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Why Angies List Sucks

Note: "sucks" is a pretty strong and immature word, but it's the word to use online when you think someone has a bad idea. So, if that's off-putting, get over it. Or start a "sucks sucks" site.

Recently I was asked what I thought of Angie's List. Frankly, I had no idea. I was told it was a pretty neat list that has good ratings of local retailers. The idea is that you are looking for advice on a company to hire for a service (e.g. car repair) so you check Angie's List and see the advice and ideas of other users who have used the site. It's basically like Better Business Bureau, City Search, or one of thousands of other local directories. Many of these directories are broken: biased reviews, paid inclusion, incomplete information, etc. This is where Angie's List claims to be different. They use "only" consumer generated content and require a "small fee" to keep the reviews unbiased.

Here's a bit on the policy:

Consumer support means it's honest: Companies don't pay to be on Angie's List. Only Angie's List members report on the companies they've hired. View the list of services rated in your area. Additionally, members make sure the ratings are clean and honest by supporting Angie's List. They pay a MEMBERSHIP FEE because we work for them (not the contractors) to keep the list growing with the most accurate information about the companies in their area.

Why This Angies List Policy is Dumb

Let's say that I'm a consumer. If Angie's list charges me $5/month I have to get a lot of value out of the list for it to be worth that membership fee. They have millions of customers though, so apparently it's compelling to some folks. Let's say that I'm the business owner, though. If I can create a fake email account and use my home address (or my neighbors address) so that Angie's List doesn't know who I am, then $5/month is a pittance for being able to enter a review of my own business.

So, their whole "we charge a small fee to keep the reviews honest" thing doesn't work for the stated policy, but it sure does help them bring in revenue without worrying about advertising.

Paid Position/Advertising on Angie's List?

Here's the worst part - after your company gets added they contact you and say something like "your company has been added and reviewed. If you'd like you have an enhanced listing you can pay us for that."

So the whole "we are acting in our members best interests" thing is bullshit! They have one interest in mind: their own.

The Review Problem is Real

The thing is - it's really hard to run a review site. Really hard. Getting valuable metrics is difficult. How does each user know if they should be trusting the other users of the site. Angie's List's paid membership program clearly doesn't make sense (though it may work than other current options). So, what's the future? Fortunately, it's the online corollary to the system you already use in real life: you ask your friends and colleagues via social bookmarking that helps guide you to the best local plumber. This is the clear way to solve the problem in the future.

Sorry, Angie's List. You could implement these features in your site, but don't pretend that the $5 is for anything other than your own pockets.

Edit: For an update and details as far as why you have to login to write comments see www.angieslist.com update post

Peeps Involved: 

Comments

Privacy Violation

I subscribed to Angies List and found them a useful resource. Then I received a phone call from a third party company asking my why I hadn't posted reviews and "confirming" my personal information such as address, phone number, etc. I checked their privacy policy which states clearly that they won't give out my info without my permission. When I called them on that they said that their lawyers tell them that they didn't violate the policy, so nothing will change (except maybe their privacy policy). So much for protecting the consumer!

get happy

To all who have written here. Forget Angies list,BBB and all the others. If You want good satisfying work done simply do not pay a contractor until it is done and You are satisfied. Works for Me.

I like that attitude,

I like that attitude, however, do you want a Lame contractor working to futher mess up the project time and time again?

How many times can your home/fireplace/project take mistakes before being totally hosed?

and hence why we are looking at AL and BBB and Servicemagic...
a way to find a contractor that is established and does a great job the first time....

you could always check with your church, alot of referals quickly...

Why would I trust strangers?

Considering that most people can not write a concise scope of their requirements for a specific service and therefore can't objectively of subjectively rate a service, why would I waste my time with Angie's list? You are asking me to pay to trust the advice of strangers who are most likely idiots? There are going to be capable service providers out there who get bad ratings and don't know how to game the system, and then there will be crummy service providers out there that get good ratings from spineless consumers who are too afraid to provide objective information or on a crusade to buy local only.

Lastly, considering the total money I spend for services each year, $60 a year is not economical.... let's use a plumbing emergency that costs $300 in one year (I just called Roto Rooter last Friday). If I've spent $120 over two years to get a no-name plumber from Angie's list, that plumber would have to charge only $180 for me to break even, offer the same guarantees, and had to have been available in 30 minutes which is how long it took the Roto Rooter guy to get to my house. Seriously doubt Angie's list can provide that.

Jenny, I don't know what kinds of services you and your husband are buying, but your money would be better spent paying for insurance to cover the bozos who are going to show up on your property to do work.

I agree

"You are asking me to pay to trust the advice of strangers who are most likely idiots?"

I agree, you are a stranger...

Angie's List is not unbiased.....totally

Angie's list makes a strong case about only posting unbiased comments. This is not true. One example: the contractor I chose to do some work to my home, about $30,000 worth had a negative comment from someone who did not even hire them to do work on their home. In fact this woman gave the company an F, when the company didn't even give her a detailed estimate. The contractor had a feeling that this customer was trouble and did not want to work with, and apparently she figured that out and retaliated by giving him a poor score. This is SPITE. Not an unbiased review. And this is not fare.
Unfortunately, those customers who indeed need the advice for picking a good professional must wade through "biased" consumer reviews with whom they do not know the whole story and for which they do not know the motivation of the reviewer.
Anyone with a brain who is using Angie's List must understand the risks. First, Angie's list does accept advertising from Contractors and other Professionals. This creates revenue, which creates a conflict of interest. Secondly, the reviews are not unbiased. A shrewd professional can and will figure out how to manipulate reviews of upset customers, and angry customers especially those in the wrong will use this media as retaliation. Thirdly, any professional doing a large volume of business with many customers probably has more satisfied customers than angry ones. A few reviews is hardly a substantial sample size to make a wise decision or correlate the level of service provided by the Professional.
My Two Cents
Adam

Amazed

I think most of these posts ignore a major factor here. The person reading these reviews still has final determination over which they consider valid and which they consider invalid.

I understand that businesses would love to squelch all negative opinions people have about them. The honest truth of the matter is that there are bad customers and there are bad companies. Both sides are permitted their opinions, and unless I'm mistaken, the contractor's rebuttal is posted beside the negative reviews.

Now, I'm becoming slightly offended that all of the companies/contractors responding here seem to think I'm too stupid to sort truth from fiction when given two conflicting accounts of a transaction. I'm as likely to disregard an overly hostile negative consumer review as I am to ignore a paper thin, implausible response from the contractor.

It is also being assumed that I am unable to realize that companies which do more business will have more negative reviews or that unhappy people post more reviews than happy ones.

It's starting to feel that you missed the point. The list is just a forum which tries to weed out most of the crap you find on the rest of the internet. Is it perfect? No. Are you honestly saying that Internet and the Yellow Pages are better? Ma Bell has been charging you for ads for years with no questions asked as to any claim you make. This traditional advertising is ok to you, but new-media advertising isn't. They are INVITING you to advertise. If the ROI is insufficient... don't do it. If the terms are unacceptable, don't do it. This isn't rocket science.

The AL at least you don't get business diverted to the shoddy contractor down the street who bought the full page ad in the Yellow Pages. In theory, the other companies listed because of a paid ad have as good rep as you have. So... you're competing with other good companies... I guess that's a bad thing.

All the nay-sayers here seem to fall in to a couple of general categories:
1.) AL's verification isn't perfect. Response: What is. If you know... you probably should start a company doing that make tons of money.
2.) AL isn't a purely altruistic endeavor. Response: Welcome to capitalism.
3.) AL wants you to pay to advertise. Response: They are offering to let you advertise and GASP they have sales reps. (I'm sure your company doesn't.) And contracts!
4.) Someone said something bad about you on AL. Response: I'm sure tons of people have said bad things about you elsewhere too. Write an intelligent response and assume your potential customers aren't totally incapable of reading. (If they were would you want them as customers ANYWAY?)

Short version... get over yourself. AL isn't there for you. You want to blacklist bad customers? Go for it. Las Vegas has been doing it for years. Oh... and those credit reporting agencies... yeah... that's pretty much AL for businesses about consumers.

True Life Experience

Air Conditioner goes out. Get 3 quotes. 2 Angie's List (AL), one referral from a friend. Both AL companies quote brand new A/C units at $2,400 and $2,900. Referral says its a circuit board problem $300. Not knowing, i would have paid the $2K+ and wrote a great review. 7 years later, I'm glad i got the 3rd quote. Problem: companies on AL will do anything to make you write a good review, and generate a lot lot of non-professionally trained reviews. Example: How many reviews say that the worker smelled, stained the carpet or , as the person previously states, not even do the work. What does this have to do with the repair? Moral: Since then, i query the internet. Had i back then i would have clearly saw a post stating to watch the blinks on circuit board to diagnose problem....as the referral probably did.

angie's list

Hey, Jennie Gray! While your experience may be good with them, if you google Angie's List you will find overwhelming opposition to your experience. Virtually everyone who has signed up once doesn't sign up again! When asked why, to a man they say it wasn't worth it, for a variety of reasons, but mostly because they felt the reviews were biased by the contractor being able to buy into the system for $350.

Angieslist does suck........

for you that is... I paid $5 and gave my business a great review then paid $5 and used the address of the suite next to me and gave myself another great review... awsome. what kinda of idiot consumer pays money to give a review on services when theres free places to go for that?? thanks you suckers...

Angie's List

Whose calling who a sucker? The whole idea behind AL was to provide a web-based service to a consumer, not to a business. If you subscribe for the AL service, you rely on HONEST opinions. Right, you could give great reviews and mislead another consumer about your own business, but then who is the dishonest one and what real purpose does this prove? You have only proved that you are the dishonest business entity, and soon you will have consumers writing honest bad reviews about your business.

It seems that a lot of people believe that Angie and her employees work for free or their business is a Non-Profit. Neither is the case. It is a legitimate business with real business costs. And like another writer stated, the telephone companies have always charged to be listed in their directories, and whatever size ad you want costs different amounts based on type face, length and width of the ad, etc. It costs Angie and her company a lot of money to put a publication together, to have it meet certain standards for a specific area, and it costs money to mail it out. There are many other costs, as well, but to explain them all would take many hours.

I did read the lawsuit, and it isn't the most clear cut wording, I must say, so it is difficult to interpret the document accurately. I am assuming that the company had a law firm which was advising them in their business and hopefully that law firm can answer the questions. While everyone is very critical in today's society, it is hoped that we can become less critical and wait to see what really is the point of all this commotion before we sling the tar and feathers. While some people who invest become irate when their investment lags or drops, that is no reason to sue a company they have stock in. Also, I am sure after 20 years of business, AL is well aware of business ethics.

As for the companies that want to be rated by AL, it seems they are reviewed to see if they are abiding by laws and complete the work. If the company is found to be highly rated, they probably were contacted to see if they wished to be listed in their directory. Like I said earlier, the listing is up to the contractor who can say no. However, if they do wish listing, they are given the advertising prices. There is nothing unethical about that. Lots of companies who rate companies or individuals, i.e., poetry magazine, write to an individual/company and tell them their work is great and to be shown on their publication, it will cost a fee. The person or company has no obligation, but if they do pay the fee to be shown in their publication, they get advertising which touts them as highly rated as well.

I do not know what is up with the stock issue of Angie's List. The pleadings are not entirely clear. So I cannot comment. I do know, however, that some of the people who have been writing in are stating one thing and showing no evidence of wrong doing in their testimony; they are just plain upset that their company got a bad review, but like one writer said, the AL publication always had the business response as well, just to be fair. Also, I did notice that the AL publication always provided a "3-time chance" to provide an answer to a consumer review. Some of the businesses failed to even answer after three times "in the bucket."

Since I and family members have all had experiences with various businesses and contractors, we have found that many just cannot be relied on. They make promises that never happen. They take money and leave the job. They seem honest and reliable, but when you give them a chance, they come to a job drunk. My dad had many custom homes built in California and I can honestly tell you there was never a day he did not feel he could stay away - he always had to check up on the job each and every day. And it was always good he did because there were continual problems.

So, we are living in an age where people are not craftsmen anymore. We did have wonderful artisans a long time ago who took pride in their work and were humble and wonderful people. They also had to charge a lot for what they did. What happened? People, the consumer, became cheap. They didn't want to pay so much for excellence; so began mediocre. And now, has mediocre become really bad?

Do not judge, lest ye be judged. Good luck to all.

Marisa responds to Jenny..

Hi Jenny. I have had a bad experience with Angie's List. One day I went on site to check it out, just to see if someone had rated me for my painting services. Someone did, someone i had never heard of. Come to find out, they were fake customers, and I acquired proof of that by calling 'Company Connect' at Angie's List.. (not that they admitted they were fake.)Bottomline--Angie's List only cares about the $$. Doesn't matter whose name is on the credit card when they take that $5.00 fee..(another person can hide behind another's name.) Who knows who the 'customer' was..maybe someone i had a bitter break-up with, or someone just being nosey. A biased, or bogus review can cost me my career, or one that i apply toward...i.e. An employer types my name into their company computer -this age of technology isn't always a good thing. ANyway, I am no longer painting, yet Angie's List has a 'policy' that keeps me on their list. I have since sought legal counsel. Hopefully, this won't ever happen to you if you become a contractor. Lucky you're a customer as you make it sound.

Marisa

I was right!

"A sucker is born every minute." Angie's list has made a lot of money proving the point off of people like you.

I Second That - Angie's List DOES Sux - Impossible to cancel

Suck is not too strong of a word for Angie's List. I, too, was initially impressed with Angie's List. What you don't realize when you first sign up is that they say you can cancel at anytime but THERE IS NO WAY/ LINK ON THEIR WEBSITE TO CANCEL YOUR ACCOUNT/ MEMBERSHIP.

I used Angie's List for one contractor. Now, because continued billing via Angie's List, I am paid several payments for that one referral. (And the contractor sucked despite having glowing reviews on Angie's List - I think the contractors themselves (friends/ family members) can get in there and pump up their 'customer reviews.')

I am not a wierdo that spends lots of time complaining about companies - I am an attorney that doesn't have time to be disputing this stuff. I will never use Angie's List again. I have e-mailed Angie's List and called to try to get my account canceled. I am disputing my last payment via Paypal.

ENTER ANGIE'S LIST AT YOUR OWN RISK.

canceling

Sounds a little bit like old AOL... Only way to cancel AOL in the late '90s was by disallowing their payment via your credit card company.

stating you are an attorney

I doubt you are an attorney by the way you write. Do you know that it is a crime to say you are an attorney if you are not one? Seems it is you that needs to be careful.

Lucky me!

I really wanted to rate a contractor in my home town. So for the very first time I went to Angie's List.
Excuse me! You want me to pay to log in and rate the criminal bastard I ran into. I got out cheap by catching
on to the criminal early on. Even better my alarms went off on Angie's list wanting money so I just went away.
Not going there ever. REPEAT NEVER EVER IN THIS LIFE TIME.

Angie's LIst has its Good side and Dark Side

There are two reviews of my company on Angies List.

An "A" by someone who I worked for. And an "F" by someone who I never worked for, met or talked to.

Personally, I think the latter is a bit rediculous.

Later, someone hired me, who read both those reviews. He said he had one more estimate from another company highly rated on Angie's List. They told him during the estimate appointment, that it would take them 2 HOURS to do the pruning. When he asked me when I drove there and met him, I responded "Probably 2 DAYS".

The man had done the trees himself for years and was good at it. Took him two days. So aside from my approach to doing estimates, he knew the other highly rated company didn't have any idea what they were doing technically. So I got the work. And he was pleased with the results.

So there you go. That's my experience with Angie's List so far. Its loaded with good and bad. And user have to make their own deciisions.

Cheers,

M. D. Vaden of Oregon

angie's list and it's inability to be non-biased

Jenny your inabilty to be an informed consumer drove you to pay for advice most people who deal in the real world don't have to pay for. I'm sorry you feel so inclined to ask who this individual works for but, who do you work for? I suspect you work for Angies list. That is what is so lovely and transparent as the Internet. People who are afraid to take responsibilty like to hide behind their monitors and keyboards to judge others. I am sure this is why e-harmony is so big. Hey, let's get back to personal responsibility and personal relationships.

David A

Angie's List is a SCAM & lied recorded phone calls to our office

SCAM ALERT!!! ANGIE'S LIST IS A SCAM, THEY PUBLISH ONLY WHAT THEY WANT TO PUBLISH AND WITHHOLD REVIEWS AND COMMENTS AT THEIR "DISCRETION". THE BIGGEST FRAUD AND SCAM EVER! REPORTED TO FCC AND ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE! STAND UP FOR YOUR BUSINESS! IF ANGIE'S LIST HAS TREATED YOU UNFAIRLY, PLEASE CONTACT US FOR PARTICIPATION IN A PENDING CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT! HUNDREDS OF OTHER BUSINESSES HAVE JOINED OUR BATTLE!! ANGIE, stop changing our profile angie's list. we have asked to stop being viewed and your company is in violation of a Cease and Desist order. we already filed criminal complaints and distributed flyers with "Angie's List is a SCAM" to THOUSANDS of home and business owners.....the website is also live and kickin' and tearing apart your "company's" reputation. Not surprised to see HUNDREDS of businesses you guys F* ! KED OVER! I have recorded phone calls with reps at this company telling our company one thing and finding out later they LIED! I also have printed and taken screenshots of the T.O.U and POLICY of Angie's List and found NO violations our company made. Angie's List makes up "policies" as things happen and changes their policy to fit the situation. They are liars and scammers. Read the thousands of complaints made by businesses they have tricked and lied to as well all over the internet. This company claims to be "impartial" but they are NOT! They always choose the side of the consumer, even when the customer is proven wrong. They then try to destroy everything your company has worked so hard for and despite the numerous positive reviews, they do not publish them or even acknowledge them. They publish their own "narrative" and involve themselves in disputes. Angie's List is under investigation and had numerous complaints and even lawsuits for their "business ethics". They have even settled with some out of court to prevent their record from being discovered, but if you do some digging, you will find it all!

Agree that Angies List is a Horrible Waste of Time and Money

I signed up for Angie's list to find a concrete contractor. Of the four contractors in my area, EVERYONE was either out of business or their contact information was invalid.

OK, so I tried the service and it didn't work, so I did my part and reported on the contractors that were not in service, then I requested a cancellation of my membership. Everything seemed fine.

Four months later, my credit card company flagged an Angie's List charge to my card as potential fraud. What? I had cancelled that service! So, I reveiwed the past four months and sure enough, they had continued to charge me after I had cancelled my subsciption. Surely, this was just an oversight that they would be glad to fix, right?

Wrong! I phoned member services to be told there was a 10 minute wait to talk to a representative. So, I phone back the next day and it was a 15 minute wait, so the receptionist gladly took my contact information and promised that someone would phone me back within 24 hours. A week later and no call back, I phoned again to learn there was still a 15 minute wait, but I could send an email with my request. So I sent the email, and in 24 hours I got a snotty reply informing me that they could cancel my membership now, but that there was no retroactive refund and that they were sorry that I did not understand their auto-renewal policy because it had been in the terms that I had agreed to. Now livid, I wrote back for them to check my acount and they could see that I had requested a cancellation months ago. Suddenly, radio silence! No one from member services will respond to me, I have not gotten a refund, I have had to report all the charges to my credit card as fraud, and now I have spent so much time on this ridiculous issue that I could have paved my driveway myself.

So my advice regarding Angie's list is run away!!

Angie's List

Although I cannot say with certainty that Angie's List "sucks", I can say that the auto renew policy and the disclosure on the point of executing the agreement that there may be fees for other lists seems deceptive and a bit predatory. I admit that I had not thought through the possibility of faked reviews by businesses - good point. The profit motive in an online review service does not trouble me particularly. Although, I agree with others that non-profit is usually superior in ethics even if inferior in gathering large amounts information. Oh, by the way, my organization is not in business for profit but serves the public interest and very well indeed.

Why Angies List Sucks: Maybe And Maybe Not

Actually, Don Wojan of Dallas, TX has an interesting view about Angies List on his home page:
http://www.DonWojan.com

Also, some guy named David Tate, who used to be a radio broadcaster, recorded a commentary about Angie's List (or Angies List, without the apostrophe). David Tate says that there are good things and bad things about AngiesList and then, he plays a really cool jingle from WINX, a radio station in Washington, DC:
http://www.DavidTate.net/AngiesList.aspx

angie's list

angie's list does suck thay are out to fill there pocket's and I found that the reveiws are wrong I read some of the companys that I know are "BAD" AND THAY GOT GOOD REVEIWS on angie's example:Family Home Medical in york Pa. not at all a company I would use again to help take care of my love one's ,there saying"are family taking care of your family" BULLSHIT
there like angie's list all thay wont is your money and once thay get it it's hard to get them to do anything...

