Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

American renovators talk about a boycott of Angie's List

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Renovation contractors can find it much harder to close a sale once negative reviews of their work appear online. Angie's List, based in Indianapolis, has angered so many contractors that a boycott is now a possibility.

They’re mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore.

Well, some of them aren’t, anyway.

Angie’s List, the online contractor (and home services) review site based in Indianapolis, is now facing a significant backlash from contractors. The site, which advertises that “Companies can’t pay to be on Angie’s list,” therefore claming higher credibility, has nevertheless faced ongoing allegations that firms that pay money to Angie’s List (for advertising) get better treatment in reviews than firms that don’t. Angie’s List defends itself against these claims, but many contractors continue to be upset at the service.

Angie’s list charges subscribers to access reviews of local home services. It has almost 2.4-million paid subscriber consumers. Yet it also gets about 70 per cent of its revenues from paid-up advertisers.

Recently, Angie’s List, a publicly-traded company, posted a $33-million loss.

At least some contractors now smell an opportunity to do some serious damage to Angie’s List – to put it out of business.

In a story in Remodelling magazine south of the border, editor-in-chief Craig Webb asks his readers, should contractors boycott Angie’s List?

Webb quotes a letter from a reader: “Maybe you should remind readers that if we all just ignore Angie, she will go away. They can’t survive without our money. It might give the truth a better chance.”

In Canada, Angie’s List is not a major force. It’s Canadian portal on Google links its  “Ontario” customers to its site in Ontario, California. Canadian customers are asked for their ZIP codes.

But in the U.S., Angie’s list is one of the major contractor review sites in many markets.



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