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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

Beware of "member numbers"

When Angie's List tells prospective advertisers that they have the potential to reach 30,000 members in their market they will really only have the potential to reach 15,000. They (Angie's List) considers each household as having 2 members.

True and...

...probably the most deceptive practice. Sure, maybe each household membership has 2 adults, but to a contractor there is only one house that needs work within that household so in effect the skewed numbers effectively show the service having twice the potential value. As a former ad sales rep, I hated this practice and focused on the activity. For potential advertisers, you want to focus on the number of unique requests per time period because they are the number of different memberships who looked at a category.

ANGIE'S LIST BUSINESS MODEL SHOULD BE ILLEGAL

I am a progressive small business owner, have had dealings with unfairly unhappy customers willing to do damage (for the purposes of this content, just trust me on that statement) and have done my own research including calls and emails to Angie's List to determine who and how they do business. I also listen to Air America. I hear them touting Angie's list on the radio and am actually quite shocked that well informed people like Thom Hartmann would actually stoop to such decadent corruption of his own stated politics.

Angie's List in itself is anti-trust and one big defamation generator. Imagine what will happen if they continue to grow and as a business wonder you MUST cow to Angie's List and their demands or NOT be in business? That is the end all be all for Angie's List. Unfair control and profit through intimidation. They take money from both sides, pitting angry consumers and defensive business owners against one another while growing rich literally off of libel, slander, and a war of words.

Very much unlike the Better Business Bureau -which is federally funded and regulated- Angie's list is a "some guy" business (started by some guy. like Facebook) reaping rewards for a clever scheme. Just like the poorly named Rip-off Report and Pissed Consumer, Angie's List (named by Bill Oesterle after some intern who used to work for him over a decade ago) profits from the anger and misfortune of it's client base. There is actually a negative sum return for being successful with their business model. Imagine if they reported so much positive that people turned to Angie's List only for referrals to good businesses based solely on "the Honor System?" There are more websites like this one that state the obvious contrary than there are consumer protection sites. Angie's List is a grocery file full of lies and corrupt business tactics and practices.

For those of you who think that any such process would work under any human condition without oversight, I can list hundreds of billions of examples to the contrary all over the world. Angie's list is primarily made up of angry people willing to spend money and time to get back at a business or contractor or person of some stripe because they feel they were wronged. Certainly, there are many occasions where they certainly were, and want to spread the word about a very bad company or product or service, but people do not generally work that way. It is human nature not to bother with compliments but to obsess over complaints. Ask any business owner; small or large, or just go to the local library and check out books on business ethics and statistics. It is all there for anyone to understand and not bother with conjecture of any other ideal. This is not a Hobsian world view, just a scientifically proven one. And Angie's List profits from that innate primate behavior complex.

I could go on about what I found out, I could ramble about how they refuse to answer direct questions repeatedly over the phone about how they derive their information, how they protect themselves from spurious and wrongful allegations, how they protect themselves from legal entanglements while their "customer base" is continually and constantly sued by angry business owners who attempt to intimidate the complaining party, only to find out that the person who made the complaint was not REAL. You have heard it stated in this string repeatedly that you only need a free temporary email account and the ability to fake information about the circumstances. They even take Paypal, adding another level of secrecy as to whom the fees are generated from.

Here is a perfect example (again, assume for the sake of example that this viewpoint is true and real)

"I have been in business for over two decades. I do my best to make happy clients. I use expensive tools, parts, supplies, textiles, and media to offer the best in the business. My business is in many ways based on word of mouth along with all the money we spend on advertising, so it is important to me and my business model to have each job go smoothly and to conclude with a client wiling to rave to another potential client. But I have had some unhappy customers over the years that were willing to complain vehemently when they were unhappy. Some were pressed for final payment, some were asked to complete their end of the bargain, but admittedly, like all businesses, and there were a handful that actually had a reasonable complaint. Each one of those people were treated with respect and with concern for their satisfaction. I and the people who work for me are not perfect. We are human, but we use my commitment to quality and satisfaction as a guide in every choice we make to ensure they are happy or eventually mollified.

If you go to put in a countertop and while bringing it in someone's house, you knock off a little corner that is bad. If you try to then install it anyway and hope the customer will not notice or complain, that is bad business. Good and evil are always one decision away. As a successful business owner, I have my own morality, my business ethics, the law, and a good reputation to keep me honest and willing to placate even the most unfair client for the last twenty two years. But sometimes there is nothing you can do to fix things because that person is unfairly angry and egregiously hostile (to begin with) and now willing to attack a new target because of something that you have no control over.

The Italian Marble you were waiting for now is going to take another two weeks because someone in Tuscany dropped a truck on your marble slabs. Nothing you can do about it, but now the home owner is pissed that he has to wait, and wants me to buy the marble elsewhere despite the fact that if I did, I would be paying him to have me put in his marble and that by the time I procured said marble, it would be another two weeks anyway. So, in the day and age of easy internet access, he lashes out and PERMENENTLY besmirches and sullies two decades of good reputation in under an hour with a well worded diatribe about me and my business. And now, Google, Yahoo, Dogpile, and others have "XXX sucks" as the first and second hits when you type in my business name. Worse, when you type in my own name it shows up as the very first link, with total disregard for the delineation between me and my business, which is why I am incorporated. My name and everyone in the world who has my first and last name combination gets to see this lying libelous defamation whenever they use a search engine, be it Egypt, Tokyo, or New Jersey. And they do float to the top of the list, having made large monetary arrangements with the corporations that run the search engines without a single care for the ham it does to small businesses everywhere."

That is a story that I read from one person who was very upset at Angie's List. I cannot validate the authenticity but do not have to. The above story is a perfect example of why Angie's List should be out of the reviewing business. No oversight, no community standards and practices, no way to removing incendiary comments...All this should be illegal and Angie's List is just one more example of what happens when you allow the unscrupulous to pretend that they are doing the world a service.

angies list

I went out of my way to help a young couple in the coast guard. The job actually cost me money to do. I have a nephew in the coast guard so i figured,why not help them. These two people are self made con artists. They poor mouthed and blabbered how they were screwed over by other people. Well just because they live in a middle class neighborhood they dare not admit that they poormouth. I gave them an excellent roof and yes it took longer than normal, first they went on vacation then my schedule was tied up, I did the best I could considering they were actually costing me money. Too make a long story short. Months after the job was completed, I donot know if the youngman was drunk or whatever his state of mind was. He sent a slanderous report to ANGIES LIST, before they listed it, I was contacted about joining and told it is free but I could purchase certain extras for my site. Needless to say I told them I felt their site and others are basically B.S., extorting money to keep their fat little tails in ding dongs and spring water. The next thing I knew I was the lucky contractor to be on their front page as the kind of contractor not to hire. I contacted them to remove the persons statements and was told they didnot have too, since all their doing is relaying someone elses words. I have a news flash for them... their acting as a paid agent for the people they represent. I am going to go out of my way to put them out of buisness no matter what the cost. I have a good reputation and I donot need to pay someone, who does not even live in the state , to acquire me referrences for buisness. If all it takes to start a buisness is pay some people 40 dollars, then I guess I worked my ass off for 30 years for nothing........... go figure.
By the way, Andy Greenwood and angies lists are nothing but a bunch of young, lazy, social misfits who need to get off their fat tails and get a real job instead of feeling they have power to control hardworking people's lifes.

Coast guard couple

If you haven't already, contact your local newspaper or TV station. Maybe there are other companies in your area with similar complaints.

Free speech– or libel?

Angieslist and other "review" sites claim that they can publish anything they like about a company because they (AngiesList) are not saying it themselves--they are only relaying the words of others, for whose opinions they cannot be responsible. Yahoo, Yelp, Insider Pages all say the same thing. "We have absolutely no legal liability--we are protected".

It seems hard to believe that these very definitely for-profit corporations can be exempt from lawsuits for malicious libel, especially as they actually charge consumers money to access their bullshit reviews,( that's not "free" speech). Since anyone can post anything on AngiesList, and AngiesList does not check the veracity of what's being said, so as publishers, they ARE liable for what they say.

I am sure that any money-grubbing, class-action lawyer could make a whole pile of money out of this. Either that, or the laws permitting this kind of libel will be changed very soon. When a lawyer thinks about winning a judgement against Google, or Yahoo, or AngiesList they get very excited! Millions of dollars at stake in a case like this. Just think how many aggrieved business owners will sign up as part of a class action.

Free Speech or Libel?

Unfortunately, AL is protected by law. The HomeOwners whu publish the libel are NOT. You can sue the homeowners directly. The problem? Angie's, who has more money than you do, will foot the HomeOwner's bill because if one single HomeOwner looses, Angies' reputation will collapse like a house of cards.

Now, that does NOT mean that the person who initiated the defamation will win. It does mead, however, that a small business will be out of a lot of money before they win. So nobody sues.

My two-cents.

high risk with high tech

I'm an HVAC contractor. I got a phone call from a prospective customer last week. She's about to spend 12,000 to 18,000 on a new heating system (she hasn't decided which boiler/water heater she wants yet). She says "my neigbor said I should check out Angies List before I decide who to go with. You may want to check out what someone wrote about you".

I got nuked by this bitter customer. There were bumps with the job, yet she embelished everything and lied about other details that were quite incriminating.

We do high tech heating systems and charge a lot of money. When the average HVAC contractor recommends replacing the heating appliance, we go in and quote an entirely new system with Euro panel radiators. Big bucks.

My point is simple: Some trades professionals can not do the same stuff others can do, especially in the 'skilled' trades (high tech HVAC being one). It will be either sad or humorous when some start up green kid with a "high rating" on Angies ends up trying to troubleshoot one of our Tekmar TN4 systems.

I realize I charge at the top end of the spectrum. I equate that to living by the sword, and the customer's expectations increase as they spend double or triple what the regular companies quote.

A service like Angies List can't qualify these non-tangibles.

BTW, The prospective customer wants to give me a 50% on Tuesday.

head up

  1. Companies can respond for FREE to their reports.

  2. Companies have access to give more information about their company and their products and services for FREE on Angie's List in their company info.

It sounds to ME, like you didn't bother to do either one, and you want to blame Angie's List.

You can advertise, but you have to have an A or B and a current report, overall.

If you are a company and you don't have at least one complaint , or somebody you couldn't make happy -you aren't doing much business.

head up response

1) Yes, companies can respond for free to their reports, but they are somewhat limited as to what they can say because they have to be within the al.com "data standards" so Angie's List has to approve them. The company still can do little to nothing about removing a negative report.

2) Indeed companies can have a limited and very generic company profile for free, which is again subject to Angie's List approval.

Your statement "If you are a company and you don't have at least one complaint , or somebody you couldn't make happy -you aren't doing much business" is very naive and obviously comes from someone who has never operated a company where word-of-mouth and a hard-earned reputation are keys to success. It can be devastating to a business to have one irrational consumer destroy your reputation online with so little effort without having any recourse or a way to correct the situation if it is a legitimate complaint. That process does not exist in the Angie's List universe. It is absurdly one-sided.

Angie's List??

I'm happy that I came accross your review. I'm a residential contractor. I work by through customer referrals and I was hoping to use the service. It seemed too good to be true. I don't think the word "Sucks" is the most eloquent adjective, but it gets right to the point. Thanks!

Angie's List

The following holds to be true with regards to Angie's List:

  1. Reviews submitted to Angie's list can be faked.

  2. Reviews submitted to Angie's list can be factual.

  3. Observed reviews are too infrequent in number for any given company to assert predictive probability. You just cannot depend on low averages to determine a reliable trend for what amounts to 2 outcomes, positive or negative. See #4 below.

  4. Each individual's positive OR negative experience with a company is their own, a unique, and does not necessarily mean someone else will incur the same. This is the Achilles-heel of any review.

  5. The design of charging reviewers a 'membership fee' to improve integrity, is ultimately, flawed at best.

Angies' List.

You are statistically correct. When you do the math, Angies's numbers don't add up. Contractors are obviously the loosers. Customers also loose, but this fact does not appear obvious to most.

hi

you are right if some one provide services like this .it is sure sucks.

They Keep Billing me

Write to the Attorney General; the BBB; all your friends; the credit card company.
Good luck!

Could not agree MORE.

A couple of our customers have put Raves about our company on there. Shortly after that, they call and want us to advertise on their site.

Well I do not like ANGIES LIST as when I first built ESP's website I was bragging about what our customers had said about us on ANGIES LIST and put a link to their site for people to go to their site. A month later I am threatened with a lawsuit as using their logo and linking to them. We should pay them for money made by using their link, they wanted $3500 and remove link. I told them to KMA and they could try what they wanted. That was 3 years ago and link is still there.

FYI suck is a mild word to use in my opinion.
We post complaints on our site as well as praises, so I say "LIST WE DON'T NEED NO STINKING LIST"
We also have many free info videos for consumers to fix minor plumbing repairs.

Angies List

I interviewed for a job there and in the short time I was there got the impression it is very cult-like. One of the individuals who interviewed me seemed to be using my supervisor experience and online experience against me, which really through me for a loop because why wouldn't any company want that experience for a middle management position. Seems to be lots of perks if you work there, but then the tradeoff may be if they sense you can't be brainwashed into their "Angie's List uber alles" mentality then you are immediately thrown back into the pond.

correct again

Yes, you have to drink the kool-aid there for sure. They don't want anyone who thinks on their own, offers ideas or questions operating procedures and policies. I didn't fit in because in my experience and education I have learned not to take things as they are "just because" and I question inefficient and questionable practices. I left when I realized that there was nowhere to go in the company. It is essentially a social club with drinking during work hours and I could not tell you how many people I saw promoted to a "manager" of some kind without any experience in that role. I could be wrong, but promotions did not seem to be based on merit at all.

sales jobs at Angie's

Wow. This is so weird. After reading your reply to my post I checked the Angie's List job listings just out of curiosity. All their jobs are for sales and customer service, but for FUTURE openings. Never seen anything so strange. No company wants to admit they have high turnover even if they do, but AG is more or less admitting that by advertising for FUTURE openings.

Yes Angies List isn't so great.

Yes Sucks is a bit strong in my case. I also have a MAC and couldn't log in. This should be explained before going though the pain of trying to log in. Thanks for posting my opinion

To Angie or not to Angie

I was going to sign up for Angie's list. But decided to read some reviews about the review site Angie's list. After reading the hundreds of comments here i feel that Angie's list can be tricked and they can be tricking us.

The best point that made me realize it's biased was the fact that contractors are being encouraged to sell Angie's list and even buy memberships to customers so they can write good reviews.

If i'm a contractor and have 5 family members in different households, i would instantly have 5 great reviews. At a small expense that i can reimburse my family.

It just doesn't add up.

I'll save my $5/month and not be played with.

I always thought it was a great idea and i was actually one of the first free members on Angie's list then i got a renewal notification and never paid them for something i thought should be driven by ad revenue and not by my money as a consumer.

-Robert

Angie's List

WARNING. I'm both a long-time member and a service provider (multiple-year Super Service Award winner). Angie's List is very helpful, and I'm a big fan. However, consumers should know that service providers can manipulate their placement on the list by purchasing ads from Angie's List, often in the form of "coupons." So if you are truly looking for the best companies, I suggest you look at ratings, reviews, and number of reviews, rather than trusting their placement order in a given category. I do find it a bit disingenuous for Angie to claim "service providers can't pay to be on the list." While this is technically a true statement, service providers can pay to improve their placement, moving them towards the top of the list. I believe an ad should look like an ad, so the consumer knows what's happening. This is why newspapers often require certain "articles" to have a box around them, with the label "Advertisement," so the consumer will know the context. Again, Angie's List is an excellent service, well worth the membership price...but be aware Angie is making huge profits from ads sold to service providers. The value of the membership to you as a consumer is in the REVIEWS, so make your choices wisely.

Angie's list

I've also been a longtime member and was given a free membership to open up a new location when they were expanding. I use AL to help find contractors, and for the most part have been successful. On the rare occasion when I use a highly reviewed person or company and they do a terrible job, I post a negative review to warn others, even if the company is highly rated. I also am VERY specific with the details of the job, so other members can make their own decision. And despite the ability to have a contractor respond to my occasional negative review - I've never had one do it because I tell the truth. What I also do is post positive reviews for positive experiences - also with job specific details. IF I can keep one person from being screwed over by a contractor or service provider - (like I was repeatedly, before joining AL) then it's worth it. AL is far from perfect, but the fee narrows the BS factor other sites are rampant with. And for people moving to new areas where they don't know people - it's worth it.

It Sucks ....period !

Angie is obviously a woman scorned. EVERY commercial for this stupid service is negative, except for the hack plumber walking little poo poo the papion.

I wonder if she is upset over all the prostitute ads listed her ex's, Craig's , site.

ANGLIE'S LIST IS FOR SALE

A manager at Angie's List told me that the CEO, Bill Osterle, told her that the company "is always for sale." Maybe they should post an ad on Craig's List.

Trust me

He'll sell out the company as soon as he can, but with all the revenue they generate and the $60 million in VC they have received in 2 years they cannot figure out how to turn a profit. They can't sell a company that hemorrhages money millions of dollars at a time. It is bloated and operated poorly with a lot of waste.

ServiceBuddy.com no fees for consumers

I have read your comments and many of them I agree with. AngiesList really models their business after consumer reports, where members pay for access to reviews. The difference with AngiesList is the reviews are posted by other members versus professional staff at Consumer Reviews.

We have an alternate site that offers many of the same services as AngiesList, but for no cost to the consumer members called Servicebuddy.com. We have a complete directory of local service providers for any visitor or member to search. We as well, encourage all of our members to post reviews of local businesses they have done business with in the past. In addition we have a feature that allows members to invite their friends to join and build their on private group in which they can share their reviews of their favorite (and not so favorite) companies. All of these services are free to consumer members.

We have basic free listings on the site for any business that would like to have a listing. They too can invite their customers, prospects and business associates to join and create a service referral group. For enhanced visibility of their profile they can purchase memberships that provide higher visibiity placement on the site as well as additional services such as referral program and email marketing services. All of these services are offered at very low monthly costs.

If interested check our site out at www.servicebuddy.com and let us know what you think.

Pay?

I though this was a free service to customers! Ha!! Silly me. You have to pay to get others opintions of service providers...how rude. I went there to tell people about a good tree cutting service I had. I am sure not going to pay to do that, I was just trying to be helpful. I hope they go broke, I am offended.

Angies

Yes it is a pay for. That is what I do not understand why people think they get a good report from there, There are plenty of free places to find out info. Best place to start is remember 3 words LICENSED-BONDED-INSURED. Here is 1 main reason
1. BONDED protects the consumer, even if you paid for job completely, and found out the CONTRACTOR did not do it to code, you have recourse to get money back.
2. LICENSED protects you also as an example Plumbers who are licensed are held accountable to the state that holds license. This would be for any licensed contractor. All states list on their websites this info for free.
3. INSURED now this should speak for itself, but consider this is you hire someone who is not and they have an employee, and that person gets hurt on your property, you could be held accountable as your homeowners policy.

Most legit contractors will gladly share this info. We post ours right on our website.

IT DOES SUCK!

I saw the ad on TV so thought I'd give it a try. I live in San Bernardino County in Southern Cali. When I put in my San Bernardino County zip code I am defaulted to a LOS ANGELES chapter list. Why in the heck (for lack of a better word) would I want services from a Los Angeles company when I live 45 miles East of Los Angeles? So I put in a different zip code in San Bernardino County and it told me "You're already on the LA Chapter list." I tried every San Bernardino County zip code I could think of and they alll told me the same thing: You're already on the LA Chapter list. It could be a really cool service if they actually gave companies in my area. If I wanted to hire a housekeeper, I don't want her to drive from Los Angeles to my house. The closest one to me was 27 miles away. It's ludicrous and perhaps ANGIE should look at a map of Los Angeles County and San Bernardino County. I requested an immediate refund.

Here's how to do that...

Your chapter, like many chapters, is geographically broad. What you want to do is search "other areas of town" if the default search is too broad and enter your zip code and/or search by radius. No, it's not user-friendly at all.

Angies List for multiple locations

I have homes in DC PA and FL. If i join Angies list can I get referrals for all of these locations with one membership or do i need to pay separate memberships for each area?

Multiple Locations

Yes, you have to pay for each of these locations although not as much. I am in the St Louis Chapter and had a house in Las Vegas that needed work and wanted to check the list. I was asked for more money. I emailed them with no response. I tried calling and got to talk with a real person. They confirmed the additional cost.

I was very disappointed.

NOT SURE

I joined awhile back and really was disappointed with what they disclose and requested my $ back.
As another poster stated, you could have a dozen relatives send in good refs, and reimburse them. Do your own leg work and save the money.

Most BBB will give the info you need, always ask for references and hire a licensed, bonded and insured contractor.

Angieslist is all about them making money.

Why would I PAY to leave someone a review?

We recently moved and the moving company which was great asked us to post on Angie's list because they have tied their employees bonuses to positive reviews. Gladly, I went to Angie's list but was disappointed to see that you cannot post without paying a membership fee first. I even called Angie's list for clarification and the person on the phone was rude enough to say it was worth it since I would be "tipping" the movers. I explained that we had already "tipped" the movers but would be happy to post on the free sites instead (Citysearch, Yelp and BBB).

I have no use for helping Angie's List make money while complimenting or criticizing a company for their service. No thanks!

Angie's Europe expansion

Did Angie's List ever expand into the European market? I remember first reading articles and press releases about it in 2007. They got a lot investment capitial to expand overseas in 2008. Did that ever come through? 2008 is almost over.

