You are exactly right! AL offers people free $5 Starbucks cards & such for a review. Wonder how many people give fake reviews just for a freebie card?
Last year it was $25
$25 gift card for qualifying Health Reports in June!
Published 06/16/2012 07:47 AM | Updated 06/20/2012 04:33 PM
Angie's List is looking to really grow our Health List - and we need your help! Submit three qualifying reports on medical professionals during the month of June and receive a $25 gift card from a choice of 60 retailers like CVS, Home Depot, Starbucks, Williams Sonoma, Amazon.com, Athleta.com, and Best Buy.
For a complete list of qualifying categories and some 'fine print', click here.
Once you have submitted three qualifying reports, within 10 days you will receive a redemption code by email with a link to our partner NGC's redemption website. Select your reward, and your $25 gift e-code to the retailer of your choice will be sent to you via email. The $25 gift code must be redeemed through the retailer's website. Also, be sure to check your spam folder to see that your email hasn't been caught by spam filters.
If it's been more than 10 days, please contact us directly for assistance.
To start submitting feedback, members can sign in and then select the Write a Review tab at the top of the homepage
EX1: The Skylight: A: You aren't evaluating the work at the time it's done. You are evaluating after the problem exists (when it starts raining.) Have you given any referrals up to this point? What if the skylight is installed, you give 5 referrals, and then it rains and leaks in your house. How happy will you friends be with your referral? How accurately did you judge the initial job?
How does one go about evaluating a skylight BEFORE the rain? I have never been on my roof and have no plans to go. Either it is in there or it isn't. What else really is there to judge? Any 10 year old can go on a roof and cut a hole and place a skylight in. Any *friend* that would give a referral prior to the rain probably isn't a friend..
EX2: A paint job. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One person may like a paint job done by a painter and refer said painter. However just because person A likes the job does not mean that person B is guaranteed to like it or find it acceptable. Person B may have a higher competency (in regards to painting) level than person A and have higher expectations. Obviously if someone hires a painter to paint 4 sides and only 3 sides get done it does not require a level of expertise to understand that it is not done properly. I'm not disputing that. I dispute the competency of people making referrals in a job they do not have expertise in. [COLOR="Red"]So if a person wants a dark colored wall replaced with a lighter color and they see STREAKS, they aren't allowed, by your logic, to comment that this is NOT what they paid for or what a normal person would agree to? Just because I am not sure if they should use a primer or KILZ or whathave you doesn't mean I can't understand that this is not done correctly or that any reasonable person would not be pleased with this or with the paint splattering on the adjoining walls or whatever- YES of course *SOMEONE* might be pleased but I am not sure how a "higher level of competency" would change what is being viewed. What else are we to ultimately judge a painter by other than the results/COLOR]
It goes with out saying that people have eyes and can see problems.
Yes I could go on but it could fall on deaf ears or blind eyes and ultimately if you want to get referral for a doctor based on testimony from your mechanic then you are more than welcome to.
Well, hell isn't that the case with ANYTHING and anybody?
A doctor that 'cured' cancer in one patient has ultimately buried a few guys too!
OF course many of these things are subjective and that too goes without saying, but to say that just because a person doesn't have expertise in a certain thing precludes them from making a proper evaluation is silly....
How arrogant of you to think that someone's personal opinion of their interaction with a person of interest has no value because this person doesn't have the same level of formal training.............
If my mechanic just happened to have a condition with his knee that a certain doctor fixed, I would have no issues listening to his opinion on said doctor. I would go even further to say that HIS opinion would be *almost* as valuable to me as the *unbiased* opinion of his buddy down the hall. Have you ever heard of one doctor speaking against another (unless he is under oath in a malpractice case?)
Ditto for attorneys.
BUT more importantly then the sematics game that the two of us are playing, you have highlighted yet another flaw on Angie's list or any other like site....it is only as good as its reviewers and since we have NO idea who they are or what their motivations might be, Angie's list is no better than any other site and might be worse, because many people falsely believe that ALL OF THEM ARE REAL because of Angie's tag line that no business can pay to be on it and that is blantantly false.