Angie's List is HORRIBLE

COMPLETELY disagree that Angie’s List is a good thing. I work for a company that does home remodeling. A third party tried to hire my employer to do work on a house that they don’t own. When my employer stated that for the company to do the work they would have to have authorization in writing from the home owner the person became irate. Then the person requested that my employer deliver building materials for a $25 fee (normal delivery from the store in question is $75). In the interest of good-will my employer did that and then just out of pure spite because my employer refused to do work on a property without proper authorization this person went on Angie’s List completely slamming my employer. My employer NEVER knew Angie’s List even existed and has an “A+” rating with the BBB for over 15 years. Long story short, Angie’s List is a way for crack-pot type people who hold grudges to pay money and then attempt to ruin others when they don’t get their way.

Angies ridiculist

I have a great plumber he was fixing the faucet when my great aunt had a heart attack. He performed open hear surgery right there on the kitchen table and saved her life. I would recommend this plumber to anyone!

Their commercials are so ridiculously stupid I can't believe people actually pay 5 dollars for this I had no idea. I just thought it was a joke the first time I saw it because the commercials are so unbelievable, a plumber walking your dog, or a workman watching porn on your t.v. or a dentist fixing a broken tooth in his kitchen come on doesn't anyone else think these are too stupid to be true?

big deal

i do not beleive angies list is a non profit, they charge me big money to be a paid advertiser and in now they have the big deal and take 33% of all jobs bought thru the deal and i still have to pay the big bucks for the advertising. on top of that if a consumer complains and states wrong absurd facts, even facts that angies list is in control of, Angie's list will do nothing to help the vendor, the only thing they want from the vendor is money, and more money

The thing is that, the same

The thing is that, the same consumers that use this type of site are not looking at site reviews nor are those on review sites using this one. Once again the usefulness of the internet wasted.

Angie's Ripoff

Angie's List is just a broken way to attempt a service rating program for profit.
When money is involved the veracity is questionable. If a service owner wants
to pump his rating up on Angie's List it is incredibly easy. This is a cloaked way
for businesses who participate to advertise for $5 a review.

Don't get me wrong it is a great advertising scam but people who need this sort
of rating system are the same people who don't read a contract or know enough
not to let complete strangers alone in their home to work.

You cannot rely on Angie's List for what you need to cultivate: common sense.

I agree

I saw the commercials over and over and decided to check Angies List out. I must say I was totally surprised, after I signed in with email and password, when all of sudden they asked for money. The TV adds do not even mention a fee or membership cost. What kind of HONEST business practice is that, ironically they claim to be in the business of protecting consumers from the very same type of duplicity. Are you kidding me. So let me get this right, I am going to hire a plumber, dentist etc., but first Angie wants me to give her money to have access to the name of one of these companies or individuals..... Why! Why! Why! would I pay for this. People use the Better Business Bureau, save your money!

Wow

I saw the commercials over and over and decided to check Angies List out. I must say I was totally surprised, after I signed in with email and password, when all of sudden they asked for money. The TV adds do not even mention a fee or membership cost. What kind of HONEST business practice is that, ironically they claim to be in the business of protecting consumers from the very same type of duplicity. Are you kidding me. So let me get this right, I am going to hire a plumber, dentist etc., but first Angie wants me to give her money to have access to the name of one of these companies or individuals..... Why! Why! Why! would I pay for this. People use the Better Business Bureau, save your money!

Angie's List & Opinions

I have read most of the posts. I can tell from the grammar, syntax and spelling that many of the respondents are ignorant and/or poorly educated (ie cents v. sense.) To use one of my Dad's favorite quotes, "Opinions are like assholes, eveybody has one."

Must be an Angies list employee

This comment reminds me of the attitude that the AL so called sales rep had with me when I told him I did not need AL to get business. He said it was unfortunate. I asked and never got a sensible response when I stated that AL was bogus by stating "nobody pays to be listed on AL" If that is true, then why am I constantly bothered with calls asking me to pay for a listing. So Mrs. Stevens ( if this is your real identity ) you have not fooled anyone.

Amen to that!!!

Yep, that is what I say. Why do they keep telling the public that "companies don't pay to be on Angie's List"?
If that is the case,have the sales rep stop bothering me!!

angies list keeps calling me

Im a contractor and Angies list keeps callin me. Im a small time contractor in the art of home repair. I just got email and an agent or whatever , wants me to sign on to angies list and look at my great reviews. Im most flattered. Im sure they want something leading to monetary gain why else would they waste their time. I offer a great mechanical service . I actually answer my own calls when im working. Ive had customers that were not pleased at times. Sooner or later someones not going to be happy if they don't get their way. Better Bussiness Bureau is a joke. A lot of people think they are a government organization . Well they are not. People who call BBB are crybabies. You get what you pay for and sometimes LESS.

Really?

What does syntax, spelling and grammar have to do with a website that cares nothing about their clients and just the money they make? I think you are most likely, a negative, miserable person who has nothing better to do than to make other people's lives miserable, so you have company. Ever hear of Prozac? It really does work in most cases like yours.

Dont use Angies List

I tried Angies list for a year and it was not success. When I tried to cancel my contract at year end, I ran into a nightmare. I first started with my agent that is assigned to my account and I could not get her to call me. She would send me emails telling me she was in a meeting or very busy and that she would get back to me. She never did. This went on for around a two months. Then I had my office manager call in and try to cancel. It took a dozen calls and each time was a wierd run around regarding our contract. So I called Amex and blocked them from charging my card. Next month the charge was back under a different merchant name. So what A.L. did was recharge under a differnet merchant name. WOW

All I can say is this was a VERY bad experience. :(

Bravo, bravo and for my next

Bravo, bravo and for my next trick I will turn this beer into urine. It never ceases to amaze me; the number of uninformed, gullible and or liberal humans there really are on this rock. Angie sent me an offer that intrigued me. So being the jaded opportunistic business person that I am I logged in with a customer service person to assist me. You see Angie's offer is for their FREE Fetch a Report program
Please read the following copied right from Angie’s list site:

(“Need help collecting reports?
Our Fetch a Report program helps you collect reports from Angie's List members. The program works by identifying our members from your customer list. The more reports your business has on Angie's List, the more attractive you look to our members. We will process a list for your business once every 90 days, so please gather as many records as possible before you submit your request.

Health care providers should verify if they are able to participate under HIPAA guidelines. Click here to view the complete Fetch A Report program guidelines.

Identifying shared customers:
Angie's List identifies members on your customer list using three different matching techniques: 1. Phone Numbers, 2. Email Address,
3. Last Name, Address and State. The more information you provide improves the chances of identifying all of our shared customers.
Two ways to submit your customer list:
1. Click the browse button below to upload your customer list. You can use our excel template to enter your records and submit your file.
2. Manually enter your customer information using the fields below. If you provide a manual list, enter your customer information by using the fields below. When complete, click Submit to upload. If you want to provide additional customer information, return to this page, or upload a list using the Browse button above.”)
By the way this information must be entered manually by you “the business owner” and could take a considerable amount of time depending on the size of your customer list.
Now when all said and done Angie has persuaded the uninformed, gullible and naive to offer up free leads for a total cost of ZERO. Pretty slick eh!! So the next time you feel the need to defend a multimillion dollar business, please don’t do it for me. And be sure not to vote Obama back again.

What does Angie's List have to do with Obama??

You wrote "So the next time you feel the need to defend a multimillion dollar business, please don’t do it for me. And be sure not to vote Obama back again."

Um - exactly WHAT does Angie's List and Obama??? His administration has absolutely nothing to do with AL and whether or not they are attempting to employ unethical business practices. Wow, are you the type person that blames every problem on any Democrat? Amazing. You should try doing a tiny bit of research - just a smidge and you should find that what AL is doing can be done under any administration.

Yes sucks, beware of your privacy

I signed up because I wanted honest opinions and I gave some. I thought my privacy would be safe so I would give honest opinion, but they gave my name to the companies. So much for good honest feedback. I dropped the service and will not recommend it if you want your privacy protected.

They Bury Their Fees Until You Provide Information

Just tried to sign up and wanted to know about fees first - not easy to find without providing information (first red flag). I also notice they have a companion site for businesses . . . so they are playing both sides of the street (second red flag). I also know about a neighbor who has a vendetta against a relative who happens to be in business and was bragging about trashing them on Angie's list (third red flag). So, before I signed up, I researched a bit - WOW - a LOT of negative feedback. There is no way I will support this with my money. Thanks for providing a forum to speak out about bad ideas. I won't sign up. I can see so many ways to manipulate the information.

They want me to help build their database for FREE after I PAID

Come on - I paid to join, and there are NO car mechanics in my area that have been reviewed - the only ones reviewed are on the other side of town and will not drive me to work - NONE - oh, yeah, they are still building the database - well, if that's the case, let me use it for free and I will submit all kinds of reviews.

Then why use Angies List ?

If the system allows people to easily circumvent it then why use it and what are you paying for ? I might as well strike out on my own if I'm going to obtain the same results ? I'm all for money making but provide something with some actual value ! By the way it wouldn't cost that much to make it better but I doubt they will do it because they need more, more, and more money ! If it can be done it will be done, just look at what the bailout did to everyone.

We have plenty of crap products floating around (pun intended) that are all hype kind of like our Government, Freedom, Liberty... Bullshit maybe if you have 6 + figures behind your bank account but for the common man it's Military Boot smashing down on your face! You have to dig to get to the truth and it's worth it. I was just about to sign up for Angies List (thought it was Free) but I'm very glad I read this guys review because it is logical and makes sense and mirrors things that I've experienced in the real world. By the way if you want real change vote for Ron Paul. He is the real thing no he's not perfect, but at least he still has testicles even at 70+ years old. I really believe that he could slow this whole process down and who knows with God's help maybe things could really change. Maybe our Government could stop being a "Corporate Entity" and just focus on protecting our Freedoms instead on trampling on everybody else's with "Our Evil Plan to Save the World" ?

We need more of this kind of honesty. Let's get away from the "Herd Mentality" and start living as Free Thinking Men and Women.

Moron

Do you use any subject as a reason to spout your pathetic and ignorant socioecopolitical crap?

Reply: Jenny

Angie's list, like so many sites today, are just made up ways of generating income from unsuspecting people. There is no way this works...well, maybe California, but they are different anyway.

Why Angies Lists Sucks

To the person who disagrees I say I remember whent he list was free. Get enough people hooked. Start charging, start taking advertising and guess what YOU SUCK, as does Angies list.

Angies List

Hey guess what list used to be free. Start Charging, take advertising equals Angies List sucks!

Angie's List

I have to agree that Angie's List "Sucks". I tried to find a collision repair company in the DC area. I clicked through 10 pages and every single company listed on every page had an "A" rating. How is that possible? I paid $30 just so I could look up quality collision repair for my car. What did I get for that? A sucker punch.

I don't trust them

I've been wondering lately how valuable Angie's List is and I've concluded they're a waste of money. Just because I pay to rate companies doesn't mean I'm not a friend of the company.

I've sent in a couple of complaints about how they lump all reviews about the same company with different services together. This makes it IMPOSSIBLE to discern how a general contracting company (for example) does roofing versus framing a house. Plus there's the concern the reviews in there are false.

I also added ("free") another area in another state. The problem - there aren't any local reviews there. So, that was a waste.

Companies I like have few reviews but they are word of mouth, so I trust my neighbors. It doesn't make them bad.

My warning to people - it's no better than any other site on the internet. Just because you pay (paying always makes something sound like it must be worth it) doesn't add anymore credibility than not paying. You can get revenge on a company either way and a family member can pay to put glowing reviews on Angie's List.

It's just another company and it's time to see them go down the drain.

Sorry Jenny, You were going

Sorry Jenny,

You were going well until you got to your use of "would certainly".... I am a service provider on Angie and we actually get about 30% reviews from our customers.

The Most Excellent Dude is welcome to his opinion and you yours. Why slam him because there is a difference? Actually you are both right. We do pad our reviews and also offer great service. The issue is there are folks in the General Public like Ted Kaczynski who's inflammatory and erroneous opinion's damage a good guy unfairly. Kind of like yours....

But I still love you...

Dude Abides

misinformatio

I wouldn't use "sucks", but the information on Angie's site regarding my property is completlely inaccurate. It lists my house as a single story with one bath. My property is actually a two-story with a full basement and 1 plus 2 1/2 baths. This leads me to distrust the site for any referrals.

Of course, this site has no send button, so my venting really has no relevance.

access to angies list

with all that money angie is making, you'd think she could afford some more bandwidth.

been trying to visit the past two days (blazing fast connection) and i get server timeouts.

or maybe the money's going into the angiepac. or that new home in hawaii. or some other indulgence.

You are so off...

Listen Jenny and any others who think Angies list is worth a penny...... Let me tell you my husband and I have owned a Plumbing Company for over ten years now.... We have stayed in business by being honest and through a recession our doors are still OPEN....... Not because ANGIE'S LIST either........... From good Customer Service, quality, reliable, affordable work........ Let me tell you another thing! Angie's List could put us out of business!!!! By their harrasing telemarketing phone calls everyday! (meaning you never get any work done and can never get off the phone from there very aggressive sales people)... Claiming someone added us to the list and if we pay $499.00 a year other people could see what our customers, (wait lets make this clear when I say OUR CUSTOMERS! you know the ones WE EARNED said) I do not need Angie or her BS scam nor do I need to give 499 a year to them... We work hard, back our product..... and Even though we are probably the most honest, reliable, trustworthy, fair and best quality plumber in Pinellas county......... We would still have to pay for you to see our OWN HARD EARNED CUSTOMERS REVIEWS!... Shame on any of you who use this service..... ask a reliable friend................. Someone has heard of good quality fair and honest people... If not change your circle of friends!....
If you want an honest Plumber............ Here is my email address..... I will give you 10 years of references.... names and phone numbers............... You pick who you call! Now how is that Miss Angie?...
Kcourt0630@gmail.com

HONESTY AND INTEGRITY,? not from them!

Too bad if businesses do not like Angies list. If these businesses were not such a rip-off, and take advantage of consumers, with their greediness, we would not have to right reviews, bad reviews about them. Too bad.... we now have a way to fight back.....ha ha.

Your business would be 10

Your business would be 10 fold if you paid for the service, if you claim your that good, your a bitter person who has probably lost lots of leads to angieslist businesses like myself that do the right thing and advertise.
From my perspective you are the one losing this argument. :-)
Cheers.
Thanks for all you business.

I agree with Kristen

Angie's List does ask service providers to PAY to be listed. When I had electrical quotes from companies through Service Magic, one of the companies told me that Angie's List bugs him like crazy to pay money to be listed as a Preferred Provider. I knew that I was not going to renew with scammy Angie's List once my year was up after hearing this, and I cancelled and was refunded with no problem. I say good for you to maintain your business with integrity and word-of-mouth! I ask all people who have good (or negative) experiences with service providers to review the company on Google at their "Place Page" for the company. This way, people can see great reviews for your companies without paying. I've started to do this and I am considering Yelp.com as well for reviews other than restaurants.

Sorry

I am sorry you're being so harassed by A.L. I'm a consumer and believe what you're saying. I've found the site convoluted to use and when I pull up consumer responses on a specific company, I get way more than requested. This skews and dilutes the validity of the results. I've reported this but they're not fixing it at this time. I've reported other issues, too, that go unresolved.

It's also useless in various areas. I happen to live in NC and it has valid companies here. I have access to another area up north and it's useless. Businesses are not listed.

Even here, I'm not just dependent on A.L. because there appears to be a lot of bull in it. The other problem is, for example, we used a plumber based on reviews. He was okay and I was fairly honest in my response. The problem ... after some time, I've decided he may not be as good as I thought he was and we may or may not use him. If I add this to A.L. and use him, we're screwed.
So, sometimes Angie's List scares me because of the lack of anonymity.

There are many, many unscrupulous businesses out there and I believe A.L. just got added to the long list.

I worked in info tech for too many years. My last company was at a catalog publishing online place. They sell licenses (too) for some of their online products. Salespeople purchase the licenses and use an online database to store their customer contacts. Then the publishing company goes in once-a-week and sweeps pre-defined fields to take the customer contacts and use them for their use.

I hope you can do something about being harassed. There's always an attorney general out there ... if you have the time ... to possibly do something about the problem. I wonder if BBB could help you folks out, too.

Good luck.

Angies List bull

they reject comments from home inspectors like myself as having a business relationship with person's whose work I have inspected and found to be superior...who better then a third party ( a true legal third party inspector) to give an opinion of a tradesman's true quality...

Angies List bull

they reject comments from home inspectors like myself as having a business relationship with person's whose work I have inspected and found to be superior...who better then a third party ( a true legal third party inspector) to give an opinion of a tradesman's true quality...

I believe that only the

I believe that only the inspectors or other professionals should have their say about a job done! Uneducated people give uneducated comments. There is nothing like someone who doesn't know what they are talking about giving me instructions on something I went to yrs of college for!!!!!!!

Angie's List is FRAUD and illegal!

Thank you so much for exposing the truth about ANGIE"S LIST. She claims to prescreen companies. Does the company Physically check them out, Check with the Better Business Bureau to see their rating, and any claims. Do they insure no lawsuits or complaints are filed against them? NO, I HIGHLY DOUBT. If you have a company, she will upgrade on her list for a FEE! MONEY, NOT SERVICE is what they are after and LEGALLY THIS IS FRAUD!! VULTURES!

IF "ANGIE'S LIST" READS THIS, KNOW YOU SUCK AND HAVE NO COMPASSION FOR THE TRUTH AND PEOPLE. YOU ARE A CROOK(S), AND I AM GOING TO REPORT YOUR ANGIE'S LIST" AS FRAUD, FRAUD, FRAUD!! Rotten to The Core.

the BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU is

the BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU is as honest as a three dollar bill --- you're right about ANGIE"S LIST but don't be disillusioned about the BBB having honesty and integrity --- we could list for hours companies who get A+ from the BBB but should be in prison

Angie's List is FRAUD and illegal!

Thank you so much for exposing the truth about ANGIE"S LIST. She claims to prescreen companies. Does the company Physically check them out, Check with the Better Business Bureau to see their rating, and any claims. Do they insure no lawsuits or complaints are filed against them? NO, I HIGHLY DOUBT. If you have a company, she will upgrade on her list for a FEE! MONEY, NOT SERVICE is what they are after and LEGALLY THIS IS FRAUD!! VULTURES!

IF "ANGIE'S LIST" READS THIS, KNOW YOU SUCK AND HAVE NO COMPASSION FOR THE TRUTH AND PEOPLE. YOU ARE A CROOK(S), AND I AM GOING TO REPORT YOUR ANGIE'S LIST" AS FRAUD, FRAUD, FRAUD!! Rotten to The Core.

angie's list sucks. Thanks for saving me.

Thanks so much for bringing to light Angie's List. It's makes total sense, I wondered how I was going to benefit by paying a monthly fee, bottom line is I'm not. Yelp is much better.

Also, how is anyone offended by sucks? What is this, 1989? It's extremely timid, albeit simple and lacking intellect, but then again, so is using Angie's List.

Angie's list EXORBITANT membership fees

We joined the Angie's list in October 2010 at a $39.00 a yearly membership fee or $3.25/month. This year in October, Angie's list charged our CCard $69.00 which works out a $5.75/month. When asked about doubling the fees, the Angie's list marketing folks told us that the last year's price was promotional fee. Also, that they have sent us a promotional offer this year of roughly 20% applicable to the renewal fee. Both of those statements are lies.
We did maybe maximum 15 searches for the past year and got 3 worthy contacts out of Angie's list. Angie's list search engine is totally inferior and cumbersome and very many contact information are out of service. We had more tradesman form FREE lists and we shall be cancelling our membership and asking for our money back from Angie's.

I am soooo disappointed with lies and greediness, the rip-off in fact for what Angie's list gives in return. We are cancelling our membership

And yes, you are right! Angie's list SUCKS!

Angie's List is a company

Angie's List is a company that has never made a profit, this can be verified anywhere. They just had an IPO that raised millions of dollars, hopefully that will help them. I would never invest in a company like Angie's List, remember the internet craze and all the money lost in some of those offerings ? and hi-tech ?

