Angie's List reviews
19 Reviews for Angie's List
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Against my better judgement, I bought the membership, so that I could find new businesses in my area to go to and to warn/praise others. EVERY SINGLE negative review I have left has been deleted, claiming that they went against the posting guidelines, when I know for a fact they didn't.
When I posted about a tow company that gave my mother one quote when he arrived, and another 500 bucks more expensive after it was already towed, it was removed. All I said was that business standards like that are tantamount to a scam, and that they wouldn't get our service again.
I knew I shouldn't have trusted a company with as bad of marks as Angie's list.
Just as was said in another post, "Angie's List charges users for what other review sites provide free, with the suggestion that its reviews are thereby more reliable." If you decline to register, they still spam you with registration discounts. What a scam. You would think that this site would be a little more socially-minded.
Tip for consumers: Do your own research. Google has an amazing amount of information.Ask todd about Angie's List
I had a great experience with both a roofer and Hvac company thru AL but you need to be aware of the "BIG DEAL" which I found to be pretty much a scam.
You get "set up" with a pretty low price for a a set number of hours ex. 6 hours of yard work for $200 (two workers 3 hours each). Fine, but when you actually have the company show up what you want done is NEVER 6 hours....NEVER! So you have spent the time to set up a site visit and find out that it will take 4-5 hours of work for the two people with an additional charge of $200. NOW it's $400 the "BID DEAL" isn't anymore!!!!
This had happened to me 4 times for various work. IGNORE ANY AL DEAL THAT HAS A SET PRICE FOR HOURS WORKED. YOU WILL NEVER GET THAT "DEAL PRICE" IT'S SIMPLY A SCAM TO GET A FOOT IN THE DOOR.
Only use AL for a set price for a set job...the movable hours idea is total crap!
Angie's List charges users for what other review sites provide free, with the suggestion that its reviews are thereby more reliable. I've found however that there's no reason to believe that its reviews are superior in any way. Furthermore, to participate you have to accept a membership agreement that can have huge negative consequences for you (see below). And unless you're really careful you'll find you're signed up in perpetuity, paying a new membership fee each year.
Before writing this critique I purchased a membership, studied its materials, and also as a journalist interviewed spokesperson Cheryl Reid by phone.
Angie seeks to minimize ringer listings (reviews by the reviewees) by "proprietary" means which may include cross-checking reviewers' phone numbers, addresses, email addresses, etc. Angie also restricts the number of reviews of a single provider coming from one user—but I couldn't discern much if any protection against a merchant's attempting to buy off bad reviews by offering incentives to the reviewers to withdraw them.
Particularly worrisome is the fact that Angie will without prompting reveal to each service provider the identity of every reviewer of that provider's service. After I discovered this practice I asked a rep about it. The rep boasted that no lawsuit against a reviewer had prevailed. The rep would not say how many lawsuits had been filed. Of course, defending even against lawsuits that fail can be extremely costly, stressful, and time-consuming. "Reputation protection" services have of late become quite popular, and there is a dismaying probability of lawsuits from negative reviews. There's also the fact that a consumer may continue with a problematic provider (like a physician specialist for example) rather than take a chance with a competitor. In such instances the consumer may be reluctant to write a review even partially negative, knowing that the provider will be reading the review.
The likely result of Angie's notification policy is all but the most positive reviews will be self-suppressed or at least toned down, affecting seriously the reliability of Angie's List assessments.
Angie's List does accept advertising from listed providers who wish to offer discounts, and it reportedly solicits that advertising aggressively. Members may choose to search for providers offering these discounts, which purportedly don't otherwise affect the listings or their placement. They're available only from A- and B-rated providers.
(On the other hand, Angie is not at all strict about fulfilling its own membership obligations. The same membership agreement states without qualification that "Monthly and annual memberships include a subscription to the Angie’s List monthly magazine." Yet in over a year I never received a single issue. When I inquired, I was told that magazines aren't sent to those with my class of membership—but that I was free to upgrade.)
Many members will be surprised to learn that they've signed up for membership in perpetuity. Angie's memberships are opt-out, that is, automatically renewed and re-charged, until the member affirmatively resigns. You can opt out of the opt-out when signing up—but if you do, get confirmation in writing!
***Site navigation and customer service***
Site navigation is quirky and sometimes frustrating. Customer service is highly accessible and friendly but too often clueless, and simple inquiries can consume half an hour or more.
I don't advise joining unless (a) you realize that Angie's reviews are skewed to the positive, (b) you're unconcerned about your privacy, (c) you're willing to wade through the extensive, opaque, and changeable general membership agreement, (d) you're prepared to re-read the agreement before taking any action related to the service, and (e) before joining you've opted out from automatic renewal, and have written confirmation in hand.
I keep getting spam emails and occassional print literature from Angie's List to join when I am not interested in joining a site I have to pay a nice chunk of change for in a membership.It's a joke I am much happier here on SiteJabber and Yelp. I can keep my reviews honest and real and I don't have to pay a penny to do anything else.
Not so great. I had a subscription for 1 year, did not renew. Did not find it to be worth paying for.
