Angie's List HVAC Reviews is the only site dedicated to protecting consumers against cowboy builders and handymen. It has been verified by BPA Worldwide to ensure everyone who joins gets the most reliable information available.
Founded by Angie Hicks in1995 with 1,000 members it is a word-of-mouth network helping more than one million members find the best contractor in their area. Reviews are submitted in more than 500 service and health categories including
- Medical Specialists
Genuine reviews are sent in by verified members who sign up to Angie's List and anonymous reviews are not accepted. Members give honest opinions about who to engage and who to avoid and they are rated accordingly. Non members can send in a review but these are shown separately and not rated.
Companies do not pay a fee to appear on Angie's List and they are encouraged to respond to any reviews sent in about them.
Consumers pay a Membership Fee to join Angie's List and there is the opportunity to pay monthly or annually. Members can cancel their membership at any time.
Once signed up Members get
- Access to great local reviews on Angie's List.com
- Live support through their local Call Center
- A copy of the award-winning Angie's List Magazine
- Access to their Complaint Resolution Team
- Discounts from highly-rated service companies.
Businesses are only rated on the list when a member submits a report and only companies and professionals that average an A or B rating are allowed to advertise in the form of a discount to members. If their business rating falls below B that offer is revoked.
Negative reports are only removed if
- They discover the report was fraudulently posted
- The member who posted it chooses to remove it
- The report was successfully resolved through Angie's Complain Resolution Center
Spam, sales pitches and irrelevent comments are deleted so the site is 100% reliable.
Angie's List stands out and is better than the free review sites on the Internet for the following reasons:
- There are no anonymous reviews
- The Certified Data Collection Process prevents companies and providers from reporting on themselves and their competitors.
- Angie's Complaints Resolution Team will intercede of a home repair pr health experience goes wrong.
- Companies and providers respond to reports so consumers get the whole story.
The other two companies mentioned may be working for the same result but are completely different. Better Business Bureau is a professional organisation that ranks the companies accoring to their standards and you do not get a clear picture from the grass roots - the customers who engaged the contractors in the first place.
Handy American lists the Contractors in their Directory but it is the Contractors who are allowed to bid for the job and the consumer has to choose from the best quote.
Better Business Bureau is an ethical marketplace where buyers and sellers can trust each other. Their mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust and they achieve this by
- Creating a community of trustworthy businesses
- Setting standards for marketplace trust
- Encouraging and supporting best practices
- Celebrating marketplace role models
- Denouncing substandard market place behaviour
BBB believes in integrity including respect, ethics, intent and performance so they check out a business's track record of delivering results in accordance with their set standards.
Companies know that to get a BBB Accreditation is an honor and not every company is eligible. Businesses who meet their high standards are invited to join the Better Business Bureau and they do not compare businesses against each other, they evaluate each business on their own merits.
Although BBB does not have legal and policing powers they provide information to the public about marketplace frauds through alerts on scams and they work closely with local state and federal law enforcement agencies providing them with valuable information on potential frauds.
Unlike Angie's List the reviews of the companies are not supplied by consumers but by the Board at the Better Business Bureau who rate them if they meet their high standards.
They do welcome input from consumers especially if they have been defrauded by a company or have uncovered a scam.
Handy American is a site which helps consumers connect with top-rated contractors. They can save time and money by letting local contractors conpete for their business.
This a free service for consumers and on this site they can connect with
- General contractors
- Plumbers and electricians
- Roofing contractors
- Handymen and more
Homeowners have access to Handy American's extensive article directory database with a wide range of unique DIY project articles. This allows them to gain helpful advice on selecting the right contractor including interviewing, screening, resolving disputes, payment schedules and other handy tips.
They then lodge their project online and emails are sent to professional contractor members in their area allowing them to bid for the work.
Contractors who join Handy American as members are provided with a high-profile platform to promote their skills on the site which is visible 24 hours a day, 7-days a week.
They are sent prompt email notification of new project postings in their locality and area of expertise and they have the opportunity to connect directly with project owners and bid against other service providers for the job. This ensures householders will receive the best possible quote and avoid fraudulant contractors.
