I was a Service Magic professional for a number of years and after paying for leads that almost universally ended up being dead ends, I finally terminated my relationship with them. The facts are I paid for well over 200 leads from these guys over the last 5 years and the VAST majority of them ended up being bogus - either from customers who were uncomitted to moving forward with a project of any sort or I was simply never able to reach the customer in the first place. Easily 1/3 of the leads I paid for resulted in a dead end - no contact and I am out $60 - and the majority of the other leads were from folks who were obviously kicking the tires with no intention of excuting a project with anyone. MAYBE 12 leads from these guys over 5 years actually resulted in a project. Not a great batting average.
After several phone calls complaining about the quality of the leads they were sending, I finally had enough of their rhetoric and excuses. I understand the business model they sell - I'm only paying for an introduction and nothing more. I also understand that they sell a lead several times so it is a beauty contest once I actually meet with a customer. My contention is that Service Magic does a horrific job screening potential consumers before they sell a lead because there is an inherent CONFLICT OF INTEREST in their business model - no customer, no lead to sell, no cash flow. They will tell you otherwise but they also will not offer refunds when confronted with the undeniable reality that they sold yet another bogus lead. They best you can get is an 'in-store' credit for yet another lead. Really, if you want to test the veracity of these folks, sign up and give it a whirl for yourself.
When you call to file a complaint, they are extremely defensive of their reputation and will not seriously listen to your feedback. The morons I spoke with on the phone continuously shrilled the company line about how sorry they were to see me go, what could they do better, that other professionals were not having the same problem, blah, blah, blah. But ultimately, Service Magic is simply unwilling to meet you halfway and really is unwilling to do much about the poor quality of the leads they send. Don't believe me - take a look at the volumes of complaints on this and similar consumer fraud sites. .
In the end, a business relationship with Service Magic really is a one sided affair that amounts to a take-it-or-leave-it attitude on their part. So buyer beware - you often pay to play in professional services but there is a lot of room for improvment with these guys. Spend your money somewhere else and avoid the headaches.