1) It let me vent about a really bad experience with an HVAC company.
2) There are some decent reviews in the area of home repair/improvement. For some things I could at least identify who not to go to.
1) They run ads, sometimes from businesses that look like they're on the lousy end of the scale (conflict of interest?)
2) Screening issues: some reviews look like they're written by friends and family of the owner.
3) For things other than home improvement/repairs stuff, I found the listings pretty thin.
4) They're spamming me to write reviews for outfits I only looked at briefly on their web site and never contacted. It seems they're desperate for real data. (And, I've told them this -> now they're sending me discount offers, daily).
It is wonderful to be able to trust the contractors who come to work in or outside your home. I have been very pleased with the outcomes!
For a few dollars a month, Angie's List is better than Yelp for finding good quality local professionals, doctors, contractors, etc. But no reason to stay signed up. Just sign up and then cancel!
When I joined there was nothing in the sign up text to indicate that I would be limited to searching in one geographic region of the country. In fact, for the 1st three months that I had my account I searched in several different states / areas with no problem. Then suddenly one day when I logged in AL decided that my region was in NoVa and I was asked for more money to search anywhere else.
How did AL decide that my "home" is in NoVa? What cities are included in the area I'm allowed to search? None of this information was provided.
When I called AL for an explanation they said that I was supposed to be limited to one region searching all along. They had no explanation as to why I had been able to search everywhere when I joined.
They also told me that they charge more for memberships for people who live in populated areas, like NYC. Why are they bilking the AL members who live in large metro areas while charging other members a lower price? I wondered.
I think they want to "sucker" new members by giving them full access for a few months, and then limiting it later, to make them pony up cash to search in "additional" areas. One also has to pay more to access the list of health providers. This nickle and dime-ing of customers is scammy and unethical. It offended me so much I canceled my subscription and got a full refund.
PS - At the time I was using it - Spring 2013 - the site was VEEERY slow. It took forever to load, and to perform searches.
I did not ask to be, nor did I give permission to be added to ANY kind of mailing list or contact sheet. The website asked me if I wanted to leave feedback, so I did. They entered me into a mailing list and sent me spam emails without my permission. They have been offering me discounts and telling me to update my membership which I don't even HAVE one. They even keep sending me spam after I sent them a cease and desist email. They continue to spam me to this day so.
Good reviews and seems reliable. WAY BETTER THAN THE BBB WHO SELLS IT'S GRADES.
I am both a small business owner AND a regular client of Angie's List since 2006. AL (for brevity's sake) has increased our business by approximately 25-30% with new customers each year. And when we were remodeling our home, it was an INVALUABLE source for finding both good contractors for my own work, but also referring my customers to these people who I had work for me (if I liked them). If I had a problem with a contractor, all I had to do was pick up the phone and AL went to bat for me by either getting the contractor to come out and finish up the 5% of work they needed to finish (ever had that happen to you? It's SO frustrating!) or putting them in the "penalty box" so that other people knew not to hire them. My business is the highest rated business for the services I provide in my geographical location and they treat us well by getting right back to us if we have any sort of issue or if a customer we did gives us a negative report, they call us to ask what went wrong. These reports typically get put on our record anyway, but our rep always makes sure that we know about them, since we have never gotten a report that was "real" that was less than a B average. But if you have a company that has a D rating, you are stuck with that until that company decides to clean up their business practices.
You people who are upset with AL seem not to know very much about it, because otherwise, you would join and be glad of the $48 you spent because if you are planning on doing any sort of major repairs on your home, you can get very reliable reports. Also, I "lent" my AL login info to a friend in Tennessee and when the work she needed done on her place was finished, I never got my own account transferred to TN. I realize that giving my login info to a friend skirts the AL agreement, but since I hadn't used it to find a contractor for over a year, I didn't think it an issue. I'd rather pay $48 a year up front than get duped by a horrible contractor for $4800.
I think they realize that people can have two homes in different parts of the country, and I never had any repercussions from it. They never got confused and sent me stuff for TN. So to those people complaining about that issue, frankly... I don't see it as an issue. And who would you rather believe? 100 AL reviews that says my business is a great business and if you were a customer of theirs, you could get that info in 5 minutes... or spend your afternoon wasting you and your friend's and neighbor's time by asking them "who do you like for gutter cleaning?" They don't know. Angie's List knows.
The fact that you have to PAY to look at a list of consumer reviews is morbidly insulting. I will NEVER use this service. Absolutely ridiculous!
I thought I was getting reviews from Santa Fe, but I was getting reviews from my old zip code Miami. When I finally read the reviews from Santa Fe, two of them were the same, WORD FOR WORD as the reviews in Miami. The reviews were NOT written by customers. I cancelled my subscription immediately.
Angie's list requires one to sign a contract that they can deduct their fee forever unless you remember to cancel. And, they give very specific information about canceling, including by what time of day you can cancel, and the date. The part that I was particularly appalled about was that you agree that even if you cancel the credit card that you gave them to take money from, they have the right to use a service that will find out your new or other credit cards and that you agree that they can continue deducting money from your account.
