the truth, the whole truth, the knock you on your butt truth...

Friday, January 18, 2008

service magic sucks

Last year, I talked a little about my experience using a site called Service Magic. It was nice that I received a call almost immediately upon using their site, but in the end they only found one pre-screened contractor in my area. So much for them delivering multiple choices for me to pick from. None-the-less, I was willing to give them another chance and figured I would use their website again for the next big home improvement project that I didn't feel like doing myself.


I have just started receiving tons of spam at the email address I used to register with Service Magic, and considering that I created this certain email address JUST FOR Service Magic and haven't used it anywhere else, I would say that this is a pretty good indicator that they have sold my email address out to the likes of spammers. I don't see how else I would be getting spam to this dedicated email address.

Their privacy policy states: "We may share aggregated, non-personal information in any of the above situations and also with advertisers and others."

I guess that includes my email address, eh? As I've stated before, when it comes to so-called "free" services on the internet, they are rarely free. In this case, you're allowing your inbox to fill up with pharmaceutical spam and penis enlargement scams in return for someone playing the middleman between you and some contractors. What a deal...NOT!

So I have decided to change my assessment of Service Magic - they suck. I won't ever use them again, and I don't recommend them.

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Blogger Marc Novakowski said...

I found your post when I googled "servicemagic spam" because I'm also getting tons of new spam to an email address I specifically created for ServiceMagic. So yep - guess they sold their email list to spammers.

12:17 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your experience with receiving spam to the email address supplied to Service Magic is not unique. I have noticed the same thing in the last week or so. I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume you were not looking for furnace contractors in southern New Hampshire. This could vindicate those who responded to my request.

- Mike Z.

7:54 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same with me, I started getting spam from all sorts of different companies. I will never use ServiceMagic again and will tell others not to use them.

8:04 AM

Anonymous Andy R said...

I have had the exact same experience. Totally reprehensible.

10:57 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I use an email proxy service that allows me to create email addresses for each site I give my email address to. In my case, the email address was a bun of random numbers and letters, and the email is forwarded on to my correct email, without the company ever seeing my real address. The random email address I created for Servicemagic started receiving spam within the past few weeks, which is a dead giveaway that they are selling off their customers information.

11:48 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually joined service magic,what a mistake,high pressure,misleading prices.
Save your money and advertise in the yellow pages or local news paper.George

8:38 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was employed by Service Magic for some time and let me give everyone some great advice. Stay away from this company. They are going down.........and fast. The worse the economy gets, the worse their ethics get. Oh, and the marketing and advertising for the service companies doesn't work either.

5:18 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try MyFreeEstimates they are ok. I got four estimates, and 3 of the four were outstanding companies, pricey, but excellent. I would recommend to use them to anyone.

9:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too recently worked at Service Magic. In fact, I worked there for 1 1/2. You are wrong...ServiceMagic does a great job of matching homeowners with quality contractors. There are constantly looking for more contractors. That is why you may have been only matched up with one or two contractors. Service Magic DOES work!

5:29 PM

Blogger WolfAtRest said...

As far as being free, that only applies to the customer, the contractor has to pay for those leads, which means they get added into the cost of jobs, so yes, you do pay for them, just not directly. The whole site is just a scam to rip off contractors and customers alike. They barely check out anything about their contractors from what I've read and as a contractor who has used their service, if you're thinking about doing this, think again. You'll never get as many useless leads that cost you money for each and every one. Oh, and they don't refund your money for leads that shouldn't have been sent, they just give you a credit for more leads, which if they're useless as well just keeps you on the merry go round even longer.

12:55 AM

Blogger canal boy said...

Hey Mr. Anonymous,

Service Magic works? Ha!
My experience and the experience of *everyone else* commenting on this blog (and on numerous other sites on the web) seem to indicate otherwise. Even if their service provided decent leads, their privacy policy is still horrible and their coverage of non-metro areas is non-existent.

9:23 AM

Anonymous Disappointed in Dallas said...

If Service Magic is nationwide, then granted, one may have a completely different experience in one area versus another. But let me share with you the experience in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

Almost every technician I ever hired off that site was either incompetent, overpriced, or both. One plumber was an outright crook, overcharging me $100 by incorrectly adding my bill, then dodging my calls for weeks. It took numerous calls and emails to Service Magic to sort it out, and they weren't very apologetic.