No European expansion

No, they did not. When I started working there the international expansion was all hyped up, but never materialized. It seems they need to figure out how to be profitable right here first. They didn't even make it as far as Canada.

Europeans are not as stupid as we are!

There probably won't be a European expansion because European's are not as stupid as we are I guess. You always see these giganticum corporations with their hundred million dollar advertisement schemes all the time here in the US, you never see that in Europe.

Besides, I have a business and I entered myself on angie's list to try it out. Same day as I entered it they called me and asked me if I would like to pay $190 per month to ADD GOOD REVIEWS to my site because I only have 2 reviews. I asked the sales person, no name given or wanted to give, if this is really legal. She said, listen I just work here and get told what to do.

Nope

I will never pay for info that is already available.

Angie's a fraud

The Angie, who couldn't swing a hammer, does hundreds of media interviews a year in which she regurgitates information from other sources and passes it off as her own. If she's this big a fraud in the media, would you really trust the data on her List?

Angie's is a fraud

I think that whole story about how the list got started when Angie, "tired of lousy service", went door to door in Columbus, OH to sign people up. Would a 22 year old college intern, probably only living in a city for 4 or 5 months, even own a house and even have a need to hire a housekeeper or plumber? Get real.

Back Story

She was Bill Osterle's intern and he had investment properties, so he sent her door to door collecting the information. He is the actual founder and it's his brain-child. She's the public face.

Why Angies List Sucks | Knaddison.com

Great post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am
impressed! Very helpful info specially the last part :) I care for such info a lot.
I was looking for this particular information for a long time.

Thank you and good luck.

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[...] at the same time.  It screams “conflict of interest” to me in an alarming way, and this heavily hit, fourth-position-in-Google blog post (and subsequent comments) shows that indeed, Angie’s List is basically the Geek Squad of consumer business listings: [...]

Contractors Perspective

From a contractor's perspective on Angie's List I have the following insight. I am a contractor in good standing with Angie's List. This isn't to say that I haven't gotten some bad reviews. I have always sought to resolve issues with customers in a timely manner that is in their favor...I just think that this is good business. The two times that we have had a seriously negative comment posted on Angie's list I found them unwilling to be reasonable (Angie's List). In one instance Angie's List representatives tried to insist that I disregard the legal contract I had with one of their members because after we did $10,000.00 worth of work she decided it was only worth $3000.00, EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS SATISFIED WITH THE WORK. In the other instance, Angie's List agreed that the customer was completely unreliable in his report and that it was obviously biased but refused to remove the report from my record. After the second COMPLAINT they pursued me for two weeks to advertise in their mailers, on their website, etc... Angie's List makes money when the "good" companies spend thousands of dollars a month to advertise with them. They are an advertising firm! They strong arm contractors into advertising with them to "maximize" their standing with Angie's List. While it is true that you don't have to pay to be listed on their website you DO have to pay to be in any of their publications or to have a "top spot" on their website. This is a total sham! - Brian

25% true, 75% Bullcrap

I've seen this as well, not to mention the fact that most reviews are fake. So you have 25% good reviews by people self promoting, you have 25% fake negative reviews from competitors ambushing other competitors, and 25% vindictive reviews from unreasonable and crazy miserable customers who are trying to get something for nothing out of their contractor, and maybe, just maybe, 25% of the reviews are accurately represented.

Another Contractor's Perspective

I, too, am a long-time contractor in good standing (7-time Super Service Award winner). We've had probably 200+ reports written about us. I'd say the reports, both good and bad, are about 90-95% accurate. None are fabricated, but a handful are written by disgruntled "customers," most of whom did not even hire us to do any work. Though we are honest and try our very best, we are not perfect, so we can't please everyone 100% of the time (face it, some customers are unreasonable, too). If a company has 100 reports and 90 are very good, I'd bet on them! If they have 5 reports, probably not. And I certainly would not call a company just because they have a "coupon." Those coupons are simply ads purchased by the company to gain placement to the top of the list. Disregard the ad and look at the number and quality of the ratings. Read some reviews to get an idea of both the good and bad issues. How did the company respond to the poor review, if at all? Angie's List is NOT a sham, but they are a bit disingenuous by allowing companies to "buy" placement on the list with paid ads. Read the reports, they are the heart of it all. If a company is scamming their own reports, it could only be a small number.

DON'T HIRE ANGIES LIST

DO NOT DEPEND ON CONTRACTORS' LISTS TO HIRE A COMPANY. Lists such as Service Magic and Angie's List are basically advertising companies DISGUISED as consumer protection agencies.

ANYONE WHO PAYS ANGIE'S can post a comment. -- Contractors love it because they brother-in-law, friends, relatives, and church members can join Angies and give the contractor great reviews! -- Competitors' of the contractor love it because they can get their own sister to give a negative review. -- Angie's loves it because they make millions of dollars making believe these are legitimate ratings. -- Consumers love it because they are led to believe that their worries are over.

THE PROBLEM? A lot of people still get RIPPED OFF. First, by Angie's who smiles all the way to the bank, then by the contractor. EVEN IF THE CONTRACTOR YOU HIRE HAPPENS TO BE A GOOD ONE, you just played roulette with your money!

ANGIES LAWSUITS

GUESS WHAT?

TO PROVE THAT A.T.T. DAMAGED ANGIE'S BECAUSE OF ALlEGED TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENTS, ANGIES LIST HAD TO DECLARE THAT IT LOST REVENUES FROM CONTRACTORS WHO ADVERTISE ON THEIR LIST.
Wow!
THEY ADMITTED IN COURT, IN WRITING, THAT CONTRACTORS PAY TO BE RATED TOP AND TO BE ON THEIR LIST!

go to:

http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2007/12/ind_courts_angi.html

In ANGIES' OWN WORDS YOU WILL SEE THAT THEY EMPHATICALLY ADMIT THEY ARE PAID BY CONTRACTORS!

In Addition, you will see how the real barracuda is not Palin, it is Angie's.......:-(

no they did not

what ever you are reading you are translating it very very differently. companies do not pay to get rated -not now, not ever. they can not put themselves on the list to any advantage and usually get caught. the companies CAN advertise ONLY if they are already submitted to the list by a customer, and already have a good rating...THEY ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT PAY TO GET A GOOD RATING -NOR DOES ANYONE AT ANGIE'S LIST DO ANYTHING TO MANIPULATE A COMPANY'S RATING, NOR DID ANYONE IN THE AT&T CASE, OR ANY OTHER CASE THAT WORKS FOR ANGIES LIST MAKE ANY SUCH STATEMENT. companies that are submitted to angie's list by a customer with a good rating are eligible to advertise to get more members calling them -but that does not change their rating at all -it might change where they are in the list -that's it -that does not change their rating. they have to have a high rating already to be offered the opportunity to advertise by moving themselves up in the list, or by placing an ad in the magazine. if a company's grade falls below a B, they drop the advertising for that company. the reason angie's list does so well, is because people know there are others out there that will cheat and lie as you have to get other peoples money.

usually - that's reliable

You're writing this as someone who either works for the company or did or, for some other inexplicable reason, seems to really like the company. And yet, you said:

they can not put themselves on the list to any advantage and usually get caught.

Usually? You're going to put your faith in usually?

For $5 a month I want more than usually. Like, maybe a system based on my known peers that I can trust.

I'll take "usually"

So, they "usually" get caught. I'll take it. I'm glad there's some sort of a safety net at all, unlike similar sites that have none.

And I'd love a system based on "known peers that I can trust," but I'm new in Atlanta and don't know many people. Angie's List was simply the easiest, most convenient way to find contractors (and I'll need a doctor eventually, too). It's worked well so far, and I get several little perks like their magazines and tips, which makes it well worth the fee.

I belong to Angie's List and

I belong to Angie's List and I'm still not sure whether I like it or not. However, their magazine can only be considered a "perk" to the scrap paper pile. I wish they'd stop sending it.

Sorry but you are wrong

As an accountant in the construction industry, I can tell you that all it takes is a discount from your contractor to have a client post a positive review.

ANGIES LIST HAD BAD REVIEW ON TV

Go to: http://multimedia.tbo.com/multimedia/MGBW16DA92E.html

Inside Angie's List In Tampa
Published: Dec. 2, 2004

TAMPA - The reputation of the Tampa Bay chapter of Angie's List is under attack. Some former employees say advertisers got preferential treatment, a charge the owner denies.

Online Producer: TBO.com staff
Reporter: Stacie Schaible/WFLA

TV investigation of Angies LIst needs wider dissemination

While this Florida report is four years old, it confirms every worst suspicion about Angies List. Why is National Public Radio accepting "sponsorship" (advertising dollars) from such a horrendously compromised, for-profit organization which makes money by claiming to protect consumers by making them pay for supposedly impartial and unedited "reviews".

Do consumers know that they can be sued and held liable for their comments on Angies List --but that Angies List itself is not liable?

Check out the piece at:

http://multimedia.tbo.com/multimedia/MGBW16DA92E.html

So there is someone dumb enough to fall for this scam?

Wow, I thought people were smarter now. At least the Nigerian scams promise huge sums of money in return...

Let's see:
- For a trivial sum, a company could easily manipulate their rankings
- For many of the services they list, there are already numerous agencies collecting and reporting complaints, comments, etc.
- It's expensive, especially when you consider that most other ratings services are free

If you're seriously considering this service, you need to examine the voracity of some of the defenders here, and ask yourself what typical user of the service would respond in this manner, versus what some paid lackeys might post. There doesn't seem to be much integrity in this case.

angie's list

one: this link to this fake tampa article doesn't go anywhere -it doesn't tell you anything about who the employees are, and just so you are aware, there is not an Angie's List office in Tampa -all their employees are in Indianapolis. This can't be any more fake. The landing page for this link takes you to a 1/2 created web page with two links to angie's list landing page.
Service Providers can not pay to get onto Angie's List or put themselves on there. Sure, someone can try as this blogger suggests, but here's the catch. Unlike free lists, when you pay the money for Angie's list to make a report, they also get additional info from the person for additional services the new member receives other than the list access. So say a company owner is dumb enough to do this, right, they put in a report under a fake name -good, great, now what? If you get on Angie's List with only ONE report - you won't get any calls, you won't be seen much -you are basically on page 5-7-9 of the online list in a category being mixed up with 100-400 others with ONE report. It is only with several reports from different members that a company starts to get seen. So say Mr. dumb company owner cheats and puts himself on the list, he can only make a report on the same company once every six months. So Mr. cheater would then have to sign up for many memberships in order to create many fake memberships, and make many fake reports, and I'm sorry, but this person WILL get caught and when they do they will be removed from Angie's List. Folks like Mr. Cheater don't use Angie's List -they go to a FREE list and do that -one of the same ones that are out there where you can also hire a hit man, or a prostitute -something Angie's List stays away from - Angie's List is for a more upscale user - someone that is intelligent, wants to avoid unscrupulous contractors like Mr. Cheater -who would probably cheat the customer as well in the end. Having to pay for a membership also protects the companies from having folks like Mr. Cheater make fake negative reviews on their competition (they won't want to pay -they use the free lists for that), and from customers that don't pay their bills. Folks like MR. Cheater, not only will submit fake reviews about their company on the free lists, but will also submit fake leads on service magic to send their competition chasing all the fake leads while they themselves chase the real ones -meanwhile they're competition still has to pay for that lead even though it was found to not even be a real customer. One guy that works out here in Portland in my area paid over $3000 per month for fake leads submitted by another service provider before the problem was found out! Other FREE lists are notorious for getting customers that want to nickel and dime a job. Free lists are like phone books - you don't know who you'll get coming to your house, and you can't trust the reviews on there. That's why the customers out here like Angie's List. The service providers that constantly try to cheat the system don't like it for obvious reasons. And of course the places like Craigs List and Service Magic don't like the competition, and the fact that Angie's List tracks everything. These folks at Angie's List can actually tell you how many people looked at your company in a month, how many people called them about you, they can go back to the customer and ask questions about the report (free lists can't because all they have is a fake email address that doesn't get checked after the initial confirmation), the reports fall off after 3 years so you aren't labeled forever by one bad review even though all the rest are good. The companies that are on Angie's List, the right way and don't cheat, and do what Angie's List suggests to improve your business, and take advantage of all the free stuff they give you and the advertising if you are so inclined -they are doing really well. I have friends that say they are getting 80% or more of their business from them.

Angies

ANGIE is that you?
I thought you were in BLOOMINGTON, MN. how did you end up in Indianapolis.

Crazy Angies PR person above

What are you talking about? The Clearwater (not Tampa) TV station review is "fake"? Maybe you cannot use a computer--it takes you right into the show. The people cited are all identified in Clearwater, and filmed in the office there, while the other two former employees interviewed were from the San Francisco office. As one of them said, "Angieslist is compromised to the core."

You still think the list isn't gamed every day, and that you have some way of stopping it? We have been gaming Angies list in Chicago, Philadelphia and San Jose for the last two years. It has cost us $140 to become members in the three AngiesList chapters. Thanks to the reviews our staff posts every couple of months, our offices now come up top or near the top, way above other businesses with one or two reviews. (Here's how you do it--you join Angieslist for $25-50, write a few reviews of some places that you do know, and then you can start posting fake reviews about anyone you like--good ones for yourself and bad ones for your competition--because as far as Angie knows, you are a real person.)

(2) I can assure you that we are not getting anywhere near "80% of our business from Angies List". Yes, we do get SOME business from it, but nothing like we get from Yellow Pages or Google organic and paid search. We also find that Angieslist sometimes brings us hostile prospective customers who say things like, "if you don't give me a discount, I'll write a bad report on AngiesList." This has been confirmed by numerous contractors in this blog. This is exactly why Angieslist encourages negative reviews in their advertising – because a bad review gives them an opportunity to call the company with an offer to "fix" the bad rating, i.e., if you pay them to advertise. Again, also confirmed numerous times in this thread.

No doubt there are still some Mayberry communities where Angieslist is fairly accurate, based on genuine reviews from well-meaning people who don't understand that their review simply means that the company will be immediately solicited by Angieslist salespeople. (They call our franchises every week with some kind of sales pitch). But in larger cities, people know that Angies can be manipulated--just like all the other "review" sites, such as Yelp, InsiderPages, CitySearch, etc. We game those, too. But all of them combined only generate a small proportion of our incoming leads.

Last week Angielist got another 60 million dollars of venture capital. This is a business which hopes to make a lot of money until it is exposed as a massive conflict of interest, if not a total fraud. You'd think they'd spend some of that money having a more professional PR flack doing damage control here.

you may be...

According to my friend who works there

  1. So what if you paid to put fake reports on there...eventually they will figure it out. She doesn't want to tell you all the details of how and give you the heads up, BUT she also says that even though YOU may have paid for several memberships she says for that money -in those markets, you can ONLY submit one report per company every six months. Now if you purchased several memberships in one market, and put up several fake reports for your company. Well, then you are ONE of the FEW that would be dumb enough to spend the money to do that. YOU might be doing that -but the majority of HONEST companies on Angie's List DON'T DO THAT, and MOST DISHONEST companies don't want to have to spend the money to do it LIKE YOU DID. So what YOU are doing is RARE in ANY market. YOU only did it so you could show you could buck the system, and MOST LIKELY will get caught, and will be removed from the list. Once that happens, NOT ONLY, will you be taken off the list, but you will lose all the good business you could have gotten honestly. NOT MANY HONEST companies that do good work will go as far as you did to cheat. they use the FREE lists most of the time for that. Sure, you might get someone once in a while that manages to slip by, BUt they are few, and if they are willing to cheat on Angie's List, they'd cheat a customer as well.

  2. tons of companies are getting tons of business from Angie's List. AND, with the ecomony the way it is -they are getting more -every source out there is telling you that the companies that will survive and still be in business in 2010, are going to be the ones that focus on places like Angie's List. the people who are willing to pay for names of good contractors, are people who are going to pay the contractor as well. the people who call from the phone book are more likely to stiff you on part of the bill. Angie's List is a great way to prequalify both ways -customers prequalify us by reading the reports -which MOST OF THE TIME are honest reports when you compare it to any other source out there -Angie's List still trumps.
    AS I said before -with exception of very few people who are LIKE YOU, most of the info on angie's List is accurate and trustworthy.

  3. When you sign up for a membership -you have to give email, mailing address, and stuff like that -how were you able to get fake addresses -relatives? You really went to a LOT OF TROUBLE to do this -WOW! Now how many others do you actually think would go to that much trouble -COME ON! dumb@#$@

Can it be done? -of course! How many would actually do it! That is what people will have to take into consideration, and get a reality check buddy! YOU were OBVIOUSLY on a mission, okay ...good, fine -SO WHAT!??? Another contractor, MIGHT pay for ONE membership-but then they can only make one report on the same company every six months -that won't put them anywhere that will get them business -it's a waste of money -THE SAME MEMBER, CAN NOT MAKE A REPORT, ON THE SAME COMPANY -EVERY TWO MONTHS -if you're doing that -you are using several different fake memberships. tHE average JOE, IS NOT GOING TO DO THAT JUST TO GET ANGIE'S LIST'S GOAT. ONLY folks like YOU would do something so stupid. RARELY will this happen. YOU are trying to get it to happen -sure...whatever...but they will find you. don't worry about that.

They should take this site off the internet -this guy is obviously a mental patient. AND you must have strong ties with GOOGLE to get your site to come up so high in the internet searches every time -paying for that too? What a head case!

google - unlike aniges list

Most of what you have to say is opinion, and unfounded opinions that have been refuted already in this thread. But this little gem caught my eye:

They should take this site off the internet -this guy is obviously a mental patient. AND you must have strong ties with GOOGLE to get your site to come up so high in the internet searches every time -paying for that too? What a head case!

"They" don't control the internet. It's owned by everyone and you can post your comment here just like everyone else.

And within the Google results (or GOOGLE as you seem to prefer) you cannot pay to get a higher listing (unlike Angies List - at least the Angies List described in the news report and by small businesses here).

lol ummm..

Actually yes you can pay to have a higher listing...how have you never heard of google adwords?

This is all such crap.

This is all such crap. Angie's List is located in Indy and has no "offices" anywhere in the U.S. That "news report" is bogus. Also, you can't just sign up and post reviews for your business once you've posted a few reviews. How do I know? Because I did work at Angie's List and I am quite familiar with how things work there. They really do read every report and verify the information. Also, that isn't some PR hack writing above from Angie's List. Their PR people are better than that. All said, as now an outsider looking in, Angie's List is a credible way for homeowners to find good service contractors and avoid the bad. Bottom line.

no one claimed it was impossible

They are saying it could happen, but they will get caught, and taken off the list -just because this contractor that doesn't like Angie's List did what he did -doesn't prove anything. My friend says she tells the contractors flat out -oh sure -it can be done, but they'll get caught, and even if they do post a report on Angie's List for their own company -they'd have to buy several memberships, in effort to get enough reports for it to make any difference.

Reality check:
1. Most business owners are not cheaters like that.

  1. The ones who are cheaters and have that mentality -won't want to pay for it like this guy did. If they do, they'd try paying for one -tops. Majority. Usually these guys don't pay attention too much to the fact that one report won't do them any good when they do it -they find out after that they wasted their money.

  2. People like this guy, had a grudge, had an ax to grind, and was on a mission. His 100% intent was to try and discredit Angie's List. I don't know of any contractors in my business that will go that far to do what this guy did -nor do I know any GOOD contractors that have THAT MUCH TIME ON THEIR HANDS. Seriously!

  3. IF ANYTHING -THIS GUY JUST PROVED THAT ANGIE'S LIST DOES WHAT IT SAYS IT DOES! LOOK AT HOW MUCH MONEY TOTAL WITH GOOGLE PAYMENTS, WEBSITE SERVER/MAINTENANCE, NUMBER OF MEMBERSHIPS IN DIFFERENT CITIES, ALL THE FRIENDS & RELATIVES THAT HAD TO BE INVOLVED TO GET MAILING ADDRESSES FOR THE MEMBERSHIPS -EMAIL ADDRESSES, CALLING THE OTHER COMPANIES THEY MADE FAKE REPORTS ON TO EXPLAIN WHAT THEY WERE DOING -ETC ETC...JUST TO GET THAT DONE. That 100% proves, in order to cheat Angie's List-you have to really really really want it, and for a reason like the one this guy had -other companies are NOT going to spend the money #1, and they don't have the time to do all the stuff this guy has had to do, in effort to get reports in there, and keep from getting caught up to this point. That SPELLS IT OUT CLEARLY that Angie's List is pretty darn accurate, and MOST of their info is real.

Angies list does not verify reviews and contractors do pay!

I own a business and I am on Angie's list. I never asked to be there and I did get over 50 reviews. 53 to be exact. 50 are A reviews and I have 3 F's. The three F's came from people who never used my companies service. Angie's list asked me to advertise many times but I wan not interested. What happened.... yup I stopped getting calls from people on Angie's list. Why probably because I didn't advertise so they buried my company from the search engine. How could I get calls all the time and all of a sudden things dried up. I know why... they promote contractors who PAY TO BE ON ANGIE'S LIST.

Thanks for the info...

Looking past all the strange posts on here, I think I have made my decision not to join Angieslist.com. I'm very hesitant to give my address out on the internet and wanted to see what others thought of the site before joining. I found more than enough reasons not to join. Namely that $5-$7/mo seems slightly ridiculous to me when I'm already in the contracting business (as a book keeper). And also knowing that it's a for profit company. Some post mentioned that they will get bigger and they will likely get greedier.

