Tue 19 Jul, 2005 06:54 pm
Have you heard about Angie's List?
They've been advertising heavily in my area for the last week or so looking for subscribers.
Their tag line is "Never get bad service again" (or something like that).
It is kind of a craiglist but for business referrals.
I checked their site out and despite being a bit cumbersome to navigate I thought it was an interesting idea. I also am a bit curious as to why they are advertsising for subscribers (those ads have to be expensive) since they don't accept any advertising on the site. It's kind of a "Consumers Report" kind of deal.
Have you seen it? Have you used it? What do you think?
I created an account and used it a year or so ago but the number of places listed on there was pretty thin at the time so it didn't do much for me.
That's kind of what I found too fishin'.
They did have a little message that they were new to our area and therefore didn't have a lot of information about business'.
I did look up a few places I know and found that the recommendations were similar to my experience.
Did you find them from an ad?
The newpaper ads (I know what those things cost) seem a bit suspicious to me
I think I was sent a link to their site by a friend who had gotten it from another friend. It sort of just got passed around by word of mouth.
At the time there were only 5 or 6 reviews in total for any businesses in the greater Boston area.
It seems to me that they only advertise when they have a push on in one area to try and get people to get on there and create entries.
I got the feeling that the intent was to create a site that rates an overall business the same way epinions.com does with individual products.
It really is a pretty good intent - you can spend a lot of time asking around and most people refer friends or family.
I really just don't quite know what to make of it.
Did you end up using someone you found on the site?
At the time there were only a handful of busniesses listed and I never used any of them that I know of. I haven't been back on ther ein over a year so I'm not sure how much is actually listed for my area now. I'll have to go look-see..
The only thing that I've been able to determine is that my veteranarian has a very good rating.
Since his is the universe's most expensive clinic that kind of makes sense.
You pay a little more but it's darn well worth it.
There are a ton of these around, it's the new big thing. I've been making money by writing reviews for three separate ones who are all in their start-up/ promotional phase. (And because of the money making and promotional parts I'm a bit chary of mentioning which ones -- one of 'em is Abuzz co-founder Andy Sack's new project, tho, and rather Abuzzish at that.)
I had no idea soz!
Without naming names - do you mystery shop or what to come up with the reviews?
Or do you just write about the places you go to usually?
Do they suggest places to you?
Using paid reviewers seems a bit odd.....
Now I'm really wondering how to take this site (not to suggest this is one that you are writing for).
Places I go to usually.
I'm honest, if a bit hyperbolic since I'm usually writing quickly. (The pay is negligible.) I usually choose to review places I genuinely like since that's easier to write about.
I don't think there's anything nefarious about it, I think they're trying to avoid exactly the empty larder thing that you and fishin' mention re: angieslist. They are all having temporary promotions to get a ton of members and a ton of reviews quickly. You get extra money (or in some cases, in order to get money at all) if you invite a certain amount of people. And for one promotion, if those people then write a certain number of reviews, you get more $$. Etc.
All of the promotions are time limited; two weeks to a month. That is, all of this activity must be concluded within the time frame, they pay you, and that's that. (You can't keep getting money after that.) Then they hope/ trust that you continue to review things once the promotional period has passed, just because you're familiar with the site, already have an account, etc.
Anyway, I think the promotions are meant to goose things into gear, but I think the resulting reviews are as trustworthy as anything else.
Oh and I'm not writing for angieslist.
One other important point, at least one of 'em is in beta. As in, they're getting a critical mass of reviews, THEN they start advertising et al.
Oh and they don't suggest places.
It's usually something like "write 40 reviews of businesses you know and get _____."
Angie's List Fails Members and Companies
Angie's List advertises that the members rates the companies and promotes those companies with good ratings. This is a scam. A representative of our company went to do a home improvement estimate for one of Angie's List members. The lady was having a bad day and was not in a good mood. She came to the door and was very rude because he was 5 minutes late. She said she would not be using our company.
She gave our company an "F" rating. We contacted Angie's List and said we never gave them an estimate nor did any work for them. How could they rate us an "F"? They said the members are allowed to say what ever they wanted to about the companies and the companies could post a response beside theirs. This is not fair because she rated us an "F" and the only way we can bring up our score is get Angie's List more members and have them rate us. The Angie's List representative said they would give us $25 for each signup. This is a disservice to their members, because the members depend on good advise, not bad advise from a disturbed person. That is a scam to get companies to work for Angie's List in order for them to get more members.
Hi gatorman and welcome to A2K.
That's a bad deal. How in the world are you supposed to get more Angie's list members to use your service if you got an "F" rating from someone.
I'm a business person and I know about those "bad day" people. I suppose I'd better watch my back!
Or start asking all of the good day people to write a nice review!
What I don't get though - there is no subscription fee and they don't accept advertising so where is the benefit of having a lot of members or paying people to sign people up?
They work on subscription fees. They charge $4.95 a month dues and have over 186,000 members. That's a lot of cash. They don't accept advertising. They don't need to. They have the business people pay them $50.00 a year for their eagle eye which lets the businesses know when a report is published. Then if you have a low rating you get more members (they pay them $25) to join the list and give you a good rating to build your rating up. In other words, the businesses sell to keep their rating up. If you want to do busines with these members, you get on board. It's a scam. The Better Business Bureau fair and does not post until they get both sides views. We have 14 Gold Star Awards from them and an (F) on Angies List.
Ohhh. I see. Hmmmm. Interesting. Weird.
I signed up right after they advertised here just to see what it was all about. They didn't charge me anything and I didn't see anything about any kind of subscription fee.