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www.angieslist.com - what's the motivation behind the site?

Well, I didn't have any idea two months ago when I first wrote about www.angieslist.com that it would have quite such a strong reaction. There have been about 50 comments on the post and it has been growing daily. Yikes.


The real deal behind AngiesList.com

So, what is the story with Angies List. Is it good or bad? I said "sucks" but that's an obvious overstatement that is a common online phrase. Sorry for the folks that pissed off. AngiesList.com provides a good service to people and people like it. So how can I also say that it' bad? My points were mostly that they were being dishonest with customers and that their model was flawed and would eventually be "gamed" once the service got big enough. Spammers and shills would grow and ruin it, much like they've wreaked havoc on other big sites that started off great when they were small.

My alternative to www.AngiesList.com

So, what's my alternative to Angies List? Well, in fact I have two alternatives:
You should see a little block on the right side of this page (and several others) that lists all the people whose services I've written about on my site. Obviously I like them. So, if that's valuable to you then great.

Trust my lijit profile which has given ratings to all the sites I like (and I've got a few upstream folks trusted as well, so you'll get their rankings). If you like that system sign up on Lijit and trust me. I'll probably trust you back. Then we'll get a big network of trusters going and we can rate everything. Awesome. That's the real way to do a rating system. And guess what - no cost (at least none from your wallet to theirs).

Comments are for Authenticated users only - thanks anonymous Angies List Lovers!

Yeah, and PS: I really dislike arguing with people who are anonymous. I've got pretty much my whole life out in public. If you want to argue with me the least you can do is share a little information about yourself. To enforce that I'm limiting comments to authenticated users. If that's frustrating, oh well. Consider it my set of costs to keep quality higher.

Peeps Involved: 
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Comments

Not all of us feel as you do about Angie's List, I'm one

I own a company that is on Angie's List. Feel free to check us out, both on the list and in person if you wish. We are real. The name of my company is 'Andre's Auto & Truck Services, Inc.' in Oldsmar Florida (Tampa Bay area). We were fortunate to be selected by a grateful customer, years ago, and the experience has been most rewarding for both my customers and my business. As you mentioned, I cannot influence the reports, except by performing work for members. They then have the option, and many don't report, to send in a report for all to read. We recognize that quality, honesty, timeliness and personality make the difference in higher than most mechanical services. Angie's members keep us on our toes, every day, because we understand that just one legitamate 'Ah-Shit' can chase off all the other members in one fell swoop.

really?

If anything the threads here about angies list have shown that there are a variety of opinions on both sides - many consumers and businesses love angies list and others really really don't like angies list. as a company they seem to be quite polarizing.

i'm pretty mixed on them, but overall think the company has some flaws that need to be addressed.

some comments re: your Angie's List post

Greg,

First, a minor issue. You seem to want to defend your use of the word "sucks", yet at the same time you say AngiesList is great but just has a few "holes" in its business model. Well, to me "sucks" is a fairly negative word, not at all meaning that they are a good thing. If I say "your site sucks", that doesn't mean I like it with reservations. It looks to me like you just used the word "sucks" for the shock value. There's no need for that.

Additionally, I am a homeowner that uses AngiesList, and have yet to pay a fee. Do I think some reviews are probably forged? Absolutely. But I've seen absolute proof of that on other sites (I'm thinking of Epinions.com, btw), but what can you do about it really? You just hope the truthful reviews vastly outnumber the fake ones, and the law of averages takes over. That's what has happened on resellerratings.com. When a company has 50,000 reviews, it doesn't really matter if they faked 50 reviews.

I read some company owner griping that AngiesList takes the side of the client every time, and that he had to "cave in" to the customer in order to get keep referrals. Well, good for AngiesList! I can't count the times I've had people walk off the job, take an advance and never do the work, do shoddy work and expect full payment, or even show up drunk at my home to receive payment! He doesn't like that he has to keep the customer happy in order to keep getting referrals? Too bad. He needs to understand that's why he's getting the referrals in the first place--because he kept the customer happy. The day he doesn't, I hope AngiesList does blackball his company. He'll deserve it. AngiesList is all about finding good service, not about allowing companies to do whatever they want and still receive payment.

Finally, I'd advise people to use all resources when researching a company. Sure, the BBB is nice, but so is AngiesList and Epinions and any other place where people can put thoughts to paper (or web page). Use common sense, don't pay in advance unless you have to, and use all resources at your disposal. That would be my advice.

-Brian

No fee?

Brian, I wonder how you are able to use Angie's List without paying a fee. I had a membership in 2006 and they charged something like $30-40/year then, depending on if they had a special running. How do you have a membership without paying a fee?

no fee

Apparently, it was a test trial in my area, since Angie's List was just trying to get established. I think that tacked on a smallish ($5?) fee after the first year, but I did not pay it. There are too many free resources out there. Angie's List is just another resource that I use, among many.

Honesty or sucks

Yes, Angie's list is like all the rest, they could care less about the consumers. It is all about money...... They get paid 3000.00 + a year by each contractor listed on their site. Yes any contractor can get on and write their on reviews. Reviews can be misleading to the consumers thinking they are getting a better review if they pay Angie. NOT....... LOL . BBB and yellow pages are free and don't keep sending spam emails to join a bogus web site claiming to be better for the consumer and charge the consumer for something that is not honetsly true web site. That is the honest truth.....

