Angie's List

Discussion in 'Computers and Stuff' started by Cookie, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. Cookie

    Cookie .

    I know Steve talked about this quite a few times, but, I found an advertisement for it in our local paper. I am not sure, if he ever posted a website address, it is as follows:

    I am going to check it out later.
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    San Diego
    I recommend that you search around this and other forums, and google around as well. Not all the reports about angies list have been favorable. Trade people have to pay for referrals, and do not like a lot of "lookie-loo" calls. I have read comments that some of the better people do not use the list anymore, because the cost/return did not work out.

    I have no personal experience on either side of the equation, so this is just 3rd party feedback. Just do your research.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    I may have to check it out, just to see how they operate. All of the referral services I have been acquainted with have been unsatisfactory. Some people think they should get a discount for using the service, while others have a prioritized referral either by zip code or rotation spot on their list.

  4. Praise the roofer and slam the plumber. If you are absolutely positive poor workmanship was the issue, they deserve the black eye coming to them. I would deserve the same if I was doing ill-respect towards customers in my profession.

    Being nice to those who take of you is a matter of one's reasoning. I couldn't hand the thief a plate of cookies at my door everytime they stop by to steal from me. that system those you give reports on (if they are a member themselves) can see what kind of reports you give to others.....and who you've dealt with in regards to service providers. If you are notorious for being hard-nosed or nitpick contractors to death......well....not only the SP's but other Angie's List clientell will judge whether your intention is to bash or give a legit rating on the SP.

    Most if not all of the members are really decent......and when you hear of their complaint of the contractor.......most of the time it is justified and the SP's have to answer for it. It really makes us as service providers accountable for offering the best service to our customers. Those who think it is a hayride to mow down their customers because they can't do much to hurt their public relations? Welcome to Angie's List and it will tarnish your name if the area you live in has a large population of members. Not exactly getting any ground in your bad movements towards others.

    A service provider has to be accountable that his private experience with a customer can instantly become public when they take missteps and take advantage of their customer.

    It's a public experience all the time for those to talk of others when they do good work; same applies for bad.

    Do me a favor and call them tell them you are moving to Cincinnati/Kentucky area and would like to know of the plumbers in that area....

    When you inquire by phone it will show up on your "recent categories" or "recently viewed" specific SP's.

    Check out my reports/status with them and you'll see why I get bent on people half-assing work for others.

    Just about all of that AL base are people who got screwed by SP's. Then I come around cleaning up all the messes.

    I have pictures on my cell phone of a contractor (Mr. Handyman) who came in and needed to fix a floor where a toilet had been leaking. I tell the customer to get the floor renewed, don't let them drill the hole for the new flange; I'll take care of the rest.

    When I figure out how to get those pictures up I'll finish the story and you'll hear the response that company tried to tell me and the customer that we both didn't know how to fix plumbing. ????

    You don't have to watch the WWF to see a body slam after her and I dealt with this company. It was fun. :D
  5. angies list-----the shake down ---and my story

    I am a happy member of Angies list.....

    but I feel that Angies list is not actually honest and upfront
    about the contractors on their list.....

    when I originally tried to get on their list I was told that only
    through rferrals from angies list members could I be "blessed"
    with membership...

    once I was granted this great honor, I was apporached by the salesman at Angies list and politely asked to advertise in their monthly publlication.....

    I was stunned to find out that to have a business sized card in
    their monthly flyer that only goes out to about 35,000 people in our state region, it would cost me about $900.......yes thats right
    $900...a month.. this is higher than a good sized ad in the big yellow page book!!!!!

    Then I was told that if I advertised with them I would get preferrential treatment and would be on their-- "best buddies"--
    list of contractors that they recommended to perspective
    customers....over the phone....

