Angie's List - Has Anybody Tried it?

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My wife wants to join Angie's List. Has anyone tried it? Is it worth the monthly fee for opinions and referals? Like to hear the good, bad and ugly about it.

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Yelp deleted all my politely phrased objective reviews, both positive and negative. I have used Angies List for a decad... (more)

snork615 (May. 03, 2013 @ 7:13p) |

You certainly are a fool for not insisting on canceling your subscription (perhaps in writing, or whatever their terms a... (more)

scripta (May. 20, 2013 @ 1:47a) |

I have found the forums on City-Data to be much more helpful in regards to finding good recommendations for local contra... (more)

BMRisko (May. 21, 2013 @ 4:23p) |

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It's the paid version of Yelp. Some years ago, I was a vendor on it and provided fair and good services to a good amount of subscribers. One crazy lady ruined it by giving me a negative review for something beyond my control, it was for a laptop that she wanted to get fix cheaply because she broke something and blamed me for breaking it. The service itself is a good idea, but with the invention of Yelp, Google, and lots of other review sites, not worth the $. It might have been worthwhile say in 2004.

I was about to try it, and started registering, but when it came time to pay, I regret it and stopped the process.

After that, I kept getting codes for discounts to register for the next 3 months. I think it was something like 30-40% less than what I was about to pay. You might want to try that if not sure.

i have used Angie's List. mainly i enter reports for good service at doctors, tree trimming, and lawn service.

I have used it and found it helpful. However, their renewal rates are lousy. Just like other companies such as Comcast, they only offer decent prices to new subscribers even if you try to negotiate. You can always sign up as a new subscriber using a new e-mail address. They keep your e-mail address indefinitely, because I still get e-mails from an old account from about 9 years ago. It's only worth signing up if you get a great rate. I did a 4-year deal the last time using a coupon code and Paypal for about $8.40 per year. I would guess the rates vary by region.

The way I see it, you pay to get a list of companies that paid to be on it...

Kinda how the yellow pages work except you don't pay for it...

Angies List, Yelp, Home Advisor(Service Magic).
There are too many stories out there(Google their name and "scam")for me to ignore. The gist of it is that they contact businesses for advertising. If they get advertising, the business looks good, either thru fake reviews written for them or elevation on lists. If they don't get advertising, you get filtered reviews(Yelp) or you fall off their lists or don't get good reviews posted. One alarm company I was talking to today said they used to have over 20 great reviews on Yelp. Then Yelp contacted them for advertising which they refused. Now they only have one review and 25 filtered, which I did see. HomeAdvisor often has only a few referrals for me in popular services. When I did use Angies List a few times, the contractors were terrible. Do your own research. Unfortunately, they all make a lot of sense. Even the BBB is questionable in my mind.

Angies List from my understanding double dips and charges customers to use it while also charging vendors for "special treatment". Just use Yelp unless you like paying for what is normally free.

Experiences will vary greatly, no surprise there. I tried calling a few local contractors on the list, one called back but didn't show up, a couple didn't call back at all. I had to call around one Sunday last summer (temps around 100) to find someone who would fix our air conditioner. I called someone on Service Magic (who I had used to fix a storage building), he said they don't do that but he recommended someone. I called, he came out that day. He said he gets calls from Angie's List to advertise but he didn't see the benefit. I told him to spend his ad money elsewhere.

I don't think they are a scam, just another "do your own research" resource. I would trust most any source before Yelp. If you are new to an area and don't have enough contacts then I would check out Home Advisor/Service Magic. They have been great for us in East Tennessee.

The FW community might argue sometimes, but OP's question shows we may value each others opinions more than those of Angie's List!

I subscribed for a year and wasn't a fan, I found one of the worst contractors I have ever dealt with from Angie's List. You're better off with the free review sites, but they can all be manipulated by one crazy person, competition, someone with a vendetta, employees, friends of the owner, the owner, companies that can be hired to post fake reviews, etc...

dishdude said:   I subscribed for a year and wasn't a fan, I found one of the worst contractors I have ever dealt with from Angie's List. You're better off with the free review sites, but they can all be manipulated by one crazy person, competition, someone with a vendetta, employees, friends of the owner, the owner, companies that can be hired to post fake reviews, etc...

My experience is to weed out poor reviews all you need to do is look for a review that is balanced. If it doesn't cover pros AND cons on a vendor you can bet that it is either a fraudulent review or a upset customer. Paid reviewers want to do nothing but praise and upset customers want to do nothing but complain. When you find a review going over both aspects you can typically trust that it is more realistic.

It's funny because I used to be one of those people that would say "why would you pay for reviews when you can just Google it?" Now i I use it and think it's an amazing resource. I just moved into a new house though so I need to find painters, landscapers etc. If nothing else, it makes it super easy to find multiple options instantly. You can have five estimates scheduled in 5 minutes and you can move on with your life. Additionally the reviews are much more detailed than you'll find on Yelp and sites like that; most reviewers put what work they had done and what they paid.