Anyway, I think Angie's List has become old news, they are so eager to try to make a profit, that they accept any company or individuals money for overpriced advertising, etc.

Are people really that busy that they can't properly check out a company before hiring them ?

The worst thing about AL is that they will let any nut that has paid them go on and write a bad review that isn't even validated for any factual information. What a great country !

B. Dowdy

Appliance Repairs

Had a Appliance Repair dude to the house to repair dishwasher that was supposed to have a warranty guess what neither the Warranty place or the appliance repair guy has a contractors license/or reequired specialty license or a business registration license. Still taking your chances on Angies list because the repairman is an angies list member. Go Figure!

Do you believe what EVERYONE

Do you believe what EVERYONE (even people you don't know) has to say about service that was rendered? There are too many mental illnesses that can cause false reporting. I myself has lost dear, long time customers due to false reporting. May God protect you all who use such devices. It will make YOU carzy!!!!

angies list

So i called Angie's list because i was having a hard time navigating threw the site. I had a roofing company claiming to be on the list. I went on to check this company out. I had never tried this before.I had always seen the commercials so i get on only to find out that i had to pay to user there site granted it was only $3.25 I was appalled at this. Why should I pay to check out a company this is ridiculous. Needless to say very disgusted.

The word sucks in relation to angieslist.com

There have been many posts by ex angie listers who have claimed the same. Angie may have started a great business but the bigger it grew the worse it became. It's all about money. I guarantee you they went after businesses first but couldn't make money so they decided to go after the consumer dollar. Personally I would NEVER pay for a service like this when I can go to the BBB for free. Yes the BBB does charge their businesses to be accredited but they do a lot of research first and if they find anything shady or out of the ordinary or to many complaints they will not take the money and the business is turned down. There is a great code that all businesses must adhear to. So let's say a company pays to become accredited but 4 months later the BBB finds out there are to many complaints that are not being handled or they lose their license for instance. The BBB will contact the company, there given a short time period to correct any and all issues and if not taken care of the business loses it's accreditation and there grade drops. That's that. Great site and I don't have to pay a penny.

angies list

Looking throught the posts here, noticed some comments about angies list saying you had to pay 5 to 15 dollars per month for access. Not true, its 3.50 for one month or about $ 13.00 for a year long membership. I have used this site as a consumer and business owner and find it very helpful and well worth the money.

Your choice of the phrase "Angie's List Sucks" is accurate.

Your choice of the phrase "Angie's List Sucks" is quite accurate.

The Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General's Office do a much better job than Angie's List in getting accurate reports and actually following up on them.

The services the BBB and Attorney General's office offer are FREE TO THE PUBLIC--UNLIKE ANGIE'S LIST, which actually charges for their lack of service.

The only "void" Angie's List fills is the void in their own pocket with gullible people's money. Angie's List is for naive people who apparently do not know about the BBB and Attorney General.

Fools are born every day.

Angie's List does in fact suck

Angie's List is the absolute worst pay service I have ever used. I am SO pissed off at these people, words can't describe it. Angie's List was offering a special for $200 for an entire house pressure wash. We didn't really need a wash, but we figured $200 was too good to pass up. Since we have a brick house and wouldn't need an entire house wash we asked the contractor if they would be willing to substitute our fence/deck/and gutter underhangs which he said would be fine. Since we trusted Angie's List A SERVICE WE PAY FOR TO FIND TRUSTED CONTRACTORS, we hired the guy. Well he came in, whined about everything I showed him needed to be pressure washed, and then ditched the job as soon as I went to work. He left after washing only one small section of our fence, claiming a "family emergency" which would leave him unable to work for several weeks. Turns out a friend of ours called for the same service later in the day, and he had no problem agreeing to swing by for the job later in the week. When we called Angie's List to complain they did absolutely nothing to help except refund our money. They wouldn't match the deal with another contractor so we were left holding the bag on a job that we now have to finish at a much higher price. FOR A SERVICE THAT YOU PAY TO PROTECT YOU AGAINST DIRTY CONTRACTORS ANGIE'S LIST IS A COMPLETE FAIL. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY!

Angies List

Try going to Angies-list.Pissedconsumer.com---Angies list determines what rating you can give,again check at pissed consumer.ANGIES LIST IS A SCAM

Angie's List INCORRECTLY AND UNFAIRLY DISPARAGED MY BIZ

For 5 years, Angie's List Unjustly and Incorrectly DISPARAGED my business. First, Angie's List INCORRECTLY placed 2 bogus, untrue, and injurious reviews against MY business listing. Second, Angie's List UNFAIRLY assigned my business a rating of "F".

All the while, Angie's List NEVER EVEN BOTHERED TO CONTACT ME to advise me that such reviews were listed against my business NOR to give me an opportunity to respond to these falsehoods.

I only stumbled upon these malicious, disparaging reviews after having researched all information pertaining to my business online.

Even then, when I contacted Angie's List, they treated me with rude disdain. Fortunately, it was ultimately revealed that Angie's List had been guilty of publicizing defamatory and injurious lies against my business.

Eventually, the matters were corrected by Angie's List. One of the false listings had been "incorrectly and mistakenly" placed against my business, instead of a competitor business, which I believe actively advertises with them.

The other false listing was placed by a disgruntled individual who blatantly lied about my having serviced for her when in fact my business never did any work whatsoever for her.

For the reasons above, I question the integrity of Angie's List reviews.

K. hull

Angie's list

When something sucks it sucks.
Look at this email I received from some flunky when I tried to speak to her manager.

Hi Chris-

I will call you back when I hear from our operations director on the status of the reviews that your customers said they sent it. In the meantime you can go to your profile through the business center at https://business.angieslist.com/default.aspx. Once you are there this is where you enter your email and address you used when setting up your account. If you are interested I can also provide a guest login for you for the Angie’s List website so you can log on and see how a member views your profile from their end. My manager is extremely busy and if you still want her number I can provide that but I will tell you they will most likely refer you back to me. Let me know what I can do in the meantime to help you out.

MY MANGER IS EXTREMELY BUSY? REFER ME BACK TO YOU? are you freaking kidding me? I'm also dealing with YODEl. Very professional and helpful. This ad account service rep was arrogant, dishonest, uninterested, apathatic, and useless. They did nothing they said they would do, and now are trying to charge me a $188.00 cancellation fee on a six hundred dollar waste of time.

Thanks,

Christine Talhelm

Ad Account Services Representative

I just canceled Angie's list service

I done it! I am sick of getting phone calls after phone calls from Angie's people. I subscribed to the service last year, I thinking it's only 12 bucks a month. I would have been worth the money if I can really get some honest opinions on businesses and services; considered lots of internet site out there, ex: Yelp, is making money by manipulate people's review. I am a business owner, my business was put on Yelp by customers not by my own will. The people at Yelp called me and tried to sell me advertise package so I will have advantage on ranking over other competitors around my area. They told me it will cost $5000/year. I told them that not everyone is living by the San Francisco currency. After I refused to pay, all the good review either missing or dropped down on the list. All the negative comments would placed on the top of the list when people visit my page. Anyway, that was why I thought if I just pay for a site like Angie's list. I would get real opinions from people who really care. After I paid, I started looking, to be honest, I was not impressed with the difference between before and after I paid for the services. I did some research on the site and quickly forgotten that I was even a member on the site. Recently, I started to get phone calls from out of area. When I listened to the message, it was Angie's list calling to want my opinions ( because I am a member and I did researches on the site without leaving any review) last Monday, they finally got me on the phone and started to ask me going done the list of the business I looked into--did you use them? How did you feel about them? Why didn't you leave a review? I was annoyed!!!! still tried to be polite and answer their questions. I thought okay, they finally got me and I won't get these phone call any more, but they called again today!!!! I had enough, I never thought that I have to pay to get harass like this. I called them and they told me "Oh, we can simply put you on the no call list." Well, why do they put me on the call list in the first place!? I had enough, no matter what they are trying to offer me, I canceled the service and never again!

He is actually spot on

He is actually spot on correct and you don't seem to understand that. All a company has to do is create email addresses ..yahoo, google, etc...and they can write their own reviews. Therefore , her entire commercial and policy is bullshit. Companies CAN advertise! One day you morons paying for reviews from the companies themselves will think!

beware

this can't be for real --- do you believe that all these reviews are for real and not a crock of bull planted by employees of angie? --- i'm sure that if you wanted a heads up on the ajax plumbing company they will have reviews on there? --- without a doubt angie's list never heard of ajax plumbing company and ajax never heard of angie and i'm sure if anyone in your area ever used ajax plumbing they never heard of angie or would pay to be on the site --- the odds of getting any use of this site are higher than the odds of a three legged horse winning the kentucky derby --- this is just another work from home or a cheap office scam which survives (so far) because, as P.T. Barnum said, "There's a sucker born every minute". --- as for the positive reviews, you can bet that these are placed on here by the same shills that will quickly plant phony reviews for ajax plumbing after you inquire about them --- ANOTHER TESTIMONIAL AS TO HOW STUPID PEOPLE ARE --- FOR THOSE WHO GET FLEECED, YOU DESERVE IT! --- that's why the country is so screwed up

you are wrong Angie's List

you are wrong Angie's List members pays millions of dollars to get members. Only quality companies have the right to be featured and partner with Angi's List. Just because your company got bad reviews for doing a bad job is not their fault.

I AGREE ANGIES LIST SUCKS

Everytime I called someone to have estimates on different projects in my house, they told me they were on angies list....THEY TURNED OUT TO BE A NUT AND overcharged,

Angie's List Reliability

Jenny Gray, your frothing at the mouth cheerleading idolatry of Angie and her List biases your attack on someone who dared to air out some reasonable skepticism toward Angie's List reliability. One quote from your free/paid endorsement destroys your illogical comment. You said: "Any other member that used that service would certainly post their own review of their own particular experience." What's your point? Your confused defense of the Angie's List business model does nothing to weaken the complainant's criticism.

how i got my lovely husband back

This is my testimony about the good work of a man who helped me....My name is maria cooker ... My life is back!!! After 8 years of marriage, my husband left me and left me with our three kids. I felt like my life was about to end, and was falling apart. Thanks to a spell caster called papa ork who i met online. On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet, I was searching for a good spell caster that can solve my problems. I came across series of testimonies about this particular spell caster. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he restores womb, some testified that he can cast a spell to stop divorce and so on. There was one particular testimony I saw, it was about a woman called grace,she testified about how papa ork brought back her Ex lover in less than 72 hours and at the end of her testimony she drop papa ork e-mail address. After reading all these,I decided to give papa a try. I contacted him via email and explained my problem to him. In just 3 days, my husband came back to me. We solved our issues, and we are even happier than before. papa ork is really a talented and gifted man and i will not to stop publishing him because he is a wonderful man...If you have a problem and you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster to solve that problem for you. Try the great papa ork today, he might be the answer to your problem. Here's his contact: orkstarspell@gmail.com Thank you great ork. Contact him for the following: (1)If you want your ex back. (2) if you always have bad dreams. (3)You want to be promoted in your office. (4)You want women/men to run after you. (5)If you want a child. (6)[You want to be rich. (7)You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever. (8)If you need financial assistance. (9)Herbal care 10)Help bringing people out of prison Contact him today on: orkstarspell@gmail.com

there's a difference between profit and overcharging

Hi,

As an employee for a company that is currently paying for Angie's List services... and believe me, yes, they certainly do charge the companies, dearly!, I can tell you that Angie's List is making a ridiculous profit! Our bill, as a very small company with under 10 employees, was $1550.00 last year, and we just found out this week that they want to charge us $2250.00 for next year. An increase of over $700.00 a year??? For a small business, it is too hard for us to handle.

There's a huge market out there just waiting for someone to start a truly better, more cost effective alternative to Angie's List! We'd join in a minute.

Angie's list post lies

Dear Angie's list. As a business owner who does hundreds of installs and service calls a yr allows people or disgruntled workers post lies and slanderous comments about businesses that are not fact checked or overlooked for false info so the only choice is to sue the person that posts the lies and Angie's list hides behind the fact that they are the ave, some day businesses will be able to sue the the scum that posts these lies. The BBB is the only true organization that fact cks before they try to bury co, I will be writing my congressmen to have this matter addressed

You are soooooooooooooo

You are soooooooooooooo right ... YOU do need to get over it! AND yes you are more than immature, but you certainly have that right. I know the truth hurts YOU and no doubt you will have something to say about this too! Ahhhhhh YOU never answered any of the questions posed ... just running your mouth. Go figure!

Jenny Gray

what?

So, in the same sentence where you call me immature you use all caps and repeat the same letter a bunch. OMG, U R cleerly teh mo$t maTuR3!

Ahhhhhh YOU never answered any of the questions posed ... just running your mouth. Go figure!

Never answered any of what questions posed? You posted your comments. 7 Hours later you are amazed that I haven't responded. I respond a day later. Wow.

The clock is ticking - you have 7 hours to respond :)

You answered...

greggles, we're watching, and you did answer the questions, and did so in a credible, mature way. Keep up the good work.

First of all, I was positive

First of all, I was positive you are the type of personality that has to have the last word. I was correct that you had to respond ... even if it didn't make much sense to anyone but a select few. Beyond that it is further apparent you suffer from a severe reading disability. My time is more important than continuing to point out to you various issues. Again, you appear to have a severe reading disability. In addition, it's patently obvious you have your very own definitions when it comes to words like "standard, bias, logically" etc. My husband is a profiler and gets a kick out of your posts too. However, we both have better things to amuse ourselves with then your pitiful posts.

Jenny Gray

glad I provided some entertainment

Ok, so it's good to know that I provided some entertainment for you and your "profiler" husband. You also made the 7 hour cutoff which proves that you have less to do than I!

I like how you criticized me for not responding fast enough and now criticize me for being a person who "has to have the last word" in a discussion.

I'm not alone in my beliefs about this - my site was recently cited in discussion about angies list policies on wikipedia so it seems pretty clear that it's not just me living in my own world with my own definitions of standard, bias, and logically. Perhaps you are ONUnicorn and that's what got you so upset to begin with? Or perhaps you are one of the Angies List PR people who wrote the original wikipedia article?

It doesn't matter to me as long as an explanation of the flaws with angies list's policies stays available.

Greggles, either as in

Greggles, either as in preschool, Jenny is hitting you because she infatuated, or as in high school she is the person who so loathed their own life they find someone else to bare their pain. I'm sure there is no husband, profiler or otherwise. You make a terrific argument and I am glad I went to your post prior to the angle site. Hopefully Jenny stops stalking you, and as you noted asks a question, then takes you to task for answering. Regardless good job Greggles, thank you for saving me the 5 or 7 or however much they scam for a month.
Kim Os

Um, no

"My husband is a profiler and gets a kick out of your posts too. However, we both have better things to amuse ourselves with then your pitiful posts."

The fact that you've responded so frequently, and this time, within 7 hours, seems to belie your claims.

And as an aside, your husband is not a profiler, you do NOT have better things to do, and you are an obvious liar.

Seriously, WTF is wrong with you that you have time and desire to lie on the internet?

Reading these blogs brings GREAT INSIGHT

After reading half way through all these blogs I am confident that my membership with Angie's List will prove to be very beneficial. The degree of small minded thinking, ignorance and outright attacks by most of these contractors shows me the degree of human I have to deal with whenever I need some work done on my home. In general my experience has been less than adequate whenever I have to listen and deal with these contractors, who for the most part are master manipulators and proficient at the art of lying straight to your face. 80% of them think you are an idiot when they speak to you....little do they know I have done my homework and then some on every home improvement project I have ever had.

I want to see insurance docs, do they have proper coverage? I request that we be added as additional insured, should someone get hurt on my property. If the contractor has a problem with that, then the conversation abruptly comes to a halt.

I check to see when and how long they have had a license in the state of California. I check the BBB to see if anyone has been treated poorly by this contractor and whether any issues they had were resolved or not. I also request local references who's homes I can drive by to see the work that was done and stop and inquire on how they felt working with this contractor. Were they satisfied, dis-appointed....what?

Do your homework people. Use ALL the tools you have at your disposal. A shady contractor can make your home improvement project your biggest nightmare instead of a pleasant experience. Don't take their word for ANYTHING. Contractors in general can not and should not be trusted.

And one more thing if they ask you for anything greater than a 10% deposit, then you know they are up to no good. The law clearly states that they can not ask for more than a 10% deposit on the total estimate of the job.

Good luck and ask LOTS of questions. If they have a problem with all your questions.....good get rid of them right then and there. A straight up contractor will not have a problem providing you with all of the above.

Why Angie's List sucks

It would be better if Angie's List rated only upon customer reviews, but they don't. They give their own ratings "based on a local expert." Unfortunately, I learned too late to ignore Angie's List ratings, and I am paying the price.

THANK YOU FOR THIS WEB SITE

Im a small buiness owner and would have to say that Angie's List work ethics are a disgrace and are dishonest. AVOID DOING BUISNESS WITH ANGIE'S LIST. A Midwest Company

unsubstantiated reviews of angies list

Well, it doesn't serve anyone to just say things like their "work ethics are a disgrace and are dishonest". That's an unsubstantiated claim without a justification for it. Frankly, I'm contemplating removing your comment because I don't want this to become a thread for everyone with an ax to grind to defame Angies List. If you have something bad to say about them, do it with a little explanation and try to be impartial.

Let me be clear about this Angies List is a good service and provides quality reviews to many people. Their current business model has some holes in it, in my opinion, and I would like to either see improvements or the success of other rating systems.

So, I guess I'll leave the above comment here as a warning to others - if you post a terse review (positive or negative) of Angie's List without an unbiased argument for why you feel that way I will delete your comment.

18 MONTHS

Did you you that a consumer has up to 18 months to complain on a company? So this means that the consumer can sleep on it for 18 months and then one day (18 MONTHS LATER) thats 1 yaer and 6 months make a complaint do you really think this is good work ethics ?

statute of limitations on bad customer service

That's an interesting point - I'm not sure how long a the lag period should be. If it were up to me a customer would be able to review your company at any point.

I guess you can argue that 18 months later the company has probably changed and customer experiences are no longer valid but many companies stay the same more than they change. And really the age of the complaint/recommendation should just be included in the weighting of the review. So, if it were up to me recent reviews would matter more than reviews about an experience that has long passed.

Of course, if it were up to me the reviews would be based upon input from my friends/family (and their friends/family) rather than just making them reliant on random humans.

[note: in case it wasn't clear - both of the comments in this sub thread about their poor service from "Anonymous" are from the same email/IP which is probably the same person.]

DOES NOT MATTER

It does not matter what the issue is to Angie's List if it's within 18 months they will list it.In fact they will list anything a consumer wants to say about a company , they can make up a lie and Angie's List will list it. This is more then a interisting point this is a serious problem that Angies list needs to fix . They Should Learn From BBB .Infact I will be Fileing A comlaint With the BBB About Angie's List.
I have a story that would shock you about Angie's List.

deadline for review

Greggles, I urge you to reconsider your opinion about no deadline for review. Consider this. Industry standard in construction services is a 12 month warranty. This means that if there are any construction defects or equipment failures, the contractor is required to make repairs free of charge. I'm not a general contractor, but as an Architect, I see that my contractor colleagues are "married" to quite a few projects at all times. When something fails after 16 months lets say, and the Owner calls the contractor for repair, there will be a fee. But if the Owner can hold the threat of an Angie's List slashing over his/her head indefinitely, it will unfairly impact the contractor. So, 18 months is not the right amount of time either, unless the contract warranty period is written as such.

M Baker
http://www.bakerad.com

Angie's List should not charge

I commend you on your spirited website and the way all of you “Mix it up.” Being able to express our differing opinions is one of the things that makes America the greatest nation in the world.

If you’re trying to help people by providing information that prevents unsuspecting consumers from making a horrible purchasing mistake, I believe that it is inappropriate to require payment even to support your dissemination efforts. I know exactly what I’m talking about because I am going broke along with several others trying to bring just such advise and warnings to the entire world.

The larger the cost of any service provided to a consumer, the greater the potential for devastating effects to said consumer when all hell breaks lose and the consumer realizes that they have been fleeced. For most carbon based life forms, your home is the largest consumer based service you will ever purchase and when its defective right from the start, you are basically screwed with no recourse of any kind.

We have decided to fight back at http://www.justiceandlight.com/

Continue success with your website as you are providing an invaluable and much needed outlet for consumers even if your efforts are not appreciated by some of the people posting here.