Last edited by spending2much; 04-13-2013 at 05:40 PM..
100% correct. There is a horrible, horrible Italian place in Old Town Scottsdale that has very bad sanitary practices and sometimes that shows up in the food. Its near work so we've given it a few stomach turning tries...they are a heavy yelp advertiser, so they have an almost perfect score. Any of our reviews are "flagged as spam."
I suppose some usefulness can be obtained from using this site but there is also a lot of shady crap going on. Your subscription is automatically renewed yearly with no email/text/phone call warning. When you are automatically renewed, you are renewed at whatever price they determine. You will not no ahead of time the renewal cost.
In my experience, even if you use PayPal, which is supposed to only transfer funds with your permission, the subscription will automatically renew with paypal with no action on your part.
Last but not least, only the businesses that pay top dollar get to appear at the top of the list in their searches
I have only heard positive reviews of Angie's List and since the business can NOT skew the reviews on the site, it is true feedback from actual customers. Much better than randomly picking someone from the yellow pages (online version, of course--who uses the books) or an ad in the paper, Craigslist, etc.
That's what I thought before I became a member last year. Called someone based on the list, he didn't show up 2 times after making an appointment, then sent someone else the third time, who did a mediocre job and charged a lot of money.
I put in a review stating EXACTLY what happened, not my opinion, just what happened. I actually got threatening calls from owner of the business. I said OK, I will change it somewhat. I was too busy for 3 days to get to it. During that time, I go several calls from Angie's at awkward times, couple of times they left a message saying the owner of business had complained to them saying the review was not truthful. I thought darned be the list and darned be my review, I will delete my post. Got neighbors' recommendations for the job next time, and was so happy with him, made him the regular help.
Same thing for pool help and lawn help and others. Sorry Angie, never again. $8 is much too much for a less than reliable service (except if you are in a new area, have no neighbors/ friends in the area, and have absolutely no idea what to do).
I hired a contractor who is on Angie's List. He did a great job removing trees. He offered no written contract but when I asked, he assured me that he was licensed, bonded and insured in my state. I called to check up on this and discovered that he is not licensed, bonded, or insured in my state. If he or one of his crew had an accident, I am liable and can be sued. I studied too many law cases where homeowners were sued by people who they hired to do work (and even real estate agents from agencies other than the listing one). It's not in your best interest to use businesses who have not complied with state requirements designed to protect both parties.
This is a big deal, and something many people don't think about. If you hire anyone to do anything for you, and that includes "hey buddy, can I give you $20 to help me haul this couch in the house", and they say they got hurt doing it, you might get a letter from an ambulance chaser demanding ~$15,000 to avoid a lawsuit. It'll cost you that much to put on a defense in court, and you may have to pay the $15k anyhow, so most people just pay. If the guy legitimately hurts himself and can't work, I hope you opted for the higher liability limits on your home insurance policy, or you have a renters policy with a good 300-500k liability limit. You'll need it.
How about the other trades? Can you tell that there will be a problem or just if the problem never got remedied? The fact that you can notice a problem that exists only proves that you acknowledge a problem; it's not evidence of your ability to fix it or evaluate the work done.
Funny story, as I mentioned earlier in the thread my BIL owns a construction company and there are several contractors in the family, plus I've done 3 whole home remodels on my own properties in the last ~12 years. Many of the contractors were friends of the family and have good reps and do good work. But I know most of the ins and outs and they hardly ever did any job without an oops or something that wasn't done quite right. I call them on it (usually with a little "Is that how Mike Holmes would do it?") and they fix it.
The one time I hired someone outside the family was to redo my heating and air conditioning. Major firm, great reviews on yelp and angies list (my neighbor has a sub) and AAA+ BBB rating.
