Home CFA Angie’s List: An Evaluation of Its Usefulness for Consumers

Angie’s List: An Evaluation of Its Usefulness for Consumers

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Can you rely on internet rating services like Angie’s List to get the best info on local vendors and contractors?

A national consumer group, the Consumer Federation of America, has some major concerns you need to know.

From the CFA:

  • Angie’s List is subject to conflicts of interest because it is supported almost entirely by payments from the businesses it evaluates. · A large majority of businesses rated on Angie’s List are given the same “A” rating, making it difficult for consumers actually to identify the best businesses.
  • A number of businesses with fewer than five consumer reviews, some with only one review, receive an “A” grade. 
  • There is circumstantial evidence that some businesses have engineered the submission of fake reviews.
  • Angie’s List does not provide reliable information, based on actual price shopping, about which businesses charge the lowest prices. 
  • Businesses that advertise on Angie’s List have advantages over non-advertisers in listing placements, characterization, and ability to have negative reviews deleted. 
  • Only those businesses that pay to advertise on Angie’s list are recommended as “top-rated pros.”
  • Advertisers are always listed first on those pages listing all businesses providing a specific type of service.
  • Advertisers are given information about consumer users in order to market directly to these consumers, and some of these businesses do so immediately through phone calls and/or emails.
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Al Sunshine is a South Florida-based Broadcast and Digital Journalist whose career has spanned more than 40 years at the local and national levels. His award-winning investigations have triggered more than a dozen state and local consumer protection laws and his work’s been cited in Congressional Testimony before the U-S House of Representatives. He is best known for his “Shame On You” features for CBS Miami which sought to expose businesses, agencies and individuals defrauding or deceiving consumers, as well as endangering the safety and welfare of the general public. In 2013 Al retired from CBS Miami to set up his own Digital News Business, “Sunshine News, LLC” and Al continues to blog for the Radio, Television, Digital News Association, sponsors of the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Awards”. An avid environmentalist, Al is one of the founding members of the “Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition”. The Florida Non-Profit is fighting to save and restore the last 2% of Pine Rocklands found only in South Florida and nowhere else in the continental United States. Al was recently elected its President.