I'll never use them again. It's clear to me, that in my city at least, only scumbag contractors are using the site. The good ones already have all the business they can handle.

7:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do not use Service Magic. My close friend who is an incredible honest contractor try to use them for leads. First they charge him $99.00 to join, and more charges for all the leads. None of the leads gave him work. As time is slow, instead of getting work he is now out of pocket of a lot more money..
Go figure, I personally think this is a scam.

12:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used Service Magic 5 times. It was 4 times too many, and the 1 time that was okay was nothing really stellar. These were not people who had no or low ratings either, but contractors that supposedly were 4+ star people. It makes me wonder where they got their ratings.

The contractors that came out did not oversee their work. Instead, they'd send out people who barely spoke English (which wouldn't be a problem if they could actually communicate) and who were incompetent.

I also could not always scan the listings or reviews without being called (or harassed) by a huge number of people right away.

I didn't feel comfortable leaving an honest review with a lot of these folks as the rating system is not anonymous (meaning, they know where you live), and I've seen folks who did leave negative reviews get nasty remarks back on the site from the contractors.

11:24 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Service magic sucks. They charge contractors for "pre-aproval" and then pimp ot your number and email to everyone. Look at to find out truely how crappy service magic is from both sides. They are one of the worst referale based sites hands down.

7:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Using a completely new e-mail address I created just for the purpose, I completed a request for referral through Service Magic two days ago and immediately received an e-mail from them acknowledging the request. Their e-mail was dated 2 May 2009 15:38:02 -0600 (MDT) and arrived nearly instantly.

Just over 12 hours later, the spam started. The first indication was a "bounce" message I received for a message I never sent (it was forged to have a return address of the special e-mail address I had given to Service Magic a few hours earlier). Then I started getting "VIAGRA ® Official Site" spam.

I have probably received about 10 such spam messages since, but in the mix were two responses from potential contractors. I am going to call both of them and let them know of this problem and explain that I won't be using their services because of their association with this criminal enterprise. I will also be calling Service Magic's corporate offices and explaining why I cannot use any of their services and why I will tell everyone I know to stay away.

10:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Service Magic is the worst lead generation site and everyone hates it. I cant believe the BBB hasent taken it down for fraud and representation under faulty business practices. These guys are ripping everyone off and tossing all that money into SEO to continue targeting and damaging contractors.

10:11 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. i posted your site with the link referencing service magic.

titled service GO AWAY!

10:23 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone, I agree... I've had nothing but problems with this company.

11:17 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

VERY UNHAPPY IN SOMERSWORTH, NH: I wish I had read about ServiceMagic BEFORE I read how unhappy people are with their services. I, too, received all the SPAM, but more than that - the contractor I hired to do the work is EXTREMELY incompetent and hired his family members ("who have been in the framing/roofing business for 35-years"). When the city inspector came out (after a stop-work order from the city b/c the contractor didn't get a permit - and didn't even ASK the city if he needed one), said that in order to use asphalt shingles, the pitch needs to be at least 2" - this pitch is one and one-quarter. There are too many things to write here about how unhappy I am w/the services and may even need to contact a lawyer (b/c ServiceMagic guanrantees NO WORK, etc., etc., etc) to get it straightened out. I've searched everywhere on S.M. site for info to get in touch w/them, but to no avail. If anyone knows, please respond here & I'll check back.
Thanks - and BUYER BEWARE!!!!!!

8:32 AM

Blogger RCL said...

I've used Service Magic before and these guys are overarching.

Check out my site, I just launched it today. I'm looking for pros to list on my site. Help me promote my site and offer the world a worthy competitor to Service Magic.

I don't have Service Magic's overhead and don't need to sell my soul to make money.

8:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I found this site, the same way many other did, a google search for 'Servicemagic Spam'. In my opinion any company who spam is not a reputable company, that being said - Service Magic Sucks. I will never ever again use servicemagic

8:19 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW, I am a contractor in NH and i used SM for over a year to give them a try. I had originally thought they were reputable.
They hijacked my local Google listing by installing links to their site within my Google listing on maps, so I had to pay for my own customers at $75 a wack as their phone number would come up instead of mine.