I'll stick to word of mouth since I'm fortunate enough to know some good contractors who can either help me or refer me on to someone else.

Thanks for (most) this discusion!

I agree, Angie's List does SUCK

My company has an excellent rating from angies list, unfortunately 12 of the 14 reviews were posted by my staff, so yes, their system isn't foolproof, I suspect 20%-40% of the reviews are planted. We did this after a vindictive former client posted numerous rants and raves on angies list about us. This client was so hard to deal with, before we started the job, we actually fired her and gave her back all her money (even though we were stock with thousands of dollars of custom ordered non returnable materials).

Even though we have an excellent rating, as the previous poster mentioned, we too do not like Angie's list clients.

Interesting

If you don't like Angie's List clients, why did you care enough to have 12 reviews posted by your staff to essentially cancel out a negative review?
If you don't want Angie's List members as your clients, leave the negative reports there and assume that they won't call you.

"If you don't like Angie's

"If you don't like Angie's List clients, why did you care enough to have 12 reviews posted by your staff to essentially cancel out a negative review?"

Are you REALLY so fucking stupid that you can't answer this yourself?

"If you don't want Angie's List members as your clients, leave the negative reports there and assume that they won't call you."

Apparently you are, as that's not what he said.

You see, "don't like" IS NOT THE SAME AS "won't take money from".

The fact that you are incapable of seeing the difference is just more evidence that you're a fucking idiot.

Thoughts on the Rebuttal System

Alex,
I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on our Workpost.com rebuttal system. We believe that there are two sides to every story and contractors should be able to offer their perspective on a job when negative reviews (or positive for that matter) are posted. Users can decide who to believe when they read the reviews. Thoughts?

Angielist Advertising

I never heard of angieslist before, but today I received a call from a high-pressure sales persons who informed me that I as "reviewed" by one of their "members." Furthermore he emailed me the following:

"If you’re ready to take on more of our members, look at the information I provided. You already have a company in your area that is participating with our offer. He is seeing 13 times the interaction with our members (for every member who will view your information, he will have 16 members look at his).

Individual Elements for Remodeling (Can be purchased individually)

Web: $41/mo
Call Center: $38/mo
Web Enhancement: $50/mo
Full Page Color E-Pub: $63/mo
Total: $192/mo.

Package 1: Web & Call Center: $52/mo (Save $324/yr.)
Package 2: Web, Call Center, Color E-Pub: $112/mo. (Save $360/yr.)
Package 3: Web, Call Center, Color E-Pub, & Enhancement: $132/mo. (Save $720/yr.)

*IN DECEMBER IF A PACKAGE IS PURCHASED YOU WILL RECEIVE AN ADDITIONAL 10% OFF YOUR MONTHLY PRICE! "

From this email it is obvious that angieslist's is primary concern is selling overpriced advertising to be distributed to its limited--members only--market. If access to this website was free, or at least somewhat viewable to those who is not registered then these prices may be justified.

trying out a new referral service

Over the past 3 years we've done ~$120K of home improvement, dealing with both good and bad contractors. The process of finding good contractors is a hassle and is definitely a problem that is still waiting to be solved. I tried Angie's list and in the end felt that the service provided was not worth the money because Angie's List contractors seemed no better or worse than others. I do respect them however because they are trying to solve a legitimate problem.
Having an engineering, small business, and an Internet background, I decided to take a look at the problem myself (www.eugeneslist.com). Right now its strictly a local service in the Tucson area that does not rely on reviews but on personal relationships with contractors and interviews with customers after the job is done. Its a work in progress, so I would appreciate any comments.

Thanks,
Eugene

blocked a user

Hi folks,

There's been a lot of comments today that were rather rude. I decided to require registration on the site prior to commenting (again) because that seems to remove the nasty tone from the conversation.

What's really interesting about all these comments is that they are all in favor of Angies List and came from the same computer. That computer is an IP address that has a user-friendly name angieslist-colo.iquest.net

It seems awfully ironic that the person who claims that

Most business owners are not cheaters like that.

is using a computer from Angies List to post these messages. I'm not surprised that an "insider" is posting messages, but I am surprised that they are doing it from inside the company.

why are comments rude

There are probably ten zillion other comments on this site that are even MORE rude, but so long as they "bash Angie's List" you don't have a problem with it, BUT if someone who logs in, and starts letting people know what the real scoop is, and tells what is really going on -THEY ARE RUDE. Very funny.
I am a good friend of both people and the person who was wanting to get the truth set right is not an employee of Angie's List. She is friends with an employee of Angie's List, and became one after having been a member for a long time. Angie's List is a good site. The only problems they've ever encountered like this are from those who either don't do their own homework, and simply believe the 1/2 truths told by those who have an ax to grind here, or they are contractors who are upset because they can't buck the system, or get an "easy ride" -they have to actually put forth effort and do a good job -OMG! How terrible for them!
The comments were in no way rude. They were setting the facts straight. I think it is interesting that you "blocked" someone who was in FAVOR of Angie's List and wonder how many people who have tried to post here, and set the record straight, had their comments removed, or blocked because they weren't on your side???? I guess now I'm being rude. Just for the record also -it wouldn't be a coincidence that "Drupal" -your computer based baby, happens to work with companies that feel like Angie's List is a road block for them, or because Angie's List didn't want Drupal. And while Angie's List just has YOU blogging...really no one else to speak of is negative toward Angie's List, but -have you seen the pages and pages of "Drupal Sucks.com" websites???? Wow! NO surprise. Very very interesting. And let me also say this -if you do what you did to block this one, or try to drop a bad cookie -we'll know EXACTLY where it came from Greg Knaddison!

welcome to the site

There are anti-angies list comments that are rude, but people made one or two of them and then stopped. In my opinion, that's a reasonable way to behave on a site like this.

In this case, all that I blocked was the IP address of the user which, as I said, came from inside angies list. I think it's pretty fitting for me to block reviews from the company itself since that is AngiesList.com policy.

For the record, I've only ever deleted duplicate comments or obvious spam comments. If you read the whole page, you'll see that I've reprimanded both pro and anti Angies List commenters who went overboard.

What makes a comment rude?
* Ad hominem attacks
* Overuse of capital letters
* Overuse of punctuation

You seem to enjoy these last two items as well. Please try to keep it civil.

Wow, its the contractors that

Wow, its the contractors that have a problem with it shes says....Well if there is only the contractor and the client...who else would there be? i guess just the prospective client..so maybe the contractor who needs prospective clients cares about his reputation so that prospective clients arent lost clients, due to anybody who owns a keyboard and an intenet connection. It definitely doesnt do a contractor much good to report a homeowner who didnt pay on time, changed there mind a zillion times while expecting costs not to reflect that, on and on and on. Its a one way street, thats why you see us on here defending ourselves. We may be victims of slander. We may have just had a rough job, that may not have went smooth no matter who was awarded the contract. We may have been pressured to attempt a project on too tight of budget. And we may have just dealt with an a****** but one thing for sure this is a place where we have to defend ourselves, because i cant see people spending money to say job well done! Im happy if they bring the crew coffee and donuts ONCE. A whiny disrespectful world is where we live. It boils down to never picking the cheapest guy and doin a little investigation/interrogation and if you really wanna get screwed get a mobile phone or buy a domestic vehicle..ahem ford..ahem bell mobility..had some nasty phlegm in my throat there excuse me.. ;)

Angie's List

Angie's List has its place for people who are willing to pay the signup and membership fees. But with all that I have read around the net about how a service provider can engineer their rating I don't know whether I would trust a strangers assessment of any service provider. People just need to use their good sense and buyer beware. I was looking for a guy to install a couple of interior doors for me recently and found one here under contractor:

http://www.bighardhat.com

I think you just have to use your good sense and do your research. You can't trust anyone else to protect you from your own stupidity.

I hear a lot of good comments

I hear a lot of good comments from businesses getting referrals from Angies, but I don't get it either. Yelp is free, and as always you have to read reviews with a skeptical eye. Like this one (which is a great way to generate traffic by creating controversy).

You're Obviously an Opinionated Big Mouth Who is Envious

I just saved $500 on an auto repair thanks to Angie's List. What the Hell do I care what YOU think? Who the Hell are YOU anyway? You probably wish YOU had thought up Angie's List yourself and are envious of its success.
Go back under the rock you came from.

Stop posting forever

"What the Hell do I care what YOU think? "

Good question, the answer is

"You apparently care enough to track down the, and go through the process necessary to compose and post a derogatory and childish rebuttal".

Nice job genius.

I like the service

I like the service and think the reviews are reliable. All the other services people have been talking about are far more open to fraud. Yes, people don't want to pay the 5/mo, but if you do a remodel or an exterior paint job you are investing thousands into your contractor.

Alternative to Angie's List

So, I am a painting contractor (Fresh Coat Painting) in Portland, Oregon who uses Angie's List. I've read hundereds of reviews of other contractors and found them very useful to understand what customers are looking for and I really like Angie's List customers. They tend to be informed and focused on cost effective jobs rather than just cheep work.

A contractor can comment on negative or possitive reviews from customers. If there were a problem with fraud that there has been so much speculation about on this thread contractors would point it out. If a competitor had people hire me so then they could give me poor reviews I could comment on it. And, that would be increadibly expensive to have friends hire me for painting just to give me a bad review. And contractors could pay the yearly price and give themselves good reviews but I doubt that happens much. Especially when contractors like me have dozens of reports on Angie's list. And if you were to ever think that a review is not real at Angie's List, or my site http://www.portlandhousepainting.com, you can ask for that customer's number and call them.

I don't like paying for advertizing on Angie's list but I really like their customers. And what is the alternative?

I have looked at all the sites people have mentioned and found them very problematic. All the sites are much more open to fraud then Angies. I've had a problem on a site for a while where someone can give me a rating with no login much less a yearly fee.

If you look at Portland Painters on Angies you will find hundereds of companies and thousands of comments. If you go to a site like yelp that people have recommended you will find 0 reviews.

It's not perfect but the fraud people have been talking about is a minor to irrelevent issue in my opinion, fraud is a much bigger proplem with any other site, $5/mo isn't much money if your thinking about large projects (and you care about quality, reliability, service or price) and most importantly I see nothing even close to the quality of Angies List in the links folks have suggested so far.

Please inform me of good alternatives and I'll use them.

RE: Angies List Alternative - Workpost.com

To a fresh coat painting,
I understand your perspective on the pay to use service and why that could hypothetically eliminate fraud, but the reality is that there is no perfect review system out there. If contractors want to manipulate results, the bottom-line is that where there's a will, there's a way. Spending $100 to get a handful of good reviews put up by friends is still a negligible amount of money the benefit that a contractor could receive. At Workpost.com, we have accepted that fact and elected to keep our site 100% free. That said, we do require sign-up prior to posting reviews and have designed our site with some unique behind the scenes restrictions. To help pros deal with difficult clients and negative reviews, we have built in a response/rebuttal system that ensures fair, balanced assessments of work completed. Also, our directory is entirely user-generated so listings adjust as businesses change and listings are not populated by the reviewer, but instead by the businesses themselves.
Workpost.com is built on the premise that if consumers have more information and more options then they will be able to make a more educated decision when selecting a contractor. Users can post work they need done and contractors that are interested in the job can respond. Once the consumer has a list of contractors, our directory becomes a reference point to understand more about the businesses and read reviews. It's our hope that once a contractor has been selected and work completed, users will circle back to Workpost and write a review for other members to utilize as part of the decision making process.
We are dedicated to continuing to improve our website, so please check it out and provide whatever advice or constructive criticism you may have. Hopefully you will find Workpost.com to be a viable alternative!

fundamental difference

here is a fundamental difference between your perspectives that I don't think is entirely clear, but I feel is important:

A fresh coat painting said:

If a competitor had people hire me so then they could give me poor reviews I could comment on it.

Conor says:

Spending $100 to get a handful of good reviews put up by friends is still a negligible amount of money the benefit that a contractor could receive.

Angies List materials talk about how customers submit reviews which leads people to believe that you have to use a service to do a review...but in reality anyone can submit a review.

Angies List Differences

Thank for the link to workpost.com. I've gone and posted there. We have great word of mouth and are staying busy enough this winter; however, winter is always a tough time in our industry and with the economy I'm working hard to keep enough work coming in to keep my employees working. . .

The big difference with the two quotes pulled above is that we are talking about positive vs. negative reviews. If someone posts a negative review of my company on Angies I can dispute it. If they were not a real customer it's removed. So a competitor would have to have friends hire me then write a negative review. That would cost serious money, take a lot of effort and is extremely unlikely.

The other side is that a contractor could pay for positive reviews. You're right -- one could pay the fees, figure out how to get past safeguards, write intelligently enough to make his reviews seem like they are from different people and get some initial positive reviews. That is still a substantial investment of time, expertise and $ for a disreputable contractor. Frankly most disreputable contractors are just total flakes. And then when this contractor started getting work from Angies list would he retain his solid A rating? Very doubtful. After another person or two used him you would see his negative reviews. Again I think this type of fraud is rare to non existent on Angies list but is a real problem on all the web sources cited except the BBB.

Then you would hire a contractor like me from the list where all my reviews are positive, obviously different from each other, from members that have commented on multiple contractors. Our you would hire one of my competitors like the one that has 150 reviews.

And you might decide to go the extra step that everyone tells you to take no matter where you hear about the contractor -- call references. I'd tell you to go to my testimonials page pick any couple of testimonials and I would give you those customers numbers http://www.portlandhousepainting.com/testimonials.htm

You should do your homework when hiring a contractor. Angies list can be one valuable source of information. You can find some of the same contractors via other sources like Craig's List. I advertise on both. But on Craig's list you will also find large numbers of completely illegal contractors that run the gambit from hard working guys with no license that will do a good job but if they get hurt can sue you for their injury to people that are outright criminals.

When I hire someone my first source is word of mouth, especially since I'm in the construction industry. My next source is Angies List. It's far superior to any other internet source.

Tis Pity She's A Whore...

Name of 18th century play (not Angie).

AngiesList bugs people because it is both deceptive and hypocritical. Deceptive in that the people who pay $60/year to access a list of supposedly "recommended" contractors do not realize that many of the contractors pay to be listed, and to have their "bad" reviews demoted or removed, and "good" reviews emphasized. Furthermore, an unknown percentage of the reviews are completely fake--"good" reviews written and posted by the companies themselves. From the consumer point of view, It's not what it looks like, and it is not unbiased information. or pro-consumer. People are paying to see what is paid advertising.

The hypocrisy is that they promote themselve as being some kind of consumer protection business. Yet their main source of income is from the businesses whose "reviews" they list on their website. This is not "Consumer Reports". Surely this flim-flam can't go for ever...

Totally agree

I know of a contractor who made "monthly contributions" to Angie's List in order to be heavily advertised. When he noticed that it was working, he doubled the amount he sent each month. His phone started ringing off the hook because of all the "good reviews" and heavy advertising he was getting. People are so naive to think this service bases everything off customer reviews and companies can't pay to up their ratings.

Angies List Myths

You cannot pay for placement on Angies List

You cannot have bad reviews removed

If companies post good reviews of themselves it's a tiny percentage of the list

No Information is unbiased. Angie's List provides more unbiased information than any service that's been mentioned here.

Give it a try. You will find the information useful and remarkably less biased then other online sources or traditions sources like the yellow pages.

You sound like you are angies list

Dude you sound like you work for angies list you stick up for them way to often seriously painter that has enough time to rebuttal comments for angies list i work for a painter he doesn't have time to breath. Angies list is encroaching on my business and seriously i don't need another place for my competitors to write fake reviews about my company. These places feel like black mail list with us and get perfect scores with every customer or go out of business? its a daunting task I have enough to do keeping up with my business as it is then to have a bitch forum for customers trying to squeeze more services out of meager pay. Which is what really happens at most review sites if a customer wants more out of you or wants to blame you for something you have no choice but to be black mailed by them and give them free service. Let customers make there own decisions based on good old referrals that's the way its worked in the past and should work in the future. I beg people to leave good reviews and most will rarely take the time because they have to go out of there way to do it. Bet your butt though you piss them off they'll find some place like angies list to try to ruin you the whole thing is getting out of hand and ridiculous i spend 4 hours of precious phone time a year trying to get the bbb to stop trying to sign me up for there 500 dollar a year membership its all about picking our pockets. And i already use google maps for reviews who cares about angies list they don't even rank in a search so unless someones all caught up by the millions they spend in commercial advertising i want to be some place where I'm found and have seniority from the years of reviews placed. Don't need 5 different review sites. Google can control the reviews with duplicate ip addresses and even though someone can leave a fake review they can do that anywhere up to the reader to make sense of the reviews if it is overly biased probably fake. I worried that angies list will be another dumb ass place picking my pockets and i have no choice but to be listed there i don't want to be apart of every place that decides to do this as a business should be my choice to be listed and if it cost me money i don't want it just like the bbb why should i have to pay to maintain a good history when people can list you anyways and if you don't pay the bad reviews don't go away which is the bottom line. BLACK MAIL!!!

What shocks me the most......

What shocks me the most is that I just spent an hour of my life reading all of these posts. I personally would never hire anyone to do work on my home or any of my posessions, that was referred to me by Angie's list, the BBB or any other "listing" service. It's not that difficult to find a good business on your own. It could become a bit time consuming, but it's worth the satisfaction of a well done job at the end.

First seek out friends and neighbors who have recently had similair work performed. Get several "first hand experiences" and their opinions. When driving, keep an eye out for similair work being done. ( This also usually assures the business is local and does a lot of work in your area which to me, is one of the most important criteria. )

Second, call these businesses and several others from your phone book to get a clear idea of the cost and work involved. Believe it or not, but usually the first several listings and the one's with large and even colored ads will be the best. Why? Because that tells me they invest to get my business. Stay away from neighborhood advertisement flyers.

Third, use your common sense. Meet with them, find out how long they have been in business, try to view some of their work "on site" where it is in progress. ALWAYS look for the negatives of any business, not the positives. And get everything in writing including cost quotes. Be completely comfortable about doing business with them. If it sounds too good to be true, always assume it is not good. NEVER pay more than half up front for any work! Only after work is completed and inspected. If they won't do this, forget them and move on. And last, try to avoid salesmen, and never let them get you on that "we're friends" level. Their only job is to sell you their sevice.

If you can't do these simply things, then no matter what list or whoever you deal with, your most likely going to pay premium prices for elementary services. There, I just save you a lot of time and money. I'd like a refund on my hour of time please. All smiles, have a great day and good luck!

What shocks ME the most...

Is that you actually spent an hour reading all of them. (-: As for me, I Googled Angie's List, saw one search result saying "Angie's List Sucks!"

I HAD to look. But I sure sure stopped reading responses when they became silly. I don't know from sucks but I DO know this: when it comes to Angie's List, I want to shout hallelujah sister! (-:

A few years ago I found a landscape contractor in the Yellow Pages to replace root-clogged drainpipes. It was the ugliest business transaction I have ever been involved in. I finally said "just go away." A short while later I received an offer for one year's free subscription to Angie's list. I couldn't resist the offer then and I have NO regrets now. Zero.

Through Angie's list I found a tile and marble installer. It was a small company consisting of only two brothers but their work was so cheap and so extraordinary, I added $200 to the bill and immediately hired them for a major tile restoration job. I never would have found them WITHOUT Angie's list. By the by, they'd never heard of Angie's List before I mentioned it. A pleased customer seems to have later joined AL and gave them high marks.

On the other hand, I looked up on Angie's list the landscape contractor I had a bad experience with. There were two entries, both of them D's, and each had essentially the same experience I did. I gave the sucker does a "sucker" actually "suck"?) an F with an exclamation mark!

Bottom line, Bill? Don't blow off AL because of what you read on this site (in fact, where ARE we?). Think of AL as an EXTREMELY extended group of "friends and neighbors" making suggestions.

I 've got to get back to my original task when I first sat down, looking for a plumber on Angie's list. (-:

Clearly Flawed

I just got off the phone with the Angie’s List office. I was inquiring about the “trial membership” that the Angie’s List website mentions.

I had to point the phone rep to the requisite place on the Angie’s List website that talked about trial memberships. Clearly this ‘trial’ was not in the cards, and outside of what the phone rep was interested in talking about. His focus was sales. And that’s it. He parroted a few lines about the value of the service, and then wanted to sell. I told him I might buy the service online, he tried to get me to buy on the phone. He didn’t want me to get off the phone without a sale. As a last sales resort, he told me he could discount an annual membership if I bought from him on the phone (but not a monthly membership).

Generally, hard sale tactics should make one suspicious.

From reading this website, clearly the Angie’s List model is flawed. Consumers are not generally made aware that contractors listed at the top pay for that privilege. Contractors are vulnerable to malicious consumers or competitors.

The defense of these limitations is pretty weak. The “not everybody is dishonest” defense is really kind of pathetic. Similar arguments could be made for spending no money in stores to prevent shoplifting. The “eventually the abusers will get caught” seems pretty weak too. Can anybody show those who have gotten caught. I have a suspicion that anybody could test the system and find that very few actually get caught.

I did use a friend’s login to access Angie’s List. I reviewed a certain type of business in my area where I have great knowledge. While Angie’s List did have some of the better companies at the top of the list, they had a few downright bad apples too. This alone is “proof” to me that the system is imperfect.