    I politely declined, which they said was ok too.---they just would
    not highly recommend me (now aint that sweet)

    Since that time, I have been made aware of a number of other plumbers in
    town that have terrible track records but are still on Angies list...

    one such person put in a 40 gal gas water heater for a customer for $1500 and then gave the customer a 10% angies list discount!!!!!!
    wow , what a deal.....

    and now it makes me curious to wonder if Angie looks the other way
    for these $$Advertiseing buddies $$ when they gouge and mess up

    COOOKIE would you not say that this is
    what they call in the book

    ------a shake down of sorts????

    I do use their logo,
    but I am not going to bribe them for work...
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2006
  6. Indy is home base for AL. I agree with your statement about preferential treatment to their paid advertisers.

    I ran a 12 word ad for 2 years when I first got involved with them; got 1 call for an estimate 21 miles away which I turned down.

    They screwed up an honor roll advertisement of mine that should of never been sent to print and even though it was printed and looked horrible.....they refused to give my money back or run a correction.

    They haven't recieved one red cent since that mistake and I stand out on that system since I have no advertising with them whatsoever.

    Been that way for almost 3 years now and that won't change.....otherwise, like you say taints the trueness of the system.

    One plumber in Cincinnati has 224 reports to my small 55. You know why too.
  7. Bend Them Over Angie....

    I despise being shook down

    I totally despise any plumbing inspector looking
    for a handout

    I absolutely HATE the YELLOW PAGES and the head games they
    try to play with me each and every year.....

    and I simply wont play this game......

    the consumer has no idea that they are
    being bent over by Angie and many , many times
    grossly overcharged by their "preferred" contractors.....

    I was actually shook down by an angies list member once too...

    they reported me to Angies list for literally nothing at all, then
    when I confronted them on teh phone about it they told me
    it would be erased from the A site if I gave them back all their money.......

    I was told by Angie that it was their word against mine
    and I think if I were one of their $advertiseing buddies$ they
    would have made it all go away......

    After a screaming match on the phone,
    with this fine upstanding fellow
    I gave this puss bucket back his money

    but of course he never totally kept his word...

    anyway what comes around goes around..
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2006
  8. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Southern California
    I would only use Angies list as a tool for research on a vendor.
    No problem with that at all.

    Get creative and really learn to do research beyond a cursory google search.

    Before I selected the company to replace my septic tank---I knew more about the owner than you can believe.

    I bet if you give Angie enough dough, good old Angie would nominate you for the Nobel Prize. I could be wrong but I doubt it....

    If I owned a business that needed to do serious research on vendors/people weekly I would be using Lexisnexis. It's not cheap.

    Luckily I live in a small town so I just call the local hardware store for referrals.
    Can't beat low-tech sometimes.

    Last edited: Oct 31, 2006
  9. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Southern California
    If you have to???- use a nic and non identifying info.
    You don't want a water heater thru your living room window. ;-)

    Dont libel yourself.
  10. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Southern California
    Aw. Geez. What did you say...?
    just remember to

    I speak out as well Cookie. 2006 was a good year. I wrote 3+ positive letters about service/vendors/products.
    Toto was one.

    That being said---there is world of Diff between a tradesguy who is just a boob having a bad day--OR someone who is seriously a Cheat-Liar-Bum.

    Last edited: Nov 3, 2006

  11. Thanks. 54 A's and one set of C's just because I cancelled a estimate 4 days in advance isn't too shabby.

    I haven't received a report in awhile. Usually October brings a flurry of members calling me because that is the time they start hounding the service providers to advertise. This year it didn't happen to me and I'm in no position to take on anymore work than I already can handle.

    Most work from that system brings on elective plumbing work which I'd rather be the one who goes out on the drop of a dime to fix a plumbing emergency rather than someone who has a punch list of numerous plumbing issues.

    You get to a place in every profession that you want to do what makes the best bang for the buck and has you back home having a personal life aside from work. At one time I was driven that all that matters is work. I'm slowly getting a good balance where if the phone rings I don't feel like a dog with its leash being tugged.