SS

Angie's List is no longer legit

Absolutely, I am all for protecting the consumer, but when there is no accountability for a company like Angie's List and the BBB, whoever has the deepest pockets always wins as far as winning in business is concerned. So for legitimate small and I mean really small companies like mine trying to start out and survive, its like being a tiny little minnow in an ocean against millions of great white sharks. They can and do pay their way in and are rewarded with all the business leads.
Its the oldest trick in the book, its called monopolizing! or controlling the flow of business.

All these companies have to do is pay someone to write a report about them and pay for the tiny fee that Angie's List charges and thier rating gets all stars! but when a tiny little fish like my company attempts to submit the first 2 or 3 legitimate reports, just to get a foot in the door, it gets rejected and refuted as biased.

I think their intentions were initially sincere but now its just about the money whether it comes from the consumers or registered businesses that have plenty to give.

I suspect Angie's List has a

I suspect Angie's List has a rapid response team to respond to criticism on the web. Everywhere you turn on the web that discusses it you find glowing reviews that sound like they were written by a marketing person and critism based on logic accompanied with mindless personal attacks on the critic.

I think "sucks" is a good description for the value of Angie's List even if all their reviews are legitimate, which I doubt they are. They claim to have 250 categories in 124 cities and receive 15,000 reviews a month according to referenced cited in their Wikipedia article. Doing the math, it will take on average about two months for Angie's List to get a single review in each single category within a city. If the category has 12 businesses listed, it will take two years to get a single review on each of them.

They claim to have a "grapevine" with the 500,000 members, (not "millions") and in all likelihood this includes those just checking it out with a free membership. Anyway with 15,000 reviews a month, that means that the average Angie's List member submits a report about once every three years. By the time they do collect enough reviews to mean anything, many if not most of the reviews will be outdated.

I don't think that sample size is anywhere near what it needs to be to make it any more reliable than tossing a dart on a list from the yellow pages. Personally, I think I'll get more value by spending my $50 on lottery tickets than an Angie's List subscription.

I do give them an "A" for self-promotion. They have picked up an amazing level of publicity, but I suspect advertising with the news media and their affiliated companies makes it a lot easier to get them to write good stories about you and turn a blind eye to your shortcomings. The rapid response team is pretty smart too, except it only works for a while.

You are correct

As a former employee of Angie's List, yes, they do have someone designated to respond to online critiques and official company policy is that no employee other than the designated person is to respond or contribute to the critical websites so as to reduce the content and hopefully bury those sites in the search engine results. It's actually a pretty good policy from a business perspective. I will post later about the company. Quite a lot of what is said here is correct, both negative and positive, but there are some wild inaccuracies.

A lot of the information they provide to service providers and potential advertisers, which any company that receives a rating is a sales lead, is skewed and not exactly accurate and they will not publish information that is not favorable. For instance, a sub-50% advertiser renewal rate and the fact that even though they get subscription and advertising revenue and have received over $60 million in VC funding in 2 years they cannot manage to figure out how to turn a profit because the model and operations are severely flawed and bloated - 4 Harvard MBA grads running the company apparently does not guarantee profitability after more than 15 years in business.

Also, the company promotes over 1 million members, but that is inaccurate. Technically, they have sold 500,000 memberships nationwide, but the company standard is to say that 2 adults are in each household so each membership is equivalent to 2 members. Perhaps that does not seem important, but to a general contractor who thinks there are 10,000 subscribers in his area that have homes they could remodel it makes a huge difference because there are really half as many. Seriously, each membership probably has one house to remodel no matter how many members you attribute to it and inflating the numbers is deceptive when you are selling based on those numbers. Plus, they try to raise their advertising rates as often as possible and they have multiple streams of revenue (contractor advertising, health company advertising, memberships, product advertising, national advertising, partnership agreements etc.) -- it is truly just an advertising firm focused on revenue. It seems like the goal inside is to figure out how to turn a profit so it can be sold at a huge mark-up or taken public, but that's just my opinion.

It is positioned as a "consumer advocacy" company, but it really is not. The company's main focus is on generating revenue and far and away the majority of the revenue is from advertisers, but the advertising actually only works for a very few companies. Cancellations are high and most of the successful advertisers have been advertising for years and have hundreds of reports and those advertisers are usually paying thousands of dollars less than what new advertising costs since they haven't had their rates raised (I can think of one specific example where an advertiser was paying only $1,600 per year for a web ad that was priced at over $900/month for new advertisers, so beware). They actually changed their "bucket shuffle" from companies with more than 10 reports to more then 5 reports shuffling to the top of the list just so that companies who have done well for free (read as refused to advertise) would not get the free exposure and business they had been getting just based on their member reports. Even as an employee in sales that seemed shady. Some sales people will actually turn off a company's profile if they don't want to talk about advertising, too. It happens more than you would think.

What I thought the company was and where it was headed when I started working there was clearly not the reality of what I found. By the time I left the company I was very disappointed.

is there a policy saying that

is there a policy saying that the designated responder has to start with "as a former angie's list employee", or they will hide their identify as label themselves as "as a long time user of angie's list"?

mind to share ?

Its sad when people make

Its sad when people make comments about topics they dont understand or even really know about. You people must dont do very good research. I use Angie's List and it has proven to be a wonderful service. You can save money and time by using this company. The $5 monthly subscription fee pays off if you use someone that offers a coupon anyways, plus I would much rather see what people have to say about a company then take a wild guess with the yellow pages. For a service company to have a nice ad in the yellow pages all they need is money, and believe me, the companies with the most money dont always do the best job. You must not be a homeowner.

Sounds like snakeoil to me

Looks like you are changing the subject, but I'll follow along

There are plenty of sources where you can get reviews of questionable reliability other than Angie's List. Yahoo, Yelp, Judy's Book, Amazon, Google (I think), InsiderPages Zipingo, many online yellow pages, someone's "preferred contractors" list, to name a few. Except on those sites, I don't have to pay anything to see them. If I couldn't get a recommendation from someone I trust, I personally would use one of Home Depot's guaranteed contractors rather than the yellow pages or Angie's List I know the contractors pay to be on that list, but at least I get a guarantee from Home Depot if things go bad and they do sometimes, but Home Depot does make good on its guarantee. I doubt Home Depot would keep problem contractors on the list very long if they kept having to payout when they screw up.

I think you are really naive if you think those coupons make it worth $50 a year. It reminds me of one of those people that thinks they get a good deal by buying something "on sale" or "half off the 'regular price' of $20" only to discover another place has the same item for $9 everyday. On a side note, Ebay is a pretty good source for measuring how good a deal is, but that just works for goods, not services.

The coupons don't make it worth it for several reasons. First, they are mostly repeating the same offers in other sources that you don't have to pay for. I'm a homeowner and I get tons of coupons and similar offers in my mailbox every day. Second, Angie's List lists service providers which typically give quotes for specific work. If you are using a coupon, they just won't be as flexible in their quote, thus your coupon is worthless, or least you have know way of knowing whether it actually saves you money or not. As you said, the point of Angie's List is to find reliable service providers, not necessarily the ones with the most money (the correlary to that is the ones that can afford to make the best offers). If you think it's worth it for the coupons, fine, but that's a tough sell, and Angie's List only brings that up when people point out the shortcomings of their main service.

I've logged on to Angie's List with a friend's account to checked it out (she tells me she's not renewing it). I saw about six contractors I'm was already familiar with. All had A's and B's, but three of those contractors absolutely "sucked" from my experience. I would never recommend them and know of several others in my neighborhood with similar problems with them. Needless to say, I would not purchase an Angie's List membership, (especially while my friend's membership still works). Maybe my experience with these contractors was unique, but it does tell me that a good rating on Angie's List probably doesn't mean much.

Are you part of the "Rapid Response Team"? Chad

Works for me

The first two years I used Angie's List, it more than paid for itself. The first time I used it, the movers gave me a financial break (10 free wardrobes on top of a great price for the move) that more than paid for my membership. The second year, the floor finishers I hired gave me such a great price, that the money I saved paid for two years with Angie.

Another big advantage to Angie's List - when you call a company, and mention that you got their name on Angie's List, you can almost hear the attitude change. They make sure you get their best team and the best service, because they know you are going to write them up, and they want a good review. It gives a nice power to the consumer.

I'd ask my neighbors and friends, but I get a much bigger picture from Angie's List, I often get a discount, and I tend to get really good customer service, with Angie's behind me.

I only have two regrets about Angie's List. First, I wish I was better about writing companies up. Once we had a conflict, because my husband, who was there, thought they were great, but when I got home and saw the work, I didn't agree. That was a hard review to write, so we never did. Should have.

My second regret is that I have hardly used them this year because there isn't much money for home improvement, but when I need someone, I'd much rather go to Angie's List than take a "pig in a poke."

Now Vonage - - - there's a company that REALLY sucks!!

Angie's list

Hi Everyone

I am in Saint Louis and I like Angie's list. We bought an older house and have had to do some major repairs. We haven't been in town long enough to have a network and know who is good and who isn't. It isn't perfect but it is a nice place to start. Some small businesses are clearly aware that they have a good reputation on Angie's list and get a lot of referrals from the list. I think that they are also aware that the work that is done will ultimately be rated on the list so there seems to be an incentive to continue to do good work. In Saint Louis there does seem to be a relatively robust database that is helpful in determining who should bid on work etc. If there is a better way I would be happy to save the $50/year. Seems similar to the Homeowners Club of America in a certain sense.

need your opinion

I own a home in the Twin Cities and am doing some upgrading. I have hired a few companies from flyers and the phone book and have had very poor service results. I have read and heard mixed reviews about Angies List and am considering joining, but do not know any one here that has used it and I don't know if it's worth the money. I recently searched the internet and found a free website that strictly qualifies all service companies before they can be listed on the site. It is a local company and just for our area in the Twin cities. It looks interesting and set up nice...and it's free. I would be interested in anyones opinion of this site and to see if you like it and would trust the criteria since you have viewed other sites like this to find good contractors. The website is www.theserviceguide.com Please let me know what your thoughts are on this free resource.

I agree with the anonymous

I agree with the anonymous poster on this one - it's a bit of a crap shoot and they are (like Angie's List) financially incented to drive your business to their businesses. Who knows if they are telling the truth about the quality of their review process.

Maybe you can sign up on Angie's List and see if theserviceguide.com is listed there ;) ?

Wrong

I live in the Twin Cities so I just checked out the service guide. It isn't free. It doesn't have anywhere close to the number of reviews and categories as Angies List.

The only plus I can see with

The only plus I can see with that site (theservice 4guide.com)is the fact that the service is free. Their "strict standards" don't seem all that strict to me, almost on par with saying "do you have a heartbeat?" They are telling you to just trust them, but their revenues come from the businesses.

They say they turn down more companies than they accept. If you believe that, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn you might be interested in. On the other hand, they could be a referral service created or financed by some of the businesses themselves to steer business their way, so they may turn down their competition. A lot of referral services work that way, unfortunately. I wouldn't expect much from them, but you never know I guess. Good luck.

It is sort of sad to read

It is sort of sad to read the previous two more skeptical comments about theserviceguide.com. In today's world where it is such a crapshoot, it is refreshing to see a company dedicated to trying to set things back on a straighter, more honest path. Not everyone in the world is out to get other people. This company doesn't seem to reflect anything but wanting to see things done right for the consumer, and they want to try and help. My recommendation would be to try the service and see for yourself. If it is free, you have nothing to lose. Remember, too, that you can always conduct your own "qualification" process. Their site even has information to help you do it yourself. See if you come up apples to apples. You probably have a better chance of things going right with theserviceguide.com than not.

I agree that it's better

I agree that it's better than nothing and I agree that you can always do the research for yourself. I think this is reasonable - to use Angie's list or theserviceguide.com as just another factor in the process of deciding which contractor is best.

But when you say that it's sort of sad that people are so skeptical, don't you think it's a bit ironic that you didn't leave your name and instead left the name as "Anonymous"? Talk about skeptical!

your opinion

Thanks for your opinion on www.theserviceguide.com I agree with you that it's nice that the service is free. Also, the trust factor is a question as it could be trusted only if the businesses are truely pre-qualified as they say. I did some homework and called a 4 of the companies on the list and they all said that they could not be listed until all qualifications where met including reference checks and proof of insurance...that's a good thing. I noticed that they do not have a way for consumers to give their feedback to the businesses and share it with other consumers. Do you think it would help this service gain further trust if they also allowed consumers to feedback on their individual service experience from the company they hired to do work for them? Then it would still be free,you would have good companies to choose from and it would also have a similar feature like an Angies list with the consumer gaining more information and trust with feedback available to share with other local consumers. What do you think? I'm planning on giving this service a try.

as I just wrote above,

as I just wrote above, services like theserviceguide.com can be a part of an overall picture of a company, but shouldn't (in my opinion) be the only part of it that you trust.

The only way to build real long-lasting trust in an online community is to use rating/ranking that is based upon the social network - not just anonymous reviews. If my mom or neighbor reviews a business I trust that more than some random person (who may be a shill for the company getting reviewed). That type of system where your online trust is based on your offline trust is the basis for the lijit social bookmarking and rating service and I think it will become a powerful force in areas like this over the new few years.

If theserviceguide.com used services like Lijit to build their rating/review network then they'd have something really powerful.

Give It A Try And See What Happens

You sound like you really want to try this service out. You should, but if you have any misgivings, go forth with caution and an open mind. A smart shopper does their own homework. If this service claims to qualify businesses pretty carefully, you will likely be in okay hands, but it wouldn't hurt to ask whichever contractors you hire for their credentials, as well. Do some of your own reference checking. If your experience IS positive, then you know you found a good contractor, plus you found an honest to goodness "for real" useful website you can use again in the future. It's worth giving it a try and see what happens. I've seen other sites similar to these. This one, for some reason, comes across professionally and with a nice, warmer local flavor. Personally, that appeals to me. I like that they are able to actually get to know the businesses they are representing. Too many of these sites don't really have any idea, really, who they are putting out there if they work from out of state. It is a hope and a prayer, that is, if they actually care. I get a sense the people behind theserviceguide actually do care. I think you will make out okay.

Objective? Or subjective

I have been in business for over 25 years. We have over 10,000 repeat customers who would rave about our service, we also probably have 100 past customers who we refused to do or wanted something for nothing who would be the type to get on Angies list and complain. It is a crap shoot! We go out of our way to please our customers and 99% of our customers are very happy with our service. Most people expect and demand good service or they would go somewhere else they WOULD not go on to a place like angies list and PAY to say that they received the service they expected in the first place!

thanks for your insights, ben

thanks for your insights, ben. I think that's exactly the kind of flaw that concerns me about these types of business models. They appeal to the angry minority, or the best friend of the business owner - both skewing the data from reality in their own ways.

Until recently I worked as a

Until recently I worked as a maintenance super (20 yrs) and you are correct, when a service is provided and the customer is happy, even if they are overjoyed with your work, you won't hear a word. Maybe once in a great while someone will give an attaboy, but on the whole a good job is expected. On the other hand, if it takes you a little longer to find a part or if there is a flood, no matter the cause and it's not you fault, when people are angry they want to share the pain, and share it and share it some more, it's sad but true that people are definitely much more vocal when they are unhappy, and sometimes any target will do, especially if they can wiggle some money out of it. Every person who works in any service industry has seen it, and it sucks. Everyone reading this should make a point to point out someones good job just once in the next month, see how you make the service provider feel. Have a great day
Kim Os

Angie's List

I am a small business owner. In my opinion Angie's List is very good for the consumer and blatantly unfair to businesses. This may sound like sour grapes but my company is listed in 5 categories on Angie's List and we have an A+ rating in all categories and have been awarded with the Super Service Award in these categories for the last 4 years. Angie states that only 2% of the companies on the list receive this "honor".

Anyhow - the majority of the subscribers on the list are simply using the list to find reputable companies and this works well for all involved. It is the other small percent that have found they can use the list as clout to "blackmail" companies into providing free services. No one from Angies List inspects the work done but will print anything a home owner states. Even though a very clear contract is involved specifying the work Angie will still side with the home owner and if you do not do exactly what the homeowner wants you no longer receive referrals from the list or worse yet receive negative referrals....

And the advertising rates are ridiculous and there is a substantial increase every year....Splitting of territories, spin offs and yearly increases - ridiculous - Glad someone is finally grading the grader!! I give Angies List DDDDD

Anyhow it is a good scam for Angie and friends and does benefit the homeowners, but small business beware. There is a huge price to do business with Angie's List -- feels like dancing with the devil...............

Feels like Dancing with the Devil......

Small business beware! You will have no recourse if a crazy client posts a negative remark and a bunch of lies about you and your business -- "Angie" will only give lip service to your complaint and side with the client. Their "confirmation process" or dispute resolution is a joke. Also, often a "client" who is a relative or a friend of a competitor, may set you up so that you will have a poor review and in a small town all it takes is a couple of negative remarks for your business to be over and done with. Your good clients will have to join Angie's list to write a positive review and PAY $72.00 a year even if they don't give a hoot about Angie's list. This list has the right to exist, provides a fair service to the consumer, but it is like the Mafia. They have the upper hand and don't give a damn about your business as long as they make their money. They are protected by several laws related to freedom of speech on the Internet, but, hopefully, they are not protected by the wrath of God. They may be legal, but they operate immorally. While many homeowner have obviously benefitted, many small businesses, with a good reputation otherwise, have suffered. And they have to keep their mouths shut. And that's true: unscrupulous homeowners do blackmail service businesses and expect free services under the threat of being blacklisted on Angies'. A small business cannot survive under this climate - especially in a small town.
By the way: many thanks to Mr. or Mrs. KNADDISON who owns this website.

It is good for Angie...

...it gets her all kinds of publicity, a very nice lifestyle and put her through Harvard Business School.

A Former Angies List Employee Speaks Out

Found this on houseblog:

  1. Comment by Lynn Lopacinski -- March 10, 2006 @ 12:13 PM

I used to work for Angie's, and believe me, the line they give, and the way it actually works on the inside are NOT the same. Don't believe all the hype. In addition, they are a horrible company to work for. But, they can be a good resource to consumers, as long as you understand the information isn't 100% accurate or without bias.

if money is involved...

I am fifty years old, and I wish that I could believe in this perfect world of people just wanting to "help people." Maybe you can find that at church, but not on the internet, not matter what you try to "sell" yourself as. This Angie's list business is about money, and when money is the agenda, you must always ask yourselves if the data is going to be good. At 500,000 members and $60 a year each, that's $30,000,000! And on the way to the bank, they can tell themselves that they are "helping people," but really, would they care if they weren't, at that kind of income? And then, they charge businesses to have their listing upgrades, and get ad revenue. This is BIG money, so sorry folks, I am too old, and too cynical to believe in unbiased helpfullness, when that kind of money is being raked in. This is HUGE money, and common to all money making ventures, the person with cash to pay gets the attention, and the ones not paying don't get attention or written up. That applies to the customer who joins to angrily blow off steam, or to the business owner who "fakes" things, to get good reviews. It's likely that the satisfied customer doesn't waste $60 a year to tell anyone about a good experience. (Maybe good reviews should be free to post.) I wouldn't, I'd tell my friends and neighbors instead. That's the way it really works, and if everyone would just think about it, it makes sense. There is nothing like the recommendation of a trusted friend. Never has been, never will be.

Don't forget the advertising revenue...

They generate over $1 million per month in NEW advertising, too. That ignores any renewals, so that is AT LEAST $12 million in NEW advertising revenue per year. The average membership is really about $40/month and they sell a lot of discounted memberships and have free and low priced markets (about half of their markets are "emerging markets" meaning they are tiny and low priced). The advertisers generate the majority of the revenue, but they still cannot turn a profit.

What's right with it?

Aside from the fact that your comment screams "I'm the servicemagic.com head of marketing and I want to get us noticed on a page that's popular with people who dislike angieslist"

Your model is based upon a "contractors pay us, we 'pre-screen', and then consumers rate the contractor" right? So, the 'pre-screen' is going to be biased regardless of how hard you try to make it not be, the consumers rating the contractors will raise the same problems that some contractors have listed above (e.g. consumers can blackmail contractors and raise unreasonable problems), and there's still the problem of "why do I trust your screening vs. my friend or neighbor?" Trust links in real life are based on relationships. Why shouldn't online trust/recommendations be based on your real-life relationships as well?