That employees from Angie’s List posted in this forum anonymously pretty much seals the deal on the corporate ethics of Angie’s List. It this were not true, I would guess that Angie’s List would refute it – legally if need be. The act of poorly written anonymous rebuttals from corporate puts the corporate ethics and character of Angie’s List on par with MLMs and ponzi schemes.

All that stated, I can actually see where Angie’s List still could be a good indicator to find a business to do a job. In a world where referrals from neighbors and checking BBB and other sources is pretty imperfect too… the flawed and hypocritical Angie’s List still has value.

But the potential value of a business indicator is not enough to make me “dance with the devil” as stated above and pay for this service.

Best wishes to somebody who can develop a better application of the stated model.

Bravo

That's exactly what I'm saying i went to check about the list see who's on it and the worst of the worst in my business is on the list these are guys i have seen do work right next to me that from my stand point did horrible work. Just terrible and they are right on the top of angies list. I have seen there work multiple times they use migrant labor and one house was so messed up i was embarrassed for them. So buyers beware angies list is just like any other pay service and like the bbb if the owner of the company says he did everything to resolve the problem then they will adjust the review as long as they are a paid listing if you complain about a company they will try and black mail them to sign up if they don't try and resolve your issues no matter there fault or not they will black mail them with negative feed back.

Question from a contractor

What prompted me to this site is all of a sudden I got an e-mail from Angie's List stating I'd had a comment from a customer about my company. I hadn't heard of Angie's List, and don't use referral services..my work is local word of mouth. I am a general contractor. So I googled Angie's List and saw this. I've been reading the posts all weekend.

I went in and had to register to see the ratings and comments. I wasn't overly surprised to see what customer it was. They gave me a B rating, gave some good comments but had a condescending tone, but said they would not use me again, which is damaging, in my opinion.

The interesting thing is, 99% of my customers have been very happy with my work and have recommended me to their friends, family and co-workers. None have ever used Angie's List, or SMagic, etc. They are NOT going to subscribe to Angie's List to either find a contractor, or even to give me good comments; I would never ask that of them. I would NEVER subscribe myself, and write my own comments.

The client in question was extremely difficult from the start, and in hindsight, I should have turned down the project, but needed to keep my guys busy. He vetted me prior to the project: Saw a renovation project I had completed, contacted three references (one told me he grilled them with about 50 questions) and we spoke about the project in detail, several times, ahead of time. I kept this in mind as the project went along. I insisted on frequent communication from this client so we would be on the same page at all times. We e-mailed (his preferred communication mode) almost daily, and any/all concerns were taken care of and dealt with. (However one of his main complaints was I didn't communicate enough about my plans for the project with him???) Did it go smooth the whole time? No, of course not; there's always snags here and there and some subcontractor issues that didn't make me happy either (and I won't use again), but they were corrected. There was a walkthrough/list I had him complete when we were almost done; so any and all things that bugged him, he didn't like, wanted changed, things we still had to complete due to backordered materials, etc would be dealt with. These things were done and he said he was happy.

At the end, when it was time for final payment I asked him to meet me for a final walkthrough/list to go over everything-anything he wasn't satisfied with. He turned it down-just wanted to mail final payment and be done. We understand remodeling isn't always a fun thing for the homeowner to go through and they want the project to be done. We did finish on schedule/budget with a couple backordered specialty items waiting to arrive; we would come back and install when they arrived.

So now this customer decides to post a somewhat negative post on the Internet instead of dealing with me directly. This is what irritates me. The question is-do I respond? How do I respond? If I don't, does my rating go down? I'm not going to trash this client in return, but I have a whole other perspective on this client/project. If any contractor called me and asked if they should work for this client, I would say "NO! Run as fast as you can." These clients are, in all honesty, the type that are never happy with anything and never will be.

I take great pride in my work, want only happy, satisfied clients, and will work to earn business and referrals. But this just an indication that it's only the unhappy ones that will post; the happy ones generally don't.

Rebuttal System on Workpost.com

This story is precisely why we have built it in a rebuttal system on Workpost.com, a free site that helps connect service providers and clientele. There are two sides to every story and when soliciting honest assessments of completed work, it's only fair that we allow the contractor to present their perspective. Additionally, the way for contractors to rank higher on Workpost is to get lots of reviews from customers, thus increasing the rehire index which is a percentage of reviewers who would hire the contractor again. Check out www.workpost.com and please provide us with any feedback you have that will help us to continue improving our site!

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[...] Knaddison.com said that the concept for Angie’s list has flaws, since by charging a fee, it deters customers from writing reviews.  Also, it possible that companies are leaving false positive reviews about themselves. >>> [...]

Angies List - Faulty Program [DO NOT USE!!!]

My company is a kitchen and bath remodeling contractor. When I was first exposed to Angies List, I was impressed. I liked the idea that consumers could rate companies like mine. Since we have a great track record of completing jobs on time and on budget, I was thrilled when one of our customers posted a review of our company on Angies List. He rated us "A" in all categories and had some glowing comments. I soon got a call from a salesperson from Angies List offering enhanced placement on the local Angies List web site, and we had the chance to include some company information and a coupon in the posting. We agreed to a one year program at $167 per month. The first problem surfaced shortly after when we never received the "Comment Cards" that were promised. I had to call / email our sales rep 4 times over a 2-1/2 month period before we received the Comment Cards. We mailed or hand delivered the Comment Cards to a dozen of our recent customers. I believe that all were filled out and returned to Angies List. What happened? Nothing! Angies List doesn't post the comments from the Comment Cards on their site. You have to be an Angies List member and send the Comment Card information to them over the web for it to be included on the web. Yes, I understand that some companies might fill out the Comment Cards with glowing comments and send in a bunch of them. But we played it straight and had our customers fill out the information and mail them in (we did provided stamped addressed envelopes for their convenience). Of course it would be easy for companies to send in false information by having friends and relatives sign up for one month and send in positive reports. We paid for 5 months on Angies List and never received one call. So the money was a total waste. You are better off reimbursing customers for the one month subscription to Angies List (~$15.00, I believe) and encouraging them to send in the information via the Angies List web site. Through all of my dealings with Angies List, I found the same thing that you see in numerous other posts here re: Angies List. For a company that portrays itself as a dream come true for consumers, its a nightmare for companies. The people at Angies List were often rude and unprofessional. Our rep, Kevin, is a complete jerk. I wouldn't recommend that any other companies invest their marketing dollars with Angies List.

There is a better way

Sorry for the self-promotion, you can be your own judge. But there has been always a question on how they can stop people from "recommending themselves" on Angie's list. I personally know of a painter that landed a very nice contract after having a friend recommend them on the list.

MyShopPass.com can work by creating networks that family friends and neighbors build..list of businesses they trust or do not trust. This is free and we are not supported by paying businesses.

It may not suck, but it sure is a ripoff IMHO

I used to be a member, but $5/mo is too much for something that I may want to refer to maybe once or twice a year.

It also seems too much for since all their reviews are user generated. I have not used ServiceMagic, but maybe that is where I am headed next. Also, some contractors that were rated high on Angies List turned out to be too busy to come over even for an estimate.

So, it maybe good for those who need some contractor or someone every other week, but not for me..

Angie's List refused to remove a PROVEN fraudulent report for me

On my blog I've been slapping it to Angie's List for quite a while now. Today I got fed up with the complete complacency of the representative and the fake customer, and I've finally resorted to posting actual E-mails directly to my blog that show the level of incompetence one must deal with at Angie's List. In summary, I am NOT a paying contractor, I REFUSED their "Super Service Award" when offered today because of the sneaky clauses in the contract (FOR A SO-CALLED AWARD?!) it's click-wrapped in, and I have a total of three reviews on Angie's List: two "A" reviews from wonderful previous long-time customers that found me via Craigslist a long time ago, and one big fat "F" from someone I've never heard of or from. I disputed the review with Angie's List because it was clearly not posted to the correct company or otherwise incorrect. A woman named Brandy Auditore who is/was listed in my "CompanyConnect" profile on the left as my "Sales Rep" was the one I contacted and the one who sent a "reconfirmation message" to this non-customer.

The non-customer's response, summarized in one sentence: "Yeah, I spoke to someone there, and they said they were moving to [a major city 50+ miles away from all of my current and prior addresses] and I don't have my notes from the call and I don't remember any details."

Brandy Auditore the Angie's List Sales Rep's response: "Since the customer confirmed it, the report will remain."

Someone please, for the love of all that is holy and pure, explain to me how "I don't remember anything, have nothing written down, and the one detail I did spit out was completely off the mark" works as a confirmation that the customer's report surely is correct.

Angie's List is a money funnel, plain and simple, and if you don't pay into the system, you don't get very much regard from their sales weasels when it's time to review a bad report. My company now has a non-negotiable policy where we immediately refuse services to anyone who may call referencing Angie's List as their referral source. There is such a thing as a bad customer, and based on our contact with other non-reporting individuals from Angie's List referrals and this malicious non-customer who refuses to retract her fraudulent report, Angie's List is NOT a good source for high-quality, long-term customers; the signal-to-noise ratio seems far too high, and it's left a very sour taste in our mouths.

The full exchange is on my business owner blog at the following URL if you want to read the exact text: http://nctritech.wordpress.com/2009/03/14/angies-list-sucks-brandy-auditores-letter/

This is clearly a problem

This is clearly a problem with most reviews left in different websites. This is why MyShopPass.com is a better choice as it actually allows "comments" on reviews..but better then that it allows both businesses and consumers to connect and build networks with others that want to connect too. MyShopPass has no special interest in "just businesses" But we do have a paid side for businesses that will allow them to build a network of customers that will spread and spread...they do not nbeed to use the paid service, it just comes with some features not available to all, such as mass email to those in your network...put your business on ShopPass.com and you'll have a complete listing service that too connects to others MyShopPass.com account.

If you need any help, feel free to signup at MyShopPass.com and use the PM system that's in place or the contact us area of ShopPass.com

I Hope you do find some resolve and a solution. If enough people keep bringing this up, Angie's list will be forced to make changes in their policy.

You're full of beans!

I've used Angie's List since it came out. We've had 100% reliable and repeatable business with every one of the vendors from this list with whom we've done business. With all the fly-by-night charlatans out there, it's nice to get reliable work done by people who care what consumers think of their work.

So can you be a bit more specific?

It's amazing that these Angieslist employees keep posting generic rave reviews without ever being specific about "every one" of the vendors this person says she has used. Was it a roofer, a plumber, a dog walker? Comments that have absolutely no facts or evidence attached are just lame, and come straight from Angieslist's incredibly amateur PR department. Notice they never address the numerous and very specific complaints about Angieslist

greggles is alright by me

Thanks for standing up for everyone with a bit of common sense. But, man, you've had to deal with some real losers over the last few years. I hope I never have to meet that Jenny character -- she's the most boring thing I have ever read. Oh, and Angie's is a scam.

greggles is alright by me

Thanks for standing up for everyone with a bit of common sense. But, man, you've had to deal with some real losers over the last few years. I hope I never have to meet that Jenny character -- she's the most boring thing I have ever read. Oh, and Angie's is a scam.

greggles is alright by me

Thanks for standing up for everyone with a bit of common sense. But, man, you've had to deal with some real losers over the last few years. I hope I never have to meet that Jenny character -- she's the most boring thing I have ever read. Oh, and Angie's is a scam.

Bad Tampa Roof Cleaning Contractor

I wonder if they found THIS Tampa Roof Cleaning Contractor on Angies List, LOL

Worker severely burned in chemical explosion
By Times Staff Writer
Published January 17, 2004

TAMPA - A container with an acid residue exploded Friday morning in New Tampa, severely burning a 36-year-old man.

Investigators say Kenneth Toledo, a Tampa man who owns a pressure washing business, poured chlorine and water into the container, which had previously been used to apply an acid wash. The container had not been properly rinsed, and the resulting chemical reaction caused the explosion, officials said.

The container exploded as Toledo scaled a ladder to clean the roof of a Hunter's Green home in the 17800 block of Osprey Point Place, pelting Toledo with chemicals and shrapnel. He was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital. His condition was unknown Friday.

The explosion also blew a 2-foot-wide hole in the roof. Tile was scattered about the driveway.

I agree....Angie's List is a joke

When it first came to our area, I thought it was a great idea. After the List has been around for a few years, there are MAJOR flaws with it!

First, I love how Angie's list tells their subscribers that they are unbiased and yet, they allow companies to purchase advertisements that come off as Angie's List promoted companies. I have seen companies with a D rating get promoted just by paying Angie's List to do so.

Second, there is hardly ANY verification of facts on behalf of the staff at Angie's List. If a SUBSCRIBER writes something, it MUST be true. I have challenged this to no avail even with the facts being on my side.

Third, Angie's List can remove your response to any comment at any time whenever they want. And they do it all of the time. I had to revise an answer 3 times before they'd post it only to have it removed a few months later.

Also, they no longer give a time limitation on reporting. Had you had a bad experience with a company 20 years ago, the staff at A.L allow it to remain on your record permanently whereas any fellow subscriber may take it as a current issue.

Angie's List is a big waste of money. A consumer can get reliable information from their local BBB....you can't say the same for A.L. To this I say that anyone interested in reading fiction such as the BS placed on Angie's List could go to their local library and read it for free.

angie's List

Dude / Dudet's.
Ask ya damn neighbor who they used and was the service good. "HEY DAWG, YOU GET YO SHIZ FIXXED? YOU AINT GET RIPPED OFF?" Save your five dollars. Unless you live in the desert and have no life/ friends. I hope this hillbilly grammer is correct. dumbasses.

Ha!

Folks, you all have WAY too much free time on your hands. I was exhausted reading the posts on this site. Geez. You could save a lot of time and money using your energy to check out the references of contractors yourself.

In any event, after reading just part of this, I realized I couldn't possibly pay a monthly fee for a service that accepts revenue from the very entities it is supposedly reviewing. At least Consumer Reports has a 'no advertising' policy. I'm not sure how Angie's List got so popular in the first place.

Got a call from Angie's List's COO

I got a call from the COO of AL today, but missed it because I was on a motorcycle at the time. I'll probably be talking directly to him tomorrow; we'll see what he's willing to do. I'm also going to take the opportunity, if he'll let me, to explain to him the issues raised on this site. It seems that no one's ever taken the time to tell Angie's List why posts like this exist; it's not filtering up that high. I've got the COO's phone number (which I will NOT give out) and I'll be giving him the most valuable B2B input he'll ever receive. I hope that he's willing to listen to it.

Some problems with Angies, but it's far better than any other

Yes, there are problems and potential problems with Angies.

But anyone that wonders whether it is worth it, get a guest account and login. It has a ton of valuable info on contractors that you can find no where else.

I'm a painting contractor in Portland, OR. If you want info on painters in Portland I know of no place were you can find the wealth of factual information you can on Angies list.

No offence, but the alternatives people are trying to sell on this site are not useful at this point. People come here to trash angies and promote there own services. From what I've seen none of these services are as useful, informative or fraud resistant as Angies.

Some of the other online services, like merchantcircle, are just so filled with fraud that they are useless. Any site where someone can post annonomous ratings and comments is going to be filled with crap. That is why Angies has great information, they make you pay before you can post a comment.

When people can comment for free it turns out to be a good conversation, like this one, but it also get filled with self promotion and unedited crap.

Angies is the best source to find Portland, Oregon house painters. Other contractors, other areas, I don't know. But I know my market and I know if you want to know real info from real customers you'll find more real info with Angies than anything else I've seen.

Ha you just plugged yourself

Being your probably at the top of portland oregon house painters you shamelessly just plugged yourself on angies list no doubt your the first painter on it. Angies list sucks when someone posts a fake review about you on there your going to be complaining about the place rather then praising it either that or you work there. If you do good work you won't even need angies list or any list your customers will find you regardless because your customers will advertise for you.

Angies List, The BBB and ServiceMagic

I'm a building contractor. We are members of the BBB because if you are not, the public believes that you are not a company how cares or worse. Many consumers also think that the BBB is some kind of Government or regulating business entity. They are not. They are a privately owner company that solicites businesses for membership and charges them an annual fee. The information that they collect about the business is not verified, so you can say what you want, as long as you have been in business two years. If their is and issue or a dispute, they are the middleman, just sending communucations between you and the company you have issue with. It's all about memberships!
Angies List is not much different except that they chrage the customer not the contractor for their basic service. The contractor can pay for a premium service listing also. Their is no verification of the information supplied by the contractor. Through them, he could tell you he has been in business for 15 years and has 13 employees - in reality he has one employee and subs out all his work and has only started in business two years ago.
Service Magic seeks contractors and intices them with bonified, qualified leads that they will sell to them. We thought that this was a great idea and participated in their program for over a year. Then it became clear to us that this same "lead" had also been sold to 5 or 6 of our competitors and many of these prospective customers had already contacted us anyway. So why should we pay Service Magic? The also state that they have checked out the contractors; "Pre-screened". They only verify that you are a valid business with an address and phone number, etc.
Recommendation: Contact contractors and companiies that have been in business a long time. ALWAYS ask for at least 3 referrals that you can talk to or go see. This is the best way to collect the information necessary without becoming part of a marketing organizations scheme to fleece you for misguided information. It is about money. Theirs...Not yours.

Angie's List chiming in

Thanks, everyone, for a spirited discussion about the merits of Angie's List. I'm Cheryl Reed, from Angie's List, and I wanted to chime in.

First, I want to apologize to everyone for the unauthorized postings from people here at Angie's List, which quite rightly incited Greg's ire. We don't allow "rogue" posts -- even those that may be well intentioned. We've put a greater emphasis on explaining this policy to our staff to be sure everyone knows that if a staff member is blogging or commenting on blog posts about the company, the affiliation must be clearly stated.

Angie’s List appreciates honest discourse on sites like this because the feedback helps us take a hard look at the way we explain our policies. We never want any confusion surrounding stuff like the removal of negative reviews or whether companies can advertise. First, there are only three instances we would ever remove a review on Angieslist.com and we’d never do so without first alerting the member who submitted it:

  1. We find out the report was fraudulently posted.
  2. The member who posted the report chooses to remove it.
  3. The report was a successful part of our Complaint Resolution service. ( You can read more about that at: http://www.angieslist.com/angieslist/Visitor/ComplaintResolutionFAQ.aspx )

Regarding companies that advertise: yes, companies that maintain an overall grade of A or B are allowed to advertise by offering a coupon on our website, through the call center or in our monthly magazine. Only companies that maintain these high grades (as rated by our members) are allowed this opportunity, and if their grade ever falls below a B, the opportunity is revoked.

We’ve improved our FAQs on these and other topics. I encourage anyone with questions to take a look, or contact me directly if something still isn’t clear. Our FAQ page can be found at http://www.angieslist.com/AngiesList/Visitor/Faq.aspx or you can reach me directly at [email protected] or 317-396-9134.

Thanks.

great point to end discussion (for now)

And I think that's a great point to end this discussion for a little while. It's been some time since a commenter raised a new idea and I'm currently quite weary of the discussion.

If you have something to say on the topic, post it on your own blog and reference this article. I'll periodically post a wrapup of the best articles. If you need a blog...not much I can do for you ;)

Perhaps in the future if there is something new to discuss we can open up discussion again.

angieslist Local directory

I agree with you on almust evrything, but a c a good point on angieslist directory.
I would say the free listing is some thing good for small business people like me!

My reason for not using angie's list

I don't write blogs (and don't usually care to read them), but I stumbled upon this while trying to research if I should pay for a membership on Angie's list. Although I have to admit I had pretty much settled on that I would not use it before coming here, I thought maybe something written herein would change my mind. It didn't.

Here's why: their entire business model is completely screwed up. I bought a house in the Bay Area in 2005 and am now getting ready to do some remodeling (most of it I'll do myself, but some parts like deleting a window I'd feel better about a contractor doing). I just can't see the point of paying monthly for a service that I might use 2 or 3 times (at most) a year.

It seems like if someone is paying every single month for this service then they either bought something that needs a lot of work over a long period of time. The monthly business model seems force-fitted to me.

Worse, I checked the price in a few places I used to live: Vincennes, IN (no presence).. Bloomington, IN ($1.30).. Hayward, CA ($6.95). I'm sorry, but that feels like I'm getting gouged because of where I live and its, frankly, somewhat insulting!

Regards,

Greg

AngiesList.com - misleading tactics

They get you to give them your email address and at that time they force you to give them "permission" to send you lots of emails - THEN, after you do that, they lay it on you that you have to give them money.
They're a bunch of criminal rip-offs and if they start sending me lots of emails I'll send them 100 times that right back at them.

Tell me your thoughts on my Website

Lots of great comments on Greg's review of Angie's List. I own a competing website, www.consumerconnection.com, that I am bootstrapping to help consumers share their reviews of many types of businesses FOR FREE! Greg is right, starting this type of website is very hard. I am doing this by myself so I would love to get feedback from you and your readers.

Thanks for any advice you can provide.

SCAMMITY SCAM SCAM!!!!

Angies List seems to be just another online scam...the old "HOW TO MAKE A MILLION" (everyone send me a buck and I'll tell you how I made a million)! Don't Use It!!! It is not reliable...

great but don't post anything negative about a contractor

Angie says your privacy as a consumer is guaranteed, unless of course you write anything negative about one of their service providers. I had a negative experience with a contractor and wrote about it. Angie sent my review to the contractor, along with my NAME and EMAIL and then the contractor wrote something completely horrible about me in the pulbic comments section. I called Angie's list and they told me they send all negative reviews to the contractor to "protect the reputations of their service providers." So much for protecting my personal information. I was mortified and cancelled immediately and demanded my money back.