Angie's List has a unique code of ethics and is about an honest

of a list you can get. I Joined angies by unknowingly doing some work for someone who was previously a member of hers after my work was complete he said he paid another month subscription to her just to report on how well we did for him. He was the First who put us on then i submitted some ph#'s of other people i had worked for and she researched to see if any of them were members and could tell her more about us. there were a couple more and then as others started to see what people were saying about my services provided I have now grown to 17 unbiased actual reports from clients of hers and mine which has been a great selling tool and has helped me close more sales than ever before. Sure you can upgrade and pay her to be see more often instead of shuffled through so many. What happens is the good service providers that are usaully pfofitable ligit companies can now afford to advertise with her in their specific categories of trades to get more exposure throughout her members in your area or around the Nation. My entire experience with getting on her list seamed as though it would never be possible and then wham someone helped me get on and others used us and felt just as good and told others in their reviews. She Makes us report our liscences, insurances, etc. and sometimes just knowing your contractor has their paper work in tact and ins. premiums paid can save homeowners thousands if something did go belly up with their job you better believe they should have used Angies List and made sure about contractors credentials, Liscence and insurance first ans Angies has done this for you already before we get there.Nothing Ever seems to be 100%fool proof but She Certainly has her act together when it comes to checking on who she refers you to. Thank you Angie's List For All the Revenue you have brought me and peace of mind you have helped me instill in my customers confidence about our services offered. Yes i have Now Taken 3 Super Service AWards in multiple categories and took advantage of her honor program and we are currently paying More tgo be Seen First in the Siding Category of Cincinnati Oh. I am a very Small Company with many Skills not much overhead no big building And was able to close on 30% of 250 Estimates ran in 2011 and grossed 250,000 in Sales. I Believe My involvement with Angies List Had a effect on this and should even be greater this year. Her List are as honest as if you asked your neighbor what he/she thought about their roofer, plumber, doctor etc. And Provided me with tools for free to get exposure to her clients who are obviously in need of good service providers or would't be paying her the monthly subscription. It is the companies choice to try to be seen more with her clients However We certainly Won t be going around trying to fruad our way on to the list or offer money or services to poeple to make reports for us. It Just works properly enough the way she has it set up. If Someone does get on unfairly they sure wont last or gain from it unless they continuously support good work ethics and quality craftsmanship Thanks Mrs. Hicks for all you've done for J & J Extreme Exteriors, LLC. in Cin, OH

Angies list Charges 3,000.00 for business fee

My business is on Angies list and we do not pay a fee. Many of our customers (90) and counting have filed reports based on our service and quality levels. We appreciate being put on Angioes list the very first time and every time since.
We do not pay a fee to be on Angies list. It has been a completely free service to us. We do have choices to advertise in there magazine or there website. We chose to offer a discount to there members and be on the first page for a fee. This fee is extremely reasonable and has increased our business 60%. I would call that very good results for the money spent.There is nothing that compares to those results out in the marketplace today.
We make sure all clients are satisfied to the best of our ability and Angies List makes sure that it's reports are honest and that we have a chance both good and bad to respond to those clients comments.l Many of our customers do not follow thru and file reports as promised but just in case they do we always make sure that they were taken care of.

Jim Funk

Outdoor Solutions Inc.

Angiels List: Are They committing fraud ?

In October of 2011, I was called repeatedly by a sales person from Angies List. They had been calling me for over 4 year....monthly I had refused their services, on this day they said they had referrals on Angies List from customers of mine.
I was now interested, They said I must sign up to see them, I balked at that as that does not appeal to me, sign ups are a way to soak people for unearned money.
After much debate with the sales person, three calls in all, I signed up for a 3 month run.
They sent me a contract I should have read more clearly, shame on me...
I called on the first week of March 2012 and told them to cancel the account.
No reply, I called again on the 20th of March after the took an unauthorized 100.00 out of my bank account.
They disputed their own words and said I signed up for a full year.
I told them; "Do not bill my Card again" and the took another $145.00 off my card unauthorized with 5 days.

I realized after I signed up that the referrals they told me I had were not customers of mine and they had been planted by Angies List to get my business.
This is fraud, the enticed me into a contract with false information and they may doing this as we speak, this company needs to be taken to task for the predatory sales approach.

zMobs: Angies List + Social Networking ..

Andy,
Check my comment below.. I have been using zMobs, a new free beta service launched for small service providers. You can get recommended by customers and user their network to get more business... the URL is
http://www.zmobs.com

Angies list why can't I just see the list of companies?

Okay I go to Angie's list for one thing to look up my own company if they even list it. Reasons.
1. Are they giving accurate information or is someone else using my company. Had a call 2 weeks ago about someone complaining about a carpet install. My company doesn't install carpet but it's a complaint involving my company is Angies list capable of giving bad raps to companies that haven't listed with them? Don't know can't see the reviews and 5 bucks just to see is like extortion.

  1. Rating I don't use Angie's list so would Angie's list attack companies not paying them or using their services??? Perhaps I seen many websites reviewing business and they are ran with people trying to undermine skilled trades and medical services.

  2. Why is it secretive? Angie's list is not open to the public, only open to those paying money. This means that eventually only big companies get the jobs as they are the ones able to pay for Angie's list bills. In business it's where you make your money that counts and no feel good helping the public really matters that much. It's the difference of a million dollar home to a cardboard box in an ally. I worked for Public Safety in administration and police and emergency services only obligate services that are paid for. In Public Safety if you live in a tiny mobile home any fires to that structure will use the least amount of services, if you are in a position to fund Public Safety then the maximum amount of care will be provided to save your property. It's where the money is at. No money no help even public safety only provides services based on who holds the cash.