Let me flip it back - how do you, anonymous poster, think servicemagic's model fixes the problems I identified with Angies List?

angies list & service magic

I have used Service magic contractor three times and could not be more satisfied.
I recently moved into a new house. I got estimates from 3 movers I took the one that appeared to be more credible,( not the lowest price). The movers were three hours late
the truck was too small and, they were one man short. The company was American Van Lines in Fort Lauderdale. They broke a mirrord headboard and immediatele wrote out a
company form and I got a copy. The claim amounted to $66.00 and was denied. Their man packed it, unpacked it and it was broken. I followed all the usual precautions that we are advised to take when engaging a contractor.Without Angies list or Service Magic we would have no recourse or,warning the public of unethical businesses.

well, you have lots of choices, really

You have at least three means of recourse:

  1. recommendations (and criticisms) to friends either verbally or via a blog (cough cough)
  2. the better business bureau - which has been doing this much longer and handles the process a lot better than angie's list or servicemagic
  3. small claims court - ditto

So, why again do we need these sites inserting themselves into this process to take our money or the contractors money?

bbb

Our local BBB has no reviews or rating of companies. They merely tell you if someone has ever contacted them about a company. No details are shared. There are alot of crappy companies out there I want to know who someone would recommend. We have found Angie's list to be great for services where there are multiple reviews.

Service Magic rejects negative reviews

A friend of mine had a terrible experience with a contractor, and wrote a negative review of them and tried to post it on Service Magic, who refused to post it. They told him their customers are the businesses who advertise on Service Magic, and that they refuse to post negative reviews about their customers.

Service Magic sucks for a

Service Magic sucks for a different reason. The trouble with Service Magic is once you put a request in on that site you get inundated with sales calls from every company that does the work (and a few who don't) and they all claim to be great. The companies hate it too since they have to pay for the leads but then they have to compete against the salespeople from every other business who also paid for the lead. On top of that, the prospect quickly gets ticked off by all the sales calls. I don't think a good business would have anything to do with service magic, so what is left is what the customer gets.

Great money making racket for Service magic though.

Doggie Doo

My complaint is that when your favorite plumber took your dog out to do her business, she did it in my yard. Next time, have her take a dump in her own yard.

Honestly...Angie's List works for me

Honestly...I can't believe all the hubbub over Angie's List. Folks, what we're talking about isn't rocket science. Angie's List collects reviews from consumers and averages them. It's that simple. You either think it's worth the membership fee or you don't. For those of us who have found that Angie's List works...we'll keep paying our membership. I've been a member of Angie's List for two years. I can say from experience it's been worth it for me. Emergency plumbing problem on Labor Day weekend, Angie's List helped. Needed a tow truck to tow my car in at 7pm one evening, Angie's List helped. Needed an appliance repairman to replace the heating element in my dryer, again, I went to Angie's List. And my list could go on and on. Seriously, it's a chance to benefit from other people's experiences, without having to call five or six people about one contractor. You can quickly see the ratings, read the reviews and narrow down the hundreds, if not thousands, of unknowns you have when you need a contractor and need one quick. Angie's List works for me. It's that simple.

I have such a hard time believing....

...the comment by Lynn and so many others is genuine. If someone has had a great time with Angie's List, why would he/she spend time googling it looking for mentions in blogs or posts? I agree that this must be work done by a marketing agent. I am hard pressed to take the time to rate hotels, e.g., when I book a hotel through a site like hotels.com -- even if I have a VERY strong opinion about the booking. I got sucked in to reading this info. because I am trying to find out information about some weird exterior paint coating that lasts longer than my house will. Since Angie's List has such an effective marketing campaign, I googled it, and here I am (forty minutes later....)

I got sucked into the conversation also

I got sucked into the conversation also if you don't believe I'm real go to my website
http://www.portlandhousepainting.com or give me a call to have me look at your painting project in Portland Oregon. Our summer schedule is filling up. Angie's List hasn't contributed much business this summer but what they do is generally quality, informed customers. Unlike the yellow pages, for example.

Cheers,

Paul

A Fresh Coat Painting
Top quality painting – affordable prices
Paul Schroder 971-570-0261 Kurt Deppisch 503-484-8361
Email: freshcoat@portlandhousepainting.com Fax: 503-626-3114 CCB# 173646
PortlandHomePainting.com

Angie's List mails your name to businesses you review

For all of those who like Angie's List, did you know these facts:

(1) Angie's List mails your review, along with your name and address to the business you write the review for. I always thought this was anonymous, until I got a call from an angry business owner, complaining about the negative review I wrote about his company on Angie's List. I was astonished to learn Angie's List sent it to him!!! I can't believe Angie's List doesn't tell members this in a prominent place...it's in the fine print on their web site, and not even in the membership agreement.

(2) Angie's List has far fewer reviews than what they advertise. I could never find reviews for businesses I was interested in on Angie's List, so I counted how many they had. They advertised far fewer reviews than they actually had.

(3) Angie's List says only customers write reviews, but this isn't true. If you're a business owner and you get a negative review, Angie's List encourages you to get your "good" customers to write reviews. They give business owners monetary kickbacks for referring new members. To me, this is extremely unscrupulous. I just read an online comment by a business owner who said he bought 10 memberships for his customers so that they could write good reviews about him. This seems WRONG. The more I read internet reviews of Angie's List itself, the more appalled I become!!

I stand behind my reviews on Angies List

I don't think it's unreasonable that a contractor should recieve my name and address when I post a negative review. I am careful to be factual in my reviews and try to be as objective as possible. The reviews are taken from notes taken during my interactions with contractors. I have posted negative reviews and have never been contacted by the contractor but if I were, I would invite them to dispute any of the facts I presented.

To make a review anonymously is cowardly. One of the things I like about Angies List is that reviewers are not entirely anonymous.

if reviewing anonymously is cowardly, then I'm the cowardly lion

Not specifically to do with Angie's list, but I have to disagree that wanting to write a negative review anonymously is cowardly. I bought my first home at the end of last spring. Since then, it has been one repair after another. As a first time homeowner w/ a house that has turned into a money pit, I started this whole experience with checking out reviews on the web. I would check out reviews online but never actually wrote one. I learned quickly to take them with a grain of salt. I saw this posting hoping Angie's list might help, but the mixed reviews just warn me to take it with a grain of salt too. Being single in a new town with no one to really ask about home repair referrals locally, I finally reached a breaking point in my stress level. Within one month, I've had electrical problems, a busted water heater, plumbing issues, I'm faced with replacing windows that might as well be open considering the wind blowing in, and just today learned I need a whole new roof. The plumber my home warranty sent me was a total crook (the BBB listed with an F rating). He showed up over 5 hrs late for the 1st appointment smelling a bit of alcohol and looking hungover, he was with a shady looking "assistant" and they kept insisting that to assess the problem they had to see my house and the possible areas that the water heater could leak (mind you, it's way out in the garage and the heater had just gone kaput and stopped working-there was no leak-I refused to let them in), they said they couldn't report to my home warranty or tell me their assessment unless I paid them 60 bucks and let them see the other side of the garage (aka my living room), stuck with no option-i'm a single and short gal living alone and at that point just wanted them out of my house-i gave it to them. He never submitted report to home warranty. After I had to set them on him, he only said a part was missing. (The two plumber quotes I ended up getting on my own both reported multiple other issues b/c it was 15 years old and simply reached its lifespan) The warranty people tried to reschedule the crook plumber for follow up on report. For two different days, after repeated calls, he kept swearing by phone he'd show up (in 15 minutes) but never did. After having bad experiences with other contractors, he took the cake. I was never actually scared of the others coming back to get me in my house. I couldn't stand the thought of some other new homeowner going through the stress (and missed pay from work) that he caused me. I finally submitted my first and only web reviews and they were flat out NEGATIVE!!! I put on every yahoo, google, etc site I could find. And heck yes, I did it anonymously b/c I didn't need these ex-con looking plumbers to come back to my house to get me! The only reason I had the guts to do is that almost every site I went to had other negative reviews with the exact same story (so he couldn't exactly narrow to me-I was sure to be ambiguous enough about details to not identify me). I did want to warn people and I own my cowardness! Put 'em up, put 'em up scarecrow!

Speaking for myself, if this discussion proves anything to me, it's that like it or not, the most any of us could do is research when possible, learn what to ask, and you just have to plunge in and make a decision on hiring someone. I've become very disillusioned on counting on the web to help me through the stress of my money pit but thank goodness, I've also run across some decent contractors along the way.

With a 13 degree windchill out tonight and holes in my roof, I'll simply sign of this message as...
"Disillusioned in Dallas"
aka "Anonymous"

They don't mail them...

...your name is anonymous on the angieslist.com website, but on the contractor's Company Connect profile management page they can see your report and who wrote it.

Angie's List has been great for our small company

We are a small service based company that has grown leaps and bounds in the past 5 years and we believe that The List has been a big part of this growth. We aim to please our customers and it shows in our 100% positive rating on the list. We have never paid to be on the list, we have never paid for customer memberships to buy ourselves positive ratings on the list. Our overall experience with Angie's List and their members has been nothing but a positive experience for our company.

Sorry to say this Knaddison,

Sorry to say this Knaddison, first of all when you say some one sucks, you should look at you. With out having proper knowledge of a particular business simply saying that business model sucks is meaningless. It proves that "Knaddison Sucks". Let me answer your points, then you can understand why I say this. You Said >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Why This Angies List Policy is Dumb Let's say that I'm a consumer. If Angie's list charges me $5/month I have to get a lot of value out of the list for it to be worth that membership fee. They have millions of customers though, so apparently it's compelling to some folks. Let's say that I'm the business owner, though. If I can create a fake email account and use my home address (or my neighbors address) so that Angie's List doesn't know who I am, then $5/month is a pittance for being able to enter a review of my own business. So, their whole "we charge a small fee to keep the reviews honest" thing doesn't work for the stated policy, but it sure does help them bring in revenue without worrying about advertising. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> In this latest technology world where you can track everthing its not possible to deceive all the times. As you said if a business person pays $5 and can write a review about him. If he dont provide proper service to the customer, definetly customers will call and complain to Angies List. In this case even though he pays $5, it wont be of any use, because he already got the negative comments from the consumers. Ofcourse if he provides a best service, consumers itself will rate him good. So you can sustain in any business only when you provide good service. Of course you can get away 1-2 times. This is common with every business. So as you mentioned its not possible to deceive and get good ratings all the times. Just because of this you can say that their privacy policy is dumb. Not just that, for $5 fee they charge from customers they provide many other services. Example if a home owner used one of the plumber service, he didnt fix the issue as well he charged them more. They take of getting this issue fixed as well the extra charge refund. Do you think for $5 a month is it not worth?? So better you understand their business before commenting on them. I am a happy customer with them from 2 years. You Next Point >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Paid Position/Advertising on Angie's List? Here's the worst part - after your company gets added they contact you and say something like "your company has been added and reviewed. If you'd like you have an enhanced listing you can pay us for that." So the whole "we are acting in our members best interests" thing is bullshit! They have one interest in mind: their own. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Again this is a dumb statement. Every one starts a business to make money. See your site itself. Why at the beginning of the page instaed of providing content, you have placed google ads and other ads. This page is full of Ads. Similarly every one does this for the sake of money. Not just you take for example Google, they say we provide quality and better results than any one. But if you pay on the top you can be on the Top of the search reuslts pages even though you sucks. Thast how the system works. Because of this you can not say google sucks. Only thing is you need to know how to use a proper business model and get the most out of it. If you can not use then that is your problem. You last statement >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> The Review Problem is Real The thing is - it's really hard to run a review site. Really hard. Getting valuable metrics is difficult. How does each user know if they should be trusting the other users of the site. Angie's List's paid membership program clearly doesn't make sense (though it may work than other current options). So, what's the future? Fortunately, it's the online corollary to the system you already use in real life: you ask your friends and colleagues via social bookmarking that helps guide you to the best local plumber. This is the clear way to solve the problem in the future. Sorry, Angie's List. You could implement these features in your site, but don't pretend that the $5 is for anything other than your own pockets. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Atlast you realized that providing 100% real reviews is not at all possible. No one can provide 100% real reviews. You need to depend on people who really used services of that particular company. Also as you mentioned "you ask your friends and colleagues via social bookmarking that helps guide you to the best local plumber." Actually this a very good option. I 100% agree with you. But there are pitfalls with this as well. How much time its going to take to do all this work. Also you will get teh reviews of the services those people have used. You can not see the reviews of the other companies. Also if no one has used those services what you will do??? Every one dont have this much time and energy. So instead of all these hassels i will better $5 and get the reviews of the local companies. Hope this explains all your points.

I'm not actually going to

I'm not actually going to respond to this aside from saying that

1) your grammar is atrocious - in your first sentence "Sorry to say this Knaddison, first of all when you say some one sucks, you should look at you." I count at least 3 errors including the fact that it's not actually a sentence.

2) your logic is empty because you don't back up your claims - "In this latest technology world where you can track everthing its not possible to deceive all the times." That may be true, but on Angie's list it is possible to deceive. That's all that matters for this discussion.

3) You didn't even bother to read the other responses on this page which point out the flaws in your logic - I don't have a problem with them making money, I have a problem with them lying about their motivations and the ways in which they make money.

4) You attack me personally as "dumb" but are too scared to post your own name publicly.

Three cheers to you, Anonymous man!

I am actually going to respond to this.

"Greggles",

I second your sentiments: atrocious grammar is a sign of ignorance. Atrocious grammar and empty logic are a sign of ignorance AND stupidity. Atrocious grammar, empty logic and not reading the whole post are a sign of Attention Deficit Disorder. Atrocious grammar, empty logic, not reading the whole post AND calling someone "dumb" are a sign of ignorance, stupidity, empty logic and ARROGANCE, and yes -- I place the word in capital letters.

Going back to the argument: there is nothing "wrong" with Angies' list except for the fact that they are a total rip-off for businesses and consumers alike. Having a good experience with contractors one finds through such a list may just be a matter of pure luck. Correlation is not always causation. Thus the illusion you got what you paid Angie's for may be just that: an illusion. My older uncle hired 2 people from this list. They were new and inexperienced, charged too much, and left town a month later. He did not write a negative review as he knew these young guys may have retaliated against him in other ways. Later, they were listed on Angie's with a glowing 5 stars.

Most business provide fair services even when they are not listed. As a matter of fact, most businesses with experience, reputation, and word-of-mouth referrals can care less about joining them and pay hefty fees. Contractors who join lists of this nature may have not have been in business a long time. Theyusually have to charge higher prices to cover their cost. The cost "trickles down" to the consumer.

Angie's is here to stay, but so are politicians, thiefs, and unscrupolous folks be they contractors or consumers.

Actually, they are out for their own interests...

Angie's List has to keep the perception of a consumer advocate in order to grow their membership. The goal of growing their membership is for one reason only - to have more leverage to sell more advertising at a higher price. Trust me...I sold ads for them.

Praise for Angie's List!

As a person who recently moved to Chicago I have found Angie's List a fantastic resource. Without a strong base of friends here who can give recommendations for companies, I consistenly turn to Angie's List for advice. I think that the website is easy to navigate and the service is well worth the nominal fee. As a fellow non-profit worker, I also support their business ethics. I have nothing but positive feedback for Angie's List.

fellow non profit

Are you saying "fellow non-profit worker" as in "fellow" to my wife who works for non profits?

As far as I know Angie's List is not a "non profit".

Other than that, yeah, www.angielist.com fulfills a role that needs to be filled, but their model is flawed and I predict that in the long run it will either have to change drastically OR will go down as a spammy-gossipy-den of lies.

Angie's List is Certainly a for profit company

$2400+ per month, per category cost to advertise on Angie's List in the 3 Columbus markets, internet and call center coupon (a way to make sure the call center gives your company name out frequently) Angie's List is definitely for profit!! Started advertising in 2003 and rates have more than quadrupled. Then monthly they charge $220 to be printed on the Honor Roll and the $2400 per month only covers one category and as I mentioned before we are rated on five seperate categories on the list so......... PROFIT - I THINK SO!!!!!!!!!! They try to sell contractors a million and one different services and charges are exorbitant!!!!!!!

Doing business with Angie's List still feels like dancing with the devil...........

Fed Up & Angry!

I was one of the many high ranking companies on Angie's List for over a year till yesterday. Then I received an email from Angie's List telling me that they were suspending my company from their list. Reasons they claim are a competior (falsely) claimed a photo submitted by a customer was their photo. Get this they say two customers that used me had both rated a health club so they thought this was fishy and fraud was invloved. They also said sisters (or relvatives) had both used me and both submitted ratings which is unusual. They even revoked my personal account even though they just charged my CC two days ago for the month. This is about the absolutely most outrageous think I've heard in a very long time. It's obvious their system leaves alot (emphasis added) to be desired. WOW!

Yes, the problem with this

Yes, the problem with this company is that it does not disclose its advertising business to consumers who buy a subscription, leaving them with the impression that Angie's List is only out for their consumer members. I doubt anyone paying their subscription fee would view that as anything other than a ripoff if not a complete fraud. Angie's List looks more and more like a scam the more I learn about them.

Not surprisingly, many of the high rated companies on Angie's List are those that from my own experience, I would avoid like the plague.

car repairs

I went to Angie's List looking for an honest and reputable mechanic-guess? All the dishonest and "slimy" mechanics that I had gone to - names were on the "good list" So much for that list-----

AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE

About Angie's: what you see is not what you get. They don't know the contractors personally nor is the "screening" process accurate. They are so big they cannot screen everything that comes in, positive or negative as it may be. They don't help with complaints made by the customers or by the business. They DO CHARGE BUSINESSES to be listed and to be placed on the top of their list. They try to milk the cow from both ends. Contractors and homeowners are just too small to fight what's become a multi-million dollar business. DON'T JOIN. You will be helping an dishonest company grow and rip-off more people.

Actually...advertising is disclosed to the consumer

To be fair, the fact that companies can advertise or have paid listings is published on the angieslist.com website somewhere in the consumer FAQs. I will point out that is unlikely that consumers actually get that far into the website to actually read the disclaimer.

Highly Rated Companies

Most of the highly rated companies are just that - excellent companies. My point is that contractors can and do pay exceedingly high advertising rates and in return Angie's List does give there name out much more frequently than companies that refuse to pay their outrageous rates.

I stopped advertising other than call center coupon and my calls dropped dramatically. Just an FYI.............

wrong

angie's list doesn't give out names like servicemaster seems to. I can see the whole list and sort and rank by a variety of details. I read a variety of reports - all if the available reports are few, and sort them by different factors if the list is too long to read. I don't think you've ever seen the list given your comments.

If you ARE going to advertise...

...note that call center, in most categories, is a waste of money. Ask for the metrics and if there aren't at least 1-2 calls per day in your category it is not worth the money. Also, you can usually ask for Enhanced Web to be included free. In my experience, the most effective advertising strategy was a web ad plus a print ad, but you had to have at least 5+ reports to be competitive. Companies who advertise also need to be extremely proactive about getting more reports. Angie's List is not a passive advertising avenue.

What's all the fuss about?

The commenter is free to issue his opinion. It is very small-minded to criticize him for his opinion, be it right or wrong. Angie's list is a service for those who wish to use it and who find it to be of service. Nobody is forced to use it. There is nothing else to say.

ok

You didn't comment inline with whichever "commenter" you are defending, so I'm not sure what you're talking about exactly. However, you seem to like Angie's list so I'm going to assume that you are defending one of the people who disagreed with my original post. Since all of the people who have disagreed with me have been insulting to me, just how reasonable is it for you to say that I'm being small minded when I criticize them?

Further, you claim that it is just for those who wish to use it and that nobody is forced to use it so there is nothing else to say. Your point seems to be that I shouldn't state something negative about them if I dislike what they are doing. How do you reconcile that with your actions: coming to my site--uninvited and without being forced--and then telling me what to write on my own site?

What All the Fuss About

You must be kidding! What's all the fuss about? Briefly: yes, consumers are free to use or not to use Angie's list. Angie's list, however, should not be free to misrepresent their services and lure gullible people or contractors to join. The problem is with Angie's mirsrepresenting its services. Last I heard fraud is immoral, ripping people off is not nice -- even when people believe they are getting something. You are correct, though, is some people are happy, so what? I don't have a beef with happy people, I have a beef with misleading advertising.

wrong

i have heard nothing but great things about angie's list so i'm not sure where all this fuss is coming from.

good point - I'm not sure either!

