ServiceMagic.com Revolutionizes Battle Against Home Improvement Fraud

Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:30am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

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,
smpr2@servicemagic.com
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.