  3. Lies could Angie's list post lies about companies. Disinformation? Yes it's hidden and there are no way to check to see if they listed a company they decided to attack based on Angie's list not getting paid by the company. You get what you pay for and if your company isn't paying Angies list. I'm sure angies list has enough employees to ruin your buisness.

  4. I know a business just started a few weeks ago. Already 50 positive customer reviews for a tiny crack house in the burbs. I know the house is a crack house because it was busted 3 months ago. Now a business just opened shop with 50 positive reviews and no licensed person lives at the address and it's getting positive reviews from service magic so it claims. This business goes right to service magic running the show and not the company phone number. Could Angie's List be doing this too?

  5. If Service Magic and Angie's list conspired to attack the trades and medical industries with their built up clients then eventually they could manage and take over independent businesses and undermine the fair wage for skilled workers that took years earning licenses and learning and paying so much money for the education. Then only the lowest bids would come from the unskilled but Angie's List and Service Magic has taken over. Instead of a Master trades person making $45 to $65 hr. they drop to an apprentice wage of 12 an hour for a first quarter of the first year trade as a result. This is the threat these type of companies really pose for skilled and technical workers. As that 5 dollars and then the extortion fees for you company starts really taking away your entire profits for tiny jobs like unclogging a toilet.

There is even more questions I really have about Angie's List and Service Magic. They don't work with the BBB and who is to say their method of conflict resolution is fair? If customers want to complain and the contractor has no say. Well what arbitration is there. I trust the BBB because they have been fair with my company and they do call when they want to ask me something. I'm afraid angie's list has no check and balances and because of that Angie's List is a company base on who pays the most gets their way. Be that the consumer or the company eventually the one paying more than the other will have better or worse views based really only on money. Angie's list makes that clear by not opening up the company reviews to the public and using extortion to make suggestions.

It is a rip off

I am a Contractor they want to charge me $14000.00 a year for advertising-It has never been a public service,
the only thing that is public is its on the stock exchange publicly traded
YES IT IS A RIP OFF EVERY ONE PAYS ! BEND OVER ITS A HIGH PRICED BUSINESS!!!

It is a rip off

I am a Contractor they want to charge me $14000.00 a year for advertising-It has never been a public service,
the only thing that is public is its on the stock exchange publicly traded
YES IT IS A RIP OFF EVERY ONE PAYS ! BEND OVER ITS A HIGH PRICED BUSINESS!!!

Can not influence the reports?

Actually, any business can directly influence a consumers report to AngiesList. All they have to do is offer a discount or directly pay a customer to write a good review. They can also have friends and family do it. And for $10.00 for a year, what business would not offer to pay a customer to write a good review?
AngiesList makes 0 difference in my area. Most contractors have steady work simple because of the quality of the work and word-of-mouth

I only saw e-Bay mentioned minimally...

First, I am going to assume the "why Angie's List sucks" blog post was shut down. I searched for a bit trying to see where I could add my two cents and didn't see the same "Add Comment" as I saw on this page...anyway...

I wanted to bring attention to a "gut reaction" I had about the "Angie's List" concept. I understand that there is claim that "Angie" is charging businesses for advertising their site when it outright claims on the same website that they do not charge businesses to be in the list. Rather the operating income of the site (as it is stated) comes from consumer memberships. If in fact "Angie" is generating income from the businesses to give those businesses ANY kind of special treatment on their site then I believe that NOBODY should use Angie's List and in fact the whole service is 100% worthless. Any company that just boldfacedly lies about how its service works to get you involved (whether for money or not) should NOT be trusted in ANYTHING they do from that point forward.

To pro-actively give a defense to those who would come back and claim that "I must not own a home," or "I must not have moved across country and had no referral base," or anything along those lines - let me help you think logically before berating me because I have touched your emotional heart strings (or your pocketbooks - depending on the audience):

If in fact the services you used because of good ratings on Angie's List were in fact top notch and you were thankful...IF in fact Angie's List is charging those service companies to have the top ratings (regardless of whether service is top notch OR substandard) wouldn't it be easy to see that a company who pays for a top dollar listing in the Yellow Pages could STILL be a reputable company? My point is that IF Angie's List has amounted to nothing more than an advertising service that shows companies at the top who have paid TOP DOLLAR to be listed at the top - AND - you just so happened to get good service from the top rated company you chose from Angie's List...wouldn't it be possible to have chosen that same company if that same service company paid top dollar to be in the biggest, brightest ad in the Yellow Pages? To further my point - IF in fact Agnie's List rated companies are paying top dollar and you got good service - it was nothing more than a random crap shoot that you happened to get good service. You very LIKELY could have received HORRIBLE service if the category you were searching just so happened to have a company that paid TOP DOLLAR to be listed in the TOP SPOT but had a bad habit of just doing poor work at poor prices and with poor services.

Again - before you berate me (as it seems has happened an unreasonable amount over this topic - which leads me to think "conspiracy theory" - which also leads me to believe that SOMEONE is HIGHLY active in convoluting the truth - and with "Agnie's" apparently super hot, super efficient marketng and press relations....hmm...) I WANT YOU TO THINK! IF money has to do with how a company is rated and listed (not just consumer ratings alone!) - then isn't this just the same as opening the Yellow Pages and randomly picking anybody out of there? The answer is yes - again IF all of that is true. And from what I've seen here about business owners who claimed to have used Angie's List - then the big IF I refer to IS true. Angie's List DOES tell the consumers to trust the list because Angie does NOT charge companies to be listed and rated. Then according to some of the business owners - THEY ARE CHARGED to have "enhanced listings." This is nothing more than Yellow Pages advertising (and of course it shouldn't have to be said - AN OUTRIGHT LIE AND DECEPTIVE PRACTICE.) The MORE money you spend - the MORE exposed your company will be to the audience.