Frankly, I wrote what I thought was going to be a throw away post. My friend asked what I thought about them and I looked into it and wrote about it. The fact that so many people on this page have been motivated to write in their additional points about why they dislike www.angieslist.com just goes to show, in my opinion, that there are plenty of reasons to get "fussy" about them.

seems like another way to make money, gee wish I thought of that

I'm sitting here with an insurance check that is too small to cover hail damage, or so the companies I have contacted for estimates have advised. I have never looked at or considered Angie's list, but as the thunderstorm season rolls into full swing, I thought I'd check A.L. out. I discovered only too soon that you had to pay to get any information. I must have been asleep for the past few years as all the recommendations from friends and family to call A.L. never mentioned a fee. Maybe this doesn't bother me as much as the fine print, something about my email address, or sending me information about other topics etc. I don't have to pay for google, dogpile, live maps, map quest, sudoku, text twist, hotmail, etc. Why should I pay for this, and especially if A.L wants me to agree to let you clog my mailbox with unwanted solicitation, oh wait, I had to agree to this to join, so I guess it's not unwanted and you do allow me to unsubscribe. Fee or not, I see your point on how this could be manipulated adversly to the consumer all in the name of profit. As a further gripe, it's bad enough to have an insurance company lowball an estimate, it's even worse to know that you can't completely trust an organization that proclaims to be trustworthy. In this case, word of mouth, or BBB will have to suffice. Just my take on things. Thanks for the chance to vent.

Wrong

You have read only good things about Angies? Have you read this site? Have you called the BBB? Have you researched this company? Obviously not. Obviously you must not read much or know how to do research. Thank you, though, for letting us know.

Who/what is perfect?!

I've read all the comments here and I will disclaim that I am a business using angie's list and do pay monthly for both, being highlighted in rotation with several other providers in my category at the top of the list, and also for print advertisement in the monthly publication.

Several points to make....

1)I have never been told by AL staff that they would pay me for each new customer I referred, however I do at all times willingly tell people about the service b/c it far out does the blind crap shoot of the yellowpages.

2)I have 100 reports filed by my clients in just over 1 year on the list and I am only one small, new company, so they can have the # of reviews & customers they claim easily.

3)I could fictiously post "great" reviews about my company, but why? Potential customers could easily sense it, the BS being laid on and it's not worth the effort.

4)Craig'sList, the epitomy of open source marketing-free posting, etc., does in fact charge for some aspects in some markets (job posting in NYC). Nothing in this world is free and making some money is not inherently wrong.

5)AL listing/advertising is very reasonably priced for its customer base. In my city (1 million people), there are two "yellow pages" and they each charge $500 per month for a 1/4 page ad!!! That is $12,000 a year for something I immediately put into the recycle bin and find annoying & useless in their clutter "yellow pages on the web" listing at the top of my web searches.

6)The service must work based on isolating bad contractors from good. If it didn't, then you would see companies with "A" ratings loaded with bad reviews and this doesn't happen. It is a positive feedback loop. A company does good, they get good reviews, they get more customers, etc. They do bad, they get bad reviews, they lose potential customers, they fail or they advertise in the yellowpages where no one knows about their shoddy business practices or poor quality work.

7)I won the Super Service Award this year for my category and it was but one more incentive for doing excellent work. I had roughly double the amount of postings of any other company. Two things bothered me though. I needed to join the BBB, which is a crock in that their "business model" only keeps negative reports on a company for potential customer review and they are no more knowledgeable about trade qualifications than a 3 yr old. And, that I thought I would be the only one receiving the SSA for my category, but there were 5 others as well, several with 1/10 the number of comments! I guess if only 5% receive the award and there are over 100 companies in my category the math plays out:(

8)Both servicemagic.com & topservicepros.com have sought my usage & advertising dollars, but I think they are jokes and wouldn't be bothered with them.

9)As far as limited coverage concerns, let's face it...it takes time for a company to grow. They are in more markets than they were when I started and just like I wanted to grow my business slowly and responsibly (to maintain high customer satisfaction) so too Angie's must grow at a reasonable rate to ensure its clients the same.

10)There are few if any resources out there to monitor contractors and their "de facto" qualifications and Angie's does try to ensure companies have some level of competence through customer reviews. State licensing boards do little more than ensure a company pays its taxes and fees as in my field they couldn't tell the difference between a hammer & a chainsaw. As a consumer, I would rather have the backing of other consumers like myself than a state agency that doesn't test on job specific knowledge or qualifications!

Lastly, because I am an honest business and do offer high quality work to my clients (see positive feedback loop) I know for a fact I have received jobs from customers that did not get other bids on the job and went solely off what they read about my company on Angie's List. I did not know this before submitting my bids so I had no incentive to jack my prices up, but customers used Angie's to make an informed, educated decision to use my company. This is much better than the sole-source bidding done by Halliburton/KBR etc., so maybe the government needs an Angie's List for some fiscal responsibility!

Please no need for commenting on my grammar/punctuation. The world isn't perfect, nor are any companies, nor any one person.

Have a good day!

p.s. when talking with my Angie's List representative recently, I actually asked her where I could post a review on Angie's List and I felt it only fair and wanted to post good comments.

thank you!

borealtree - thank you so much for a well thought out and valuable post. When I made registration required I hoped that it would reduce the number of pointless anonymous posts, but I didn't expect that it would raise the quality of new comments to the level you've taken it.

I think you've raised lots of good points and agree with most of them. I agree that Angie's List is generally a good service - my concern is about the scalability of the model and the opportunities to tamper with their data. I stand by my claim that in the long run they will need to change their model to survive.

Again - thanks for a well reasoned, logical, and polite post.

Dear Borealtree - ***Caution***Beware ***Caution*** Beware***

borealtree- Beware of putting all of your eggs in one basket. I too had a honeymoon with Angie's List for about three years. The Super Service Awards, Honor Ads, A+ ratings in 5 categories, etc. You know the drill. What you don't know is that the first time you don't cave to a customers unreasonable demands and draw a line in the sand and say "No" your phone will stop ringing. Your name and number will no longer be given out until the issue is resolved to the customers satisfaction. My company actually ended up doing over $10,000 worth of free work for one customer after a two month standoff when I refused to cave- Finally did the work because I needed the referrals. And know this. Whether Angie's List existed or not my company would still do quality work at affordable pricing performed by employees that take pride and ownership in their work. We have always gone above and beyond for our customers but never put ourselves in a position to be blackmailed before.. Ended up on the list because a customer we did work for was on the list and it grew from there. Angie's List didn't even factor into my business plan in the beginning and in hindsight I wish I would of kept it that way!

Anyhow, what I liked about Angie's List was the quality of the clientel and the quanity of referrals just for doing what we have always done and will always do.

I will never again though, allow my company to depend on referrals from one source. The source can dry up. I have met with Angie. I have talked on the phone with CEO. I have had a good relationship with my marketing rep and I monitored my account and comments weekly.

Anyhow, just wanted to give you a heads up. Don't give Angie's List the power to hurt your business. You may think it will never happen to you, but you will come across that one con artist, unreasonable customer and either kowtow to what they want or lose your referrals until you do.

Now, if you ask anyone at Angie's List they will tell you this isn't what happens, but trust me, it does. I experienced it twice and the second time I rolled over much quicker..... I immediately began downsizing with Angie's List and spent my advertising dollars elsewhere. I actually now spend less on advertising, get alot of my customers as repeat customers or word of mouth and still get Angie's List customers without giving them any of my advertising dollars. My call center ad expires next month and if I don"t receive any Angie's List referrals I am at the point where I will have plenty of work without them. Strongly suggest you do the same.....

Angie's List wants your money but they will always stand up for the consumer- whether the consumer is in the right or the wrong. You are expendable.... Make sure Angie's List is too!! You asked - who is perfect - well you better be perfect and then some if you are depending on Angie's List for your customers!!

Learned the hard way -- Doing business with Angie's List is like dancing with the devil....

AngiesList DOES sorta suck

Greg is pretty much right on this. Yes, there are many good companies on AngiesList--the customer isn't always wrong. But anyone who has ever run a business knows that the customer isn't always right, either. Sometimes they are dishonest, cheap, unreasonable SOBs who simply want something for nothing.

  1. The AngiesList system can be, and Is gamed every day. Bad companies write glowing reviews of themselves. The argument that consumers will write negative reviews that will balance that effect is true, but only to a point. The company can still overwhelm the bad reviews with fake good reviews.

  2. AngiesList also allows companies to post batches of "good" reviews 10 at a time, all posted on the same day, by different users, all of whom apparently simultanously got it into into their heads to post a glowing review--never a bad review--on what is still a little-known site, all on the same day. Give me a break! An "anonymous" poster/AL flack categorically denies this above, but I can show you AngiesList sites where this is going on right now. (Hint--we have done this for several of our clients)

  3. Incredibly, AngiesList gives very positive ratings to companies which have a majority of "bad" reviews. I think this is the worst strike against them. They either don't read the overwhelmingly negative reviews about a company before they top rate them, and/or they just don't care. They just want the businesses' money.

  4. The "little Angie Hicks going door to door and asking her neighboours in Mayberry" schtick is just total BS, and it's pathetic that so many gullible people want to believe it. "Angie" is just a figurehead for a company which has huge venture capital behind it, and which wants to make a lot of money. There is nothing wrong with wanting to make money --but there is definitely something wrong with the way AngiesList wraps itself up in a cloak of neighborly good feeling, while hiding the fact that it is a ruthless, for-profit venture in which "bad" companies can pay to be listed higher than "good" companies who don't need or cannot afford to pay.

  5. The fact is the only time that AngiesList cares about consumers is when their "complaints" can be used to shake down businesses, in exactly the same way that the Better Business Bureau does. (Many people--probably the same naive souls who believe that "Angie" is Mother Teresa-- think that the BBB is a division of the U.S. Government, or the Small Business Administration. It's simply a version of AngiesList that's been around for 90 years, is franchised to entrepreneurs in every US city, and which charges businesses $300-$500/year for a five cent sticker saying that they are a proud member of the "Better" Business Bureau!)

No, AngiesList doesn't suck --completely--but it is fundamentally dishonest and deceptive, and of questionable accuracy, despite their well-oiled PR machine and the obvious corporate flacks defending them here. All they want is money--from the consumer paying $60.00/year, to the businesses paying them thousands of dollars a year in advertising. Wake up, people! When you see (very expensive) Newspaper, radio, and Google ads for Angies "free consumer service", who do you think is paying for them? YOU are!

But AngiesList is doomed anyway. All these supposedly independent "reviews" are now free on AOL, citysearch, etc. All AngiesList will have achieved is to further erode whatever trust people and communities once had in the Internet.

Just a few facts I do not think ya'll are aware of

I have been a member since they barely had 1,500 members in my area (now 20,000), and this is what I have learned:

1- Sure, a company could post a review about themselves, but when Angie's List finds out- they are immediately removed.

2- The reason why a company with a bunch of bad reviews can have a good "grade" is because theirgrading system is just like a school's. They even show GPA's. And jut like in School- if you had 2 F's and he rest of your grade were A's... Your GPA wouln't be that bad.

3- Angie Hicks IS a real person who DID go door-to-door. Go to Indianapolis and ask one of their employes to meet her in person. The company DID start with just a two people as employees, and their total # of membes DOUBLED fro 245,000 to 500,000+ since 2005.

4- If some stupid member goes online and posts bad comments about a company- the company does have the chance to go online and respond to these comments. So users CAN get both sides of the story.

5-When you're reading reviews, you can click on a link to view that same user's other comments about all companies they've ever reviewed, and see for yourself if they're being fair or if they're just a "hard grader".

6- In order for a company to advertise on AL, be high-lighted and offer discounts, they must have at least one report that was posted within the last 2 yrs, and have total grades of a B or more average. A company with all c's and f's cannot advertise even if they pay.

7- Members can pick what reports to look at- the ones with just A and B ratings or all of them.

8- Sure, you can post and read reviews for free on AOL and those other websites--- but if companies post reviews about themselves on AL when they have to pay---why wouldn't they do it on all the other websites also?

Personally, I'd rather hear other's experiences before bringing some felon into my house to fix my furnace. That's the reason people even go on Angie's List.

The facts you don't want to know about AngiesList

From the immediate reply to my posting above--the flacks are obviously monitoring this and any other sites that question AngiesList business practices. However, "Bahebcindy" does not address my main points and/or tiptoes around them.

I never said that Angie Hicks isn't a real person. Litle Angie Hicks may have started it, just like hundreds of people start "referral" businesses every day. But she had neither the money or the ability to take it nationwide.

Bahebcindy writes: "Sure, a company could post a review about themselves, but when Angie's List finds out- they are immediately removed."

A. How does Angies List "find out"? We have posted at least 50 reviews for three businesses in Cincinnatti and Chicago and San Jose, all of which are still up and available. I know other companies which have also done so. They have never been removed either. Posting "reviews" is now just a part of online marketing, along with posting reviews on Yelp, InsiderPages, CitySearch, etc.
And as I pointed out, AngiesList does not even catch multiple posts about a company on the same day. (Bahebcindy didnt address that). We're not dumb enough to do that, but I can point to companies which have, and didn't get caught. Ten reviews all posted on the same date. Then ten more a month later? How basic is it to monitor abuse like that? Who is watching the watchdog?

2- "The reason why a company with a bunch of bad reviews can have a good "grade" is because theirgrading system is just like a school's. They even show GPA's. And jut like in School- if you had 2 F's and he rest of your grade were A's... Your GPA wouln't be that abd"

Answer:Check out the advertisers in Chicago. Look at every one of the companies with Angies List coupons, read every review, and tell me that all those companies deserve AL's "A" rating. Some of these "A" rated companies have nothing but complaints, or D, E, or F grades. Is AL is changing the overall grade? Clearly they are not reading the reviews.

"If some stupid member goes online and posts bad comments about a company- the company does have the chance to go online and respond to these comments."

Answer: So now you're saying that members of the public who post bad comments about a company are "stupid". I thought you wanted to hear the bad comments before you "hired some felon to fix the furnace in my house."

"In order for a company to advertise on AL, be high-lighted and offer discounts, they must have at least one report that was posted within the last 2 yrs, and have total grades of a B or more average."

Wow, that's setting the bar really high. Any half-witted "felon" can pass that test. (Note to half-witted felons: I can help you!) The three companies for whom we have posted numerous fake reviews in the past six months in Chicago, Cincinnati, and San Jose have never been "caught" or removed.
While it's true that these businesses do get the occasional call from someone who says they saw them on AngiesList, they get more calls from AngiesList advertising salespeople.

Finally, Ms. Flack simply ignores the main point, which is that AngiesList will soon be history. What was probably a little business that was genuinely trying to be of some use has been corrupted by the need to quickly pay back the costs of trying to expand to every city in the U.S. And the more "visible" AngiesList becomes/became, the more it will be gamed by business owners and marketing people. Pretty soon, it will have lost all credibility.

In the major metros where AngiesList has been giving it away for free, nobody is now going to start paying for AL. (Note to people in midwest-why are you paying for something that is free everywhere else?) That means that they will have to really ramp up the advertising sales calls to small businesses, all of whom are bombarded daily with similar sales pitches from other "review" sites, as well as Service Magic, Yellow Pages, newspapers, radio and TV, and every other marketing person with a bridge to sell you.

Money talks, BS walks.

Here's the kind of stuff

Here's the kind of stuff Angie's List sends to service providers daily:

Try New Mover's Mailbox from Angie's List and market your business to new homeowners — it's inexpensive, targeted, and will generate new customers for you...

www.newmoversmailbox.com

Plus, New Mover's Mailbox will help you design and print a marketing piece
to mail to new homeowners in you area.

New homeowners spend an average of $9,700 on their new home
within the first 180 days.
New movers are 5 times more likely to become long-term customers
if you reach them first!
Signing up is simple! Here's how it works...

Choose the zip codes that you want to target for your business.
Every month you will receive your New Mover's Mailbox list. This list will include the addresses of all new homeowners/new movers that have moved into the zip codes you selected.
Send your own marketing piece or let us design and print one for you.

For more information log on to www.newmoversmailbox.com
or contact Kathy Vanderhorst at 1-866-783-2977 (ext. 8810) or kathyv@angieslist.com

AngiesList.com | Contact Us

which is it???

you really need to get your story straight. Before you said you did it in Philly, chicago, and the other town.

I really think you need to own up, and tell people where you actually got away with this, and with what company, or whatever, because I called my friend again who works there, and she checked a couple of the towns, and there are 1-3 "suspects" that they already are watching. However, she says that one HAS GOTTEN THEIR FIRST WARNING ALREADY, and she says the other suspects are there, but they are getting any business like you claim. She says UNLESS YOU ARE ACTUALLY PAYING TO ADVERTISE now, you are NOT up high in the list, unless you are in a category that no one uses. She says in top cities like chicago, etc...there are advertisers in most of the good categories that get constant business, and you would be listed at least 12th or below, and if you are NOT advertising in those cities you aren't getting the business you say you are, and that the reports expire after 3 years, and so even if you are spending all that money to keep renewing your yearly memberships in those cities, just so you can fall at the bottom of page one, or on page two of the category, you're lying about how easy it is, and you're probably lying about getting caught, etc.

the general concensus is that you are making up a lot of it, to make it look like it was easy. Already with just the info you've provided about buying memberships in several cities, and making reports on other companies too -has you doing a full-time job just to keep reports up there, and keep doing it, and keep from getting caught, and the fact that you would have to involve several others in the project. THIS 100% MAKES IT not very feasible for the average contractor.

If you have gotten away with it for real -it's time to own up. What company, what city -so that we can verify that you are telling the truth 100% -because we are getting a more clear picture so far that IF you did everything you said, NO ONE ELSE would go to that trouble, and we don't think you are being honest about a lot of it.

You are cheating on Angie's List -so OF COURSE you wouldn't be telling anyone else the TRUTH EITHER. If you cheat in one area -you're cheating in a lot more areas...my guess is you probably cheat on your spouse as well...
Dishonesty and people that think this way, don't change their spots the rest of the time.

It's not that hard to do...

A full-time job...writing reports? Just how much time does it take for you to write a review? I have written reviews so many reviews, so many times and each one took me a couple of minutes. I've even helped out friends and knocked some of their competitors down the list.
It's just business... plain and simple.

Angie's Clients are not always welcome.

My company doesn't like to take clients who are members of Angie's list and who depend on this list exclusively. We have been in business for many years and have learned that, as clients have the right to screen us, we have the right to screen them. We attended a seminar on the "ideal client". An "ideal client" is a well-informed client who choses a contractor according to solid and tested criteria, checks references, goes to the BBB web site, asks friends, and so on, you know the drill.

In my opinion, many clients - although obviously not all - who join Angie's list or other worthless and dubious lists can be paranoid and not not very bright or trusting. They vacillate between trust and mistrust. Not having followed a reliable process, they will try to hire a company, but have ambiguous feelings about it. Angie's seems reassuring to them, but deep inside they usually know that perhaps they are placing their trust in the wrong place. This translates in an awkward business relationship. We don't like awkward business relationships. Again, we ask clients to check our own references. We have many.

We prefer clients who are not gullible, who can at least minimally trust us, who have gotten several bids, checked LOCAL references and are sure that when they hire us they do so because we have established a good rapport. The minute a client tells us they have joined Angie's they are at the bottom of our list. This seams mean or unfair. To us, it is good business practice.

A content business Owner who will NEVER join Angie's.

Communicate and build trust.

I thank you for this. We are an honest remodeling company, and we greatly prefer customers who are responsible enough to use their own judgment and a screening process based on communication. We spend time via phone, email and in person providing information and bids to potential customers. We really care to do a good job from the start and building mutual trust is vital as a starting point. If we can't build trust, if we just can't sense that the customer notices we are decent people with integrity who are trying to provide a helpful service to them and make a living in doing so, and that is ALL we are trying to do, we don't take the job.

We do not see how reading anonymous Internet reports by the tiny minority, positive or negative, can ever be a foundation of trust. It is a crapshoot, no matter if it works for you or not. It can never replace actual, live communication with a person so as to decide if that person is trustworthy. If a customer can't make a call and discuss his/her project for 10 minutes, is too scared of what might happen by doing so, doesn't trust himself or herself enough to evaluate based on human interaction, then I guess the Internet crapshoot would be valuable to that person.

As far as I can tell, the best people, and thus the best contractors, the honest, skilled guys who focus on service and great results, simply do not bother with the fake world of Internet reviews and the sites that profit from them.