    I'm in the "oh well" category that no matter how many calls I turn advertising and word of mouth keeps my hands moving every week without complaint.

    The only goals I have with my business now is to pay off its debt, concentrate heavily on direct-mail advertising in my local area instead of 2 or 3 counties away and become organized on the paper side of this business. A huge relief follows if I can get my new secretary and myself with continual follow-ups with new or repeat customers, annual reminders to existing customer base of certain to do's on their recent expenditures.
  12. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Southern California
    Let the buyer Beware.

    All this online reviewing business is in it's infancy folks. As long as you are armed with the knowledge of how easy it is to give bogus reviews then go for it.

    I use wikipedia for definitions and research.
    Should your kid use it for college term paper purposes? NO.

    I buy books from Amazon. Are the reviews all honest? NO.

    Are some of Angie's list reviews (good and bad) agenda driven and fabricated by consumers as well as service providers? YES

    No substitute for critical research.
  13. rudytheplbr

    rudytheplbr 36 Journeyman Plbr

    Ketchikan, Alaska
    Well, I don't think I would use their list for anything, I entered my Zip to see if there is any plumbers or contractors on the list in my area, and this list does not know the town for the zip code entered.
    They gave me Edna Bay instead of Ketchikan, AK
  14. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Southern California
    Let me say this: The real beauty of the internet is all the free information available. You don't have to be a Techie or data-miner to become semi-expert at gathering data.

    Before I invested in a very expensive septic system earlier this year I had it nailed down to one vendor pretty fast.
    I found out about his family's local history in the septic business which went back over 80 years.

    I also found documents
    in the public record.
    This guy testified in Washington DC regarding gray water issues and systems about 5 years ago.

    It's all free-it's more work and you must be creative.
    Right enough, I do some pro bono research for a non profit organization so it easy for me-but easily learned.

    It's not rocket science to create any ficticious company you want and plant glowing reviews
    for others to "discover"... that would likely come up in google searches after a little while.

    I also met a fellow several years back who authored a book offered on Amazon.
    Guess what--he and his friends loaded up the reviews section with 4 stars.
    The book sucked BTW imo. lol

    That is also Why I'm not giving bad reviews of anyone unless they outright
    stole or cheated me.

    The best plumber in town will have a bad day where everything goes wrong
    and the customer is pissed off. The rest of the year he is just Stellar-in all ways.
    Do You really want a guy like that to be saddled with a searing review that will affect him and his family for many many years? Not me...
    This stuff is "forever". Even these posts are. There are people that actually archive
    messageboards. Not sure why-but they do-and store it on disc.

    If I don't like you-or him me--it's irrelevant imo.
    Not to mention you have crazies & drunks writing reviews all day long.

    Checking good\bad\average boxes is one thing.
    If you must slam the guy you best get familiar with online libel laws,right now.
    That is reality..

    As I said in another post Angie is just One tool in the toolbox.

    This is all new and changing daily.

    Last edited: Nov 11, 2006
  15. I did work for a AL member I've done work for a few times and he made a point of telling me that the Cincinnati chapter now has a way to include pictures into the reports.

    This is the first I've heard of this but for those in any profession are thinking they'll be able to talk themselves out of a mess, this latest addition to the system will hurt like salt in an open wound.

    Some of these members won't even disclaim that they belong to such a system just to see how the contractor operates to the general public.

    Accountability says it all when you work for the public. You screw up/take advantage of others and systems like AL become the enforcement group to protect others from shoddy workmanship.

    That system in 3 years has expanded quite rapidly in many states. Before too long every state will have numerous chapters. It goes far beyond the limitations of the BBB with the juicy details and pictures to boot.
  16. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    So far as one plumber. Well, he is the plumber/ceramic tile/ handyman --he is commented on under them all, and none too favorable. Would like to make my comment that this is the plumber from hell, but, I will be nice. I will also, be honest.

    Now, why do you call him a "plumber"? He is a handyman, clear and simple, regardless of any licenses he has.