IF these things are not true - then I would like to know.

To further with my "gut reaction" (if anybody is still reading to this point...) I thought of e-Bay. e-Bay store owners (of the likes which have the little main street store fronts popping up all over the several different counties around my locale) LIVE AND DIE by the ratings they receive from their customers. My father in law will also rely very heavily upon the e-Bay ratings of a seller before entering into negotiations/transactions with any seller.

Of course on e-Bay - the seller also has the ability to rate the buyer back. And then for ANY e-Bay ID - you are able to review the entire log of feedback for both selling and buying history.

Many companies (again like the store front e-Bayers) will push and push and push for you to leave feedback on the site after a transaction was completed. Obviously they want to have the excellent feedback. In return - the seller will promise to give you likewise ratings for your buyer side.

In its simplest form - wouldn't this truly be the answer to a referal network based system like the one Angie's List is claiming it has created?

Simply allow the customers and the servicers to have open ability to place one comment each per transaction. Then if there are any disputes - simply have a moderator from the "hosting company (i.e. Angie's List)" arbitrate and otherwise resolve the dispute with a THIRD comment coming from the "hoster" as to a final opinion of the comments left.

Let the service business report abuse to their record with faulty reports and let the customers report abuse with the same. ANY abuser of the system would be banned from the system. Again - with the intervention of the "hoster" to make this judgment on a case - by - case system.

And to make all things equal - just charge the same membership fee to the business owner as you would to the consumer as the "admittance to the community fee" and otherwise keep the "neighborhood" clean, safe, efficient, and effective. If ALL are being charged EQUALLY then ALL would have EQUAL rights and EQUAL say (whether consumer or business) and the moderator or "hoster" would not be inclined or influnced to make decisions with any more or less favor towards either of the "classes of its constituents."

HA! Go figure - a free economy? What a concept!

Opinoins? I actually think I am going to be building this service myself. I already have the call into the web developers! ;-)

and that is the truth , I

and that is the truth , I work at a company that was constantly badgering us to join for 3 to 4,000.00 a year to have our company advetised on their web site. Where is the honesty in that. It is sad that they prey on people to fall in their trap and those people are clueless. Feed the hungry.......

Why Angie's List does indeed suck

I have used Angie's List off and on for awhile and have been privy through my friends, to the life and life's blood of this organization. I have come to a couple of conclusions. Firstly, Angie's List is not a service it is a business, a big fat advertising business. They have about 10 different types of advertisements and I have been told 100 people selling those ads. Good gracious people, 100! What does that tell us? Step right up and buy your hot spot on Angie's List, fake good reports and bury the real negative ones and you can go out there and do as much crummy work as you want. Does Angie care, no, not as long as you can buy buy buy an ad.

You used to be able to see all the companies on one scroll down page, now there are maybe 15 companies to a page. There could be 40 or 50 guys in town on the List with good solid reports, let's say in plumbing, but unless you are willing to look through page after page you won't find them. You can, however, find those advertisers. Angie's List is pushing a company to buy position. A fine example of integrity. You can't buy yourself on the list, just up the list and once again the biggest spender gets the bone.

So, I have decided to save my cash and never renew my membership and I'll resort to where I get all my good info----My mother, my friends, my neighbors, people in the community.

IMHO Angies List Sucks Even More After Reading Posts

We are interested in having a new roof put on our home. My wife mentioned Angie's list to me, and without checking it out, I signed up for one month. We were promptly charged the monthly fee and a signup fee. I cannot begin to tell you how stupid I feel for doing this.

We live in a community of 100,000+ people about 30 miles from Chicago. There were several roofers listed within a 50 mile radius. I chose three roofers that had a fair number of recent reviews and were more reasonably located near our home. None of those three will be doing the job. One failed to call back. One passed. The last one offered an estimate of between $6000 to $9000 without ever inspecting the roof, then asked, "So when do you want us to start?" I requested a written estimate, and was told it would be mailed to me. After two weeks I'm still checking my mailbox.

I spent a lot of time checking out other businesses out of curiosity. The information I got was abysmal. It seemed like very few businesses in my immediate area were even on the list. In thirty some categories the information was woefully lacking at best. For example, only two auto repair services were found. There are probably twenty within five miles of our home.

Thanks for your article. I only wish I googled Angies LIst first.

zMobs: Angies List + Social Networking ..

I am a avid user of LinkedIn and Facebook and find these services very useful. Recently came across a new free service called zMobs at http://www.zmobs.com. The service offers small service providers an option to get recommended by its customers for free in a social networking enviornment. so zMobs is LinkedIn + Craigslist + Angies List .. check it out. the beta was recently launched and I like it so far..

Zack

Opinions of Angie's List

I am a NYC apartment owner looking for a general contractor (GC) for a complete renovation. I just signed on w/ Angie's List (for free for a year, btw, w/out entering any payment or CC info). Time & experience will tell whether or not it's a worthwhile service. Though the review system/business model may be flawed, when it comes to homeowners hiring contractors (or architects), you have to realize that pretty much every referral system (informal or not) is flawed. I've been looking for a GC for a year already. I live in a big apartment building - have for almost 10 years - and so have plenty of neighbors and a super to ask for referrals. Let me tell you, just b/c your neighbor/friend/relative/co-worker thought a GC did a good job is just about completely irrelevant to whether or not that GC will work out well for you. Property owners searching for GC services need all the help they can get in order to spend their $$$ wisely. AL is just another tool available towards that end. Unless you've had a specific bad experience that began with AL, let it go.

