U.S., not just those already in the ServiceMagic network. It is a completely free service that offers people the reassurance they need to protect their homes. With contractor fraud seemingly always in the headlines, the new site allows consumers to find out what they need to know about a home improvement professional before letting them into their lives. "Now more than ever, as the economy struggles to stay afloat, people want to know that their investments are secure," said Craig Smith, ServiceMagic.com's CEO. "A home is typically the most valuable investment people own and of great emotional importance. ScreenAPro.com is an essential tool to help homeowners need to protect their most valuable assets." ScreenAPro.com is a major step forward in helping to vet the industry of those who are most dangerous -- fraudulent home service professionals working without required state-level licensing or insurance and who might have a dubious legal background. In addition to the obvious help to the consumer, ScreenAPro.com will also benefit the many reputable home service professionals who are in the industry. "We believe that quality home service professionals should encourage potential clients to do the necessary due diligence before making a hiring decision," Smith said. "It's a way for the legitimate businesses to get involved and promote good business practices." "For far too long, people posing as licensed contractors have been giving the home improvement industry a black eye by trying to work outside of the regulations. A tool like ScreenAPro.com will go a long way in preventing these all-too-common home improvement scams," said David Lupberger, a former remodeling contractor who now serves as ServiceMagic.com's Home Improvement Expert. ScreenAPro.com collects identifying information on a given contractor, including name, company affiliation and phone number from the consumer and then runs that contractor through the same 10-point screening process ServiceMagic uses to determine eligibility for those contractors wishing to join its nationwide network. The detailed screening includes searches for applicable state-level licensing, insurance or bonding information, criminal records searches, recent civil judgments and more. ServiceMagic employees handle all aspects of the screening process, including obtaining the contractor's consent where required. "Information leads to confidence," said Lupberger. "Homeowners need to know exactly who they're hiring and if that person is really someone they want to have around their homes and their families." Since 1999, ServiceMagic.com has made more than 8 million matches between homeowners and members of its nationwide network of 52,000 prescreened contractors and other types of home service professionals, such as plumbers, electricians, landscapers, maids, and many more. ABOUT SERVICEMAGIC(R), INC. ServiceMagic(R), Inc., headquartered in Golden, Colo., is the nation's leading online marketplace connecting homeowners with prescreened and customer-rated home service professionals. Using proprietary technology to match consumer service requests with local service professionals in real time, the company addresses more than 500 different home service needs that range from simple home repairs and maintenance to complete home remodeling projects. In addition, its 52,000 home service professionals are prescreened to help consumers connect with licensed and insured home service professionals. ServiceMagic is an operating business of IAC (Nasdaq: IACI). For more information, visit http://www.servicemagic.com. SOURCE ServiceMagic.com Public Relations of ServiceMagic, Inc., +1-303-963-8028, email@example.com