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Angie's List
Old 08-21-2011, 07:47 PM   #1
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Angie's List

Since we're fixing up two houses and are frequently looking for good local companies these days, I've thought about it. Do you think Angie's list is worth the fee to join?
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:57 PM   #2
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We've had good luck using Angie's list for a couple of projects.
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:37 PM   #3
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I asked the same question here a while back and the consensus seemed to be that it wasn't worth it.
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:52 PM   #4
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We've used Angie's to have an outdoor kitchen built, to find our mechanic and to find our pool service guy. I bought a lifetime membership last year, so yep we use it a lot.
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:58 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Purron View Post
Since we're fixing up two houses and are frequently looking for good local companies these days, I've thought about it. Do you think Angie's list is worth the fee to join?
We do fine with referrals from contractors who've done good for us. We also get good leads from neighbors and the occasional real estate open house.

We're getting ready to rip the roof off our familryroom and re-do the interior. We've been thinking about this job for over five years and planning it for a couple months. Sometimes the contracting process is frustrating. You'll go to a home show and see four separate renovation contractors, talk with them, swap cards, and never hear a followup. Then we talked with our roofing contractor for our rental home, who we've known for over 15 years, and he gave us the name of a guy.

We checked out his work and his license/insurance-- no problems. Family business for 25 years, no complaints. We swapped e-mail, he visited to take a look at the job. We immediately hit it off and got started on the plans & permits. We haven't even seen an estimate from him yet but we'll do a time/materials contract. The project's not complicated but it's messy and there will be lots of dead termites a surprise or two. He's ordering the windows, we've already ordered the floor tile, we've almost finished moving the furniture out of the room, and we've started the interior demolition.

So I'd put more faith in a personal network than in a paid-membership list. But we'd try Angie's if we tapped out everywhere else.
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:59 PM   #6
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Yes, definitely worth it. We found interior painters that were terrific and I wrote a review stating such.

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Old 08-21-2011, 10:08 PM   #7
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We do fine with referrals from contractors who've done good for us. We also get good leads from neighbors and the occasional real estate open house.

[...]

So I'd put more faith in a personal network than in a paid-membership list. But we'd try Angie's if we tapped out everywhere else.
Same here. We have never had to use Angie's list, because we know enough people here that we know some great people to ask when we need to hire someone. Word gets around here, I guess. Like Honolulu, I would classify New Orleans as a very big small town.

Yet ANOTHER way that truly having a hometown makes life so much easier.

How do you find "home"?
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Old 08-21-2011, 11:04 PM   #8
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Word gets around here, I guess. Like Honolulu, I would classify New Orleans as a very big small town.
Exactly!
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Old 08-21-2011, 11:10 PM   #9
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We've used Angies list in different locations. Home contractors are a big category for them. If they have lots of reviews for the top businesses - more than 30 or 40 each - they can be very valuable. If they have just a few - just 10 or so and only for one or two companies - it's really not very useful. They have a yearly and an monthly subscription, so the max cost is just a couple of $$ for a trial. No money back guarantee, though.
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Old 08-21-2011, 11:14 PM   #10
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I think it varies a lot my city. In Honolulu, it is free and possibly overpriced at the price. I've found almost no leads in looking for help for handyman, painters etc. I also signed up for the free trial in Vegas and there were quite a bit more referrals. On the other hand several of my Bay Area friends swear by it.
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Old 08-21-2011, 11:51 PM   #11
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I had terrible luck with Angie's list. A lot of spam and no contacts with what I needed. I did much, MUCH better with going to my local lumber yard and asking for a list of quality contractors. The job that they did was fantastic, and at a better price than the big name advertised contractors.

I have also had good luck with talking to housing code inspectors. They know who the problem jobbers are and who always gets it right the first time.
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:14 AM   #12
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Have not tried Angie's List.

Instead, I go to YELP.
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:34 AM   #13
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Don't use Angies (too far out in the woods to be of any use - no local vendors listed).

Heck - we don't even have a Cosco or Trader Joe's (of which I read about on this board.

I guess that confirms we are not "big city" folks (and we have no problem with that )...
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:19 AM   #14
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I researched Angie's List awhile back and didn't end up joining as then I had other options for referrals.

The knock on Angie's List is that while Angie's List says that contractors don't pay to be on the list, contractors do pay for "enhanced" listings. I found a lot of reports of contractors who felt pressured by Angie's List to pay (up to $400 a month!) for enhanced listings to put themselves at the top of the list.

Also, people point out that at $5 a month it is easy for a contractor to get friends/relatives to join and post fake reviews for the contractor and negative reviews about the competition.

Some customers complained that after posting negative reviews that Angie's List gave their contact info to the contractor who then called and harassed them (in one instance, a reviewer claimed to have been sued for a negative review). On the other hand, I also read that Angie's List doesn't give the contact info to the contractor.

Some contractors complained that they had high ratings from people they actually did work for but then had a low rating from someone they had quoted a job to but then the customer found someone who charged less.

Anyway, I didn't sign up for it since at that time I had other sources for referrals. Since then we moved to a different part of the same county and don't know providers in this area so I might sign up if I needed to get leads but would then use other means to also research someone.
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:27 AM   #15
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Some customers complained that after posting negative reviews that Angie's List gave their contact info to the contractor who then called and harassed them (in one instance, a reviewer claimed to have been sued for a negative review). On the other hand, I also read that Angie's List doesn't give the contact info to the contractor.
I gave one contractor a less-than-glowing review on Angie's List and didn't suffer any negative consequences.
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I might sign up if I needed to get leads but would then use other means to also research someone.
+1

No one should ever rely on a single source to choose a contractor.
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:57 PM   #16
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Apparently, I live in an Angie's List deprived area, so they gave me a year's free subscription. Honestly, I found it to be fairly useless, probably because not many people in my area use it. I did not re-up for a paid subscription. They send me offers by Email almost daily.
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:06 PM   #17
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The knock on Angie's List is that while Angie's List says that contractors don't pay to be on the list, contractors do pay for "enhanced" listings. I found a lot of reports of contractors who felt pressured by Angie's List to pay (up to $400 a month!) for enhanced listings to put themselves at the top of the list.
I think that's just contractors bad-mouthing the service. They do not and can not pay for anything other than advertising in the small newsletter that comes out and then only if they have a high rating.
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:07 PM   #18
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Since we're fixing up two houses and are frequently looking for good local companies these days, I've thought about it. Do you think Angie's list is worth the fee to join?

Love 'em. Have used them for several years after having a bad experience with a concrete company. I like them so much I even bought a membership for kids in another city.

I do use a combination of Angie's list and recommendations for others, however, if I get a recommendation, I still look them up on Angie's list.
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:36 PM   #19
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I have been a member of Angie's List in Indianapolis for the last six years. Aside from being able to find out real world experiences that others have had with businesses (which I don't know how you can really do yourself otherwise), I have saved more than enough money with their discounts each year to pay for the membership fee. I highly recommend this service if you are a home owner.
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:35 PM   #20
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I think that's just contractors bad-mouthing the service. They do not and can not pay for anything other than advertising in the small newsletter that comes out and then only if they have a high rating.
I'm not a member but what I read == not just from contractors == is that if you pay for enhanced listings then on the listings on the internet you are higher up the list (I do think it requires having a higher rating). Perhaps it is different in your area.

I'm not saying Angie's List is all bad -- if I needed a contractor I could see signing up for it and checking it out. However, when I researched it I found a lot of criticism of it both from customers and contractors both.
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