I have to tell all the ranters: Well, of course AL is in it to make money! Duh! It's a business! And, if you can't afford $5/month easy, well, what the hell kinda contractor do you expect to be able to afford?! As for those who suspect conspiracy theories: good luck making yourself feel important.

Susie, NYC

good luck indeed

Well, how cute! I just got an email the other day more angies list complaints from customers and your comment inspired me to share it with the world.

The ironical thing is that 1) ironical isn't a word 2) the review company needs to get reviewed itself.

I'm glad Angie's List is just another tool in your box, but why not add something really groovy like zmobs or lijit to your tool box?

"Cute"?!

Why not, indeed. And so I will (though groovy is hardly what I'm looking for in a contractor).

Re. some other post on this subject, You can't trust anyone in most businesses, silly! Use your common sense & instincts. These online lists are just names to call. The decision to hire or not is yours alone!

susie, NYC

p.s. You could just say "ironic."

Yelp

I was trying to get onto Angie's List but could not (server is down...) and found your "Angie's List Sucks" and stopped to read it instead. I have never subscribed to Angies List
but know people who love it. I was writing a blog entry about having delusions of becoming Angie's List two years ago... Someone invited me to Yelp this week. I understand Yelp is an online reviews of businesses.

I remember meeting a girl who was starting Angie's list in Columbus... maybe 14 years ago. I remember it bothered me that her name was not Angie.

I like your list of suppliers. Like a blogroll.

Maureen at ColumbusBestBlog.com

Yelp

I'm not concerned about Angie's List's name, but rather what they do. They collect money from people with the promise that they are there to look out for consumers. They claim "we work for you, not the contractors". Then they sneak around and sell advertsing to the contractors that they rate.

Yelp is free and doesn't pretend to act like some holier than thou nonprofit consumer rights group. Like Angie's List, Yelp shares some of the same flaws, but at least it's free and Yelp hasn't misled people about how they operate as far as I can tell.

Joe Q

Yelp

I agree that Yelp is a great service. Unfortunately, it doesn't totally solve the problem you guys highlighted where the contractor can post their own glowing review under a phony name. There are a number of entries in Yelp where that has obviously happened, and the readers have flagged it.

Any time you embark on a home improvement project, use all of the resources available to you: internet AND the good old fashioned personal references!

Great site Greg!

how AL monitors fraud

AL checks a company's information against member information on file. If a phone, address, name, email address or even a password matches, Angie's List investigates it. While this process may take some time to catch a company committing fraud, it works. Many businesses are blacklisted or suspended for self-reporting.

Additionally, only one report per year on a company from the same member is allowed. So, if a company has the time and money to purchase that many memberships for the sake of a few good reports...the more power to them. Angie's List always recommends looking at more than one company for advice or service. Check the BBB, use other resources and get informed and not scared by a dumb site like this. Angie's List has customer service reps to ask questions...and oh, yeah, they do get paid...

interesting insights

Great to know how they find duplicates. Now every business that wants to get around it knows and will be sure to cover their traces against those tests.

I don't understand how you can say that Angies List will find the fraud in one sentence and then say that if companies figure out how to get around the system (which is obviously not hard) then "more power to them."

About using other resources: isn't part of the point of Angies List that you don't have to be bothered researching a company on other sites? So, I pay $5/month to get access to a list of potentially biased recommendations and when I'm done reading those I get the luxury of doing all the research I could have done for free anyway? No thanks.

Maureen in Columbus

Funny how you remember a girl selling Angie's list in Columbus 14 years ago. Angie did indeed go door to door to start this business about 14 years ago. She did enlist help to cover as much ground as possible. There is an Angie and she is real.

Workpost.com

http://www.workpost.com is new but could be a useful site one day.

Angie's List

I have read the posts on this website regarding Angie’s List and found the range of comments very interesting. First of all, I should state that I am a non-participating Angie’s List member and will remain so until my membership expires. I choose not to participate due to a bad experience that resulted from a negative review that I wrote. To make a long story short, I wound up getting harassing phone calls from the contractor.
Be that as it may, it is not a question of whether Angie’s List is in business to make money (duh!), which of course it is or it would not remain in business. I personally have no problem with Angie’s List making money as long as the service provided is as advertised.
Nor is it a question of whether the model is flawed, which I happen to believe it is not from a business sense. I cannot think of better business model than to get the people that provide a service to pay for advertising and then have the people that use the services to pay as well.
Nor is it a question of whether the reviews and/or ratings are a true representation of contractor’s capabilities; at best, the ratings provided by Angie’s List can only be taken as guides and not absolutes. The bottom line is that all review sites are flawed simply due to the fact that all inputs are not unbiased and that the processing of those inputs are not unbiased. It is not plausible that Angie’s List has not come up with the perfect method for processing all reviews.
Some posts on this subject are based on experience (both good and bad) and some appear to be based on other motives, which may or may not be related to more personal ties to Angie’s List.
The real question is whether or not you would recommend Angie’s List as a review service that requires a membership fee. I would prefer that any input be made based on firsthand experience as a member/contractor and not from employees or friends/family members of employees. Although it might be interesting to point out the benefits or flaws of the business and operational models, that insight does not carry as much weight as actual experience. There really isn’t anything personal involved with providing an opinion, either for or against Angie’s List so quit getting so uptight. People that are happy with the service that Angie’s List has provided them will most likely recommend it, whereas people that have had a bad experience with Angie’s List will most likely not recommend it.
My recommendation from a homeowner’s standpoint would be to not to pay to join Angie’s List unless there are no other informational resources that can be trusted (e.g. limited information is better than no information at all). My reason for making this recommendation is directly related to my own bad experience with Angie’s List.
In the end, it is up to the readers of this website to read the posts herein and make an assessment as to whether Angie’s List is right for them or not. Eliminate the nonsensical, the rhetorical, the theoretical, and the emotional (that includes this post if you believe it falls into one or more of those categories). There is no absolute right answer since each individual has their own experiences and their own set of unique requirements.

