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Thread: Angie's List

  1. #1
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    Angie's List

    Anyone use Angie's List? Are the contractors well qualified as intended or are they just on the list because...

  2. #2
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    Because they paid to be? Yes but that's how it goes these days, pretty much the same as those with an A rating from the BBB

  3. #3
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    I've used it several times and have been happy with the people I have hired through them
    Dennis

  4. #4
    I use it often and get good people. Totally satisfied.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  5. #5
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    I've used it many times. I've found contractors that way that I would not have otherwise come across. It does let you make quick comparisons between companies by looking at their detailed information. In the old days, you'd look things up in the Yellow Pages, and the only thing you could judge them by was the info in their ad. The reviews in Angies List have to be read carefully to get useful input, as some people just want to complain, and others are just hot air. But the thing is, the reviews are not anonymous, so the contractor can respond to your comments. So maybe some negative reviews get discouraged. It favors the bigger companies that have many ratings.

    I have sent in reviews for contractors that were not previously listed. There just wont be any info (contact, insurance, years of experience, free estimates, discounts, etc.) unless they provide that info to Angies List as a member.

    Not perfect, and only as reliable as the people who write reviews. I know there are a couple of alternatives, but I dont see any that would be inherently better.

  6. #6
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    Sometimes there are ads for another company like Angie's on TV, Home Advisor.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
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    3,090
    I understood that Angie's list has not made a profit yet. But the stock price keeps going up. I have to wonder about the pressure to take payoffs for better reviews. They do take adds and the more expensive the adds the higher the company gets rated. But they claim it is not selling a higher ranking?
    Bil lD

  8. #8
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    I get several calls per month asking me to enroll our business as a "trusted" or "A grade" or whatever the best rating is, to Homeadvisor and BBB. Angies List is probably the same. All I have to do is pay a $50 a month fee to have them "help set up my profile".

    There is no need to actually be a good contractor to get the rating, only pay the fee. You can make your own conclusions, but I wouldn't trust any of these services. Just call your local real lumber yard, the one where the pros shop, and ask them for a reference. They aren't going to recommend one of their bad customers to you.

  9. #9
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    I dont believe they provide higher rankings or fake reviews for money. What they do is put sponsoring vendors at the top of search list, just like Google and Bing, etc. They send emails to their mailing list with promotional materials, special offers, etc. And when you call a business on the number they give you, the business always knows you're calling through Angies List, and presumably they give a kickback for the referral. That's how they make their money. But the reviews I think are genuine, or they wouldn't read so poorly.

    But to the original question, they dont screen any of the businesses or review qualifications, they just pass on reviews and ratings from customers.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    Sometimes there are ads for another company like Angie's on TV, Home Advisor.

    jtk
    I think Angie's List and HomeAdvisor are owned by the same company now. I don't know whether their business models are the same now, or not.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Calow View Post
    I dont believe they provide higher rankings or fake reviews for money. What they do is put sponsoring vendors at the top of search list, just like Google and Bing, etc. They send emails to their mailing list with promotional materials, special offers, etc. And when you call a business on the number they give you, the business always knows you're calling through Angies List, and presumably they give a kickback for the referral. That's how they make their money. But the reviews I think are genuine, or they wouldn't read so poorly.

    But to the original question, they dont screen any of the businesses or review qualifications, they just pass on reviews and ratings from customers.
    Speaking of which: If you get a referral from one of these sites, ask them if they're insured, and do they have proof of that. My experience is that the answer is often, What? Otherwise, if something goes wrong on their part, they can own your house, etc.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Dawson View Post
    Speaking of which: If you get a referral from one of these sites, ask them if they're insured, and do they have proof of that. My experience is that the answer is often, What? Otherwise, if something goes wrong on their part, they can own your house, etc.
    If you are interviewing someone for a home improvement project you should always receive proof of insurance and lean releases from all of the suppliers with the bid for the insurance and releases when the material is delivered.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    If you are interviewing someone for a home improvement project you should always receive proof of insurance and lean releases from all of the suppliers with the bid for the insurance and releases when the material is delivered.
    Moreover, it's not just a matter of their intentions. They can be the most benign of people, but what matters is the chain of responsibility, and if the buck stops with _you_ because it happened on your property, you're the one who pays, the government could come after you for whatever damages they paid out.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Dawson View Post
    Speaking of which: If you get a referral from one of these sites, ask them if they're insured, and do they have proof of that. My experience is that the answer is often, What? Otherwise, if something goes wrong on their part, they can own your house, etc.
    For sure on the insurance. Most independent contractors probably have a simple liability policy, but there is a lot more that is required. Workers comp for example is stupidly expensive for carpenters so it is resisted. However, it's apparently pretty easy for an ambulance chasing lawyer to turn a contractor/customer relationship into a employee/employer and then come after the homeowner/employer if a contractor gets hurt or worse. I think the risk varies by state, but it's worth being aware of and checking into.

    Our company carries 3 or 4 seperate policies to be fully insured, depending on the job. When a contractor says fully insured, they should mean something like that, not just a simple liability policy. Ask your insurance agent about what you should be asking for. Nebraska's contractor licensing is done through the department of labor, they database the info on contractors including licenses and insurance. Probably a similar system in most states.

    Keep in mind, compliance and coverage is expensive. Nearly 12% on my companies payroll costs are workers comp insurance alone, over half of every hour billed goes to the various fees, mandated insurances, taxes and so forth, before we ever get to the part that the company can use and pass on to its employees. When a customer is complaining about how expensive work is compared to the guy operating illegally out of the back of a van, they need remember what they are actually paying for.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Dawson View Post
    Speaking of which: If you get a referral from one of these sites, ask them if they're insured, and do they have proof of that. My experience is that the answer is often, What? Otherwise, if something goes wrong on their part, they can own your house, etc.
    Yes insurance and bonding are one of the pieces of information that is provided up front on the site, although it should be verified. But note, its not just a bunch of little one-man contractors on there: mostly its the bigger and medium-size companies, with names that would be locally recognizable. Essentially, its become what the Yellow Pages used to be. You still have to check them out.

    I'm not a shill for Angie's List, I just don't see a better alternative out there now for getting a list of companies working in your area. If you want to know, for example, what plumber provides emergency services and is within 10 miles of your home, I dont know where else you could go.

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