Ever since I lost >$2000 from one of these "noncancelable" memberships, I will never sign up to anything that self-renews.
The contract they have you sign is very long and complex and includese fees of at least $10,000 if you don't follow their instructions exactly about telling someone about their information.
It may be legal, but I want nothing to do with it.
I have found this to be a very valuable tool for finding well qualified people for hatever I need. There are still not enough reviews, but they are doing a great job. As more people discuss their experiences, it should move up to a full 5 stars!
I signed up on Angie's List in April of 2011, and generally agree with the other reviewers on SiteJabber: the cost of membership is too high for the services received. Here's another drawback: when you sign up for a "List," you sign up for reviews of businesses ONLY IN A SPECIFIC GEOGRAPHICAL AREA ("area" is defined by Angie's List). So, if you want to find reviews of businesses in a DIFFERENT area, you'll have to pay extra, for an additional "List." Let's say, for example, you inherited some vacation property outside the area of your original "List," and need to find a contractor or plumber to fix up the cabin on the property: if you want to see reviews of local contractors on Angie's List, you'll have to sign up for a new "List" in that area, for an additional charge. Needless to say, you can't find out if there ARE any reviews of local contractors until after you sign up for the new "List."
Even worse, if you later sell your property, or just decide that you aren't getting your money's worth from the new "List," you'll have to telephone or email Angie's List and request a "stop" on the automatic annual renewal (or request that the "List" be removed from your membership, altogether). There is no way to flag this "List" on the website as "do not renew."
There's nothing wrong with automatic renewals of membership subscriptions, but any website that allows you to sign up for an additional membership service should also allow you to CANCEL that service at any time, without going through extraordinary efforts, like calling or mailing the company. Lack of such a "stop charging me!" function should be a red flag for any subscriber, or would-be subscriber.
In one line: Don't take the "BIG DEAL" unless you know the following:
The big deal works like this: you get an email from Angie's List with a discounted service (tree trimming, carpet cleaning, .etc). If you like the offer, you sign up for the coupon and the price (discounted) is paid for with your credit card (on file as you have to renew their membership periodically).
Most coupons have a 90-120 window for use. What they don't tell you is there is a 30 day window to get your money back from Angie's if you change your mind about the service (buried in the fine print on the website). After that, any money for coupons not acted upon (apparently) are sent to the business. So for a coupon at with 100 people taking an offer, 50 actually got the service (good), 30 people decided on a refund in 30 days (good), and the rest (20) lost their money as this was residual paid to the business. In short, free money for the business. No where on the coupon does it spell out these details and the user is left thinking that he or she has the full 90-120 days to either redeem the coupon or get the refund.
The "BIG DEAL" works best if it's a coupon with a single price for a service, say $100 vs $200 for duct cleaning. It's worst for a $200 savings for a service. In my case I finally got the estimate for the service (within the 4 month window) but found it way too high and I've been trying to get my money back ever since.
Spoiler** Experience but some speculation here as well Bottom line BEWARE of ANGIE'S LIST. Like Sitejabber reviews online businesses, Angie's List reviews local brick& mortar and service providers in your area. Great idea to look up a contractor before you hire them, and they supposedly screen the reviews and reviewer before postings, but I found this site sadly lacking in reviews of places I would be interested in, contractors, flooring stores, and I even researched other businesses in my area, reasonably well known, and as many were missing as were acknoledged with no relevant review material. Now, what get's me to write a negative review on something I love as much as a consumer review site, it that Angie's List, no where on their commercials, no where on their website, even suggest for a moment that there is a fee attached for the privledge of viewing their incredibly unthorough site. And the fee is not small as I am sure you know already if you are reading this. Nor is there any way to look up a business just one time, there's either a monthy or annual mambership fee which costs as much as you would save by shopping around in many cases. I found this out after entering all my personal information, phone numbers, address, age sex, everything, then a screen pops up asking for your credit card info. Don't enter it, and you can go no further, but they have added all your info to their demographic marketing database which is undoubtedly being used for reasons you don't want it used for (this is simply educated speculation coming from the marketing industry myself). I hate getting duped into anything. I hate having my trust betrayed. I thought this kind of skullduggery and duplicitous information gathering scam had gone the way of the rotary phone (with a cord!) except for the credit offers and too-good-to-be-true / desperation sites. Angie's List put's up a good facade, but they offer very little of what they promise, were of no help to me, a waste of money and time, and really left me angry about gathering all my information before requesting a disproportionate fee for the service they offer. I do suspect the only way they are able to continue advertising is that they are selling your personal and demographic data to other entities or redeploying it within the parent organization for other purposes. There is big money in this and I cannot see anyone with common sense paying what they ask when similar info is available elsewhere for free. The high fee (again this is speculation) may be their attempt to NOT get you to sign up so you will not see the incredible lack of information they have on businesses and reviews in your area. This is the only reasonable conclusion I can draw as to how they continue to be in business and advertise, and industry-speaking, it is a very clever ruse if true. Being in marketing I had a reason for checking them out, but found out they were a joke. BEWARE ANGIE'S LIST!