I will tell you why I use Angieslist.com...

They offer great discounts:

http://angieslistcoupons.wordpress.com/

I saved 25% off my subscription... And I can't even imagine how much I saved doing business with the right people.

try bidreach.com

if you're looking for something else, check out bidreach.com ...its a "social networking" website, kinda like facebook, but it's geared towards finding service providers... U can post a free "Bid Request" and receive unlimited, free, no obligation bids, quotes, or estimates for any service or product.... You can cancel if you don't get any bids you like... It's totally free if you're looking for "prices" for anything you need done! Check it out, there's nothing to lose...Its just getting started and If it's not in your area yet, it will be soon! You can network with other members and share advice and opinions about your projects and businesses in your area...hope to see u on soon! It's a very helpful site for customers!

Also, if you're a business owner you can join and bid unlimited projects for less than $20/mo.. Price includes free business cards and you get a website that can be customized with your content and your own domain name! There's a 30 day free trial so check it out!

thanks!

I like bidreach.com....Thanks! got bids for my lawn!

Angie Good, Spam Bad.

I have used Angies List for a few years, with a good overall experience. For the most part my work gets done, on schedule, at price. Usually the prices are slightly higher than average but since many contractors take the downpayment and run, Angie at least filters those jerks in most cases.

One negative is that Angie is a genuine spammer. Once you give her your email, your inbox will have many nagging emails from her! It's crazy. Angie, if you are listening, throttle back on the spam.

The other thing is that if I find a really good contractor, I might be less inclined to write about him, because this would create excessive demand, raising his prices, and lowering my status on his client list. There are always people who would pay more than me.

Angie's List Alternative

I'd recommend folks take advantage of www.RateMyContractors.com to find good contractors and avoid not so good ones.

Rate My Contractors is completely free to use and contains unbiased ratings of local home improvement contractors provided by friends and neighbors.

RateMyContractors.com works much the same way as RateMyProfessors.com which is used by millions of college students each year to select their professors.

If you've had a really good contractor experience or a really bad one share it with others. The good guys get rewarded (with more business) while the not so good ones learn that leaving customers unhappy doesn't end at the customer's doorstep.

Handymen...the horror, the horror ...

Is there a Ratemyhandyman.com? I've gone through 4 handymen already mostly through word of mouth, the real estate agent that sold me my home, etc. I'm disabled, alone, female, senior; but I do have my wits intact (for now). I live on a fixed income as most seniors. Need to let you know that I didn't hire all of these so-called handymen. I interviewed 3 of them. These came in looked around, assessing how much money I'm worth (probably). One looked out into space, while I explained what I needed. I quietly led him to the door. The other, sat on the floor & began a monologue about how spiritual he sensed me. I asked if he had a tape measure or knew what one was. The third one came w/ a floor installer that I ended up hiring (the installer). I hired him right away because he walked in & immediately began measuring & kept talk to a minimum. Unfortunately, his handyman was not as professional (he helped w/the vinyl) & was included w/the reasonable price. But when I had him do small jobs, he did them quickly but didn't seem interested in the list I handed him. I guess he's wealthy cause he didn't seem interested in anything except getting paid & leaving as fast as possible...so he's out. The last one never showed. I'm at my wits end, so I thought of Angie's List.

Glad I found this site. If anyone near the Hemet, California area knows of a decent handyman, PLEASE reply here & I will check them out. I've written all of the sites for reviews. So far, I had a good experience w/the installer. Floor came out beautifully. I treat my workers well, buying them lunch, etc. I expect same treatment in return. Jules

Not lunch

I don't expect lunch; I expect an interested in- his- job -person, taking pride in what they do, no matter how big or small the job is. I also want someone to listen. I may not be a 20 yrs old knockout female anymore but I'm a human being & expect to be treated with respect. Wouldn't they want that for their own mothers or am I being naive? Jules

This is why Angie's List SUCKS!