They usually have nice discounts for the annual membership. The "Big Deals" are usually good deals and they easily made up for the price of the membership. Of the few that I've used, I was satisfied, but, as others suggested, I didn't rely solely on Angie's List reviews, but researched the contractors elsewhere before buying the deals.

Like almost anything else, it's a source of data. There are many sources (e.g., Google, Yelp, Angie's List, BBB) one should use to get the fullest picture. As someone mentioned above, look at the reviews, scour them, and apply the "rational" person test. BBB now has a section to submit reviews on a specific company as well; however, I would not trust their "grade" system. I was told by a reputable company in my area that you can increase your BBB rating by merely paying to be associated with them (they told me they absolutely pay to be associated as every little bit helps)!

1) I would NOT, pay full price for Angie's List
2) I would NOT get any of their "deals" from contractors
3) I would look for reviews that are somewhat lengthy and cue in on specific phrases

BE CAREFUL - I subscribed to Angie's List shortly after we moved to this fringe suburb in response to Angie's web page zip code check that stated the List had reviews for businesses in our community. A minute afer I subscribed, I realized that was not the case. Only one contractor listed did work in our community. I tried to cancel the subscription, was talked into keeping it for the year with the understanding that I could cancel at the end of a year. I marked my calendar and, a year to the date, I called to cancel before auto-renewal and was told by a snarky customer service person that I was too late, I was already renewed but they took my cancellation effective after a second year. Two email complaints to Angies customer service have been un-answered. So, I've now paid for 2 years of useless information and feel like a damned fool. I would not recommend subscribing to Angie's List.

Not going to subscribe as they fem that does the ads for them is scary looking! Nuff for me.

if you're moving to a new area... yeah.. might be worth it..

Once you get to know your neighbors and/or co-workers.. they're probably a better source for referrals.

I'm not sure I'll re-subscribe.

jhuflyer said:   
2) I would NOT get any of their "deals" from contractors
3) I would look for reviews that are somewhat lengthy and cue in on specific phrases


2> Agreed.. hard to know before you get bids on a project if the "70 dollar mega deal" will be the final cost or if you'll regret now being committed to a particular contractor.

3> Yep... I had a contractor tell me he'd give me 10 % off if I posted a good review on Angie's List.

I've had some good experiences, and tried some contractors I wouldn't have found otherwise, but it doesn't seem worth renewing when my account expires this year.


EDIT:

Also.. I hate sites that don't let you cancel or select a "don't auto renew" button. Having to call or submit a request via contact us just adds additional layers of hassle ways to sneak another year out of you.

(from their "how do I cancel my membership" link):
We’re sorry to see you go! Memberships may be cancelled in one of the following ways: 
Online: Via the Contact Us page
Phone: (866) 623-6088
Mail: Attn: Member Services, 1030 E Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46202
Fax: (866) 670-5478
Please include your name, address and phone number in any written cancellation requests so that we can identify your account.
Your cancellation request must be received no later than 5 pm on the day prior to any scheduled renewal payment date, which can be found on the My Account page. Annual memberships are backed by our 110% satisfaction guarantee. Sorry, no refunds for monthly memberships. 

I hated it. The search function stinks and the interface looks like it is from last century.
And be prepared, their reps call you and data mine you to crack.
Save your money, my experience was not so great

Why not just use Yelp?

Yelp deleted all my politely phrased objective reviews, both positive and negative. I have used Angies List for a decade and found it helpful and generally truthful--usually with discounts-- except knaves known as Electricians: who never come back a second time for another job if they can be bothered to be contacted at all. If that does not work for you, Home Advisor (aka Service Magic) will usually have hungry contractors calling within hours when you carefully specify requirements or respond not within its scope.

RobinLeeWX said:   BE CAREFUL - I subscribed to Angie's List shortly after we moved to this fringe suburb in response to Angie's web page zip code check that stated the List had reviews for businesses in our community. A minute afer I subscribed, I realized that was not the case. Only one contractor listed did work in our community. I tried to cancel the subscription, was talked into keeping it for the year with the understanding that I could cancel at the end of a year. I marked my calendar and, a year to the date, I called to cancel before auto-renewal and was told by a snarky customer service person that I was too late, I was already renewed but they took my cancellation effective after a second year. Two email complaints to Angies customer service have been un-answered. So, I've now paid for 2 years of useless information and feel like a damned fool. I would not recommend subscribing to Angie's List.You certainly are a fool for not insisting on canceling your subscription (perhaps in writing, or whatever their terms and conditions say) and not following up with a credit card charge back for unauthorized charges.

I have found the forums on City-Data to be much more helpful in regards to finding good recommendations for local contractors, places of business, etc...



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