Angie's List notifies contractors re: reports

Cheryl from Angie's List here. Angie's List sends a notice to service professionals who are reviewed on the List the first time they're reported on, telling them they've made the list and giving instructions as to how they can register -- for free -- to see the details and to sign up for a service that alerts them the next time they are reported on. This occurs whether the reports are positive, negative or indifferent because we think the service professionals have a right to know what's being said about them, as well as the opportunity to respond. We believe this gives our members the best chance of having both sides of the story.

We also advise members of this practice each and every time they submit a report, as well as spell it out in the membership agreement. We believe it to be an important part of making the reports as fair and accurate as possible.

This posting from Angie's

This posting from Angie's List gives me the feeling that Angie's list is protecting their "Service Providers". But their advertising leads the consumer to believe that they are more a consumer information site. There seems to be a disconnect here! Is Angie's List posting complete information based on the good and bad as reported by consumer or not???

Bottom line why it can't work

As a business owner i have clients that are impossible to make happy over 12 years in business you will run into them and these are the type of customers usually willing to take the time to leave reviews wether they leave positive or negative is a roll of the dice most customers are generally happy with a good job done for a good price but there are some that are clocking you and your every move trying to find something bad about you from being a minute late to them adding on services they never asked for and not wanting you to charge them then to saying you broke something you clearly seen broken before you arrived. Most customers though are easy going and honest happy with your work just don't take time to express it online maybe they do so by referring family and friends and that's fine. The few supper picky customers can ruin your reputation and it is not fair to business owners that we would not have your personal information to verify and answer the complaint just because you say we did a bad job doesn't necessarily mean its true so this place can't work just for you and vice versa. There is no easy way out if some guy doesn't sound like he knows what he's talking about is business registration status is fairly new on your state site and he's a yes yes man to all questions like everything will be perfect id be worried. My customers ask me if there is a possibility that certain things can go wrong I always answer truthfully yes. Sure. I don't tell them no we are perfect and nothing like that could ever happen. Because it can. I try my best to be honest and take great care for there not to be problems and if there is i will address them. But if your going to leave a complaint about a company they have the right to question you and the complaint the competition leaves fake reviews all the time trying to ruin there competitors reputation and website builders also do it on behalf of there clients as well as reputation saver sights the whole thing is getting ridiculous .

worthless site

Angie's list is worthless. I've never found any information on local contractors for specific jobs, and yet they still just list everyone nearby with an 'A' rating, even if there are no ratings. I'm essentially being charged a fee to write reviews for them. Bullshit.

Yelp, on the other hand, is free, and much more accessible. Sure, business owners can promote themselves by writing their own reviews, but as this article points out, they can do the same on Angie's List. Bullshit.

I tried it, now I want my money back.

Angie's list does suck

I signed up a year ago and they put me on the Automatic Renewal Plan (I was given No Other Option) They said I would be contacted in Advance so I could decide not to re-enroll if I Chose) They Lied. My Credit Card was Slapped with a $59 Charge for a Renewal I did not Authorize. There is No Place on the Membership Site to Cancel Memberships. I've sent Three Emails, Spoken with a Customer Service Rep with No results. It's been almost two weeks!

They Need to be Put in a Penalty Box. My next step will be to file a Chargeback with my Credit Card and contact the Better Business Bureau. Shame on This Company!

I Agree

I had the exact same experience -- it is a mystery how to cancel your membership. My advice: don't sign up!

I am an Artist / Designer /

I am an Artist / Designer / Photographer and totally agree that this site sucks hard
I cant find my businesses in a basic search, its almost impossible to figure out how to edit and add content, And I cant even see how my profile looks to the consumer !!

Auto renewal

Please contact me with your name and information. I'll make sure we take care of this. My direct email is [email protected] You can call me at 317-396-9134 if you'd rather confirm I'm really me first. I'm sorry you had this trouble.

Cheryl at Angies List, Thanks

Cheryl at Angies List,

Thanks for your offer to fix my particular problem. But my concern is that the website itself needs to be fixed, not just my individual problem. It is an obvious problem that the website only has places to extend the membership...but absolutely nowhere to cancel it. After much effort, a really diligent member can figure out how to cancel. Angie's List would be improved if the website was fixed to offer a place to cancel membership. Until that is fixed, the website is deficient.

Angie's List is Dishonest.

Their auto-renewal policy means this company counts on the laziness or inattentiveness of it's subscribers, rather than the value of it's service, to generate revenue. This reminds me of how American Online used to operate. They'd sign you up really cheap, but then make it IMPOSSIBLE to cancel.

After noticing the $67 charge on my credit card, I called to cancel. They kept me on hold for nearly 15 minutes, obviously hoping I would hang up before anyone came on the line.

This is dishonest. It feels like I've been pick-pocketed to find this charge on my credit card after a year. I will certainly let it be known how this company operates whenever the topic of Angie's List comes up.

The irony!

Angies List Makes It Really Hard to Cancel

Angies List doesn't have anywhere on their website where you can cancel your membership -- only extend it. There's no reference where to go to cancel. Finally I called an online number, got transferred to another number...where they told me it would take up to 5 days to get a return call. In the meantime, my renewal was due and they dinged me for another month!

But there's nowhere on THEIR website where you can lodge a complaint against them...

We don't pay a fee

My husband uses bighardhat to list his services for free. He has gotten some work off of the site and we have also utilized the free service to locate employees from time to time. The service does not rate the contractors or tradespeople profiled on the site which is fine by us because my husband likes to personally check into the backgrounds of the people he hires before hiring them. Regarding AL, I don't personally understand how anyone would be comfortable hiring someone based on a potentially biased rating system tied to monthly fees. Just my opinion.

-Contractor's Wife

The best things in life are free :-)

Janet Jackson and Luther Vandross had it right, the best things in life are indeed free. Having read some of the discussion on Angie's List vs ServiceMagic, I thought it might be ok to add to the mix by commenting on a great new website, nilaam.com that caters to this community. Before doing so I must add that I work for Nilaam and this is therefore a (somewhat!) shameless plug. Here's an excerpt from their press blurb:

Wonder why it's so hard to find qualified service professionals to work on your home? How about a reliable mechanic to work on your car? Or for that matter, a reliable babysitter, a hair stylist or a wedding planner? Nilaam (http://nilaam.com) aims to solve this problem by creating a web based exchange that brings together people who need services and those who provide them. Users who need services post ads specifying what they need and their location. Local service providers bid on these ads. The users then get to pick the provider they want. The site is completely free for both users and service providers.

Nilaam takes user privacy very seriously. Providing an email address during registration is optional. All bids are anonymized and only bid summaries are available for public display, the actual bid and bid poster are visible only to the person who posted the ad. Even reviews are anonymized.

Nilaam hopes its website will make a real difference in how people interact with service providers and create an enriching experience for all concerned. Best of all, its a fun site to browse to see the kinds of ads people post or just to get a general idea of what it might cost to build that dream project car or sauna. Visit Nilaam at http://nilaam.com

Off topic- spam

This comment has nothing to do with the thread. It is a self-serving promotion for another website.

not "spam" but not awesome

"Off topic" is certainly false: It's a site that competes with AngiesList (and a lot of the others) with a slightly different business model.

"Spam" is a bit harder to define, but I like "unsolicited bulk messages." My server logs show that it's the first post by the Nilaan, but that your comment is the 10th you've made on the site (using Anonymous and no e-mail address don't stop me from seeing your IP...). You are the third most prolific commenter, so, you are the bulk messager in this thread...

If we ignore those points and just look at the merit of the site, based on their FAQ and the above comment:

  1. They have a basic reputation management system, but don't handle attempts to trick the reputation management system, which is the really hard problem in this industry.
  2. The service is impractical because it requires service providers to bid on a job without seeing the home of the requestor - how many service providers can do that? Not for any big projects for sure.
  3. They are pretty happy with themselves for creating a system that is weaker than Angies List...seemingly only because it is free. CraigsList is free and has a bigger audience...

Nilaam doesn't have a stated business model yet. Nilaam doesn't seem to have venture capital backing and according to compete.com they have no traffic.

I predict Nilaam will be out of business within a year or two.

Thank you for reviewing Nilaam

We really appreciate you taking the time to review nilaam.com. You made some valid points above and we are hoping you will let us address them.
1. We accept that reputation management is hard. Nilaam's system however, may not be as weak at it appears at first blush since we only allow users to review those service providers who have actually bid on their ad. We are in the process of adding heuristics to the system to deal with fake ads posted purely for the sake of promoting a particular provider and hope that these changes will significantly improve the reputation management system.
2. Regarding the service being impractical, we think, for certain types of jobs, changing a leaking tap, fixing a cistern, repairing a dent in a car, it is in fact possible if photos are posted, to provide a pretty decent estimate of how much a job will cost. For other jobs, the "bids" really are just leads for the home owners so that they have a general idea of the per/hour rates a service provider may charge. The bidder is free to request a visit to the home before providing an estimate. Nilaam is really designed to provide a meeting place for those who need services and those who provide them, it is not an action service per se.
3. We love Craigslist. Unfortunately Craigslist gets so heavily spammed that it's hard to really find what you are looking for and it's completely lacking in a reputation management system. Nilaam lets you have service providers come to you rather than you having to call several providers only to be told that they can't come at a certain time or they don't work in your neighbourhood or that they charge a rate that you are shocked by.

You are correct, we are not VC funded and we don't plan to be for the near future. We do however, have deep pocketed Angels that have faith in the founding team. You are correct, we do not have much traffic as yet but that is exactly why we are making an effort to convince leading bloggers like yourself to review our site and ask you to encourage your readers to visit our site and give us a chance.

Angie's List, just another rip off

Did any of you read in the terms of use that they auto renew and the only way to cancel your membership is to send them a certified leter! That right there is enough to tell you that they are just another fu&%#ng internet rip off!

Angie's List is not accurate or fair.

I need some wide spread Good Press to counter the bogus press on Angie’s List.
In my experienced opinion, Angie’s List is lousy at providing useful or accurate information on their popular website. They allow users to post information without verification. Blatant lies can only be refuted by service providers in a manner that is ineffective and makes the service provider sound like a whiner and excuse maker. Also, it is easy for an unscrupulous person to post made up reviews to slam a good competitor. Why would this be the case for a company that purports to be a facilitator of good information to help consumers make informed decisions? Follow the money! Angie is making lot’s money by both selling subscriptions to home owners and advertising to service providers. Is she getting her bread buttered on both sides?
How do I know? I am a victim of the Angie’s List scam. My company, while not perfect, has completed 100% of our contract obligations (over 3000) for 100% of it’s clients (over 1200) in over 26 years of business. Has some of our staff made some mistakes and at times lacked judgment? Of course they have, as it happens on occasion in every company that has staff and clients. What I do promise is that we always have and will finish every project in a way that is fair if not in our normal exceptional fashion.
My company has only 4 Angie’s List reviews and all happen to be C/D in ratings and two of those ratings are by someone who was never a client. That poster just said that they called us and didn’t like what they were told. As this alleged caller, never left any contact information with us (name or phone number) it is impossible for us to respond to intelligently. Another poster says we charged her too much on a project that we under charged her by 40% of the market rate. The 3rd poster was a real client whom posted in the middle of her kitchen remodel at the normal point of maximum discomfort. While we understand the emotional rollercoaster of most remodeling clients we feel she was unfair in not following up with how the job finished. We also have written proof of the inaccuracies of her allegations but didn’t feel it worth the expense to pursue a law suit to get her to get her facts right, maybe we are wrong in that conclusion. Regardless, this same owner has had no problem having us come back 3-4 years later to fix some minor paint issues under warranty or hiring us to do additional work for her. For some reason she has not given us good feedback on the additional work she hired us for – I guess that she can’t do it after she decided that it was not worth continuing to be an Angie’s List Subscriber.
When I complained about this situation to the staff at Angie’s List, the best answer that they would offer was for me to recruit my good clients to join Angie’s List to post good reviews so that our happy clients posts could overwhelm the one’s that were not so good. I have a HUGE problem with this being the right or a good solution. Am I alone in this thinking or do I just smell something fishy! In my book Angie’s List rates an “F” for posting unfair feedbacks and providing a blackmail response to my complaint.

Try to file or find complaints AGAINST AL

I have done extensive research and yours comes the closest. Below is our complaint AGAINT AL. Would love to know how to get a "Complaints AGAINST AL" blog started.

I've tried to research complaints against Angie's List from the perspective of reports filed against a business. We registered our contracting business in hopes that we would get comments from our customers, which we did. After a couple of "A" reports and glowing reviews we were shocked to receive a letter from a 'mediator', so to speak, that included the most hateful, libelous report from a customer. To our disbelief, although the report was made more than a month after the work was completed and paid in full and not one single word from the customer that he had any concerns whatsoever, Angie's List allowed this report to be posted publicly. To me this is the epitome of irresponsibility and in no way reflects that Angie's List is the 21st century version of the BBB. Our only recourse and only way to have this negative report removed was to agree to the customer's demands. That is, refund what was a nominal portion of the total contract price. We would have to ask if the job was so bad, one, why wouldn't the customer have contacted us and two, asked for much more than a token refund? We believe that this customer was simply trying to extort just enough that he thought we'd agree just to have his lies removed and a bad report taken off our listing. How utterly irresponsible to not even have the opportunity to deal with this prior to a public posting and absolutely no way to have it taken off unless we pay the customer his extortion money. Disgraceful and we will cancel our Angie's List membership and never, ever, ever use Angie's List again and will certainly let anyone know how this really works.

Angie's list no more

We are building a house and I signed up on angieslist.com for one year. I was extremely disappointed in it. I hired a plumber who underbid the job and abandoned us. I found out that he pulled the permit under his uncle's name. I honestly don't believe the original plumber was even licensed. When I contacted angieslist, I was told they were not giving out any information on this company. This plumber had all A's and was highly recommended. He never returned any of my many calls and I finally gave up on him (after paying a couple of draws). I then hired a guy to install all the windows. All the windows leaked and this person has not returned any of my 20-something calls to him. When I wanted to turn in a review, I found out I had to sign up again and pay again. Forget it. The best way to find reputable contractors is through friends and neighbors. Live and learn. If you are new to the area, just start asking around. That's what I did.

No Unsubscribe from Angie's List

I started to subscribe to Angie's list and chose not to when I learned about the subscription fees. This is okay; I'm all for free enterprise. However, even though I didn't subscribe, Angie's List captured my email address and has been sending me emails - scam - and there is no Unsubscribe at the bottom of these emails which violates Federal Law. I called Angie's List and the first person who answered the phone was unable to Unsubscribe me. It took 15 minutes to get to a person who could who also had lame excuses as to why Angie's List captured email addresses and sent scaming emails.
I finally spoke with a supervisor - lots of apologies but the bottom line is that Angie's List is not the nice, consumer service that they market themselves as. They are out to use every trick in the book.

Get Real AL

What crap! They are biasing their reviews by only getting reviews from paying customers, not the masses! Don't pay for this People. Your dollar is your vote - reviews should be free and easy. Let's find another way!

Matt

Privacy - Angies List Lures You into Giving Up Personal Data!!!

Hi All,

I rarely post complaints about businesses online, but felt this one deserved a big thumbs down. My issue has to do with Privacy, specifically the deceptive process Angie's List uses to create a membership account.

For a paid service I would have expected a typical e-commerce experience:

  1. see the item and its cost
  2. choose the item and its quantity
  3. provide the account information if you don't already have one
  4. enter payment data and confirm your order

If you don't want to purchase you can exit without creating an account or providing personal information.

The process I experienced was as follows:

  1. Create an account with personal information - zip code, email and a password
  2. get to the subscription type selection page
  3. presumably enter payment data and confirm your order

I chose to exit before getting to step 3 because I did not want to pay for the service. In fact the prime reason I was willing to create the account was that angieslist.com doesn't go out of its way to advertise the fees up front. I figured this was an advertiser paid enterprise like epinions.com and others.

I may be a little naive, but you have to dig around on angieslist.com to figure out that membership costs money. (Yes, it's in the FAQ and implied on the How It Works page ("Angie's List is better than free review sites:"), so I didn't follow the old maxim caveat emptor or is it TANSTAAFL? But being in a hurry I created an account and bailed after I found out they wanted to charge me.

I figured it was pretty dishonest that they wouldn’t advertise their fees openly, so I began to worry a little bit about that personal information I gave them – that account with my zip code, email and a password (who knows how securely they store passwords). I hoped that since I didn't actually pay for a membership that my account would be dropped. No such luck! I left the site and then returned to find out. I was automatically directed to the members area by a browser cookie and greeted with a popup message that said:

Welcome to Angie's List!
It looks like we have limited information on file for you. For access to thousands of local reviews, help from our complaint resolution team and member discounts, please finish signing up. We're so confident you'll be a List lover that we offer a 110% money-back guarantee!

I closed the dialog and tried clicking on a link in the member’s area. It returned me to the first create account page with my zip and email filled into the form. The password field was blank.

OK I thought, maybe I got lucky and they stored the email and zip in the cookie on my web browser instead of in their site’s database. I went into the browser cookies area and deleted the angieslist.com cookie. Then I returned to the site and was directed to the home page. So far, so good. I kept my fingers crossed. Then I entered the account data (email and password) again and bummer . . . I was redirected to the members area with the same Welcome Popup encouraging to finish creating my account (aka "give me your money").

I closed the dialog and tried clicking on a link as before and it returned me to the first Create Account page with my zip and email. The password field was still blank, but now I knew they kept it.

I’ve sent them an email requesting to have that account information deleted, but how many others have decided not to pay for a membership and still had their email, zip code and a password stored while believing that it was deleted? Imagine how much “direct marketers” would pay for a list of emails tagged to specific zip codes? Oh well, I’m bracing for some geographically targeted spam . . .

For a company that claims to help consumers find the most trustworthy service providers in your area, this behavior seems pretty dishonest to me.

FYI – the Federal Trade Commission accepts complaints about companies such as angieslist.com. To quote the FTC web site, “Your complaints can help us detect patterns of wrong-doing, and lead to investigations and prosecutions.” Here’s the link:

https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

Paul

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Angies List is not reliable.. period

I have worked in the construction field for over 25 years. Angies List is nothing more than fluff. It does not back up its statements or its information. It only rewards contractors and customers that pay them. It's that simple. Last time we used the list, they led us to a sub that couldnt even provide a builders license although on there site they said they were registered, insured, and bonded. Angies list is a scam.

angies list

it's stupid- why would anybody pay a subscription fee to find out about local businesses and retailers? We have stuff done to our house and garden all the time- I ask a neighbor or google info. I think you could find out any information you wanted without paying for angie's list. not a fan.

RE: angieslist

The BBB helps out alot for choosing a business. I was going to work for a company once and something told me to check them out. Went to the BBB and they had 77 complaints and the letter grade was an F. I called them back and declined to take the job. I don't want to be associated with a business like that.

Worthless

I found a dogsitter on Angie's List who started sleeping with my fiance. I found out later that she has done this to other families in my town, who have also complained to Angie's List, and yet she's still on the list. I guess she gives them more money than I do. Or she sleeps with someone at Angie's List. If I had known she's done this to other people I would never had brought her into my life.

RE: Worthless

No offense but your Fiance was going to sleep with whomever. I totally get what you're saying about her being "Queen Poodle" on Angieslist even after complaints,but he was going to stray whether it was with another stranger or Poodle. It's pretty clear Angieslist sees it as your problem and not theirs. Lesson learned.

Job Bullet has a solution that works for local providers

Angie's list, craigslist, service magic etc are all ok websites in my opinion. http://jobbullet.com has a solution that sorta combines facebook, linkenden, and craigslist all in one simple to use system. The reviews you see on jobbullet can be verified so you can use your disgretion on who gave the review. They don't charge you a membership fee or any type of fee to leave a review. That is just plain wrong. On top of that, Job Bullet will help you advertise your services to Google, Yahoo and Facebook. It is a wiser choice. Check it out and see for yourself www.jobbullet.com

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I have been a home remodeler

I have been a home remodeler for over 20 years. I am totally amazed after readimg over 40 of the posted comments on this web page. Does Angie's List Suck Absolutely not.
This is just another way that a homeowner can use along with other avenues to check out a contractor, good or bad. If a homeowner gets a reccomendation from a relative, friend or neighbor, they can go to angieslist to check them out. if the contractor has lots of reports and some of them are bad, the customer can ask the contractor what happened and the customers and ask for their names, address and phone numbers and to talk to them.
Lots of people do pay a monthly fee to belong to angieslitst and use their service to find contractors. When they find a contractor on thst list, it is THEIR responsibility to ask fo a few dozen prior customers, names, addresses and phone numbers, of course with the customers permission. Lets face it, in 80% or more of the time, the lowest bidder gets the job and in most of those cases, the customer gets what they deserve. Low quality materials, low quality laborers and no after service.
A homeowner would have to be out of their minds to hire anyone including a recommended contractor without doing their homeowork.
Get off your rear ends, go to jobs in progress, call a bunch of their past customers and really check the contractor out. Keep in mind one thing, it takes very little for a homeowner to write a bad report, but it takes a much happier customer to actually sit down and write a good report. if a contractor has 8 or 10 reports, I would not consider it really legitimate. look for a contractor with lots of reports, call the contractor, get a bid and show them a handful of those reports and ask them for the names, address and phone numbers of the customers you wish to talk to, not the ones that the contractor wants you to see. Their mother, brother, sister and best friend.
Contractors by tarade, unfortuantely are not the most honest group. That may be where th ename CON-TRACTOR came from. There are thousands of honest qualified good contractors, but unfortunately the low bidder beats out quality more times than not. it is the OWNERS repsonsibility to make the decision on their own.
What I find is that more times than not, the customers calling from Angieslist alreasy have done a lt of homework. If you ask most of the homeowners that got screwed what their criteria was for their final decision on the contractor they chose, if they are honest they will say price.
I have personally used Angieslist many times for services provided by their company and I have had success each time.
I can personally say that I have had 3 bad reports placed against my company and I complained to Angieslist and 2 of the 3 times it was another company placing the reports against me and the reports were removed. The third report that was placed was deemed legit by Angieslist and they would not remove the report.
Lets all not lose perspective of what Angielist is, it is a business like the business I own, the business you own and even the company 99.9% of you all work for. Are all companies except for the non profit organizations are businesses, you bet your life they are and so is Angieslist.
If Angies list customers were not happy, they would not be in business for so many years. it works and people for the better part are very happy with their services.
If you are a contractor, go out and do great work as you claim to do, and ask your clients to place reports and use the free avenue of advertising to your advantage. Even if a client has to pay $5.00 per month for ther service, big deal. Look at the price of your phone service, television service, and many many other monthy bills you pay.
I will assure you that there are way more happy Angieslist customers than unhappy customers.
There are good and bad Contractors, Doctors, Lawyers, Architects, Teachers, and every other service business out there. it is all of your jobs to weed them good ones out from the bad.
What I always tell my potential customers is, see what you are getting, the quality of the materials, how long the company has been around, if they have a place of business, if they are Licensed, Insured and Bonded and if they will supply you with a long list of past customers.
I always tell my potential customers to keep an open mind and keep th price out of the equation until you weighed all of the qualities of the contractor, and than add the price to the equation. If it is way out of wack, eliminate them and go on to another choice and do the same with that contractor.
If you take any subject and research it on the internet, you will see complete opposite opinions. Some re real opinions and some are scewed beacuse of personal gains.
Jeff K.