I had thought they were a respected source for clients but it turns out they are ruthless and do nothing to help me grow my business, in fact they compete against me by stealing my own potential customers to charge me for them.
On average I see 10 customers that are tire kicking to the one that actually wants the work done at $50 per lead.
So a small room addition may cost me $500 dollars in advertisement with them plus time lost on window shoppers and in this economy that is ruthless.

WOW they are getting rich on a scheme for sure.

I am listing anonymous because I fear their retaliation since my regular customers say they can't find my info on service magic to leave a good review since I retracted from doing exact match with them.

5:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, I am a contractor with Service Magic I work to pay Service Magic. I trade dollars and have yet to turn a buck. The leads are no good and there customer service rep tells you to spam those leads if you did not win their business. So maybe in the future you can win their business.

3:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like all the rest ,I too started receiving tons of spam after signing up with Service Magic. They are totally disreputable. All I can say is that they are the only ones making money. All of the leads I paid for were bogus!I hope your site and others like it keep spreading the word to "STAY AWAY FROM SERVICE MAGIC", It is a scam!

11:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Servicemagic tried to recruit me with an aggressive pitch, yet the person knew nothing about my industry. I needed tremendous pressure to get the simple 1st question answered: How much does it cost?

I declined, but was put immediately on a spam list sending 3 or more emails a day - NONE branded with the company - all resolving on their page.

Intolerable for a corporation this size. Public Relations has been unable to stop the flow, and unrelated unsolicited email from the same spamming source is also coming in daily.

Join me in bombarding their staff with complaints, and posting warnings about them everywhere online!

8:10 AM

Blogger Natalia Perez said...

I was suckered in by ServiceMagic by a representative who used very creative language to convince me that their services could help me grow my photography business. He described it as "risk-free" and even neglected to tell me about the initial background check fee ($49, non-refundable). I gave it a shot, and lost so much of my hard-earned money. It was such a mistake, and I wish I would never have gotten involved with them. I never received even one job from their leads.

When I tried to cancel my subscription, it took me 20 minutes of arguing with the representative to get me out of it. I'm still bitter, and when I see their ads, I get legitimately angry.

Please, never, ever trust or use this company!

12:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now they are sending their spam and linking to a new name "" make no mistake - it's the same company, trying to disguise their illegal marketing with a new dision name. The CAN-SPAM act forbids email marketing where the firm's name is not used in the contact - these spams have no mention of either name, but now land on ""
May they rot in hell.

2:50 PM

Blogger Chelsey said...

Hi Mark,

My name is Chelsey Richey and I am the Online Customer Liaison here at Service Magic.

I am concerned to hear about the spam you are receiving. We have added your name to an opt-out list which should take care of this situation.

Please let me know if you continue to receive these emails. We take this issue very seriously and I appreciate you bringing this to our attention.

I can be reached directly at or at 303.963.8145.

Thank you kindly,

Chelsey Richey

12:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a licensed architect & licensed general contractor and signed up for Service Magic lead service. They do a background check
so I thought that would give me some credibility. However, there is no differentiation in the leads. You may get a lead for someone thinking about moving a wall in a shack or someone who is thinking of building a new 3,000 home, but only wants to spend $50/sf. Also, do the people requesting bids even realize when they press that button, 3 or 4 contractors are atomatically charged $33 - $50. I've been charged over $300 so far and have only wasted my time going out to properties only to find out that the home owner was just trying to get ideas or wanted the project done for 1/10 the average professional fee.

11:43 AM

Anonymous Paul Skornik said...

I just called Service Magic about getting bids for new sod in my yard. Almost immediately I received an email that included malware called ad.doubleclick. My ESET antivirus kept trying to block it, but it keep trying to re-download onto my computer.
I called Service Magic back to complain and they claimed to not know anything about it. YEAH - RIGHT!!!
Stay away for Service Magic unless you have no problem with your computer having spyware and malware.

2:35 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been receiving 15-20 spam messages PER DAY from ServiceMagic over the past couple of weeks and fed up. I Googled "ServiceMagic spam" and found this thread as well. I emailed in hopes to get to the bottom of this. This is ridiculous.

2:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have used three ServiceMagic companies and they have all been horrible. I actually had to go to court over one of them. ServiceMagic says they carefully screen the companies they use, but this is laughable. Three strikes and this company is OUT!

12:13 PM


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