The difference to Angie's List is this site is not based on consumer reviews. Although people are encouraged to write in if a contractor has done very good or very bad work most jobs are selected through Handy American's catalogue of contractors.
There are two types of Membership for businesses and contractors, Free and Premium (Fee Paying). Premium Contractor Members receive unlimited job leads with unrestricted bidding on projects of interest and Priority Listing in the Contractor Delivery.
Free Members just get a Company Listing in the Directory but many free members do get work from Handy American.
Angie's List Bundle (Full List + Health and Wellness)
- Monthly - $5.20
- 1 Year - $46.40
- 2 Years - $73.60
- 3 Years - $104.00
- 4 Years - $128
Angies List for Home, lawn car and pets OR
Health and Wellness,physicians, dentists, hospitals
- Monthly - $3.25
- 1 Year - $29.00
- 2 Years $46.00
- 3 years - $65.00
- 4 years - $80.00
There is a $5 joining fee for those taking out monthly subscriptions in all categories.
The above prices are for the San Francisco area, subscriptions may vary according to area.
Better Business Bureau
The funding of BBB comes from businesses and BBB negotiates with them separately. There is no charge to consumers or anyone clicking on to their website to glean information about a company.
- 1 month $29.95
- 3 months $79.95
- 6 months $129.95
- 12 months $199.95
Contractors that service only rural small town areas may be eligible for membership discounts and they should contact Handy American for further information.
Feedback on Angie's List
Angie's List is a membership site that allows consumers to rate or read unbiased reviews of local businesses such as plumbers, dentists, electricians, physicians, home contractors and more. They share their experiences and information with fellow consumers. It was founded in 1995 in Columbus, Ohio and now provides detailed information on businesses across the USA.
Joiining Angie's List is a simple process, you can either do it through their website or call toll-free on 866 945 2889. We recently called just to make sure there is relevant data for the Metropolitan area. Although Angie's List does offer a 110% consumer satisfaction guarantee we feel it is easier just to call and make sure so no refunds are even necessary.
When we made a test call to the Call Center we were pleasantly surprised at the professionalism and straight-forward answers we received from the person we spoke to. No hard selling here, we asked if there was consumer information on orthodontists in our hometown and got the answer back.
Is Angie's List worth the monthly membership fee? We believe so especially if you are planning to spend a lot of money on remodelling, home repairs or a medical procedure. It is like using consumer reports before you make a purchase but instead of reading reviews on the best Plasma screen TVs or personal computers you are reading reviews of local businesses in your area.
If you have ever been ripped off by a local business you will know this is a great investmen t. If you have not been ripped off Angie's List will help you stay that way. Internet Reviews.
Recently I was asked what I thought of Angie's List, I was told it was a pretty neat list that has good ratings of local retailers. The idea is that you are looking for advice on a company to hire for a service (eg car repair) so you check Angie's List and see the advice and ideas of other users who have used the site.
It's basically like the Better Business Bureau, City Search or one of thousands of other local directories. Many of these directories are broken, biased reviews, paid inclusion, incomplete information etc. This is where Angie's List claims to be different. They use "Only" consumer-generated content and require a "small fee" to keep the reviews unbiased.
Let's say that I am a consumer, if Angie's List charges me $5 a month I have to get a lot of value out of the list for it to be worth the membership fee. They have millions of customers so apparently it is compelling to come followers.
Let's say I am a business owner though. If I can create a fake email account and use my home address or my neighbour's address so that Angie's List does not know who I am then $5 a month is a pittance for being able to enter a review of my own business.
So their whole "we charge a small fee to keep the reviews honest" just doesn't work but it sure does help them bring in revenue without worrying about advertising.
Here is the worst part, after your Company gets added they contact you and say something like "your company has been added and reviewed, if you'd like to have an enhanced listing you can pay us for that."
So the whole "We are acting in our members' interests" is a load of rubbish" They have one interest in mind, their own. Greggles.