Shenanigans!! I don't

Shenanigans!! I don't believe you are a contractor. Unless you cut grass, or clean windows. You believe that potential clients should call a couple dozen of your past customers? Let's say I build custom homes. Really high end. I do six per year. I do excellent work. No one should use me then. Unless I can call upon most of my past customers to do my work for me. Unbeleivable. People like you bother me. A small family owned company could never get off of the ground with your philosophy. If I pay someone good money to work on my home, I do not want to be called all of the time as a reference. Dozens!? Seriously? I should spend how many hours researching each potential company? If you use the three bid rule, It would take me weeks unless I took time off of work to research.
Angie's list always bugs me to join, but I told them I am honest with my customers, and because of my integrity, I could not pay for a service that advertises that contractors don't pay to get on Angie's list. Don't argue the semantics with me either. It's like the definition of is. We all know what the definition of 'is' 'is'.

Angieslist is vey helpful. My

Angieslist is vey helpful.
My husband and I recently bought a new home and we needed lots of work done on our home. A friend of ours that used Angieslist service recommended that we joined, and we did.
We needed new windows, siding, doors, a kitchen and a batroom remodel.
We called in one company from Angieslist and one from a recomendation from a co worker. The contractor from the recommendations came to my home in the rain 45 minutes late, could not care less if we waited for him all night, did not appologize and than proceeded into our home with mud and rainwater all over our new carpet.
He took measurements of the kitchen and bathroom, looked at the windows and doors and told us he would get back to us.
We waited 10 days and we called him back, he forgot who we were and told me he would look through his notes and get back to us. He never called back. We had told the contractor that we had all of the funds already approved by the bank and were were ready to get started. On the other had, the contractor from Angieslist came in, took off his shoes even though it was not raining, spent 3 hours with us, took tons of notes and made an appointment to come back in 2 days with a full detailed scope of the work and exact pricing. 2 days later we met, we spent another 3 hours going over the entire project, detail by detail. We signed a contract to have all of the work done. The work started 6 weeks later and took 3 days less than what we were told was the target date. Except for the toilet bowl being delivered cracked and the bathroom window coming in with clear glass, not frosted, we were completely happy.
We have heard so many horror stories that it made us leary to have the work done, but at some point we needed to make a decisions and we made a great choice by going to Angieslist.
I am sure there are othere contractors listed at Angieslist that are not 100% legitimate but that would be expected.
The contractor that we chose, had lots of reports, has been in business a long time and we felt very comfortable with him.
We would never hesitate to use the same contractor again and to use Angieslists references and to reccomend Angieslict.
Tina S.

Why Angie's List Contractors-Hand Fed a Line of paid leads

I was a leading SSA provider in one of the big cities that served multiple states through the hub location Angie's List picked.

Numerous years I received credentials that allowed me the ability to tote their SSA award. With that came many conditions. Out of nearly 100 service providers in my profession, over 120 positive reports, I STILL was not at the top of the list.

Why?

Because those are "bought" placement locations. They are the first to be mentioned if you do a call-in to Angie's List when looking for service providers.

Is it fair? Well, depends on which way you look at it. There's nothing "honest" about Angie's List, other than the name.

I personally managed to grow through Angie's List with my customer base and turn a measely $1000 in advertising into $100,000 in earnings through the customer base on Angie's List. BUT, the customer base is not loyal, even though they give you positive reports.

I actually took Angie's List as a huge stepping stone to get my company to a better level, and I'm pleased with the "all good things come to an end" mentality. It worked for a while, I refused to spend money with them and that was the end of it.

I felt the customer base derived from that system are not always the most pleasant to deal with as well. Most are those who were blungeoned by previous service providers and now like a rape victim they are far more cautious in their actions, not too easy to spread their legs at the next invitation.

But ignorance breeds ignorance and it was time to move away from hand fed institutions. I've managed quite well since the departure. Don't get me wrong; it had its place at one time but now I feel it is known for its greed and unwillingness to be something the core value started off with; integrity. They have moved away from that value and the rest will be a downhill ski slope.

But ask yourselves this very important question, homeowners...

Why have you been so compelled to rely on others, formatted opinion bases instead of using the gray matter between your ears? It's not my problem as a service provider that you're too inept to make clear and concise buying decisions when it comes to home ownership 101.

Naive is the first word that comes to mind when I see two people with a checkbook asking a million questions thinking you've accomplished your home ownership degree. Many times I don't trust the homeowner to make rational decisions, especially when so much is always financial based reasoning.

But hey, I'll work for the stupid as much as I will work for the smart. Always do I come into situations in people's homes where they tried their hand at the DIY realm or work a deal with the handyman thats knows about as much as a pamphlet at a bookstore.

Then I am called to sort it out, watch you spend twice for the mistakes you should of never made in the first place.

Does this sound familiar?

Am I ringing any bells, readers?

WOW, Bitter Much?

Hmmm see it would be nice to know that a contractor does not seem to like or respect his customers...WOW! good to know....and the name of your business?

Ask Questions Much?

Respect is earned, not given in the big book of client to customer relations. What service providers lack these days are courage, courage to tell homeowners what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. We don't hold anyone's hand anymore through the buying process. Get over it, it's time to defend yourself and make good conscious decisions without being so unsure with every dime you make. There's no doubt I've pissed off quite a few by running one of the top listed contractors in my area and hand picks work, telling the rest to deal with everyone else. It truly feels good.

INDIANAPOLIS ANGIES LIST APPEARS TO NOT CARE ABOUT CONSUMER

I have read several of the stories on this site. I pretty much agree with the "sucks" comments. Take for instance....It is my understanding that Angies List would not allow a company to advertise if they have a bad Better Business Bureau rating. Well.....there is a waterproofing company, or a foundation service company in Indiana, near Indianapolis that has an "F" rating with the BBB, that is being allow to advertise with Angies List. What exactly is this saying about Angies List? It appears that Angies List would much rather have big $$ from a crooked company than tell the consumer about the reasons behind the company being caught in a big crooked scandal. The company was caught in the Fall of 08.....and are still advertising with Angies List to this day.....nearly the end of 09. Just remember.....The love of money is the root of all that is evil. 1Tim. 6:10

ANGIES LIST LOOKS LIKE A SCAM TO ME

As a contractor who has had a very good reputation for the past 25 years in small town USA, we were recently given a horrible review by a customer who we worked really hard to please, we acted promptly and thoroughly to give him the job he wanted and deserved. Angies list's advice to contractors in my position is to try to resolve the problems. We feel like we bent over backwards to try to turn the situation around. My conclusion after reading my client's review, is that there
really is nothing more we can do, we did everything he asked us to do and more, and we did it the next day in most cases or as soon as the weather allowed. My conclusion is that this man is just vindictive. In my honest opinion, his project looks perfect now and has added value to his home.
So now I am saddled with this blight on my company's name. What can I do? I can ask the 98% of happy clients to write a review, but this I know will cost them a membership fee, so I am hesitant to go that route. I can write a response.
It is very difficult to write a response that doesn't make you look defensive. About the only thing I can say, is that
I am really sorry that they are not happy and that I am very eager to correct any problems and to resolve the situation.
In my case, I sincerely believe that my client just wanted to let off steam, even though we corrected all the problems.
My problem is that I now have a bad review that I can do nothing about. We rely heavily on internet advertising.
I have employees who need their jobs and I am terrified of getting another bad review on Angie's list. We have changed
policies to avoid the problem reoccurring, but how does one recognise a vindictive client ahead of time so you can stay
away. Angie's list is a scam to me because, good reviews cost clients money, and who benefits? - Angies list, not the clients or the contractors in the end. I believe Angie's review system is flawed in that it attracts a certain type of person.

Yes, Angie...you do Suck.

suck is the correct interweb term for blogging and expressing yourself, get over it or click this tab closed.

ok...i joined Angie's List (AL) because BlueDot told me there was a $100 coupon off to replace my Heating & AC system this summer...thinking that spending $10 to save $90 a good deal i signed up. Ok.....signed up for a month to month basis no auto renewal (or so i thought) and then was surprised the next month when i saw the charge.

went to the site to delete my account and WOW! these are their terms:

How do I cancel my Angie's List membership?
"Any Angie's List membership may be canceled by phone, e-mail, fax or U.S. mail. Please include your name, address and phone number in any written cancellation requests.

Monthly Payment Plans: Cancellation requests must be received no later than 5 pm on the day prior to any scheduled renewal payment. Sorry, no refunds.

Annual Payment Plans Cancellation requests should be received no later than 5 pm on the day prior to any scheduled renewal payment. All annual memberships are backed by our 110% satisfaction guarantee."

Sheah right.....a website where they readily TAKE your money very fast but to CANCEL you must go to those lengths to cancel? i cry foul!

AL is obviously a SCAM who is out for making as much $$ as they can and there are a LOT of red flags that come up once you look at them carefully.

My 2 cents....stick with yahoo or google reviews then ask your friends!

Angie's List is a RIP-OFF

I joined Angie's List thinking that it would be a good resouce. I thought that I would try it for a month first. It's been about 5 months and I can't seem to cancel the account. They won't return phone calls or emails. If I rated Angie's List on their site it would be STAY AWAY. This would have to be the worst money you would ever spend.

Be aware you will not be notified of increased subscription cost

Watch your credit card entries. After 3 months, without notification, my subscription rate doubled from $1.30 to $2.60. By the time I realized there was something amiss, I had paid in almost double the annual rate. Customer service refused to do anything more than refund the last payment. I was told that the member agreement states that rates are subject to change and are applied automatically. So be aware you will not be notified of any increase.

I never found the list helpful. It was a total disappointment and totally not worth it. You could say it sucked

Well, I like it

I've found the list very useful. I've contracted a lot of different people from the list. I am sure, as with most ventures, there is a cynical bottom line, but generally I've gotten good work from the list. I think letting contractors know the list exists is a good thing. Contractors who I say I find from Angie's List go the extra mile for me, and that matters. It's ultimately a lot cheaper than shots in the dark. Imperfect, of course. But that's all.

Angie's List Endangered My Child's Life

Angie's List published my name and address without my knowledge or permission. I do not do business with them. I am very careful to keep my name out of my publicity for my business because I testified against a child killer many years ago. The child killer was released from prison a couple of years ago and he would love to kill me or my kid. He hates me and has sworn revenge. Angie's List told him where we are. I've spoken with them and they know this could be a huge security issue to publish business representatives names without permission, authority, or verification, but they don't care. They say they are Christians, but they risk children's lives for profit. Doesn't sound very Christian to me.

Sneaky signup

I remembered this service idea today when looking up information on a company I'm planning to hire onto. In all these years this is the first time I've had an inclination to visit the site--yelp (which is free) has been very reliable and pretty much takes care of most of my business review needs.

What gets me about Angie's List....is when a site like this requires a registration....okay, fine, they just want to track how many people are using the site--that sort of thing, and then the next page is "choose how much to pay"!

If the first page had mentioned the site was a paid only service I would have moved on. But basically, I was tricked into entering my personal information. I better not start getting emails from this company.....arrrg.

Bully for Angie to trick millions into "only $5 a month" to make her a millionairess.

Filters

I use the service, it provides filters I need when there are so many companies and individuals that are incompetent, not professional, inexperienced, etc. etc. Good comments are likely written sometimes by family members or friends but the more comments the better. Need more reports!

Service Magic vs Angies List

I've used Angies List before and found them OK. I signed up for my local chapter and then for a second chapter in another state as I was looking to buy a house there. My big problem with the service is that yuo have no idea how many reviewed contractors/services are on the site before joining. I found the site pretty useless.
Now Service Magic SUCKS big time. I have used them when I was looking to put an addition to my house, and that process turned out to be a major nighmare. The contractor was licensed when I hired him, but his license and insurance expired during the job, which by the way dragged on for months.
I also had a roofing business and signed up for Service Magic referal service. Big mistake. Most of the leads were from people who were not serious about getting a new roof, and yet they cost me about $150 from what I remember. So of these leads would not even pick up the phone and some would never return the calls. SM did not care - the leads are not guaranteed. I lost a bit of money to these crooks, and would never use them for anything ever again.

Angies list does not work well

I am looking for a plumber in my area, a friend recommended I search through Angies List.

I established my search via my area code and my need for a local plumber ... but I get a blank... as if there are no plumbers in my area of 15037 or surrounding areas for that matter.

Sad to say after an hour of searching Angies... list I give up.
Im going back to the old school of internet find;
a plumber in the 15037 area.

Angie I recommend you make it easier for we the public to search your listings.... you appear to be set up to gain contractors.... but what about we the people that need one?

If its just me lacking some type of pc skill then I represent a group of individuals that you are not reaching.
You think about it.

Angies List Vs. BBB

There is alot of wrong information on this Blog... Let me set the record strait from my experience as a business owner..

Angies list sales reps will call you and try to extort money out of you and tell you that someone wrote a review on your business and you DON't get the chance to respond unless you pay them..

You don't get an Angies List award unless you PAY for IT!!

Angies List does ZERO background checks on the consumers they list.
BBB DOES do a business background check.

Angies List does NOTHING to try and resolve a complaint with a consumer
BBB DOES offer mediation and arbitration for their members.

Angies list does allow anyone to log in pay $5 and write a review about a business, this could be the Business owner themselves, a competitor or someone related to the business owner whom has something to gain for writing a review.

The BBB only takes VALID complaints that can be proven and attemps to resolve VALID complaints with the business owner.

Angies List has NEVER once kicked a company off of their website.
The BBB kicks companies out once a month that DON'T meet their standards,

Angies List does nothing to prevents scams.
The BBB works with Government and Regulatgory agencies to prevent scams and hold business owners accountable.
Most Attorney Generals reccomend consumers research business's with the BBB NOT Angies List.

99% of consumers dont know who Angies list is or what they do.
The majority of people know who the BBB's. They have been around almost 100 years here in the United States.

If a Business owner gets a bunch of BBB complaints.. They will most certianly lose business...
If someone writes a negative Review on Angies List.. Only a few will see it..

Angies List website does not get 10% of the website traffic that BBB.org gets or the other BBB's around the nation..

Oh please--the Better Business Bureau has no clothes either

Some interesting information above from someone who clearly works for, or owns a BBB franchise. (How would a consumer know about the comparative differences in web traffic?).

However, the BBB is almost as bad as AngiesList. My business has been a member of the BBB for at least 15 years. Nobody from the BBB has EVER done any kind of background check on us, as the poster claims above. Once a year I get a renewal call from a telemarketer, and that's it. Late last year, at the height of the recession, the BBB started sending my company postcards saying, "Last month, the BBB received 32 calls inquiring about your company" In January, I got the same card, saying they got "27" calls about my company that month.

That's interesting. Business has been so dead that I'm not sure we got 32 calls from all sources that month. There was no way that 32 people had called the BBB to inquire about us in December, and 27 more in January. It was clearly a sales pitch (which was stupid in itself because we are already members). This blatant BS annoyed me, so I called them and demanded to see some accounting of these "32" calls--if not who from, at least when and what date. Massive buck passing all the way down the line. I persisted. Finally, the local owner was supposed to get back to me--he never did.

The fact is that each local, owner-operated, BBB is a for-profit, independent franchise. It has nothing to do with the government or the Small Business Administration. The only businesses who belong to the 'better' Business Bureau are those who choose to pay them. Plenty of very good businesses do not choose to pay them, so they are not listed as "better" businesses. And good luck getting the Better Business Bureau to help you if you have a dispute with a non-member company. They won't touch it. What this means is that some companies can go round ripping people off all day long, and the BBB won't (and cannot) record a complaint about them. They can only record complaints about members. So what real use is it to the consumer?

$500/year, no questions asked, buys us a sticker we use on our marketing--and what we are finding nowadays is that very few people aged under 60 know anything about the Better Business Bureau.

how does a consumer know the web traffic of a site

How would a consumer know about the comparative differences in web traffic?

There are 3 or 4 sites that provide services like this. I happen to like compete.com and Compete.com says bbb.org gets about 6 times more traffic than AngiesList.com. They are also growing their traffic much faster. Many people say "they don't see all the data we really get" which is true, but for relative comparisons like this on major sites the data is reasonably accurate.

I think some of your complaints about BBB are relatively accurate and they have flaws in their model just like AngiesList.com does. What's amazing to me is that in the 4 years since I wrote this blog post nobody is really starting a serious business to address the weaknesses in these rating systems. Lijit.com started down a more valid path back when they were Outfoxed, but since then they've gone down a pretty different path.

subscription

Cancelled many months ago and they still are charging me and only this month put through one month credit....when you call, they know all about what contact you have made with them EXCEPT cancellations........really a shoody organization

RE: subscription

Pretty sad ya gotta get a lawyer to protect yourself from Angieslist stealing money they don't deserve. I took one look at that site and knew it was total bs.

I have been screwed by so

I have been screwed by so many customers in my lawn care business. I wish angie's list would make a review of home owner's. I have lost over 10,000 dollars to customer's who had horrible financial situation's...yet they are driving MERCEDES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RE: I have been screwed by so

Do your own homework on the HomeOwners. Run your business better. Protect yourself from such losses.

1) Find out who they used before you and ask why they no longer use them. Then contact the business they used before you and see what they have to say.

2) Contracts: They have to sign it and if you end up having to take them to court then you have paperwork to help you win.
Not only getting what they owe you but having to pay your court costs as well. If you're due on March 10,2010 at 3pm and there's nobody there then don't do the job and bill them later. Have it in the contract that states they have to give you at least a 24 hour notice they won't need you,won't be home,don't have the money,whatever the case so you can fit someone else in,or they get charged anyways. Doctors offices do that so they can still get paid and afford to run their business.

3) Always take pictures before your job and after. Some people will try and say a rock that flew from your lawnmower busted their window just as an example,or that you ran over their best flowers and want you to replace them. Whatever the case always protect yourself and business with proof.

Screwed by customers

I cannot say I've ever been screwed by a customer, but I've also thought about setting up a list to rate customers. Say, Andrew's List:

This customer is great.

or He's good but he'll work you to death on the price.

or Good customer buy he looks over your shoulder all day.

or This contractor will always/never have the place clean and organized when you get there

Paul
PortlandHousePainting.com

Good customer buy he looks over your shoulder all day

Let me tell you something as the customer.

We have to look over your shoulder all day, because the minute we turn our back, your workers
start doing shoddy, sloppy work.

How about some integrity and accountability with your workers to do decent work?

Angies List

I agree with Greg that there are holes in her "system." I agree with Greg that the site is only out for what those behind it can get out of it. I like Craigslist myself. Don't have to pay for it. They do give you warnings that every turn may have a scammer waiting. They allow you to flag total bs postings. I don't have to "sign up or in" to browse. When searching the jobs it only comes up with Indianapolis, IN. BLAH! There's several sites you can post your business on and get ratings and reviews for free. Why would anyone want to pay for it? "WE check every review before you do." Yeah I bet you do! Smells of dirty laundry to me. So if Bob The Builder gets a crappy review you do what with that? Spice it up a bit? Uh huh. Make BTB feel good and keep paying up? Uh huh. "Prefer a live person call us now!" So you can bill me? No thanks!
"No anonymous reviews." As Greg stated it can be the same person over and over boosting their business. Anyone can say what they want on there and you'll never know it was the same person 100 times. Did the people behind this really believe there's not one person smart enough to know this fact? "Certified data collection process." Like what? Give me a break!
"Help if a project goes bad." Oh so does this mean those behind Angieslist are going to get those folks lawyers that have the "bad project" happen to them? Not hardly! They'll just allow a few bad results/reviews/postings about the company until they pay up(to shut Angieslist up for the time being until they figure out how to scramble their way out of the mess they created for a family). Heh we know the drill.

