Finding a reliable service professional can be a daunting task. You may have heard about Angie’s List as a platform for finding verified reviews of local contractors, but is it really worth paying for a membership?
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll examine the key benefits and drawbacks of using Angie’s List to help you decide if it’s right for your needs.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Angie’s List can be worth it for some homeowners who want access to verified reviews of local service professionals, but the membership fees may not make sense for everyone.
The value comes from having a large database of crowd-sourced ratings and the promise that reviewed companies meet certain criteria. However, you can find free review sites like Yelp and HomeAdvisor to help in your search as well.
Background on Angie’s List
Angie’s List is an online marketplace that connects consumers with local service providers. It was founded in 1995 by Angie Hicks and Bill Oesterle, with the aim of helping homeowners find reliable and trustworthy contractors, plumbers, electricians, and other professionals.
Since its inception, Angie’s List has grown to become one of the leading platforms in the home services industry.
Overview and history of the company
Angie’s List started as a call-in service where members could access ratings and reviews of service providers. Over time, it evolved into an online platform, allowing users to search for and review local businesses. The company went public in 2011 and was later acquired by IAC in 2017.
Today, Angie’s List operates as a subsidiary of ANGI Homeservices Inc., which also owns other popular home service brands like HomeAdvisor and Handy.
How Angie’s List works
Angie’s List operates on a subscription-based model, where members pay a fee to access the platform’s features. Members can search for service providers in their area, read reviews and ratings from other users, and request quotes from multiple professionals.
The platform covers a wide range of services, including home improvement, landscaping, cleaning, and more. Users can also leave their own reviews and ratings to help others make informed decisions.
Membership options and pricing
Angie’s List offers two membership options: free and paid. The free membership allows users to access basic features, such as browsing listings and reading reviews. However, to unlock additional features like contacting service providers and accessing exclusive discounts, users need to upgrade to a paid membership.
The pricing for Angie’s List membership varies depending on the location and the level of access desired. Memberships are typically billed on an annual basis, with prices ranging from $9.99 to $99.99 per year.
The higher-tier memberships often come with additional benefits, such as priority customer service and project support.
Statistical Data: According to a survey conducted by Consumer Affairs, 78% of Angie’s List users reported that they were satisfied with the services they received through the platform. Additionally, 82% of users stated that they would recommend Angie’s List to others.
The Pros of Using Angie’s List
Angie’s List is a popular online platform that connects homeowners with local service providers. While it’s important to consider both the pros and cons before deciding whether or not to use Angie’s List, there are several benefits that make it worth considering.
Verified reviews from real members
One of the main advantages of using Angie’s List is the access to verified reviews from real members. Unlike other review platforms where anyone can leave a review, Angie’s List verifies that each review comes from a legitimate member who has actually used the services of the company being reviewed.
This helps to ensure the credibility and reliability of the reviews, giving homeowners peace of mind when making hiring decisions.
Companies meet eligibility requirements
Another benefit of Angie’s List is that companies listed on the platform must meet certain eligibility requirements. This includes having the necessary licenses and insurance, as well as adhering to Angie’s List’s strict code of conduct.
By choosing a service provider from Angie’s List, homeowners can feel confident that they are hiring a reputable company that has been vetted for quality and professionalism.
Extensive database of local services
With over 700 categories of services listed, Angie’s List offers homeowners access to an extensive database of local service providers. Whether you’re looking for a plumber, a landscaper, or a painter, you can easily find multiple options in your area.
This saves homeowners time and effort in searching for reliable service providers, as they can trust that all the companies listed on Angie’s List have been thoroughly vetted.
Member discounts on services
Angie’s List also offers exclusive member discounts on services. By becoming a member, homeowners can access special deals and savings on a wide range of services. This can help offset the cost of hiring professionals, making it even more affordable to complete home improvement projects or necessary repairs.
Ratings help narrow options
Another advantage of Angie’s List is the rating system. Each service provider is rated on a scale of A to F based on various factors such as quality of work, responsiveness, and professionalism. These ratings can help homeowners narrow down their options and choose the best service provider for their needs.
Additionally, the platform allows members to read detailed reviews and see photos or videos of previous work, providing even more insight into the quality of a company’s services.
Additional member perks and benefits
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, Angie’s List offers its members additional perks and benefits. This includes a dedicated customer support team, a satisfaction guarantee, and access to a mobile app for easy browsing and communication.
These added features enhance the overall user experience and provide extra value for homeowners.
The Cons of Using Angie’s List
Membership fees can get expensive
One of the drawbacks of using Angie’s List is the cost associated with it. While there is a free version available, the full benefits of the platform come with a membership fee. These fees can add up, especially if you are looking for long-term access to the platform.
It’s important to consider your budget and the value you will get from the services offered before committing to a membership.
Not all service categories are covered equally
Another downside of Angie’s List is that not all service categories are covered equally. While the platform offers a wide range of services, some categories may have fewer listings or less detailed information compared to others.
This can be frustrating if you are looking for a specific service that is not well-represented on the platform.
Many capable pros are not members
Although Angie’s List boasts a large network of service professionals, it’s important to note that not all capable professionals are members of the platform. This means that you may be missing out on potential options if you rely solely on Angie’s List for finding service providers.
It’s always a good idea to do your own research and explore other avenues in addition to using Angie’s List.
You may find similar services for free elsewhere
While Angie’s List offers a comprehensive platform for finding service providers, it’s worth noting that you can find similar services for free elsewhere. There are other online directories and review websites that offer similar functionalities without the need for a membership fee.
It’s worth considering these alternatives before deciding whether Angie’s List is the right choice for you.
Some outdated or inactive listings
One potential drawback of Angie’s List is the presence of outdated or inactive listings. Since the platform relies on user-generated content, there is a possibility that some listings may not be up-to-date or accurate.