Communicate and build trust comment

Susan, thanks for what you wrote. I have an earlier post on this discussion board about cowardly anonymous reviews. One of the things I mentioned is that as a first time homeowner, I've learned that it is a crap shoot, there comes a point where I just have to plunge in and make a decision on hiring a home repair or improvement vendor. I have been that "single woman that a mechanic can't wait to take advantage of!" Forget the mechanics, the crooks lurking in home improvement are 100 times worse. I absolutely agree with your comment. Reading reviews on the web hasn't helped me avoid the con men out there! The best thing I've done is learn to find my voice when talking with a contractor or vendor and do as much homework as possible. Reading books, referring to websites like DIY, HGTV, EHow, licensing board sites, professional association sites, industry standard sites, etc. have proved far more helpful to arm me with a set of questions to ask a repair person. The good service folks out there are the ones who are happy to answer all my questions patiently.

My advice to homeowners is a spin off of your points: yes, I still believe a vendor should provide good customer service and be able to instill trust in a client. But for me personally, it's a two-way street. A web review is a poor substitute if I, as the consumer, can't actually articulate or define what exactly I'd need to see in that vendor to build my trust. A web review can never measure up to my own research of what a good delivery of service entails. I'll never meet Angie, but I will meet my potential contractors. I can ask her what she thinks, or I can ask them my checklist of questions. I'd rather make a judgment based on the criteria I define--not some stranger!

Well said

I had some situations w/some Angies' List customers as well and was very unfortable how entitled these readers felt to my service. Not every customer is a desirable one, Angie's List or not. I have targeted a very specific niche, one that works for my company, and some people are better left to find another provider. I tried to let a few of those AL customers down easily (I'm over booked or maxed out etc). and they complained about my service giving me an F.
Yet they hadn't even used us ! Ironically, it is this situation that prompted a staffer to look more deeply into it - I wrote in and asked AL how to respond to an inaccurate, negative comment. Supposedly, that's when they "found" a fake review and stripped me of my Award (hard won over 15 months of A+ service). It hurts to this day to remember the whole ordeal- all started by a non-customer in the wrong demographic (niche)for our company. Oddly, AL left that horrible review (written in all caps....just goes to show you ...) and took away my Super Service Award which, by the way, is an accumulation of many, many reviews from many many customer's over a long stretch of time. I didn't earn that Reward by being a cheater......I earned it w/years of blood , sweat and tears. The whole situation was unfair and ....just wrong. They didn't take anything else into consideration other than my elderly IC while working in my office wrote a review. He was my customer for many years by then. Still is. From reading all the disention from other posters - customers and contractors- I'm realizing that cooperation from Angie's List really depends upon the stafferes in different markets that dictate what happens behind the scenes. Otherwise, the posts listed would be consistant , which they are not. From sucks to loves - there is a definite pattern.

Good Points

The company receives revenue from both sides, but in ANY dispute they will always, always, always side with the consumer regardless of whether they are right or wrong. It is very difficult to get negative reports removed and several hoops to jump through to get it done. In any dispute between the member and the contractor, the contractor is in a hard place.

Well Said

As a contractor and customer of AL, I've encountered both the negative and positive effects of being involved with the company.
In general, people love to complain. They love to hate. I dont' know why bc complaining and hating are so dreadfully exhausting and counter productive in the long run. But people LOVE to compalin, point fingers, blame and generally put their problems onto others so that they themselves don't have to look at what their contribution is to a negative situation. The customer IS NOT always right. And sometime's On Both Sides, one must say - I'm sorry, I messed up, I misunderstood, I owe you an apology. But most humans don't have the capacity to see their contribution to a negative situation. And I've discovered, at least in our case as a contractor, that Angie's List, by supporting a customer/list member without grasping the entire situation is only adding to the counter productivity of a no win situation. I'm a customer and I'm not always right - in fact, often when I'm pointing a finger I need to look at how many of my own fingers are pointing back at me. But I know how to say "I'm sorry, I was wrong" without feeling weak or stupid -it's actually empowering to say "your're right" - I prefer it because then a negative situation turns around into a postive one - or at least neutral. But AL's didn't support me at all. They hurt me. I take care of animals, that' what I do as a former AL contractor. I have a big heart and compassion for all beings and a ton of customers because I really , really care. Conversely, my feelings get hurt easily.....and sometimes I've totally misread a situation.........and when I realize it, I try to ammend it. All AL had to do was trust me. And they didn't. so, in effect, I only 1/2 trust their reviews and awards. As a consumer it's up to me to select the right contractor and do the legwork of checking references. As a contractor, I can't tell you HOW many people refuse referrences when I try to provide them - Jesus people - know who your're hiring to go into your home- and it's baffeling to me how trusting people are. Until they're not. that's the kicker - not all totally trusting people are trustworthy- they read a list, they hire w/out references then complain that things went wrong. And AL supports that. Sigh.....

I like the points you made, but......

You stated: " I was new in the business" and relate that throu Angie's list you got a bunch of business. Kudos to you and congratulation for being honest and prosperous. Now, what IF you were not really that good? And that's the problem wi this (or any) list: many new inexperienced companies join or are listed. Even if eventually they are booted out from one list, they join another list, and another...... Now, who really pays in the first place? The consumer who hired the new kid on the block not knowing that this "screened" contractor was really new.
WITH ANGIE'S LIST YOU TAKE A CHANCE NO MATTER WHAT. DO YOUR DUE-DILIGENCE. While a list may be a starting point, a lot of homework needs to be done in checking LOCAL references and making sure you are being ripped off. Angie CANNOT guarantee that. Why pay if, after all, you still have to do all the work?

angies list... I dont like it really

I am a very respected business owner in my field, I've had many customer who have refered me to Angies List and have never joined for the following reasons:
1. The first time I heard about the list and called and requested information about "advertising", they had me waiting on the phone for about 10 minutes, they were rude and told me very cold tone "we don't do conventional paid advertisment" Yeah! I waited all that long to heat that!!!
2. I've seen jobs featured by awarded contractors in my field and they are not that great as they advertise, who are their "experts" anyways?????
3. They make it looks like every single client-customer is right and that is not always the case, people do very shady stuff to NOT pay what a job is worth, but there is not a page featuring nagging, cheap, complicated, hard to work with stubborn clientele.
4. Many of my clients are members and no company listed in their pages can outstand our work -for what they have said- .
5. Reputation can be certainly trashed in this list and Im not willing to jeopardize something I've worked really hard for, not afraid, but I don't need them either.

100% agree with main article.

We need to open our own

We need to open our own web-site: naggy, cheap, crazy clients.com
Seriouysly: a client can blackmail you by blacklisting you on Angie's. Heck, why not tell all the crazy folks that expect something for nothing, or who get uyp on the wrong side of the bed and take it out on you, that you can too list how neurotic they are, so that nobody will ever work for them?
I am tempted to do this. As a matter of fact: when I retire in a few years and I don't have to worry about running a business, I will open my own list of contractors who can sign up and get the names of clients who are just impossible to deal with. I'll hire an analyst to analyze their behavior :-) ....... May be I'll call the site: neurotics dot com. I can't be sued either if all I report is contractors' experiences with obnoxious people. After all if there is freedom of speech for Angie's, there must be for contractprs.

Would someone take me up on this?

A fed-up business Owner. (Fed up with lists, referral fees, advertising fees and BS that has made my life miserable. Not fed up with clients ibn general as I have learned to avoid neurotic clients...they are not worth my time and sleep!)

Bad Customer List

I have wanted to create a bad customer list for years. Small business owners have to have some way to check out customers to protect themselves. Our company was blindsided by an untruthful review for work that was completed more than 2 years ago. We have no recourse other than to post a response, but it was so long ago that we can't even remember who these people are. They have removed the time limit on when the work was completed. Angie's List won't ever remove a customer review. The customer has to do it. Everything is biased against the small business. Excuse me but we are people too. The vast majority of our customers are great. It only takes a couple to be nasty and tarnish a good reputation. It hurts all of the people employed by that business, not just the owner. They probably never even considered that or maybe they just don't care.

hahahhahahahhaah

that's funny - Naggy Cheap Crazy clients.com. lolololol. You sound burnt out, Another Honest Business Owner- been there, it's awful. Sometimes it seems no matter how hard we try someone is still going to complain (usually about something that isn't happening) about something. I love your last paragraph, A fed-up....
but listen to me - you sound to me like your en route to burn out- take some time and get away from the business.
I didn't - all the signs were there- and I'm paying dearly for it. I hit the wall so hard I broke my spirit. Please, Fed Up Honest business owner- try to get some time away from the biz and all the crazy people we deal with (on both sides). You will see things differently when you return. I wish I had.

We need to open our own - Angie's List Sucks

Have you retired yet/ Sign me up! Doing business with Angie's List is like dancing with the devil! Some of the craziest customers we have had have come from Angie's List referrals.

Contract changes mid term

Can you believe that Angie's list changes their contract before your subscription expires and refuses to allow you to use the service without agreeing to the new terms and conditions? Is this legal or just a breech of normal ethical business practices?

Legal issues

No, it is not legal, yet Angie's has (probably) more money and better attorneys than you do. So do drug dealers, politicians, and city hall. That's why they always win. But, occasionally they get caught too. I hope I will live long enough to see the day that Angie's gets sued and looses, but I am not holding my breath.

Cancellation policy

I was a member of Angie's list for awhile. We were having problems with our A/C, and there seem to be a lot of A/C contractors out there who don't know what they're doing, so the list was helpful in that regard.

However... I do think that it's overpriced for what you get. We hadn't used it since the A/C incident, and I decided I was tired of paying that monthly fee. I went to the site to cancel, only to find out that there was no link for cancellation. No way to easily opt out - they would keep dinging my credit card forever. It said you had to cancel by contacting them, by e-mail, mail, or phone. I e-mailed them, but heard nothing in return. I had to call, get disconnected, call again, get put on hold, and answer a lengthy survey before I could get conclusively cancelled. That whole procedure REALLY turned me off and made me angry.

Angie's List Super Service Award Is A Scam In My Opinion

Consumer BEWARE !
Some Con Men are advertising they "Won" the Angie's List Super Service Award.
This may LOOK impressive, but we need to look a little deeper.
All the Con Men need do is have several friends, or even made up identities join Angie's List.
These friends "rate" the Con Mans company highly.
To have 4 friends join for a year is inexpensive, even if the Angies List Membership was 100.00 dollars a year times 4 !
For only 400 dollars a year, WHERE can you buy this kind of advertising ??

These friends who joined Angies List can also be used to destroy the reputation of an honest competitor.
All one or two friends of the Con Men have to say is "They did a poor job, or didn't return a call"
Next thing you know, the GOOD company's reputation tumbles in the Angie's List Ratings, while the Con Men get a Super Service Award.

A scam in my humble opinion too.

It is a Scam! How anyoneone fails to see this is beyond belief. It's like the story of the Emperor's New Clothes ........ People believe what they are told to believe. An ounce of wisdmon and some critical thinking would immediately bring to light the fact that most "lists" are nothing but a rip-off. But then, if a consumer thinks the emperor has new clothes, why deprive him/her of their conviction? I certainly will not do so. But I can certainly be amused at their naivete.

I see Angies List advertising as a conflict of interest.

I am a small one man electrical contractor and I have been listed on angie's list since early in 2004. If people want to pay for referrals I say more power to them. Just keep it to volunteer referring.

As has been discussed, to maximize their profits they came up with the idea of charging the contractors advertising fees to place the contractors name at the top of the list when someone did a search with the contractors services offered.

These guys hound me at least monthly to be a paid advertiser on the site. I am not interested, and will not allow my self to sink to that level since I feel it's no less than conflict of interest since it was started as a consumer paid referral service.

I'll report back if Angie's List blackballs me for posting here.

Conflict of Interest

Angie's: lies, conflict of interest, rip-off, thievery. I don't even answer my phone any more unless it's a local call. I own a small business.
I get four to five calls a day from referral services (like Angie's who claims to be consumer-oriented) who want me to pay them hefty fees for unqualified leads. How can someone from Las Vegas, San Franscisco, or Tim-Buck-Two know anything my State, my Town or My Neiborhood? One of these companies even outsources their call center to India! Service Magic, Angies's, Contractors.net, Bidclerks, Reliable Remodelers, Remodelers Advantage and I don't know who else ......... They all want my money. If I were members of all of them or just a few, my prices would skyrocket. Many of the leads are given to multiple contractors and are worthless.

Frustrated contractors don't make good contractors. When Jo the plumber gets taken by the government bec/ of high small business taxes, by the insurance bec/ of higher liability costs, by the health insurance co. bec/ they are too small to get good fees, by fly-by-night competitors who are promoted by these lists, and finally by the lists themselves....well, Jo the Plumber or Jim the Electrician will pass the cost to consumer, or they will go fishing and forget the whole thing!

Go figure why a potential client would trust more a company in another state or located in India to give referrals in my home town? Don't they have friends, read the paper, watch TV, go to Church, have co-workers, have friends, relatives, neighbours, the BBB, who would be most happy to refer them someone for FREE?

As a result of this mess, I only work for SERIOUS clients who know me and trust me. What appears to be a potential client is often someone who surfs the net and finds these lists. With a quick touch of a button, they can access twenty contractors for a free estimate. Not all of them are serious and they waste my time. I prefer clients who have been referred by my own clients. It goes two-ways. I have breakfast with other businesspeople who avoid Angie's clients at all costs. They too are frustrated by these referral systems or lead-generating machines that try to bleed you to death! Nobody wins here, except companies like Angie's who profit. But then why blame Angie's? I just will no longer work from folks referred by this list, and I have enough business to keep alive for a long time!

Conflict of Interest

Angie's: lies, conflict of interest, rip-off, thievery. I don't even answer my phone any more unless it's a local call. I own a small business.
I get four to five calls a day from referral services (like Angie's who claims to be consumer-oriented) who want me to pay them hefty fees for unqualified leads. How can someone from Las Vegas, San Franscisco, or Tim-Buck-Two know anything my State, my Town or My Neiborhood? One of these companies even outsources their call center to India! Service Magic, Angies's, Contractors.net, Bidclerks, Reliable Remodelers, Remodelers Advantage and I don't know who else ......... They all want my money. If I were members of all of them or just a few, my prices would skyrocket. Many of the leads are given to multiple contractors and are worthless.

Frustrated contractors don't make good contractors. When Jo the plumber gets taken by the government bec/ of high small business taxes, by the insurance bec/ of higher liability costs, by the health insurance co. bec/ they are too small to get good fees, by fly-by-night competitors who are promoted by these lists, and finally by the lists themselves....well, Jo the Plumber or Jim the Electrician will pass the cost to consumer, or they will go fishing and forget the whole thing!

Go figure why a potential client would trust more a company in another state or located in India to give referrals in my home town? Don't they have friends, read the paper, watch TV, go to Church, have co-workers, have friends, relatives, neighbours, the BBB, who would be most happy to refer them someone for FREE?

As a result of this mess, I only work for SERIOUS clients who know me and trust me. What appears to be a potential client is often someone who surfs the net and finds these lists. With a quick touch of a button, they can access twenty contractors for a free estimate. Not all of them are serious and they waste my time. I prefer clients who have been referred by my own clients. It goes two-ways. I have breakfast with other businesspeople who avoid Angie's clients at all costs. They too are frustrated by these referral systems or lead-generating machines that try to bleed you to death! Nobody wins here, except companies like Angie's who profit. But then why blame Angie's? I just will no longer work from folks referred by this list, and I have enough business to keep alive for a long time!

This is no different than

This is no different than people trusting sites at the top of the search results simply because they made it in the top 10 according Google's algos. The sites on the first page must have credibility right? Well, not always as I am sure you have seen a lot of garbage sites claiming to be an authority.

Consumers Checkbook

I have read enough to have reservations about Angie's List here and elsewhere. I suggest that some of you look at Consumer's Checkbook. At $30 per year, it is cheaper than Angie's list, and it is a non-profit. I would like to see what others have experienced here.

Angie's list and the BBB

I disagree with the person about the BBB (Better Business Bureau) if any company is a scam it’s them. The BBB will post anything even if the company is in the right and hasn't done anything wrong this gives the customer the power, they believe the customer over the company. The BBB says they are neutral that's not true they are out only to make money. If a nonprofit company makes 1,0000.00 a year and don't make a profit where do you think the money goes to the state no in their pocket so they don't show a profit so that makes them nonprofit? Well they have to register with the state big deal. I'm not saying that Angie's list is any better but they are all out to make a buck.

Angies List and there own BBB rating

If your interested in Angies List own business performance/ethics, just take a look at there own BBB file. 20 Complaints with 12 in the last year. I wish I would have known this before I ever decided to advertise with this company. From one business owner to another, you might want to look elswhere for your advertising needs. This company doesn't even come close to living up to the claims it makes. Why else do think they lock you into a 12 month contract??????

Angie

I'm a small HVAC contractor and was approached by Angie's list last year. We were apprehensive about it. I questioned whether the comments and recommendations could be manipulated. They assured me that couldn't happen. But I still wasn't sure about being part of it. They then said I could be on top of their list by advertising. They even suggested that I offer our customers future discounts, coupons or even cash awards to get recommendations for our company. At that point we declined and realized they are simply a company out to make money. Maybe originally Angie had a good idea, but it has been currupted and distorted out of control by profit.

oh, so now angie contacts the

oh, so now angie contacts the contractors?no thanks. i'll stick to old fashioned communication methods when hiring someone.plus, they never let you leave.... sounds like a good idea gone bad.

Amazing!

I am blown away by how much reaction this thread has generated - pro & con! Very interesting...

Angie's List Super Service Award. A Scam In My Opinion

The comment made by a previous poster about Angie's List rings true in my opinion.
Not only can a business artificially inflate their own rankings, but they can TRASH an honest competitors good reputation on Angie's List as well!
ALL these Con Men need do is have a few friends join Angie's List.
Then, these Con Men "hire" their competitor and trash them !!
I saw a Bad rating on Angie's List given to a poor company because they "did not return" a sales inquiry!
To make matters WORSE, unless the poor company was an Angie's List Member, they might never know.
And, to the poster who pointed out Angie's List OWN poor rating with the BBB, thank you.

wrong info

they can't get away with trashing their competitors...who's going to believe that the same customers used the same companies. in the same category...this does not go on -it's all BS.

Yes, of course companies can get graded for not returning a phone call -BUT they are not graded as heavily. Answering your phone, and being considerate enough to return a customers phone call deserves a grade.

Companies absolutely do NOT have to be an Angie's List member in order to find out if they have a bad review. However, lots of companies that have bad grades, are not always contacted after the initial 3 calls. If a contractor won't return a customer call -most likely they are returning Angie's list calls either, so that is actually why they aren't aware, usually until a customer tells them or a relative -then they call Angie's List. Most negatively rated companies won't call Angie's List back.

I seriously doubt the BBB is giving Angie's list a poor rating -better verify that yourself.

"A BBB Accredited business

"A BBB Accredited business since 1/20/2001"

Accredited business SIMPLY HAVE TO PAY FOR ACCREDITATION.

"BBB processed a total of 47 complaint(s) about this business in the last 36 months, our standard reporting period. Of the total 47 complaint(s) closed in the last 36 months, 19 were closed in the last 12 months. "

"These complaints concerned:
7 regarding Advertising Issues
19 regarding Billing or Collection Issues
4 regarding Contract Disputes
5 regarding Customer Services Issues
4 regarding Refund Or Exchange Issues
3 regarding Selling Practices
5 regarding Service Issues"

SOURCE (if link displays properly):
http://www.bbb.org/indianapolis/business-reviews/consumers-cooperative-organizations/angie-s-list-l-l-c-in-indianapolis-in-3041007/#rating

Angies TV ads suck

Angies TV ads are addressed to low grade morons. Who selects a plumber because he can walk a dog? What does color of paint have to do with the competence of a paint contractor? ... I have assumed their "list" must be as dumb as their ads.

Thanks Angie

Five dollars got me a false account to pump up my business, another five got me a second account to blast the competition!
Thanks, Angie!

Thanks Angie

WOW, that is very honest of you,( hopefully you can read the sarcasim.) I wish I new your business name so I could tell everyone I know how dishonest you are. I am sure it would drive business....For everyone out there COMPLAINING about angie's list, I get the feeling you dont really know how it works...

Members rate contractors based on their oppinion of what happend and how it happend,

Contractors have to have an A or B rating to advertise.

Contractors must be in good standing with the BBB.

It is a good thing if it is used correctly, there are safe gaurds in place to make sure morons like you cant rate themselves or competitors and i would be surprised if the ratings are still posted.

I have been a member for 9 years and love it, it has helped us sort through the fly-by-nighters such as yourself.

People, Do your homework!

