Angie’s List, is it a ‘Genuine’ Review site or Simply a Self-Serving Club Membership?
Is Angie’s List representative of a site that actually reviews business? Can consumers rely on the information to make a qualified decision?
There is some question as to the nature of a review. For example, in the category of handyman. Who decides the validity of the information? Let’s begin with a tale of a top notch handyman home remodeler, we will call him Harry the home handyman. Harry is well known in the community and respected in the industry. His customers enjoyed his company and his work was the best. His business was so good he didn’t need to advertise. But, as things go business slowed and his wife suggested Angie’s list, which he did join.
It was a matter of a month or so before he received a call and went out to perform the work. As usual Harry did a superb job, or so he thought right up until the time he read the review on Angie’s List. Turns out he received a bad review from this particular customer. He was puzzled and called the customer. Turns out the customer was a big shot Republican and Harry was an Obama democrat, and unfortunately in his conversations with this customer he was a bit too critical of the conservative agenda and Republicans in general. Not that Harry knew the position of the customer, he just let Harry blab away and stick his foot in his mouth.
In the first place Harry the handyman made the mistake of talking politics with a customer. Yet, his views were such that the customer decided to punish Harry with a bad review of the work performed and gave him a poor review on Angie’s List. When Harry contacted someone at Angie’s List to protest he was out of luck. They will not remove the poor review nor make any effort to moderate the disputed information.
The story of Harry the handyman is not an actual example but it certainly can happen anytime. The point is there are many reasons for a disgruntled customer to give an unfair and poor review. Besides politics it can be due to religion, racism, a friendship gone bad, a romantic involvement with a customer that soured and probably chief among them the customer cannot or simply refuses to pay-as simple as that. If a customer refuses to pay the easiest thing to do is criticize the workmanship. Some people are mean-spirited people who receive some pathetic joy of slamming others. Rush Limbaugh does it all the time. It’s just that in a site like Angie’s that purports to be a review site the question remains as to what t kind of ‘fairness’ is brought to the table? Is there an opportunity for the handyman (or any business) to have unfair, biased derogatory information removed?
A google search of reviews of Angie’s List brought up some scathing reviews by apparent actual users of the site. The information is out there and it is up to you to decide if it is factual, or invented. According to knaddison Angie’s List Sucks.