anyone use angies list?

MoccasinJune 11, 2011

I've looked at some of Angie's List advertising, and not been sold on it. Can someone who uses it tell me something about the membership process?

The thing I am concerned with is how much of your personal identity is exposed to the public? I don't like the social network stuff because of its exposure, and wonder about this. They say the reviews are from real people, but before you join they don't show you what is revealed about who does the review. And, if you don't like it, can you drop all contact with them and your record there be expunged totally eradicated? You cannot do that with Facebook.

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I got a membership this year, and have been very happy with it, with some caveats.

Things I Like:

--I have found some truly amazing vendors (furnace, handyman, power washing, etc)
--I have been pleased to write good reviews for the vendors that performed well
--I wrote a negative review for a vendor that blew me off, and got a "real" letter from the president of the company--not just a form letter

Things I Don't Like:
--Vendors get your real name and address, which has prevented me from writing some negative reviews. I had a vendor who made it obvious during his bid process that he was a little too willing to cut corners, but I was uncomfortable with him potentially knowing that I thought this
--Sometimes there aren't reviews for services you need
--You can't search by keywords except for what Angie's List considers to be keywords; for example, my old furnace was oil, and I couldn't search by "oil"; all I could look for was "furnace". This was frustrating because oil requires special skills, and most people don't do it.

Your name and address aren't shown to the general public; only the vendors you write reviews about can see them.

As for expunging, I have no idea!

Overall, we like Angie's list. It is worth it if you have a lot of work to do--i.e. you need to research multiple vendors.

But I do have to say that I hate vendors knowing who I am when I review. That is the biggest shortcoming, for sure.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 11:33AM
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Moc, if you are worried about the vendor/contractor seeing your name, you don't need to send in a review. We have found Angie's List to be helpful. My one caveat is that there is no way to know if you are getting the same workers as were reviewed. (Even though it is the same company, they could have turnover of their employees.) That part I don't like.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 6:59PM
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I used Angie's List for the seven years I owned my old house in Cleveland, plus when I had a rental in Columbus, and it was a godsend in those relatively small Ohio cities. Now that I've moved to a much bigger metro area, I'm finding it much less useful. Their search algorithms don't seem to be very good at establishing which providers will actually service my area (3 states/horrible traffic/sprawling area, as opposed to a simple east side/west side divide), so I've been relying on neighborhood listservs to find companies that have a track record working in the immediate area. There are so many vendors listed on AL here that there tend to be lots and lots of listings with two or three very positive reviews, but fewer with really strong, detailed records. It also seems to be harder to find those gem-like, family-owned businesses on AL amid all the listings for franchise branches. I just think AL functioned better in slightly smaller markets. I'm keeping my membership for the initial period of owning a new house, but I think I'll cancel after the first batch of to-dos is done.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 7:01PM
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Just this morning I read this posting about Angie's list. "Scrappy25" was responding to a question in the kitchen forum about how to divide a specific amount of money over a number of projects.

I was suprised to read that she was able to hire skilled services/workers such as electricians or plumbers by the hour. You know many companies are not interested in little jobs and I thought this was quite a clever way to research and obtain competitive bids from quality professionals. Nice way to "button-up" loose ends of a big project.

Very interesting and definitely a "sign of the times" demonstrating the power of this computer/social networking era we are in!

Very, very interesting.....


"A 90's kitchen is probably still pretty functional. You should live with it a bit first to figure out how the layout works and what your storage issues are. If the layout is good, can you paint rather than refacing your cabinets? There are some amazing transformations with paint on this site. It sounds like you can do all your kitchen plans in four independent steps (cabinet doors/drawers for functionality, countertop/sink/faucet/backsplash, and then separately paint and flooring. Taking it one step at a time will make it much more manageable, expecially if your kitchen is out of commission only for up to a week at a time.

As to the rest of the house, I have had really good luck with the Angies list Big Deals, if they are offered in your area. The discounts are often not as great as advertised because the "retail" prices seem inflated,but in the end I have paid middle to low prices for uniformly good work, no complaints about that! Most recently I purchased 4 hours of masonry work to re-parge some side of the concrete foundation of my house ($99), 4 recessed lights installed with dimmer from an electrician for $399, electrician services for 2 hours for $99, and 2 painters for a day (8 hours each) for $399. You do have to read the fine print carefully and I find that it is best if I email the providers prior to the service with a detailed list of what I want done and/or pictures so that there are no surprises. They are sort of like Groupon deals that are only offered for a few days, but the companies have to be A or B rated on Angies list to be able to offer them. Also, they know that you will probably be rating their work on Angies list so there is accountability. I am not affiliated with Angies list other than being a customer.The Bid Deals help me to knock out my "to do" list and also gives me exposure to professionals that I can call back for further work when needed.
hope that helps."

I tried to post the link....I hope this works!

Here is a link that might be useful: ANGIE'S LIST 2ND RESPONSE

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 5:36PM
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I joined Angies List and have used it for a few things we needed done on our house. Felt better reading the reviews on places.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 12:37PM
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