It’s important to double-check the information provided and read multiple reviews to ensure that you are making an informed decision.
It focuses solely on reviews
While reviews can be a valuable source of information, it’s important to keep in mind that Angie’s List focuses solely on reviews. This means that you may not get a complete picture of a service provider’s capabilities or qualifications.
It’s always a good idea to supplement the information provided on Angie’s List with other sources, such as recommendations from friends or family, and conducting your own research.
Angie’s List vs. Alternative Options
When it comes to finding reliable service providers, homeowners have several options to choose from. In this section, we will compare Angie’s List with some alternative options available in the market.
Yelp is a popular platform that offers user-generated reviews and ratings for various businesses, including home service providers. While Yelp provides a wide range of reviews, it may lack the verification process that Angie’s List offers.
This means that the accuracy and reliability of the reviews on Yelp can sometimes be questionable.
HomeAdvisor is another platform that connects homeowners with local service professionals. It offers a similar service to Angie’s List, providing customer reviews and ratings. However, HomeAdvisor operates on a pay-per-lead model, where service providers pay for leads generated through the platform.
This can sometimes lead to a higher volume of leads, but it may not necessarily guarantee the quality of the service providers.
Word of mouth recommendations
Word of mouth recommendations from friends, family, or neighbors can be a valuable resource when searching for reliable service providers. However, relying solely on word of mouth may limit the options available to homeowners.
Angie’s List, on the other hand, provides a vast network of reviewed and rated service providers, giving homeowners a wider range of choices.
Individual company websites
Another alternative option is to visit individual company websites to gather information and read customer testimonials. While this approach can provide direct insights into a specific company, it may be time-consuming to research and compare multiple companies individually.
Angie’s List offers a consolidated platform, making it easier for homeowners to compare and evaluate various service providers in one place.
Overall, while there are alternative options available for finding service providers, Angie’s List offers a comprehensive and verified platform that can save homeowners time and effort in their search for reliable professionals.
Who Should Consider Angie’s List?
Angie’s List is a platform that offers homeowners a wide range of services and contractors to choose from. While it may not be suitable for everyone, there are specific groups of people who can benefit greatly from using Angie’s List.
Homeowners planning multiple projects
If you’re a homeowner who has several projects lined up, Angie’s List can be a valuable resource for finding reliable contractors. The platform provides a comprehensive list of professionals in various fields, allowing you to compare their services, prices, and customer reviews.
Whether you’re renovating your kitchen, remodeling your bathroom, or landscaping your backyard, Angie’s List can help you find the right professionals for the job.
Those who prioritize reviews above all else
For individuals who place a high value on customer reviews and experiences, Angie’s List is an excellent choice. The platform is known for its strict review verification process, ensuring that the reviews you read are genuine and trustworthy.
This can provide you with peace of mind when choosing a contractor, knowing that they have a positive track record with previous customers.
People looking for niche or unique services
Angie’s List also caters to individuals who are seeking niche or unique services. Whether you’re looking for an interior designer with a specific style, a contractor experienced in historic home restorations, or a landscape architect specializing in sustainable practices, Angie’s List can connect you with professionals who specialize in these specific areas.
Anyone new to an area
If you’ve recently moved to a new area and are unfamiliar with local contractors, Angie’s List can be a valuable resource. By utilizing the platform’s search filters and customer reviews, you can quickly find reputable contractors in your new neighborhood.
This can save you time and effort in researching and vetting contractors on your own.
Tips for Getting the Most from Angie’s List
Search thoroughly and compare top-rated companies
When using Angie’s List, it’s essential to take the time to search thoroughly for the services or companies you need. Don’t settle for the first option that appears. Instead, browse through the list of top-rated companies and compare their reviews, ratings, and prices.
This will give you a better idea of the quality of service you can expect and help you make an informed decision.
Read between the lines on reviews
While reading reviews on Angie’s List, it’s important to read between the lines. Sometimes, customers may have had a negative experience due to factors that are not relevant to the company’s overall performance. Look for patterns in the reviews and pay attention to the specific details mentioned.
This will help you separate genuine concerns from isolated incidents and make a more accurate judgment.
Check for special promotions
One of the benefits of using Angie’s List is the access to exclusive promotions and discounts. Many companies offer special deals to Angie’s List members, so make sure to check for any ongoing promotions before making a decision.
This can save you a significant amount of money and make your experience even more worthwhile.
Take advantage of guarantee programs
Another advantage of Angie’s List is the guarantee programs offered by some companies. These programs ensure that you are satisfied with the service provided or offer a refund or reimbursement. Before choosing a company, check if they have a guarantee program in place.
This will give you peace of mind knowing that if anything goes wrong, you have a safety net to fall back on.
Think about long-term membership
If you find yourself using Angie’s List frequently or plan to use it for an extended period, consider opting for a long-term membership. This can often save you money in the long run as you’ll have access to more features and benefits.
Additionally, long-term members often receive priority customer support, further enhancing their experience on the platform.
Remember, Angie’s List can be a valuable resource for finding trusted service providers, but it’s essential to use it effectively. By following these tips, you can maximize your experience on Angie’s List and ensure that you get the most out of your membership.
Angie’s List can provide helpful guidance during your search for reputable local professionals. For some homeowners planning to take on multiple projects or prioritizing reviews, the membership fees may be justified by access to its extensive database of crowd-sourced ratings.
However, free alternative sites like Yelp and HomeAdvisor also have large numbers of reviews that may meet your needs.
Consider your specific situation and needs when weighing the pros and cons. Angie’s List isn’t necessarily right for everyone, but can add value if you’ll use the membership extensively. Focus your search efforts on top-rated companies, read reviews critically, and take advantage of promotions to maximize the benefits.