Common sense

It's only common sense. They accept advertising from contractors and businesses. Them posting a bad review against one of their advertisers would be biting the hand that feeds them. It's damned near impossible to be unbiased, impartial and fair while taking money from the very people that pay you, therefore keeping you in business. It doesn't take much thinking to figure this out.

Business Model

My comment is for the admin. I have seen a number of responses from you on the business model/business practice of the pay for/free services offered from these websites. I have been doing research looking for a contractor in my area, but that is not my question. I do not intend for this question to come across as being rude, but how do you think these websites can fix the many problems that you say they have with their business practices? I agree that there are many things wrong with places that offer referral type services, especially when a consumer can review the business being referred with little to no ability for the business in question to have a rebuttal against the consumer. Also, I know for a fact that I rate things differently than people in my own family, so for me to think that I should totally trust a stranger's rating would be a lie to myself. I guess the only way to fix this would be for the individual to do follow-up research on the company being referred. I cannot question anything to do with Angies List financial business plan or say that they are "in it for the money" because I do not know how much key operating officials are making, or how much operating costs are for their company. Even non for profit companies are operating with money and usually more than many would think. I don't think that a free service site would be that much different than a pay site because both are still operating with money. The person that set up the free website is not donating their own money to keep it running. I guess those are my two cents. I can see where these websites are very beneficial, but when used solely on their own can lead to communication errors or, in a lot of instances, unsatisfied results from all parties involved.

I am honestly just curious on other people's ideas on how to fix this. I am a nerd, plain and simple. I have a Master's in Instructional Design and Technology and this is just very interesting because there could be ways to fix some of these problems. New software and programs are being created everyday.

Thanks

There is no good choice

Thank god I found this blog or I might have given AL some money. My problem is as a person recently relocated to a new city, where do I find a dentist, doctor, bike shop, etc.? From what I can tell from info here, there is still a niche in this market waiting to be filled.

What's amazing to me is that in the 4 years since I wrote this blog post nobody is really starting a serious business to address the weaknesses in these rating systems.

BTW, if I were a venture capitalist, I would bankroll greggles in this or any business he might want to start. In a heartbeat. There are tons of great ideas just waiting for someone to pick up the ball.

Angie's list may be too profitable to change. I call it the Microsoft phenomonen. They keep putting out crap products but they make so much money they have no incentive to improve. I don't think capitalism has a good answer for this problem. In our free enterprise environment, we have seen many, many best of breed products bite the dust. So those companies did something wrong? Bad marketing? Wrong partners? Under capitalized? I don't think so. The US Justice Dept. went after Microsoft to stop its market manipulation and it ended in a draw. Just be aware that this is how it is.

AngiesList

www.angieslist.com is a business model that does not make sense.

This is an adword/click company that makes money on website hits.

If a person has to go to a site like this, pay money and sign up, I don't want them as a customer.

I bet they will be out of business within a year. The BBB does this kind of stuff for free.

Do your research.

two-sided network model

I can't say whether Angie's List "sucks" or not, and the range of opinions given here show that there are both those who believe it does and those who have found value from Angie's List. What I can tell you is that Angie's List operates on a two-sided network business model. That is, they are monetizing both sides of their audience. The services I work for, BusinessCard2.com, was confronted by a similar challenge: do you monetize one side or both sides of your user base? For use it was just more practical that the professional side of the market should subsidize the consumer side (consumers use it for free). Not only have professionals been spending $$$ since the beginning of time to gain awareness, inform and educate consumers, but they do so with the intention of winning business. I can't imagine how a two-sided network business model doesn't get displaced at some point, and by a service that is open and free to consumers. My $0.02.

Angie's List is Fine

I've used Angie's list for many years. It's not a better business bureau and these are not retailers - they're service vendors. So when someone uses the term "retailer" I'm dubious to begin with. I've reviewed every vendor I've used. Let me say something - I've been about 90 - 100% satisfied with every Angie's list vendor. I've used vendors who weren't Angie's list vendors - and low be it to me - because that was a huge mistake. Vendors can be a crapshoot - you can have good and bad experiences. I had one vendor that I thought was a bit slow - it took him forever to complete an assignment - but he charged on a project basis. He knew he was slow and I learned he was slow. I won't use him again. He's a good man - just slow. Angie's List database could be improved - no doubt about that. The content could be improved as well. Angie's list depends on membership dues and advertising - usually there are two revenue streams. Vendors do not have to pay - in fact they're not required to pay one red cent. Those that do get ads in the back of the magazine. That's fine. Any vendor who gets bad reviews is forbidden to advertise. Furthermore vendors like a couple I had, who were bad, who were not part of the list initially - I placed them on the list - and they're now documented as being bad vendors. People will review there work and some will ad positive and some negative reviews. My experience with Angie's list has been wonderful. They're exceptional. Their customer service is excellent. What I find interesting is that people who really aren't heavy users are making the negative comments. I'm also a proud Mac user - no issues at all - on a PC or Mac the experience is the same - it's great. The BBB is really not at all neutral by the way. Their business members pay to belong and the process is weighted towards the business - so they are not the "be all" and "end all" either. At least with Angie's list I know what I'm getting.

Finally!!!!!!!! I find a place where people make sense!

I am the owner of Best Choice Contracting llc. I have thought about using these Angie's list and service magic for quite sometime. They just didn't add up to me. All they seem to do is get money from both ends while making you raise your prices for work which ends up with less customers in the long run anyway. If your a big company, people are going to know your name and notice your work. If you are a small company you certainly are not going to get big by utilizing Service Magic or Angie's list. You need to beat the pavement and do top quality work.

It seems that everyone today gets caught up in the illusion of instant success. That may work if you stumbled upon some great internet marketing strategy, but if you are a contractor and you have to do real work on real places, their are only two names you can make for yourself. A good one and a bad one. No matter what technologies present themselves today, tomorrow and into the future, remember one thing. The quality of your work will be judged by real eyes, your professionalism will be judged by real people and finally, people can be who they want to be on the internet and not nessasarily who they really are.

I am glad I didn't use these services and continue beating the pavement in search of more jobs and happy clients.

Thanks from Best Choice Contracting llc

Very Old Complaint

Our company was formed in 1993 and we received a compaint via Angies list in 2006. Now that does not sound terrible except the complaint is from a job we completed in 1996. They allowed a homeowner to post a complaint 10 years after a job was completed. I have argued with them about this to no avail and on top of that the consumers brother worked for our corporate office in Florida at the time we were doing the job. During the job he was "released" from the corporation. Now Angie's list says if you have a immediate relative working for the company that you are not allowed to post a comment. So currently I am working on that angle, but I have to prove to Angies list he worked there. I could go in depth into this compaint but there is no need, as I can see Angies List is anything but a legit organization. It is basically a paid blog, and the customer that left that reveiw...well I cannot get into details for there privacy but lets just say we had to use pitch forks to sort through the amount of clothing they had in there basement (Thats not an exaggeration, its true).

Do Not Trust Angie's List

I am a consumer. A first time home owner who is doing some various upgrades to my home. Without going into too much detail, I had a company come out to give me a quote for a condo patio (PowerHouse Remodeling, a subsidiary of Dream Home Remodeling). They spent an hour showing me Angie's list reviews, explaining Angie's list and "selling" me on how they are the only true consumer review site. Of course I only saw the positive reviews. Not only was their quote double what 2 other contractors that were advertised locally in my community newsletter were offering, but their sales guy apparently felt it appropriate to do anything to get the sale, including sexual advances. After kicking him out of my house, I launched a complaint with the company. You can bet your a$$ I will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use a company that shows me reviews from Angie's list again!! I am now completely horrified to have contractors at my house.

Bottom line, Angie's list sucks. You do not need to pay for the same service you can get for free on Yelp, City-data, or other free review sites.

Your info is all wrong. I've

Your info is all wrong. I've made several reports. Haven't paid a dime to them, nor the companies for which I've reported. And, I use it to pick good contractors, etc. There are plenty of bad reviews for my area and just as many good reviews.

If someone doesn't like what is being said about their company, there is a response button. I've read them.

Anglie's list works great for me. And, I will continue to FREELY make reports and FREELY read them.

Where did you all get your info?

OK. Just purused both Yelp and City-data........

Found not a thing about contractors on either site. If that's what I'm looking for when I do research for contractors, neither of those "free" websites are of help at all. I still vote for Angie's List. I've found two contractors on the list last week (and at no CHARGE, I may add) and have had one over to do an estimate (too high!) and another will be coming Monday. I've also in the past read comments about a mover, which turned out to be true as I had to use that mover (assigned by Sears) and the experience was just as described on Angie's List. Again, at NO charge to me.

Don't see where all the animus is coming from on this website? BTW, they also have a link to BBB on their site so you can check what BBB has to say about the contractors.

What else do you guys want???

[Angie's List Hate, sent to

[Angie's List Hate, sent to their suggestion box on 2010-04-17.]

  1. When I first thought about joining, I filled out the form, then canceled to think about it a bit more. Apparently, Angie's List grabbed and used my information, in spite of my not completing the registration process, because I received an offer email minutes after canceling.

  2. The email offer was to waive the registration fee. It's flaky to charge a fee to people who want to join immediately, but offer to waive it for "wafflers."

  3. Joining via the web site did not work. I had to call Angie's list to join. Flaky.

  4. It was difficult to find information on how to cancel my membership. There's an FAQ that says, "...membership may be canceled by phone, e-mail, fax or U.S. mail...," but provides NO contact information. I finally found the email address after 20 minutes of searching, buried in Angie's Terms and Conditions.

  5. When I tried to cancel my membership, I discovered that if I don't do it on one of Angie's business days, it's Too Bad for Me; I risk another month's membership fee because I didn't read the fine print of your Terms.

  6. I can JOIN 24/7 (when the web site works), but if I want to CANCEL, I have to send email or a letter, and then only on business days? Flaky!

For a site that purports to be in consumers' interests, I find these practices not only flaky, but ironically disturbing. I'll be telling my friends on "Rick's List" to avoid doing business with Angie's List.

Have a Nice Day,

[Angie's List Hate, sent to

[Angie's List Hate, sent to their suggestion box on 2010-04-17.]

  1. When I first thought about joining, I filled out the form, then canceled to think about it a bit more. Apparently, Angie's List grabbed and used my information, in spite of my not completing the registration process, because I received an offer email minutes after canceling.

  2. The email offer was to waive the registration fee. It's flaky to charge a fee to people who want to join immediately, but offer to waive it for "wafflers."

  3. Joining via the web site did not work. I had to call Angie's list to join. Flaky.

  4. It was difficult to find information on how to cancel my membership. There's an FAQ that says, "...membership may be canceled by phone, e-mail, fax or U.S. mail...," but provides NO contact information. I finally found the email address after 20 minutes of searching, buried in Angie's Terms and Conditions.

  5. When I tried to cancel my membership, I discovered that if I don't do it on one of Angie's business days, it's Too Bad for Me; I risk another month's membership fee because I didn't read the fine print of your Terms.

  6. I can JOIN 24/7 (when the web site works), but if I want to CANCEL, I have to send email or a letter, and then only on business days? Flaky!

For a site that purports to be in consumers' interests, I find these practices not only flaky, but ironically disturbing. I'll be telling my friends on "Rick's List" to avoid doing business with Angie's List.

Have a Nice Day,

This is strange.......

Strange because I've had none of these problems, and I've been a member since 2008. ??
I wonder if it's different for different cities?

BTW, your is a double post. ??

Angie's List gets rich and the users do all the work

Interesting idea --

consumer PAY to write reviews
consumer PAY to read reviews
companies PAY to advertise
companies PAY to top list searches

i love it, wish I had thought of this idea earlier
Everyone else do the work and pay the money and let them sort it out.
Angie can just sit back and collect.
Angie is a genius
and by now a millionaire I bet.

This is pitiful

You guys just live in your own little worlds despite all the facts otherwise. Grinches? This site is worthless. YOu guys are the examples of all that you criticize Angies List of. It's callled..........projection. Buhbye.

Thought I'd found something worthwhile. Just another websites with mainly trolls on it.

Re: This is pitiful

Seems kind of ironic that someone who claims knowledge of defense mechanisms like projection would not be aware of their own use of both idealization and reaction formations.
Considering the length of this thread, you must be referencing a vast amount of little worlds--many of which seem to be sharing the same few vantage points: either for or against or still hanging on the figurative fence. For me, the credibility should be given to that faction that has the fewest dogs in the hunt; not the faction that DOES NOT have:
1. A flat fee (to defray some of the cost?) for its members:
"The membership rates on Angie's List are not the same for all. They are based on geography. The following figures were reported by Angie's List on December 4, 2009. In Charlottesville, VA, (22901) the annual membership rate is $10. In Stamford, CT, (06905) the rate is $32. In Beverly Hills, CA (90210) it's $36.25 a year, and in Pompano Beach, FL, (33062) the annual rate jumps to $47."
2. Nor over $58 million in revenues on the line:
"according to information released by the company, it had an estimated $58 million in annual revenue in 2008 generated primarily through advertising in its newsletter and by charging members a monthly or annual or multi-annual fee that renews automatically as a charge on the member's credit card.[6]"
But that's just one opinion...

I like the site below. It's

I like the site below. It's probably just as prone to abuse as Agalina's, but at least it's free to view, and I assume, post. Plus, FWIW, the post's are dated and with a cross check with the BBB you should be able to at least get a good start in heading in the right direction provided you have no immediate friends that could assist you in your search for a local contractor that you can later hunt down and harass should things not meet your expectations. I would also assume that as with most everything, most business relationships will fall into the "your mileage may vary" category.
http://www.kudzu.com/

angie's list TOTALLY SUCKS.

angie's list TOTALLY SUCKS. You can never offer an honest opinion on a contractor or company. They question what you say and they wait until you sue someone before they will post anything. The companies on AL have paid AL to be there so AL is not in any hurry to hurt the hand that feeds them.
I'm sorry but if I'm unhappy with a service and you claim to be a reputable place to find worthy talent then you better be unbiased. They are not.

5 - 15 per month is nothing - MISERS!

I'd gladly pay 5 - 15 per month read about peoples unbiased experiences with companies . . . if you are pinching 5 dollars per month then you are NOT looking for quality as quality cost money. You get what you pay for . . . I have used Angie's List for 5 years now. Grant I own multiple properties and actually care about the quality of work performed. I think AL-Haters people should embrace Craigslist . . . full of hacks, you'll feel great about dealing with the owners of these struggling companies that cannot meet their commitments and have stories/excuses about failures! You people are not my neighbors so I am happy for miserly ways! YOU PAY FOR WHAT YOU GET!

The previous post has been nrought to you by AL

  • It's not the amount, but the concept. For years I paid Consumer Reports for their tried and tested advice. The monies paid went to cover their overhead: period. Everyone paid the same over the counter or subscription price: period. And they never: repeat never, accepted advertising for the obvious reason--they wanted to remove all signs of any improprieties. They also, if warranted, would print a retraction or correction.
    From the previous posts, as a business model, AL (the thread is about AL not any other also rans), seems far more interested in their gross revenues then providing any form of fair, unbiased, money back if your not satisfied service to the public. And for the businesses they list, they again seem more concerned about increasing AL's income verses the companies they list. And they are also falling short when it comes to being any kind of resolution forum for either party.

YES, ANGIE'S LIST SUCKS

YES! Angie's List sucks! It is a ripoff business, comparable to a Saigon Whore House!

I acquired a membership mainly to research home repair contractors; however, if you decide to research a suspected crooked dentist (or several other categories), you have to pay Angie an extra membership fee. Home Repair members can not see info on Health Care until they pay Mamasan Angie more money.

YES! Angie's List sucks! I should have been suspicious from the beginning. Angie'sList is a sponsor of the Sean Hannity show. What an ignorant ranting ditto head, he is!

Angie's List Does Suck!!!!

I used the Angie's add a Chapter option so that my sister could find a roofer in south florida. She based her decision on Angie's list so called A rating for Hamiliton Brothers in Pompano Beach Florida. They came out to her house and replaced the old roof only to create three times the leak in her house. She can't even complain to Angie's because she is not a so called member. Angie's List is trying to pressure her to become a member. Now her only option is pursue this "A" roofer in small claims court. Do not use Angie's List. I am canceling my account with Angie's List.

Taking it to the next level

For starters, wow, what a long and active thread.
But really, in wasting nearly half the day reading this 4ish year long post word for word, one of the re-occurring themes I see is that it would be easy to put up a fake review, but most companies would not go through the trouble or expense to do it to many times just to post a review every 6 months. This doesn’t ring true to me, if a few negative reviews were hurting my business, it would be very affordable to drown those out with say 20 positive reviews, only $150 in my market buying monthly subscriptions, for all my employees, friends, relatives, etc… This for a one time correction would be far less than the pay for fix that I would have been already offered directly from Angie’s list sales personnel.

But, taking it to the next level, I could see incorporating Angie’s list manipulation as a very natural extension of existing Search Engine Marketing/Optimization businesses. From my own very real past experience in web advertising, I can see that it would be very feasible for a SEM/SEO organization to buy and maintain many, 15 or 20 Angie’s List annual accounts, and faking them would be quite easy, multiple emails are easy to come by, payments may be a bit harder, but since they take paypal, also not a challenge, physical addresses could be fake, bulk rate postal mailings get tossed if undeliverable.

With this new managed web advertisement method, one company would not have to fit the bill for all the AL accounts, and “reviews” could be diversified between rotating accounts, at the very least to lay a solid foundation of positive feedback for a business, or slowly over time to give the illusion that the business had a ongoing and growing satisfied customer base.

That’s it, I’m off to make my millions.

As a contractor-Angie's List WORKS-I LOVE IT!

I am a small plumbing/heating contractor with 20 plus years experience living in a major East Coast market. Two years ago, based on the fact that two people had given me A ratings, Angie's List contacted me to place a web ad. I was apprehensive of the cost and the fact that you have to make a year commitment to advertise. I went ahead with the decision to advertise, and from personal experience it has been the best business decision I have ever made. My first year's investment of $2400 for the year resulted in over $20,000 (you are reading correctly) additional income. My second year of advertising was even better, even in a poor economy. I recently renewed my ad for the third year and I am certain that such results will continue. I have been rated in the top 3 percent of more than 350 plumbers for the past two years (Super Service Award designation). My initial two A ratings has grown to close to 70 with more appearing every month. I am not doing anything different for Angie's List subscribers than I have my entire working career. Do quality work and treat clients fairly! As for needing to write my own positive, "fake" reviews......I don' think I could personally such glowing words of praise as do my appreciative home owning clients whom I have helped!
Angie's List is essentially word of mouth recommendations......real people in your own neighborhood, except you can skip the phone calls and head right to your computer. Does Angie's List make a profit.....sure, but what service business doesn't? They are in the business of providing information. I do think, totally in their defense, that the service they provide is valuable and helpful. Homeowners with problems can find good, experienced help that matches their needs. In all, EVERYONE WINS.......the homeowner finds a great service provider, the contractor can substantially increase his/her income, and Angie and her team earn a nice living. Do the right thing and all the above complaint disappear into thin air!

Awesome

Explanation of why Angies list sucks. This is also the #1 in google rankings when searching Angies List Sucks haha

Angies List

I cannot believe there are so many people willing to pay for this. There must be a lot of suckers out there. You can find everything you need to find about any company on the Internet for free. As far as the argument that companies can't post positive reviews about themselves on Angies List I strongly disagree, and I can smell those out anyway. It is usually pretty obvious when they are doing that. I'll take all of the free resources on the Internet over Angie's List any day. This business model is all wrong.

My first year's investment of $2400 for the year

The guy above that said "Angie's List WORKS-I LOVE IT" probably works for Angie's List. Why not list your company name??? I wouldn't be surprised if they even put out positive reviews of companies themselves just so they can try to reel them in too$$$ $2400 a year? You have got ot be kidding me that post is total BS!

AL Business practice hypocritical.

I subscribed to Angies list for some small amount so I could find a good local moving company. When that was over, I went to the website to try to cancel my membership. On the accounts page it says, your membership is from xxApril2009 to XXMay2009. Then it has a "renew membership" button, and no cancel membership button. Although I admit that I read somewhere previously that the membership was automatically renewed, this membership page was designed to make you believe differently. I thought, oh isn’t that interesting, if I don't press that button my membership will expire. WRONG. 2 months later I wrote an angry email explaining the set up. I got what I perceived to be an angry email back explaining that somewhere it stated that the memberships automatically renewed and that you had to call or write to cancel. It seemed hypocritical that this service which should be helping you find some honest service would not have an honest service themselves. While part of this is my fault, I admit, the site is still deceiving and is designed to make you forget that they are still taking your money. I got my refund but I’m still bitter about it, because its not about the money.

My other antidote was that my father used the list to find a contractor and the dude said he had initially used the 'enhanced' feature when he first signed up to boost his appearance on the list. When the contractor stopped paying for the service, AL put him in the penalty box/ bad review or whatever it is, and he can't get that problem resolved because its between him and the list. WTF. I won't be using this service again.

I Love The List

I just found this because I was searching for my company on the site. I don't mind telling you because I doubt any of you are my customers but I gave the only reviews on my business. Yep that's right over 20 well written reviews and many negative reviews on my competition. ETHICAL probably not, but I don't care. I do good work was a start up and needed the leads. I just got a call a few minutes ago about being seen on the site. I do not encourage anyone to give me a review as I don't think they will be written as well as the ones I designed for myself. Moral of the story is it does more good for a business that knows how to beat the system then for anyone else. I am sure not every company is like mine otherwise my competition would have tried to fight back.