I was naive enough to pay $74 in 2008 to join Angie's List. In an effort to hire recommended tradespeople on behalf of my elderly mother and disabled brother, I enlisted their help. What I got was a short list of nationally based servicers, something I could have gotten on my own. I wrote and told them my dismay, but will never pay for such a subscription again. I manage their care from a distance as we live in different states. My family members help as they can. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area we have numerous consumer and parent groups ( Bay Area's Consumer Checkbook, Berkeley Parent's Network, Diamond Certified, etc) that offer spot on assessments and complaints. Not all organizations charge a fee and evaluations strongly advised by each member after each tradesman's visit. Angie's List is beyond flawed, it's a gimic
to make money and charge different rates to their gullable members.
Sincerely,
Amanda

Why I hate Angies List

I though I was the only one. Here is what I did. I joined Angie's List Facebook Page and blasted my issues with ANgies List and dared her to remove me, unlike what contractors can not do on her site. Here is what has progressed so far. I said: Perhaps someone can answer this question. I am a business and like many business, I joined Angie's List in 2007. I logged in one time in 2007 and checked my reviews. Fine reviews, no problems and that was that. Now it is 2010 and I found that my credit card was automatically charged in 2008 and 2009 for renewal. I did ...not realize they could automatically charge my card, especially since the original card had a credit card expiration date of later that year. I found out that if Angies List has this in their terms and conditions anywhere on their website, it is legal to do this. I am so disappointed with Angies List. What originally, I thought was unbiased reviews of companies, I later found that it is an advertising platform where companies can pay to advertise in the Mailer Book and as a sponsored link at the top of the website catagory. Thus the paying companies get more reviews and appear to have a better reputation. Perhaps I am being a little hard on Angies List. Especially because most of you probably like Angies List. WHile I was on hold waiting for a supervisor to talk to, the music on hold said something like "we do not endorse companies" we just like to spread gossip about them. Doesn't the Bible talk about how destructive gossip is. Imagine making a ... See Moreliving from being a gossip. Now go ahead, say all the bad things that you can about my post. If anyone here agrees, it would be awesome if you click the "Like" button. But I am sure this will be quickly removed. Unlike the ability that companies on Angies List do not have the power to do.
Angie said: After reading your comment I wanted to clarify a few things for you about how Angie’s List works with service providers.

Angie’s List in no way offers service providers the ability to influence the ratings on our list. Service provider’s grades are strictly based on consumer reports and grading that we get from our members nationwide.... See More

The only companies that are even eligible to advertise with us must first earn and then maintain high grades from their customers. We then use automated technology to ensure every company on the List – advertisers included – has a fair chance at being among the first search results for members who are looking to hire.

Top rated companies do have the option to offer Angie’s List members an exclusive discount in our magazine or online, but that is all companies can pay for. In order to be invited to offer a discount the company must have an A or B rating based solely on the feedback provided by our members and your customers. Those consumer reports are what drive a business’s rating, not the advertisement.

I hope this clarifies any concerns you may have had about our company’s integrity.

I said: I believe the main concern about your company was that you continued to charge my credit card every year because the automatic renewal was hidden in your terms and conditions. The second concern that I had was that I am sure a large portion of your clients are simply contractors who are joining to check their ratings to make sure that there are not... See More people "gossiping" about them without good cause. The third issue I had was that Anglie's List appears to mislead homeowners by allowing contractors to advertise. When they see a contractor with many reviews, it gives customers a sense that the popular contractor must be doing something right. That something right is to give Angie's List money. Update: So I just received a phone call by Angie's List concerning the two years of charges. They offered to refund one of the two years of charges. My company offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. I guess this can be considered a 50% satisfaction guarantee. Good luck to all the contractors who are your Facebook fans. Have you ever watched the movie 300. I just can't bring myself to bend at the knee to Angie's throne.

Angie said: Again, we... See More’re sorry you didn’t read the auto renew language and were surprised by it. And it seems clear that we’re not going to dissuade you from your thoughts about our company. Lots of companies have been rated on Angie’s List, earned good grades and grown their business without ever advertising with us. Advertising is a choice, not an obligation and we certainly don’t hold it against any company that declines not to advertise with it. The number of reviews a company has earned has nothing to do with advertising. It’s simply a reflection of companies that deliver such great service that their customers report on them. So the “something right” is delivering good service. Period.

I said: You said:" The number of reviews a company has earned has nothing to do with advertising." Please, ask one of your "fans" to help you. You are saying that if a company spends lots of money in your coupon mailer book, offering their services to your exclusive "Angie List" customers, they are not going to get a significantly more amount of reviews ... See Morefrom Angie List customers. And, what you are also saying, is that if a company spends a large amount of money to be placed at the top of the page as a "sponsored" company, your Angie List clients are not going to be more likely to use their services first. This is exactly why there are some companies with a much larger portion of reviews and this deceives your Angie List clients to believe the popularity is because of quality service.

Join Angies page and have fun for yourself.

Not ready for primetime in LA

I really like the idea of Angie's list, but they literally have nothing without the open, honest reviews of actual consumers of business services. I am in a rather large metropolitan area (Los Angeles) that has not yet been fully immersed by consumers who are writing reviews for Angie's list. That is, there are literally thousands of excellent businesses that don't exist on Angie's list for Los Angeles, so when you type in your zip code and look for businesses you may end up with ones that are 10s of miles away and in LA that means possibly over an hour or two or three or four of commute time to get to a business or for a business to get to you. In reading a few critiques of Angie's list I see that the annual fee in LA is possibly lower (~$12 + $5 sign up fee with coupon) than other metropolitan areas where there is better penetration, but the level of penetration in a particular metropolitan area is not particularly clear when you sign up. There are other services that are free like Yelp that are more comprehensive for LA at this time. That doesn't mean that a few years from now that Angie's list won't be more comprehensive, but as of this writing (July 2010) I am disappointed and I'm guessing many new subscribers in LA will be too. BTW, cancellation does not get you back your money, but does prevent them from automatically renewing your annual membership each year, so I'm guessing there will be quite a few alienated subscribers in LA for a few years. Another problem I can see with Angie's list is the possibility that a business's friends and relatives could stuff the ballot box, so to speak. Inversely a business could negatively influence the rating of a competing business using the same friends and relatives. I don't know what provision Angie's List or any other rating service, for that matter, makes for that possibility, but I'm guessing that's pretty hard to track.

