The Federal Trade Commission imposed multimillion-dollar fines on credit services company Credit Karma and leading home services agency HomeAdvisor, alleging the companies each engaged in “deceptive” practices against consumers.
But both companies push back against the federal agency’s claims.
In separate announcements Monday, the FTC ordered Credit Karma to pay $3 million for allegedly using “dark patterns to misrepresent that consumers were ‘pre-approved’ for credit card deals,” and ordered HomeAdvisor to pay up to $7.2 million for allegedly engaging in deceptive marketing.
The FTC said in a press release that it first announced its lawsuit against Credit Karma in September, accusing the company of telling customers they were pre-approved for the cards and had “90% chance” of enticing them to apply for offers which, in many cases, they were ultimately ineligible for.”
When reached by FOX Business for comment, Credit Karma quickly dismissed the government’s claims, saying in a statement, “We fundamentally disagree with the allegations made by the FTC in its complaint.”
“We do not engage in so-called ‘dark models,’ there is no mention of that in our agreement with the FTC, and their suggestion is completely without merit,” a Credit Karma spokesperson said. . “There are also no allegations that the members paid any unforeseen fees or charges of any kind. We entered into this agreement with the agency simply so that we could continue to focus on the helps our members find the financial products that suit them.”
The FTC said its order against HomeAdvisor — affiliated with Angi, the company formerly known as Angie’s List — is preliminary and stems from the agency’s original March 2022 complaint accusing the company of making “false allegations , misleading or not based on the quality and sources of leads that the company sells to service providers who are looking for potential customers.
The commission voted 4-0 to accept the proposed consent agreement against HomeAdvisor and will now accept public comment on the decision for 30 days before deciding whether to make it final.
HomeAdvisor also defended itself in its exclusive statement to FOX Business, saying, “We’ve been in business for over 20 years and will not deceive or deceive anyone, let alone customers.”
A company spokesperson said the FTC’s announcement simply pertains to a settlement agreement that neither admits nor finds any wrongdoing. They noted that the FTC’s own complaint pointed to eight sales calls recorded as purported evidence of the alleged misrepresentations, and if the case had gone to trial, HomeAdvisor was prepared to refute that handful of calls with “thousands of perfectly accurate calls”.
“We’ve earned the privilege of becoming trusted partners to hundreds of thousands of local plumbers, roofers, general contractors and electricians — the people who help protect Americans’ greatest asset: our homes,” added the gatekeeper. speech. “Finding and helping homeowners do a job well done is our team members’ day-to-day work, and you won’t find any company that works harder for the American home services professional than Angi.”