As a small but growing Remodeling Contractor, I have a very hard time putting any faith in a referral service that charges contractors to advertise. It just seems hypocritical to me. I'm sure Angie's List, as well as other refferal services, started out with the best intentions and they may have even helped some people out...great, good for them. After being solicited by them to advertise to "increase my customer base", as a contractor I find their motives questionable.
I believe that an educated consumer is the best customer. DO YOUR HOMEWORK!! As a consumer and as a contractor, I always make sure to research the hell out of whatever it is I intend to puchase for my home and my business. It takes some time, some effort, and it can be a downright pain in the ass. But we are talking about YOUR money being spent to improve YOUR home, its up to YOU to do the homework!
Maybe this can help...
1. Start by asking people you trust, friends and family, if they have a contractor that they are comfortable with(Word of mouth referrals are hard to beat!)
2. You might want to try lumber yards, hardware stores, and/or paint stores for qualified contractor recommendations. Those types of businesses tend to be careful about who they refer as it reflects upon their businesses. (Your big box stores make money off of the contractors they refer, so I'd steer clear from those referrals)
3. Always get a minimum of three estimates (Most contractors might not answer your call right away because they're the one doing the work. However if you don't at least get a call back in 24 hours, then scratch that guy from your list)
4. Know the scope of work for your project, know what has to be done. (Have each bidding contractor spell the entire project out to you as they see it . ASK QUESTIONS you're not expected to know how everything is done, thats why you're hiring a proffesional! Have them explain it to you in detail)
5. Just because a contractor is the lowest bidder, doesn't nessicerily mean they're the best deal. (Get a WRITTEN itemized estimate. Again, have them explain how they came up with their number. Make sure they covered everything from permits to clean-up)
6. Always understand that UNFORSEEN VARIABLES do occur! Expect there to be changes and add ons and prepare for them. Sometimes things just go wrong, the job takes longer than expected, the scope of work changes, the extent of damage was not visable until the project was started, material shortages ect. Any decent contractor will provide a tentative time line and maintain a constant and open line of communication with their customer.
Remember its YOUR HOUSE, ask questions, be informed and involved in your project. (Staying out of the guy's way when he's working of course!)

I hope these points helped some of you who were on the fence. I'm sure that other contractors will have more good points to add. Again, ask questions and do your homework! Good luck with your project!

P.S. Speaking of homework, to all you grammar-hammers out there, I work with my hands not spellcheck!!

Renewal of Angie's list

I have had Angie's list for a year. I've accessed it just a handful of times. We're doing some minor remodeling in our house this summer and I have to renew Angie's list. I think $67 is lot. I'm hesitating. Does anyone know of any coupon codes for Angie's list?

Angies List is simply advertising- no more and no less

$67.00 for AngiesList IS a lot since all you're really doing is paying to see "advertising" from companies who have asked their friends to review them, or who have just gone out and reviewed themselves (and bad-mouthed their competititors). Just like you, business owners can pay $68 to join as apparent consumers --and then post great reviews of themselves. Angies List then charges each company between $3,000 and $5,000 a year to display them as "top-rated". Unbelievable!

The previous post has a lot of great suggestions on how to (1) find a contractor, and (2) even more important, evaluate their bids. One of the biggest problems with evaluating different contractors' bids occurs when you don't start from a level playing field. Have each contractor tell you what needs to be done, and how they will do it. Once you have heard their professional opinions, decide what you want them to bid on, be as specifc as possible, and have them all bid on the same job.

Obviously you're not an expert in their fileld– just don't let three different contractors give you three different approaches to the same job. That's how you lose control of the bidding process. When you get their bids, make sure that all they have quoted on all the things you specified, before you start comparing prices and checking your "gut feeling". You'll be amazed at the different prices you get for the same job.

Finally, when you're right down to deciding between Joe Blow and Dave Brown, ask if you can call a couple of their recent customers. That way, you'll be getting REAL reviews from REAL people who have used the business. There are (were) some good businessses on Angies List, but companies are now paying $68.00 simply so that they can review themselves. And when you constantly hear Angies List ads on the radio, or see Angies List ads in your newspaper, what do you think is paying for that advertising? Your $68.00? No--1,000s of contractors paying Angie $3,000-5,000/year so that they can "look good" and get your business.

Good luck!

Let's be fair...

...not every review from a consumer is from someone's friend or a false report. In fact, they are the minority and when they're found the contractor is usually banned for life and if they were advertising their advertising is pulled and they are prohibited from advertising again. Anytime I found self-reporting I sent it to the department that would investigate and correct the problem. They try to prevent it, but could donate a lot more resources to it. As for Angie's List national advertising, they will spend $18-20 million in 2010 advertising for new members, which is why they need so much revenue and still are not profitable.

Charter ISP 3rd largest in country...stinks

I subscribed to Charter.com after leaving AT&T but one is as bad as the other. They overcharge you and you cannot get the service as no one seems to know what is going on in the company. They took over WAVE a few months ago and are in a state of confusion. I was told by an installer of theirs that the majority of the office employees quit cause they couldn't stand the confusion there.

They have a captive audience with the people in this area (S.California) and we are stuck with them and cannot do anything about their charges. One business acquaintance got a bill for over $800 and was stunned, refused to pay, could not get anyone to discuss it with her and they shut off her internet service along with her telephone. This is unbelievable and it is a shame they are allowed to stay in business. They are in Ventura, Calif. on Main Street. Something should be done about them.

Angieslist Mafia business

I saw those entire fake advertises like JOE the plumber and the frustrated Dog typical examples of stupid situations like never happens and are created just to convince people about those services or set-up people business Looks like JOE has a lot of time to fool around the house whit the dog or JOE will charge a lot of money to do that and hide that extra services on the bill .I love dogs a animals in general but those advertises are pretty much oriented on older seniors or pet owners
Who cares about the dog when you are working on a time line and if you touch the dog maybe you get involve in trouble whit the owner , also you don’t have time to watch Adult movies on the customer TV !!! As a contractor must me and idiot if you do that.
I think this is a pretty much what I call mafia enterprise or one to one deal , Let ‘s put this way Angie sucks five box from every potential customer and also she select the contractor according to the money involve . If you are a contractor and paid a fee to Angie she will recommend you and you get the job.
For a small contractors and honest people you don’t get the job and instead she will spoke badly about unknown business and so cutting opportunities for a truly honest hard working people.

Just saw Angie's List on the news

I just saw a segment on my local news about Angie's List. I have been looking for a new Doctor, so I thought I would give Angie's List a try. I was surprised to find a fee for the service, as that little detail was left out of the news segment--either that or it was slipped in quickly as to make it nearly unnoticeable. I Googled Angle's List and that is how I found this site. I would never pay money to join a review site, because there are too many free ones available. I agree that they do a pretty poor job of justifying the membership fees.

I agree 100%. I was pretty

I agree 100%. I was pretty much surprised myself when i found out that the fee was charged to join Angies list. In the meantime and that is maiinly the reason why i decided to post the comment here... Angies List just called the place of my employment and wanted to talk to us about advertising.....???!!!! So let me get this straight: consumers are paying to be able to get reviews on businesses in their area..... and the same businesses are also paying to advertise (or to get a GOOD review?!) ??? I think ther are lot of other ways to get an opinion on the contractor that you want to hire and they are FREE!!!!. I was actually debating after i received a phone call from Angie's List if i should get the membership and post a review on Angies List.... about Angies List!!! It is a rip off in my opinion!!!

Angie’s List needs an

Angie's List needs an Angie's List to evaluate how good Angie's List-like websites are.

Brilliant.

I have no problems with you critiquing my grammar or spelling. However, please do so behind my back.

angies list is unfair

i am not a member of angies list, but most likely will have to join so we can combat comments made by a very revengeful past client. as a member, i assume we can post responses and do "fake" postings to combat what statements have been made. this client lost a lawsuit they started, completely lost...in fact, they have to pay our legal costs. this does not stop the client from trying to hurt us. we have done a lot of excellent work for the past 20 years, and of course have had some jobs and clients that we wish we did not work for. angies list is a revenge site, their own claim. revenge is not usually a fair fight. if anyone wants a million dollar idea, it would be to make a site that you could post things against a person....such as, the client will not make up their mind, will try to get things for free, the client will try to hold back payment on the end for minor reasons etc. i would love a database of "bad clients" to avoid.

Reviews of "bad customers"

The previous commenter says "i would love a database of “bad clients” to avoid." Exactly! I can't tell you how many of our small home improvement contractors tell us this.

This idea that "the customer is always right" is crazy. NO--the customer is NOT always right. The customer is often unreasonable, impossible to please, wants something for nothing, and/or does not want to pay for all the work they ordered.

We mediate complaints every day between customers and the companies they are "complaining" about. Roughly 50% of the time, when a customer calls or emails us with what sounds like a horrendous complaint, he or she is "wrong". (Sometimes they won't even give us their name, so there is no way to validate their "complaint"). When we contact the company being complained about, we often hear a completely different story. The customer has just got out of the psych ward, the customer hates his wife's expensive kitchen and now doesn't want to pay for it, or they simply just don't feel like paying the last bill (attorneys are the worst--just ask any contractor).

We even find that the company has NEVER worked for the customer--the customer has the wrong name! When we call the customer to tell them that they are, in effect, slandering the company, they don't seem to understand or even care. This is why AngiesList (and other review siites) are unfair and ultimately of limited use, simply because you can't "trust" the reviews.

If customers are legally allowed to say whatever they like about small businesses, many of whom are sole proprietors and therefore "individuals", what's wrong with posting unmediated and unsubstantiated "reviews" of individual customers. I can't see how that's any different. Free speech, right?

"bad customers".... "lazy contractors"

We can go on and on for days about bad customers and lazy contractors. Truth is..... there are always rotten apples in every bunch. Lets face it, the word of mouth travels faster than the speed of light. As a business man, you would know this. You can post all the bad comments you want about a personal individuals (clients), but all you will be doing is hurting yourself. Any or every prospective client will look @ your postings and say, "wow.... all these people complained about him and then he turned around and complained about them"......"no thanks, next"......."save the drama for your mama".....
I am a little different. I want the job done right. No cutting corners. However, once I state that, contractors feel they are working w/ an open wallet. I am an architect, do i tell them I am an architect right away, no... I let the contractor give me his sales pitch, then I go on from there..... Do I give an upfront % to start the work, nope!.... There is no 20% now and 80% when finished. That is a sign of a broke contractor........
Are there customers out there that want everything and anything their way, yes...... Can you make everyone happy, no....
but for the most part, who ever is funding you, ALWAYS HAS THE UPPER HAND!......

Workpost.com Pro Directory and Review System

Workpost.com has a review system that allows contractors listed in the directory to respond to negative reviews.

If a client wants to negatively review a contractor, that's fine, the client can provide information relevant to the work that was actually done (or not done) and fire away. But once a client has initiated a negative review, the contractor should be free to respond, explain the situation and perhaps negatively review the client as well.

Creating a useful, fair and unbiased review system is difficult but we are a new company willing to tackle the problem. If you have any suggestions or questions, please contact us.

http://www.workpost.com

Workpost.com Feedback

Workpost.com looks like it could be a great alternative to what's currently avaiable. I took some time to browse and liked both the layout and the simplicity. I was able to navigate through everything and find businesses in the directory, though it appears to primarily have Massachusetts businesses right now. The posting functionality could also be pretty useful as long as contractors are actually looking at the posts. There just doesn't seem to be too many listings right now and I'm not sure how long a site like this would take to gain traction and popularity. The core system is pretty good and if it is actually kept free (per the about us page) to use, then I would think it's just a matter of time before it catches on...I know I'll keep close tabs on this one for my own use!

Thanks for your comments Joe

Thanks Joe.

You're 100% correct that it takes a long time for sites like Workpost to gain traction and popularity. That's one of the reasons classifieds, directories and review sites are so difficult to build. In the beginning, no one knows you exist.

We intend to keep all of the core system that is online now free and continue to move forward. The more people who are using the site, the more incentive we'll have to keep investing time and resources in the project. Please write us if you have any more ideas or suggestions.

-Workpost Foreman
http://www.workpost.com/contact.aspx

This is a self-serving, spam

This is a self-serving, spam posting. I went to workpost.com, couldn't find any contractors in my area (california), and thought the site was difficult to use and unclear as to how contractors end up getting listed. There's a whole bunch of better alternatives, even though that's not saying much.

I'm largely inclined to agree...

Is a "Workpost.com Sucks" page due to come soon?

My blog already ranks in the top 100 for a search for "workpost.com" - there's some line about poking a skunk to see if it's dead that is running around the back of my mind on this topic ;)

Sorry you could not find any contractors in California

We're genuinely trying to create better ways to find work online. The Workpost beta site is hardly perfect but will continue to improve.

If posting on blogs like this one will help people know the site and directory exists as an alternative, so be it.

Workpost is free, we intend to keep it that way and we're not asking anyone to pay for information in the directory or for any other core services. Workpost will have ads but hopefully they will never be annoying. The ads won't make money (and don't make money) unless there are people visiting the site. People won't visit the site unless it is useful.

Sorry you could not find any contractors in California. Unfortunately, the directory has only been online for a few weeks and, without major advertising dollars, sites like these take a long time to grow.

If you don't like the site, that's fine but we'd like to know why you thought it was difficult to use or unclear. Most people who are interested in being listed in the directory seem to figure out how to sign-up and create a pro account.

And if you know of alternatives, please list them. In this economy, people should use whatever it takes to find what they are looking for.

Angie's List personal experience

I used Angie's List to find a roofer in my area. I got several names of "A" roofers and after getting several who would not do my steep roof, chose Burns and Scalo Roofing. To make a long story short, they sent untrained subs to do my roof. I'm no expert and did not realize they were terrible (e.g., not using roofing nails, not using enough nails, doing the flashing incorrectly). So, $20,000 later (due to leaks and the need to re-do my roof), I sent a critical evaluation to Angie's List. Angie's List sent this evaluation to B & S and did NOT put my critical evaluation on their website! They wanted more and more documentation (I sent photos and description, just as positive reviewers do).

I've also used Angie's list for names of other service people who turned out to be fine. My conclusion is that you go to Angie's List for names of potential companies but don't believe all the reviews. Angie's List will provide names of companies that may or may not deserve their glowing reviews. Just look at the lists. Very few are negative, so there is a very exaggerated upward bias. Go to BBB for complaints (but many people do not bother to complain, since the damage is already done).

Angies List

Angies List did not hit my radar until they started advertising on TV. (in my area thats been about 3 years). I agree that the marketing is directed towards our elders. Maybe Life Alert should get into the game. Press a button and a contractor will come running. When they first aired they actually stated the business' name but about a year ago they bleeped it out. I have not looked into it but seems to be ironic timing with the advent of paid advertising for contractors. I wonder, who takes "Papillion" out to do his thing when the plumber is not there? Are all plumbers going to have to provide this service or be considered unacceptable? I go above and beyond for my clients though rarely un-job related. I do not want nor expect this to be commented upon, especially un-job related. The important things are, did I offer a fair bid?, did I educate you to some degree as to the motives, methods and materials used?, did I perform quality work in a reasonable timeframe?, was I professional in my appearance and demeanor? Outside of that, you should not need anymore information about me professionally. The "Painters" ad really baffles me on two fronts, humans make mistakes and have accidents so unless he accepted the footprints as "bonus decor" I assume the site was cleaned up. I guess green would have been ok. On time and on budget! If their professionalism was that bad it would show in those two areas first. That may seem like more than one front but I'll consider it as one. The second front is that the painters were not found on Angies List. If so, they would have had rave reviews to be hired by this person or poor ones ignored by this person. I think the former. But actually I think this person found the painters locally and then joined AL to trash them. So actually they may have been on time but not on budget. ($60 membership = overage)

Overall it started out as a good concept. Unfortunately it has been bitten by the corporate bug. I just don't see the value in committing $60 for something you realisticlly will use a few times.

I have been doing home repairs and remodels for about 12 years now. I still have about 3/4 of the original box of business
cards I purchased when I started. I have never paid for any other form of advertising. I have a very loyal client base that has grown strictly by word of mouth. These clients call me on occasion for referrals for other services I do not perform. I only refer contractors that I have gotten to know and "witnessed" their work. If I refer a contractor that does poor work, I will get some of the blame and rightfully so. Ironically, like myself, each of these contractors are indepentends, not large companies. Everyone of my clients, I have asked their permission, are included on my reference list.

The point is this. As "small contractor Wed 6/4/08" stated, "People, Do your homework." Although allot of my clients have made comments that they didn't expect someone to be so thorough. I am not an anomaly. There are at least two or three other very competent independents in my area. There are at least that many in any community. You just have to do a little research. When you start asking around, don't just ask for contractors that do specifically the project you are needing done. If your friend, family member, co-worker..... doesn't know of a carpenter, ask about a plumber or an electrician they have used. Many times these contractors need alterations done before they can do their part and will call on someone they know and trust. I guarantee that with a little effort, you will find someone to do the work you need done as well as names for other issues in your home.

There is no science behind this. Most people ask one person for a referral. If no luck, hands in the air and start the search in the A's of the phone book. You are doing yourself a disservice and it is not much better by going to Angies List. Even if comments are available in your area, are they of people you know? Do this, pay yourself $60 dollars or $5 a month for twelve months. (I would prefer lump sum up front). Set aside two full hours of research time. Maybe not all at once but cumulative 2 hours. Spend the first 10 to 15 minutes making a list of people you know that have had work done to their house. Remember, not just the specific type you are looking into. Include the local police/sheriff and fire dept. on the list. Many members of those units work a week on and a week off and do their signature trade on the off weeks. This generally true for painting and such. Now start calling. I bet if you give due diligence, you won't use the full two hours and you will have a couple contractors for the work you need done as well as other trades for the future.

As stated in another post, don't shop lowest price. I inform my new clients that I recommend they get other bids and make sure they are getting EVERYTHING listed in my bid or more. I also inform them that I can guarantee they WILL find lower prices and possibly higher ones also. The cheapest way to get it done is to do it yourself. I am not going to get rich off of one project. In fact I won't get rich in this line of work. It is what I know and love to do it. Anyway, I am making a living at using my knowledge, abilities and tools not to mention gas insurance etc.... to provide you with a service. Anyone who does it significantly cheaper, beware. Lowballing to get the job does nobody any good. He or she is either too inexperienced to bid properly or they will cut corners to make up the difference. Either way you suffer. There is a reason that the middle price is usually the fair price. Experienced bidders know what the job is worth and will accept nothing less. Higher bids usually are contractors who purposely bid high if they are overbooked and your project is fairly urgent. This is justified by having to call booked clients and reschedule to accomodate your project. Some have allot more overhead or are inexperienced.

Also, google the type of work you need done. Many sites give fairly indepth information on methods, materials and sometimes regional pricing. I have a client that was asking alot of questions during the process of a fairly involved project. After it was completed he informed me that each night he would search the web to verify my answers. He also said after about halfway through the project he quit checking up on me however the questions continued throughout the process. Needless to say I did not give misinformation. I wish all my clients were this informed.

Cost to employ yourself to find a contractor - $60
Satisfaction of knowing you got involved other than reading a few "objective opinions" and writing the check - PRICELESS

Got Refund from AL, Site Censors Bad Reviews

  1. I have an investment property and used Angie's List for a plumber. I contacted the top 2 plumbers on the list and they agreed to be my tenant's primary plumbers. They never returned their calls or showed. The truly dumb thing is that I searched for plumbers for DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES and only 4 people were listed in a 10 mile range. This is an international city!!!! 4 results?! LA is not a small city. <--- I complained to AL and they said not all areas going to have results.

  2. I'm a photographer and needed someone to photograph my wedding (Hell, I couldn't shoot it myself). The photographer's work/attitude was horrible so I wanted to put a review. AL didn't allow me because I'm in the same field of work as the vendor. Well...how the hell is a PAID MEMBER suppose to interact on it's board? A bad vendor has more priority as this PAID MEMBER. I understand competition bad mouthing others BUT the business needs to resolve the fact that a member wants to use the services he paid for: to read and post reviews.

No more subscriptions to AL for me

I had some good luck with Angie's list but I had no idea they would provide the vendor with my personal information when I made a review. I'd never had made one if I had known, whether it was a good or bad experience.

When the lastest subscription came, I was astonished at the rate increase and did not renew.

Unfortunately, they have decided my personal information is theirs to sell: Two nights ago, I got a phone call from AL (I hung up). The next day, I got a pure advertising flyer in the mail.

Greed, greed, greed. I am so sick of it.

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