Will never use Angies List

You cant comment on medical Dr's anonymously they let the Dr know what you say and who you are. I will stick to other sites that dont do that. I think this is great site with lost of good FREE referrals. Keep it up.

Angie's List: Fraudent Reviews

I own a chimney cleaning and repair company. I am a BBB member with an A+ rating, no complaints ever. Recently I was informed by a potential customer that I did not get the job because of a bad review on Angie's List. I was unware of any such review or that I was on Angie's list at all! I went on Angies list to check it out and sure enough there was a bad review from a bad customer, and a great review from a great customer! Both reviews had been on Angie's List for over a year, the bad one for 15 months. I was never contacted by Angies List to let me know there was a bad review, had they contacted me I could have provided the invoice to prove this complaint to be false!! If someone files a complaint against your company with the BBB, they contact you, provide you with a copy of the complaint, investagate to see if this is in fact a valid complaint, Angie's List did none of these. I called Angie's Lists so I could provide the nessacary information to have this complaint removed and was told the olny way this complaint could be removed was with a court order. They want me to get a laywer and take this customer to court in order to have this false review removed! So I am supposed to spend money and miss work to have this removed. I filed a complaint with the BBB and so had 51 other people mostly homeowners unhappy with the service or price. I literally do bussiness with hundreds of customers per year and you can not please everyone, no matter how hard you try, some people just enjoy complaining or can't be satisified. So my point is Angie's List should investagate these complaints before they post them, they do let you post a response but that in my opinion that does'nt help much. I would suggest using the BBB to check a company, its FREE to the consumer and the information true and much more detailed. This bad review has been on Angie's List for 15 months , how many other jobs have I lost? I think I will contact an attorney. I posted a very similar message on Angie's List message board and they removed it right away! Scam don't waste your money!!

Fooled by coupons

Do people really get fooled by Angie's List 10% off coupons?  It seems that the higher priced contractors in my area offer them.  It's rare a job costs what it was estimated.  You always run into something.  If the contractor is giving you a fair price you get a fair price.  10% off of what?!  Whatever they chose to charge you?  Hmmm.  I'd like to have someone with the reputation of doing good work and being honest, not an illusory discount.

I hope Angie's List goes under

This has been my experience as a shopper: I joined when I lived in New York because I thought the paying aspect would deliver more honest & accurate reviews. I'm not sure if this is the case, but what I do know is that there were damned few reviews for the things I looked for - mainly honest car mechanics and honest veterinarians, and perhaps a few other things. I'm a renter so no need for remodeling contractor reviews which seem to be about 80% if the businesses that get reviewed. There really wasn't any information on the site that I couldn't have gotten elsewhere for free. BUT Angie's List has the fine practice of automatically renewing you - a practice that basically says they hate their customers anyway.

Then I moved to Hawaii, and wanted to do the same thing... find a mechanic, find a vet. I thought since I'm still a paying member, I'll go through Angie's List to see what's here. Well, I knew I had to change my address and all, because we valued customers are allowed to peruse our own chapter only, not out of state or even out of area chapter (I'd been in the NYC tri-state area, so I couldn't look up in, say Buffalo...). So I changed my address but THAT wasn't ENOUGH. I was instructed to CALL them in order to change my chapter. READ: 4 to 5 hour time difference and I work about 60 hours a week. I could never find the time to call, so I wrote an e-mail requesting that they just change my chapter, and they refused to do it. I wrote back a pretty angry e-mail about a month later when I had four minutes to deal with it, but I received a response from someone who had not read the previous e-mail, and it went back and forth like this for about three months, different associates saying things like, "Oh you can just change your address online!" (Isn't that rich? I had done that, was even getting their lousy magazine at my new address in Hawaii, but that didn't change the chapter I could use), or saying that they HAD changed my chapter when in fact they hadn't, and when I'd reply and tell them it didn't work, I was right back on square one with an associate who hadn't read all the attached information. Back and forth like this until I gave up. The only good thing about it was that one of the people who e-mail said they'd not renew my membership. I'll believe it when I see it.

Angie's List DOES SUCK, epically. It is absolutely the WORST business I've had the displeasure to deal with, online or otherwise. Maybe people get more business with it, but with Yelp and the others out there, it's probably negligible. How AL stays in business ethically or honestly is WAY beyond me. They took my money and then wouldn't allow me to use their service.

I've had issues with angies

I've had issues with angies list, yelp and city search. I actually go to www.natcpb.org to get reviews on any business. I would recommend just taking a look at it and seeing if its for you..whether your the business owner or the consumer.

I had issues with angie's

I had issues with angie's list.. I am NOT a fan

Contract not fulfilled. After three months of haggling and empty promises and additional expense..
I filled complaints to the AG..the consumer dept of my state..BBB..licensing board..angie's list..and was in the process of seeking legal advise..

then the contractor amended the contract to his benefit..NOT mine..we again disagreed and he returned my money.

Bottom line..I got his name on Angie's list..gave him a F grade and someone form AL was suppose to contract me to get issue resolved..Haven t heard from anyone from AL

angies list is a nitemare!

two people complained about our babysitting service and gave us a fs saying that they thought we were stealing children even tho no formal complaints were filed against us and angies list wont even respond to our emails and calls and now ppl are afraid to hire us.

Rip off

Angies list is a rip off taking advantage of trusting (stupid) people.

she is a thief

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