In short, the way they hooked the furnace up would have killed my family within a few days. They had the burner vent pipe go over the stack in the ceiling instead of inside, because they were too lazy to go get the right size pipe and tried to get away with what was on the truck. The air cleaner was connected incorrectly so it was always on, even when the furnace fan wasn't running so it'd waste electricity and build up ozone, which would have made my asthmatic ex wife sick and we'd have been wondering why. The gas line leaked. They also said they sealed my duct work, but just went into the crawl spaces and sat around, because when I checked them they hadn't done anything at all. I made up a list of over 2 pages of bullet points that all involved improper installation and major safety and health issues. They fixed it, but it was like pulling teeth.
So yep, unless you're an expert or have one available to check someones work, even the well skilled, well reviewed, well regarded contractors are going to give you some sloppy and not very good work, and you won't know it on your way to write a glowing review. Unless water is gushing out of something or you smell something funny, it might be years before the average person finds out that they got a bad job done on them.
Peer reviews should be better, but there's a little too much bad blood and good old boy networks for those to work. Showing one contractors work to others online is similarly fraught with peril. I've found the feedback from that to be pretty useless. Its about the same as asking a bunch of doctors if yours is screwing up. You'll get 20 opinions from 20 people, and they'll be about as useful as slickdeals comments.
If you are hiring someone to do the job then more than likely you can not do the job. If you can not do the job how great of an ability do you have to critique the work done? A referral is nothing more than an evaluation of your social interaction with the referred.
So if a restaurant steak tastes like crap, you're not a cook, so you shouldn't complain?
Its homeadvisor.com now, and I respectfully disagree. I don't think I can think of a single contracting entity that has more customer AND contractor complaints about it. Its a clearinghouse where poorly qualified people with no don't or can't pay can try to buy services from contractors with lousy businesses.
Plus they're morons for changing their domain name. That name change/rebranding stuff doesn't work online. SEO is a little too important and a little too time consuming to throw it out the window. Its a 1980's tactic, and it doesn't work in the 21st century.
Yelp? While it's helpful I trust Google reviews a little more. In both cases anyone can leave the review but after looking at reviews for while you can usually weed out the fake ones and understand which ones are unfounded (I stay at a lot of Super 8's and some people post reviews like they should be Marriotts).
I left a review for a tinting company on Google as I thought they scratch the roof of my car. I mentioned it was probably an isolated occurrence and mentioned that, other then that, they did a good job. The review was listed under my user name as shown here. A couple of days later the owner called me and left a message to see if I left the review and asked to discuss the situation. He was pleasant, did not think they scratched the vehicle and asked if I'd come back so they could take a look at it. Not worth my time as I'm sure they would only have talked to me about it. But I did offer to include the info that he went out of his way to find me and offered to discuss the situation. Smart owner... reading online reviews. They are _powerful_! They can make a break a business.
Just thought I'd post a contrarian viewpoint. Well, first I'll start out agreeing with most of you. The idea of paying for a service like this when there are free alternatives like the reviews from Google Maps and Yelp, seems ridiculous and even somewhat offensive, but hey, if someone wants to start up a service like this and charge for it, that's their prerogative. The market will sort it out by them going out of business, right?
But here's the thing...I need some work done and never seem to have friends who have similar work done and can recommend anyone, or if they've had someone do something they end up being more expensive than I think they should be or their experience with the person was negative. Right now we need our front porch redone and we need to paint our house, but it requires some replacement of some rotted wood and sections where a woodpecker has wreaked havoc. So I go to Google Maps, Yelp, and Kudzu (which I had never really heard of) and I get: Nothing. OK, maybe I find one or two businesses that have one or two reviews, and they're usually way too short. That's not enough to go off of. Another frustrating thing is that very few of the local painters and carpenters have websites. Seems crazy to me, but it is what it is. So I can't see samples of their work online.
And as much as I may dislike the idea of paying for a service like Angie's List, we used it in the past (when we lived for a while in PA) and ended up scoring with an excellent painter there. So today I reluctantly renewed our old membership and I can tell you already that there are a lot more reviews (and detailed ones) for painters and carpenters in my area. So, at least for me, it looks like it may be a worthwhile service.
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