    I have had all kinds of "referral" companies call me, and they all promise to increase my revenue from their customers. I have yet to find any that do so, and since they want a fee, either you raise your price to those customers or accept a smaller profit margin. In addition, a lot of customers think that a service, like AL, is a discount site and you should be lowering your price or giving a "rebate".
  17. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Southern California
    HJ My comment is this:

    Plumbers to me are licensed contractors. But the word plumber seems to get thrown around a lot and the licensed guys suffer.

    If I start advertising myself as a plumber on AL and I'm installing toilets for say 50 bucks...and I have 100 great ratings-I would be screwing a lot of career plumbers.

    All you have to do is show up with big smile-charge 50 bucks and you will get great plumber ratings.

    10 years ago Plumbers didnt have all this complication to deal with. It was yellow pages and word of mouth for the most part.
    The mass influx of web data is challenging.

    In some cases the new kid on the block can squash his competetion in months
    even if his product or service is mediocre simply because he's very tech savvy.
    The man who spent 30 years slowly developing his clientele can suffer unfairly.

    Last edited: Nov 17, 2006
  18. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Catch Angie this weekend on CNN's Open House with Gerri Willis:

    Nov. 18 9:30 AM EST CNN
    Nov. 18 5:30 PM EST CNN Headline News
    Nov. 19 5:30 PM EST CNN Headline News
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2006
  19. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    This list sounds about like the "Better Business Bureau" in Alabama. Reminds me much of a Mafia routine... "pay me and I'll let you do business and say nice things about you"... don't pay me and I won't protect you...

    I'm somewhat a flegling business and still do all kinds of handyman work to make ends meet. I definitely prefer just doing plumbing but take on kitchen and bath remodeling as well. I WOULD NOT invest in a yellow pages ad for a business of my size (one person!). I have LOTS of days off, extremely low overhead/operating expenses, streamlined bookeeping, and when I do work I make more in a day or two than I would make working for a company in a whole week.... and my prices are fair and reasonable and the quality is as good as any other. I did the yellow page ads in a previous business. The first year or two it helped but not enough to cover the expense. My best advertising has been fliers, busines cards, and inexpensive local sales papers.

    I simply do not trust the feedback from these kinds of lists. Word of mouth and seeing their work is the only real way to evaluate an unknown contractor/skilled laborer. Too, just because one person is unhappy with a contractor does not mean that conractor is not the one for you. Contractors get bit by customers who expect more than agreed upon. Contractors are people too and have personal and family problems as well as jobs that just have kinks and get tough which throws their timing off. Some take jobs too cheap just to have an income or to keep their employees busy during slow times...and this is going to end in someone not being happy...they sometimes leave the job for more lucrative work only to come back later to finish the "cheap" job when they get around to it. For this reason I highly recommend that you don't haggle over prices... take it or leave it. Don't expect a good job or good relationship if you get the work done for less than the original price quoted. If it's someone who is new in the area or new in business (but has the skills) he/she may not be familiar with pricing and wants the job for the experience and exposure. These guys can give you a really good deal and very good work! You can pretty well tell that if a person is well tooled and equipment is obviously used but in good condition that the person has experience. They won't have much experience if they are not good and will not have a decent set up... I'd also watch out for those who are "TOO" organized... a sure sign of a flim flam.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2006
  20. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Nope... seldom go to Tuscaloosa. Once upon a time (1998) I did a short stint as a truck driver and had a couple of jobs with Rite Aid and with Flower's bakery. I barely learned my way around Tuscaloosa then... The company put me up at the Jovonn Inn and I had to eat out all the time. I found an old restaurant where they served meat and vegetables ... I'm not much for the burgers and fries.. prefer just good down home cooking... peas and taters, greens & beans. I eat GOOD low classed food! I travel to Marion and Livingston from time to time on jobs... so maybe I'll stop in on McFarland and check out Archibalds... thanks..RJ
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