Friday, June 15, 2007

Cool Tool: Angie's List

Your "To Do" list of stuff to fix, maintain, touch up, rip out, replace, and remodel is a mile long. You know you need help, but don't know where to start. (After all, the last time you hired a handyman from the phone book, it was an unmitigated disaster.)

Where do you turn? To Angie's List.

Now available in 124 U.S. cities, the online service supplies member-generated ratings and reviews of local service people, including air-duct cleaners, wrought-iron fabricators, and more than 150 specialties in between.

Here's how it works: Angie's List members (who currently number half a million) submit more than 15,000 reports every month on the service people they've hired, rating them on everything from being on time to the fairness of their prices and the quality of their work to how good a job they did cleaning up after themselves. Each company is then given an overall grade based on members' experiences.

Say you need a plumber: Go to the search form and set your specifications (for instance, you want a plumbing company with an overall grade of "A" that's located within 10 miles of your home). Bingo! Angie's List pulls up any and all that meet your requirements. You then click on their names to see the average grade in five different categories (price, quality, responsiveness, punctuality, and professionalism), as well as how many reports the grades are based on.

If what you see looks good, keep clicking to read members' individual reviews of the company in question, as well as to check if there are any complaints against the company on file with the local Better Business Bureau -- and even to find out if there are discount coupons you can use if you hire them.

(Of course, once you do hire someone from the list, you'll be asked to fill out an easy online form detailing your experience with them. But consider completing this small chore good karma.)

The first year of Angie's List membership is free in many cities. In others, using the service will cost you around $50 annually. (Look at it this way: That's still cheaper than hiring someone to fix the job the last person you hired botched.)

Find out more about Angie's List here.


Alan H. said...

Great posting! I linked this article over at the Unauthorized Angie's List Podcast, called LIFE ON THE LIST { }. We would be honored if you would post a review of the podcast! Alan

Doug said...

I have found that Angies List does very little, if anything, to ensure any sort of accuracy of information posted about a company. And it is true that Angies List edits a companies response to a posting; especially if it contains any negative comments in regards to Angies List itself. Our company has a posting against it from a woman that we have no record of ever doing bsuiness with her nor any record that she has even called our company. I brought this to the attention of Angies List and so far they have done nothing. Anyone can submit anything they want to about a company; true or false. And once a company is put on Angies List, those companies are contacted about advertising with them; regardless of what kind of rating that company has. Angies List is all about making money adn nothing about providing factual information.

Anonymous said...

Angie's list can only do something once the member responds to the claim. Sorry your company is getting bad marks, but all members are asked to verify if the info they post is true and accurate. You can't blame the list for someone posting something. All reports are verified by actual people and they do wait for response from the members.


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