A lawn care company

Here's another reason why they suck

I just submitted a review on "angie's list" - I meant it as a joke, I was having problems navigating the new website changes and I was trying to give them feedback in a way that would demonstrate that they too are accountable. So here is what I got back, with all kinds of additional patronizing "have a nice day" language:

"We do not currently accept reports on Angie's List or our competitors due to the conflict of interests. However, we're always looking for feedback from our members and ways to improve our service. We have sent your feedback along to our IT department to consider for future website updates. If you have any other suggestions or specific feedback you'd like to provide to us, we'd be happy to receive your input"

Great for consumer, can't speak for businesses

I've subscribed to Angie's for several years and used it approx 25 times for work inside and outside the house, as well as on my car.

I've learned to be very careful in reading reviews (whether on Angie's, Amazon, or Tripadvisor), screening out the brainless complaints and the occasional reviews I suspect are from friends or family of vendors. I have had almost 100% success -- no dud, a few just OK, but almost all ranging from good to spectacularly good service. (I discovered that one of the best, most honest, and cheapest mechanics in the city had a nondescript garage just a mile from my house.)

As I say, I can't speak for businesses, but again I would recommend being very careful in reading reviews on this site, screening out the brainless complaints and the occasional reviews that seem to be either from Angie's employees (it's possible) or from businesses that got low ratings on Angie's.

Angies List is corrupt scam with unethical business practices

It is my hope that this reply willl reach innumerable Angies List potential victims. Those who think AL detractors must be biased will find no substantive reason to challenge my negative conclusions. I am not an Angie List customer but when I "bit" on their marketing angle, I got a lot of interesting insight on just how they do business. As a business owner for over 35 years, I understand very well the importance of a good reputation and marketing. As a highly compassionate and caring medical doctor, I have been blessed to have people assume that I am both trust-WORTHY and relatively bright person. At the risk of not seeming as humble as I am, I believe I have repeatedly earned and honored that trust and respect.

Unfortunately my recent interaction with AL list representative Charles (no connection with me), showed a corporate culture that is not as noble as they pretend to be. Based on BOTH the way they set up their business model AND the disrespectful and pedantic (look that up, Charles) attitude of AL's rep., my biggest regret in contacting AL recently is that I allowed them to waste 15 minutes of my time as I politely (until the very end) encouraged them to be more open about disclosing the cost of their subscription service BEFORE requiring the caller (net contact) provide personal information like email address and password, etc.

My impetus for the call was to confirm (or refute) my impressions about the apparent NON-disclosure of service costs in a reasonable manner, before invading my privacy. As the call progressed, I came to see that the AL representative had no objectivity about business ethics. Even though the "List" does subject its viewers to overt advertising as I assume many or most service providing sites do, there is NOTHING in the way of a visible or public disclaimer about vested financial interests AND a FEE REQUIREMENT to get the promoted information from "The List", until it is quite possibly "too late" (for the sake of your privacy).

DESPITE my prior instruction to erase any information they had gathered about me from their lead development intake process (which I had objected to in writing and by voice mail), I received a rather impolite and cocky sales call from what I can best describe as an arrogant twit who chose not to understand my concerns. His "company position" was one of a sarcastic and false apology for my own "confusion" about their wonderful service. Apparently anyone would have to be stupid to object to their "bait and switch", or more correctly, their tease to get you to invest time and disclose private information before FIRST announcing that they want you to ALSO pay for the same service as their advertisers.

As I now read the comments in this blog about the other fees and procedures that are built into this self-annointed, angelic-sounding "LIST", the "Buyer's Beware" RED FLAGS go up all over the place. Beside the Better Business Bureau the most obvious place to look for reputation problems with a potential contractor for your home projects (etc) is the public record. Between the Clerk of Courts in your region, the state licensing agencies and other truly free resources, one does NOT NEED the self-promoting list. Just be sure you get the whole name of the contractor(s) who would actually do your work and hit the websites creatively - and cross check references in detail. Several readers above have pointed out how AL can be gamed, just like the List-folks game the poor suckers who get sold and give data before they find out about a fee, and another fee,... and a membership... and an upgraded listing... and so on!!

My dear fellow readers - talk with your friends and neighboors and get direct referral information from people you both know AND TRUST. Then just do your projects in an ordinary business like manner with partial payments at specific performance steps, see the insurance policy or decvlarations page of someone who claims to have insurance, verify licensure and lack of disciplinary actions or legal complaints, and do anything else that might protect you from the unscrupulous contractors and those who would sell you a gimmick for you to do less homework about the people you let into you home or business. There are lots of companies, INCUDING ANGIE's LIST, who will take your money by pretending to be worth the fees they charge you by surprise and then charge you again and again.

With "NO axe to grind", I wish you "good shopping" for your projects and services. Unfortunately "Angie's List" appears to JUST be another group of strangers with BUILT IN INCENTIVES to cost you more than they are worth.
Dr. Charles G. of Ocala, Florida

the use of "sucks"

Some may think the use of the word "sucks" is of poor taste and of someone who is not well educated. I would disagree. Many people are searching the Internet (Interwebs) for quick information on who to call for service and what reviews they may have.

I for one thought of Angie's list as a potential source of information on local handymen in the area, but I do not think of it as the only source. Where the word Sucks comes into play here is how this site or this article shows up on a search engine.

I have no metrics for this, but it seems to me when searching for reviews, you will find reviews that are either unbiased or biased in the negative about something you are looking for if that word is used. Why is this? I believe it is because on the web that word is used far more than more sophisticated words and as such, has a higher ranking in the search engines. Thus if you want to get your article read, and in this case commented on, you have a better chance.

Had this page been ranked #11 or lower on the google scale, because of the time I had to look for something, or the time I was willing to spend, was small, it's likely I would never have found it.

"Sucks" may suck, but "Sucks" works.

Angies List

I live in No. Va.
Joined when we had a big bathroom remodel. My rating of the company we hired and the job they did
would be a solid C. Not nearly the high rating on A.L. My guess is that the company rated themselves.
Incidently, we didn't re-up with A.L. and they flooded our inbox til we finally blocked them.
Two thumbs down for A.L. at least for a paying site.

What a shame. Angie ask for

What a shame. Angie ask for my email, thus trapping me in, and then hit me with an activation fee, AND a monthly fee. and had the nerve to ask for my PayPal info too. How on earth could I trust them? All that just for access to whay basically is a forum..

Confirm suckage

My primary response to Angie's List is, what a badly written and perhaps amateurish website.

It turns out you can join as a non-paying member and write reviews, but i could only find that out by sending an email query to the site. Why make it hard to get information?

The store i wanted to review was not in their list, so I opted to add it myself. I filled out the whole form, including the address and phone number of the store. The submit failed without an explanation, and a lame suggestion to try it again.

So I contacted help again, and got a prompt, nice reply from an employee who said she manually entered it for me.

The trouble is, it's still not on the site.

Wow, I've sunk a lot of time into this. If it's this much hassle to use, how many people is this site actually reaching?

Greg

AmericanTradesmith

The main suppliers of leads and contractors are all greedy bottom dwellers! SM, BidClerk and Angie are all the same. It seams like the smaller less known companies like AmericanTradesmith are the way to go. Greed hasn't set in yet!

Oh, let's not leave off all the other reasons they suck.

I was motivated to google "alternative to Angie's List" today after visiting the Angie's List page. I found this instead and am pleased to see that other people out there are using their noodles. (And let me be clear, those of you who are defending Angie's List based on some poorly written philosophy or claptrap don't have a leg to stand on. The people who agree with that Angie's List sucks will not have their minds changed by viral marketing or fuzzy logic.)

  1. They charge the very people who provide their content! So, the people who write their copy -- the reviewers -- get charged to provide a service!! That is hysterical.
  2. They charge the people who use their website, while they also advertise! Again. What the heck are people thinking? Did you know Craigslist makes (we guess) in the hundreds of millions per year, and have you seen a whit of advertising on their site? Besides the ones you're looking for. ;) Who pays to be a member of a site where you do the work AND get advertised to?
  3. They charge an activation fee. This is the epitome of snake oil salesman behavior. I won't bore you with the details of what it takes to make a site like theirs. But let me tell you, the cost of creating a template to take in accounts was paid within the first advertising or company membership paycheck they ever got. This fee is based on a thing as real as unicorns. It costs them nothing to set up your "membership account."
  4. Consider this. They have a million members across the entire country. How many people do you have living in your city or township? Consider how many reviews get written. Consider how many companies there are in your local geography that could be reviewed. With a million members across the whole U.S., how many useful, legitimate reviews are you going to get for, let's say, even ten companies in your local area that do the one thing you need. When there are fifty companies truly in your locale that can offer the service you need. If I need to spell it out further, then stop reading and go join Angie's List. Because you'll feel much more comfortable in that company.

yes angie's list is awful

They have so many problems i don't know where to start. So here are my top one:
If you use their complaint process about a service-person, they will take the liberty to print your full name and complaint in their national magazine without ever allowing you to say you don't want this done. I had a situation that they were helpful in resolving, but then months later my friends told me they read all about it, with my full name, in the Angie's list magazine. When I called angie's to complain and mentioned that this is not posted anywhere on their FAQ section nor anywhere on their website, they said that it's only posted for a moment when you sign off on your complaint online. Beware unless you want your dirty laundry aired in public. Appalling that a national company would do this. I canceled my membership and will never sign on again with them until they change this policy.

an alternative to AngiesList and ServiceMagic?

Hi all, I came across this blog searching for comments and reviews about our competitors. YES, I work for a competitor of AngiesList and ServiceMagic etc... But I won't mention our name here because I don't want to be accused of sneaky self-promotion.
I just wanted to say how we are different and to ask what you think of our market proposal. So, here is what we do and what we don't:
- Personal Fees: Consumers searching for service providers NEVER pay a penny. In fact, everything is free for personal users on our site.
- Business Fees: NO activation fees, no transaction fees, no referral fees, no commissions, no percentages, nothing of the sort. BASIC business listings are completely free. ENHANCED listings are about $10 per month. GOLD accounts are $20 a month. There are many differences between packages but the main one between Enhanced and Gold is that you can be added to a service request form filled by the customer. It doesn't matter how many service requests you get in a year, you pay the same amount. If you don't get ANY requests in a year, we refund the GOLD - Enhanced difference if you also didn't get your online profile viewed by enough visitors.
- Free trial - we're offering an extended period of free trial, during which we don't even ask for a credit card information. No contract to sign. And instant listing as long as you list a seemingly serios business (no escort services, for example...)
- Service requests: We don't recommend or promote any specific service providers. Users are searching based on their zip code. They get a list of providers and hopefully we have many Gold members in that area. Then one can read other user reviews, read descriptions, look over portfolios and current flyers and discounts, select by working hours, ratings, distance, whatever. If THEY like what they see, they add those contractors to a single request form. In that form they submit the job information and off it goes directly to the contractor's inbox. We do not interfere in any way in the negotiation process.
- Business verified: However, for piece of mind, we go the extra step and verify subscribing businesses that they had shown the correct information in their profile: address, customer service email, business license, WCB, insurance, etc. This verification is OPTIONAL for Gold members. But it is worth going the extra step since many people will not select possible fraudsters out there. At least, we verify that you have a business license if you say so...
- Reviews: Users get to post positive and negative reviews with minimum censorship. We only keep from posting obvious self-reviews or bad language, obvious negative reviews. If it's a negative review, we want to read a statement of facts, not only biased opinions or slander. Other users sanction reviews with the thumbs up/down and the Facebook Connect and Like button. So, if a negative review has lots of thumbs down, that basically nullifies the negative review. Also, contractors get notified and can respond with their side of the story.

I will stop here.. there are many more differences, positive in my opinion as I think we address most concerns. But I would appreciate any feedback please. BTW... we are just starting... it's unlikely you've heard about us yet... hopefully in a few months. Thanks!

** REALITY **

I am a talented, licensed contractor. You call me for high-end work and/or when the job not only has to look right it - it actually has to all work and last, be completed on time and be as economical as is realistically possible. We are wound that tight ... I know, I know, dinosaurs like us don't exist you say, well we do - just few & far between.

Now let me explain something to ALL of you ...

The vast majority of Homeowners ( condo / upscale housing / apartment owners / commercial ) DO NOT CARE. Period. They would not know quality if it bit them right in the behind and said 'Hello'.
All they want is the job done as cheaply as possible and have no clue how 98% of the, what they would call a 'good contractors', do a sub standard job that is anything but near code compliant. (Remember code compliant is considered the MINIMUM building, remodeling standard. It goes up from there). Some of that is changing now that the economy tanked & will stay tanked for some time - i.e. people who built what we call 'movie sets' in order to flip real estate (turn max profit) now have to live in the 'paint thin' quality of the house the other person flipped to also max out profit. The warts and all are starting to show & now the bill is due. Why people spend 40% to 60% of their money to only get 50% of the quality is beyond us. Now they have to either replace or repair. They only pushed the Pied Pipers visit out into the near future and not only will it cost them more now, than if they had done things correctly the first time, but they must endure the intrusion & hassle too of the repair- not to mention that they could have been enjoying quality all this time.
Lesson: NO CONTRACTOR TAKES MONEY OUT OF HIS OWN POCKET. You are not saving ... He or She knows way, way more than you do. Often their profit margin ( margin mind you ) goes UP (?!) when you try to do it the cheap way. It becomes easier for them and they get to cut corners with your semi implied consent AND they can use lower skilled labor. (more about that later).
WHEN YOU HIRE A CONTRACTOR YOU ARE NOT BUYING AN IDENTICAL FACTORY MADE PRODUCT OFF THE SHELVE. Every job is very, very different. Just because Jane says that " He did such a great job on my kitchen " does not tell the whole story. Jane is usually leaving a few things out and in our experience, when we hear your sob story and resentment of having hired the same Shmoe's that Jane 'the idiot' used, we start to hear all sorts of Red Flags that would have been obvious to any experienced, conscientious contractor.

The average homeowner just cares that you were clean, careful, respectful ( all musts ) and that the job sorta looks ok and most importantly the 'price was right'.
Well it's not a game show. What ever these guys do, no matter how fast they got it done or how cheap YOU NOW HAVE TO LIVE WITH IT FOR THE NEXT 3 to 15 years or so. And guess what ? When it comes time to sell the buyer hires the most anal inspector who discovers what you didn't know was messed up or was endangering your life all this time and DEDUCTS it from the price ! Yup. You lose again. But hey ... think of the money you saved (duh).

Well then Angies List must be a good idea RIGHT ? Even after my brief attempt to slap some sense into you most 'consumers' will still think " Yes !" . sigh ... this is why construction is in the state it's in. Angie's List if you still haven't figured it out is NOT an answer. My considered opinion is that it's causing more harm than good. But whatever ... put on your rose colored glasses pour the wine, open the beer and turn on the fake news and ... believe, believe. There, now doesn't that feel better than doing your own homework.

You could never in a million years imagine what these contractors say & think about you behind you back to their construction buddies. We overhear these conversations 24/7.

I could go on but frankly but ... , well I should keep this as polite as possible, let me just leave you with one tip - something to keep an eye on. 90% of the time you hire your licensed contractor they are not doing the work. They only show up now & then ( drop off materials, then to pick up the check ). So the work is being done by poorly trained laborers, perhaps with one overworked, preoccupied 'supervisor' ( + a nervous you ) all of whom you are paying top dollar for but the owner is only paying $10 an hour for. Ask if the owner will be on the job at all times... he will respond " er .. uh well I have to pick up materials (i.e. visit girlfriend / play golf / cash your check / bid other jobs - get those jobs & then pull skilled worker off your job so he can get another check) and just do a little bit of cleaning up at another job ... hummpff ..". Tell him that you are only looking for a contractor that is going to be on the job for at least 4 hours a day and that you will not accept anything else & you want it in the contract. Yup your much better off writing your own rider to the contract or even your own contract ( yes most contractors would bristle at this but certainly you need to get the things you want in writing ). *Another tip: Don't be unrealistic and expect them to rush the work (quality suffers /tempers flare) to meet a spoiled brat deadline. Your not ordering something online that you can pay 'next day' shipping for. Quality work takes a bit more time - remember what I said 'Quality lasts longer and can be enjoyed' (well somebody said it). *Yet another tip: don't get 'chummy' with your contractor just because you want to be friendly or feel that if you 'get along' with him he will take care of you. (God I LOVE IT when these guys leave the job, after we have been busting our butts, and the owner finds out (after the check was cut) what a real buddy they were and the set of problems he left behind (hey more for $$$ us). Let me give you an example - For a fact Doctors who get sued the most (and pay the highest insurance) are the most competent and thorough. WHAT ?? That could not be, you say ! Sadly it's true. You see, fool, the ones with the best 'bedside manner' rarely get sued. They smooth you over with their social skills, listen to you intently and make you feel all warm & fuzzy inside. Great - if your buying 'Warm & Fuzzy' not if you have to live with what they have done for the rest of your life ( what's left ). Same with contractors. ALL YOU WANT TO CARE ABOUT IS IF THE CONTRACTOR CARES MORE ABOUT THE QUALITY OF HIS WORK THAN HE DOES ABOUT YOU. It's always the work. That's what your left with when they leave. ( 0165066101 )

warm n fuzzy

you left out that those same warm & fuzzy contractors also get the best reviews online. all the housewife remembers was that she liked him but she doesn't know if the work is any good.

I am a highly rated company

I am a highly rated company on angies list and I hate angies list all they do is harass me by phone and e mail to pay big bucks to advertise.I especially love they part where I get bad reviews for work I do not get or get to perform but a customer still gives me bad reviews because they do not like the price or they want the work half assed angies list customers want high rated work for very small money and they want it right now or they get very upset and trash business .I am very glad to see this website and I finally get to express my opinion without getting an grade from a customer who has nothing better to do.thanks for this website

Angie's List is a monstrosity.

Angie's List is a ridiculous concept. You can find reviews ANYWHERE online for free! Why would you PAY Angie's List to get the same reviews? My husband's company is on Angie's List and they call ALL the time. Sometimes even at 9, which is harassment. Customers will give bad reviews to be vindictive (maybe they didn't like the price they were quoted). Everyone's opinion is different, and that's all a review is: a personal opinion. One person's like may be another's dislike. Just like now. I hate Angie's List, whereas some of you love it. To each his own.

Isn't this kind of the same thing?

Isn't this kind of the same thing as Angie's list. Maybe not reviews on business, but certainly reviews on an article and an author. Some of you rave, some of you rant. No matter what the review is for or where it is at, people will always disagree. It's just in our nature to be opinionated. It doesn't make anyone wrong since everyone has the right to their own opinion. But just a side note: Some of you are giving bad reviews about a site that has bad reviews. Isn't that hypocritical?

Angie's List / Better Business Bureau

Any model can be game. The BBB is a classic rotten, members, board members that get preferential treatment and pushes competitors out and in some instances sit on the boards to work against those they're competing and serving.

Angie's List? I like to know who these members are?

Plus, on a seo, ranking google visibility perspective, they're not open and not as effective as Yelp or CitySearch.

Map Listings review will put an end to that model anyways. One click away from real user's reviews, sometimes not so real.

Angie’s List is of little help

I subscribed to Angie’s List about 7 years ago, but it was of no help in selecting reliable contractors so I let it lapse. (I’m in a city with a metro population of nearly a million.) Things have changed, and there are now other options evolving. I’d put my bet on the Google Map reviews, which should be large in number over time. I hope it becomes as valuable as Amazon’s reviews are for products. Not infallible, but very helpful.

Horrible experience with a

Horrible experience with a company recommended thru Service Magic. Please do not use them... ask friends and family instead for referrals.

BAD BAD BAD REFERRALS THRU SERVICE MAGIC.

I Don't recommend using them.

Angies List Alternative

I found an interesting site that offers Angies List type home contractors in Dallas, Plano and Frisco, TX and it's free to use:

www.HandymanFinderDallas.com

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Don't pay Angie's List up to $89 just to see a list of Handymen in your area. I wouldn't. That's ridiculous. Use a free service.

http://www.HandymanFinderDallas.com

P.S. I like your web site. It is fair and balanced.

Angie's List

I was a member for a year and Angie's List without my consent( they have some legal jargon deeply imbedded in their rules which allow them to renew unless you cancel) charged my PayPal account...I had it reversed and will no longer be a party to their deception....

I use Yelp and it is just fine and it is free..

Expansion into Europe

Two years ago I remember reading an article that Angie's List got about a $35 million in investment to expand into Europe. Did that ever happen?

High Fees NO Leads

I paid Angie's List for the "Enahnced Service" for three months and I never got a single lead from them.

THEY called ME to say that I had several comments posted and wanted to know if I wanted to enhance my experience with them. I never saw any comments on my business BTW.

I said yes and began paying them $250 a month and never got a single lead from them.

I cancelled after the third month but they continued to try to charge me for three months after.

Watch your credit card statements folks.

Other Alternative

I tried to use them a year ago but when I realized I had to pay I decided not use them again. They are so boggus, I sell advertisment for www.consumerliaison.com and when I approched one of their current business listings on the site he told me that he wants us to do exactly what Angies List did when they came into the Denver market. They called him and listed him at no cost until he started receiving leads then he started paying them. He told me that since they needed to have businesses for consumers that would check the site they would list him for free. So their model is boggus.

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