Why Angies List is Awesome – A Review

angies list reviews

angies list reviewsI had been putting off writing this review until I finished adding a garage to our house last year.  So now that’s it’s done, (are construction projects ever done?) I feel that I can adequately review my experience with Angie’s List.

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I used Angie’s List for to hire several contractors, from a masonry contractor to drywall and electrical, so I can give you an honest assessment of how the process works and how it provided value to me.

Now Angie’s List is not just for construction and home repairs, they have reviews on all those types of services, but also on dentists and doctors all the way to car repair shops, child care providers and hair salons.  They really have expanded they types of reviews they off in a big way in the last few years.

Why is Angie’s List Awesome?

There really are 2 major reasons:

1. Companies’ can’t pay to be on on Angie’s List.  It’s 100% by customer referral only.  So you know that a company can buy their way in.  Angie’s List also has a process to prevent companies from reporting on themselves.

2. Real people are giving you their real experience with local companies in your area.  Good and bad.  No anonymous reviews. It’s like a friend is telling you what they think about the company they hired.  You can’t get a more authentic review than that.

Both of these reasons lay the foundation for a pretty honest platform to help you determine which service provider is the best for you.

A Quick History of Angie’s List

It was started by Angie Hicks back in 1995, when she and some friends were frustrated by the process of trying to find reliable contractors in the Columbus, Ohio area.  So she decided to start a list to help homeowners sort through the good and bad service providers.

Signup Process

The simple process starts with putting in your local zip code, so they can show you the companies in your areas, They cover almost all major and minor metro areas from Charlotte to San Diego.
Once you put in your name, email and other information, you pick a membership plan. Simple through and through.

Cost – Membership Fee

There’s no free trial for Angie’s List , but you can sign up to a monthly membership or do a yearly membership.  If you go monthly, you’ll have to pay an activation fee, usually $5 or $10 depending on your location, but not if you go with the yearly plan.

Monthly plans are between $3 and $5 per month depending on where you live, and you can cancel any time, no contract.

Annual plans don’t have the signup fee and are also cheaper. If you do a 1 year plan, it’s $39, which averages out to $3.25 per month.  It gets even cheaper when you increase the years. A 4 year member ship averages out to just over $2/month.

Variety of Services and Companies

Basically the List is broken out into 2 Main lists which require separate memberships.  One for the Home (the original Angie’s List) covering home, yard auto and pet, and one for health and medical companies, called Angie’s List Health and Wellness, that covers every medical and fitness category under the sun.

Reviews

Reviews are easy to find. Once you sign up and log in, do a search on a particular topic, and it lists all the companies in your local market relating to your search, next to each one is a review section.  Reviews can be ordered by date or highest ratig to lowest rating to make it easy to find the most highly recommended server provider in your area.

Once you’ve hired a contractor, you can post a review and even upload pictures of your project (like I did) to give the review a real and complete feel.  This gives others some perspective on how big or small your project was and how well  (or not) it turned out.

Companies are also allowed to respond to reviews so you can get the whole picture.  Sometimes people who hire these companies can be pretty unreasonable or too extra picky, so the company can respond to a negative review.  I often find that how a company responds to a negative review tells a lot about them.

I actually feel more comfortable with a company who may have a couple negative reviews, but respond to each one and try to make it right.  Angie’s List with show you the complete picture.

My Experience

I hired a masonry contractor to pour the slab and do the walls on my garage addition and I was extremely satisfied.  I even posted pictures when I was done.  I also used Angie’s List to find a drywall contractor and an electrician. Again, I was very happy with both of them.  I did attempt to hire an electrician from Angie’s list that I had a bad experience with, so I left a review with details so others could decide for themselves.

Angie’s Added Services

  • Angie’s List will also help mediate between the homeowner and a company if a project goes bad.
  • Live phone support
  • Discounts from service providers only posted for Angie’s List members

Overall -My Recommendation

If you’re doing any kind of home project, a renovation or an addition, you will need to find highly recommended contractors, so it’s a good value, given the low monthly cost.  And because they have monthly plans, you can cancel it when you’re done with the project.

But my experience has been that even when I was done with my project, I found myself checking out AL for lots of other things.  My natural tendency was to just check Angie’s List out of curiosity, but then we ended up using it month after month to look for a new dentist, a person to do a landscape project, and nail place for my wife.

So overall, after you project is done, instead of cancelling, you can use it for every day things. The yearly plan ends up being pretty cheap, around $3/month, and you get the peace of mind knowing you’re going to hire a reliable company for the job.

What’s Next?

Comments

  1. L Carter says:

    Absolutely do not agree at all. The main problem with Angie’s List is that most contractors onlt have 1 or 0 reviews. How can a business be judged by just one or no costomer reviews. I had a bad experience with an A/C contractor. They serviced me twice. 1st time went okay; the 2nd visit they scammed me and charged me for things they did not do. The A/C company has 2 reviews on Angie’s List – both mine! The first rated A. The 2nd rated F. Angie now has them rated B with 2 reviews (no indication they were both mine). The A/C company should be rated F because they scammed me – not good right?? But it looks like one happy customer and one unhappy on Angie’s List. Misleading – to say the least. Plus how are even just 2 ratings enough to judge AND most companies have only 1 or none. Bottom line – Angie’s List just isn’t working – useless.

  2. From a contractor’s perspective, Angie’s List has been a nightmare. Our company only does completely ethical, honest, and professionally competent work. My wife and I, who have a science and engineering background, own the most ethical and technically competent landscape design, construction and maintenance company you could find in southern Arizona. But our experience with Angie’s List customers is that they will tell you they are very happy with the work you’ve done, and they go on the internet and blame you because they turned off their own watering system and their plants died (they always neglect to tell their part in the matter, of course), or say you did excellent work but that you were too expensive, after they selected you from 3 or 4 competitive bids. How can they say that after they made the decision to use you?

    That’s Angie’s List for you. There is no real filtering of the comments, and it is completely loaded with capricious complaints from customers who are in dire need of blaming someone out there in the world for their own shortcomings. Your rating, as a company, is virtually meaningless. One customer of ours used us many times after writing a mediocre review of us (which we only found out about much later). So there you have it… people are so much more willing to flame you on-line than they would if they had to talk to you in person, which, when you think about it, is really nothing new. In the end, this type of reference system is just bull. It could be good, it could be completely useless.

    But, the important thing is that you paid to be a part of this “inside circle” of supposed knowledge, and all the while you have no idea you have been preyed upon by slick marketing gurus who know how to suck in folks who’d rather talk to their computer than to other human beings. If you want a good reference, get away from your PC and talk to you neighbor or friend.

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