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Getting my fair share from HomeAdvisor

My company has been working with HomeAdvisor for a while now. Since 2018 to be exact.

They send us leads, we pay for the lead, and if we acquire the business of that prospect, HomeAdvisor keeps the money. If not, we get a "credit".

So, we had a situation where we paid for a lead, went out to give the homeowner a free estimate, and the homeowner told us it was her 70-year-old, mentally ill father who accidentally put out the request for our services. And, that they will not be requiring our services, especially since they're moving to a different state.

We check our business bank account to find that HomeAdvisor also charged us about $107 to cover the bill for our past leads, even though they weren't supposed to have our card on file.

My business partner lets me know what's going on and I tell him to leave it to me.

Step One: Go Straight To The Top

I call HomeAdvisor, and a customer service agent picks up the phone, giving me the standard "how can I help you". In response, I ask if they can put me through to their supervisor. They do. Good start.

Step Two: Explain My Side

When I get on the phone with the supervisor, she pulls up me and my business on her computer. She notices that we've been working with HomeAdvisor since 2018. In a way, that's a form of rapport that we, as a company, have built with HomeAdvisor as a business even if it doesn't work as a direct form of rapport between her and I as individuals. Yet, her voice tonality changes to sound more open to hearing what I have to say when she notices we've been with HomeAdvisor for two years. That's a good sign.

So, I let her know the situation. And, I ask for a refund.

Her response is that they actually reached out to that same homeowner after we gave our estimate and that homeowner went with a different company and even left that company a review (i.e. it's your fault for not securing the business so we're not going to pay you). Then, she says that they have a no-refund policy anyway.

Step Three: The Silver Medal Technique

Gotta love Lucio for the gems he drops here.

Here's my response (more or less):

Ali: Alright, I think I understand. (controls the scope) Look, the problem that I see here isn't really the customer, it's our relationship. (sets a new frame) Our businesses are built on providing value in exchange for money. In this case, we gave you money, but received no value, which affects the win-win part of our partnership. And, some money was deducted from our bank account that we weren't prepared for because our card isn't supposed to be on file. So, we love HomeAdvisor, we've been with you for years. But, (small nod to a silver medal, we would love to give you our future business) we can't really move forward with you with our financials the way it is. (reframes for collaboration) So, what can we do to fix this?

She puts me on hold. Then, comes back with a good chunk of money for us. But, it's only enough to resolve the issue of the homeowner. So, I continue the negotiation.

Step Four: The "On Your Honor" Gambit

So, I let her know that what she did is great and ask about the $107.

She says:

Supervisor: Oh, so, what were you looking for for that? Did you want a refund?

I can feel her preparing to clamp down on me with her no-refund policy speech. So, I say:

Ali: Well, actually, that's up to you. Like I said, we've been with HomeAdvisor for years now. Pretty much since our business first opened in late 2017 we've been with you guys, so you guys have really been with us since day one. And, we love your services, so (on your honor gambit) we trust you completely to do what's fair. It's up to you :).

She puts me on hold again. Then, comes back with more money :D.

Step Five: Leaving a Positive Last Impression

I compliment her, letting her know that I think she's really great and I can see how she became supervisor. She lets me know that she's been working for HomeAdvisor for over 12 years now. That small detail only makes me feel more proud of myself for this negotiation because this tells me that she has a lot of experience giving callers like me nothing in return to reinforce that no-refund policy. Yet, here I am with a lot of my money back.

If you haven't checked out those resources, here they are below:

How to get salespeople to tell you the truth: the silver medal technique | Forum | The Power Moves

Negotiation technique: "on your honor" gambit (thepowermoves.com)

As much value as I get from my negotiation course reviews, these techniques are golden. Don't miss out on them :).

Lucio Buffalmano and Matthew Whitewood have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoMatthew Whitewood

Rock on, Ali! 🙂

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
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