If you’re moving to a new city, buying a home, or just need to find a plumber/doctor/lawyer and don’t know where to start, it’s time to consider Angie’s List.
What is Angie’s List?
Angie’s List is, according an MSNBC review, “the behemoth of online review sites”. The subscription-based Website collects consumer reviews on businesses–everybody from contractors to house cleaners to primary care physicians.
A common reaction is: Why pay when there are free reviews all over the Web? A couple of reasons:
- No Anonymous Reviews. Each of Angie’s Lists’ million+ members ID themselves, and staff (reportedly) vet the merits of each review.
- More Quality Reviews in One Place. Hotels aside, finding quality reviews of local businesses can be tricky. Angie’s List puts all the reviews for your region at your fingertips.
Does Angie’s List Accept Advertising?
Angie’s List only accepts advertising from companies that have received an A or B rating from reviewers and, even then, only if the company offers subscribers a discount. According to the site “…any time [a business'] rating falls below a B, the offer is revoked. Service companies and health professionals are not obligated to advertise, nor does their decision to advertise affect their Angie’s List rating.”
Why Use Angie’s List?
Aside from finding great businesses to use, the Angie’s List “Penalty Box” feature may be able to help you resolve disputes if you have a problem with a service provider. The site also has a magazine, several blogs, and a 110% money back guarantee. Another feature, “Angie’s List Live”, is a real-time search report reminiscent of screens in Google’s offices displaying live random searches from all over the world.
How Much Does Angie’s List Cost?
Angie’s List charges a one-tip “sign-up fee” of between $5 and $10 and either a monthly or annual membership fee. The actual costs depend upon where you live. Angie’s List charges slightly more in larger cities where they have significantly more reviews. For example:
- Portland, ME: $5 signup/$1.30 a month or $10 a year.
- San Francisco, CA: $10 signup/$3.15 a month or $24 a year.
Is Angie’s List Worth It?
If you spend $15 or $25 for a year’s subscription to Angie’s List but end up hiring somebody you know will do a good job for a fair price, the site is a tremendous value.
My only complaint about Angie’s List is not the fee, but that, as a paid review site, Angie’s List does not offer a level playing field for businesses to respond to consumer complaints. Sure, it takes business prowess to operate a paid site with a million users, but it takes genius and a trust in mankind to create a site like Wikipedia that all can contribute to and benefit from without charging users (except those that donate, which I do). Just my two cents!