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Old 07-13-2012, 09:00 AM   #1
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Angie's List "Big Deals"


Sometimes I really don't understand who would take them up... I mean to claim that this is worth $225 PER TOILET? I know there is cost associated with any professional visit between travel time, gas, insurance, opportunity costs for other work, etc... and I know it's esp. true on smaller jobs... but seriously?

...and then to suggest buying additional coupons for each toilet?? You're already THERE, at least give them a break on "additional toilets"!

My own interpretation of their "services" is in italics under each bullet--
(Some Local Plumbing Company), an ""A"" rated 3-time Super Service Award winning service provider on Angie's List, is offering a 5-point toilet tune-up for only $75 per toilet! (Some Local Plumbing Company) encourages homeowners to purchase as many coupons needed(sic) to properly maintain all the toilets in your home! This service is normally valued at $225, saving Angie's List members $150!

The 5-point toilet tune-up includes:
Inspecting and adjusting the fill valve
(Bend the rod on the floater, or possibly just look it if it's a flushmatic)

Cleaning the flush valve seat
(Wipe the rubber flap and the plastic ring it seats into with a paper towel)

Replacing the worn flapper
(A $3 part at Home Depot)

Adjusting the tank lever operation
(Tighten the chain leading from your handle, no more complex than what you'd do shortening the pull chain from a light or fan)

Inspecting the condition and functionality of the toilet emergency shut off valve and supply riser.
(We'll try the shut off, if it doesn't work, we'll want another $175 to replace that, oh and we may not do any of the above services because the water can't be shut off easily)

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Old 07-13-2012, 09:41 AM   #2
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Angie's List "Big Deals"


Plenty of people are stupid, other people know this and take advantage of it. But then some folks value paying someone else to do what they aren't willing to learn or do themselves. Whether it's worth $75/toilet is questionable, but $225? That's crazy.

But what do you want to bet you can't complain about this blatant rip-off on angie's list? After all, they took it as an advertised offering. Doesn't say much about their integrity. But from what I've seen elsewhere that's been a long-standing issue. Looks like more people understanding how to rip-off others, all under the guise of being a 'trusted source'.

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Old 07-13-2012, 09:56 AM   #3
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Angie's List "Big Deals"


You want to talk stupid. I got in the mail, along with anyone that has done business with a particular hvac/plumbing company in our town, a mailer statin that if you do not sign up with their protection plan, it can cost you thousands of dollars, if you have a water main issue, from the utility tap to your home.

How many sign up for that scam, and never in the 5 yrs, or even longer that they live in the home, is there ever a leak in the incoming line? mine was probably done over thirty years ago, and still no leak.

Majority of problems, usually happen at the tap side, due to mobent of the ground.
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Old 07-13-2012, 03:15 PM   #4
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Angie's List "Big Deals"


Fear based marketing is strong..... probably because it works with a lot of people.

Cars are sold as "When you crash this thing it'll keep you safe"

Coupons like this are sold as "when your sh#! breaks - we'll pay for it".
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:57 PM   #5
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Angie's List "Big Deals"


Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
Plenty of people are stupid, other people know this and take advantage of it. But then some folks value paying someone else to do what they aren't willing to learn or do themselves. Whether it's worth $75/toilet is questionable, but $225? That's crazy.

But what do you want to bet you can't complain about this blatant rip-off on angie's list? After all, they took it as an advertised offering. Doesn't say much about their integrity. But from what I've seen elsewhere that's been a long-standing issue. Looks like more people understanding how to rip-off others, all under the guise of being a 'trusted source'.


that's it in a nutshell
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Old 07-13-2012, 06:31 PM   #6
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Angie's List "Big Deals"


Ha, wow that's crazy
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Old 07-13-2012, 06:58 PM   #7
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Angie's List "Big Deals"


Angie's list is a joke.
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:13 PM   #8
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Angie's List "Big Deals"


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Originally Posted by rusty baker View Post
Angie's list is a joke.
correct, I kept getting emails from Angie's list offering a one time deal for membership. kept ignoring them .. the one time deal kept getting cheaper and cheaper.

why would I pay money for what are essentially paid adverts?
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:10 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by rusty baker View Post
Angie's list is a joke.
I think it does have some value, just not what they promise. They promise to be like a Consumer Reports (which isn't even what it used to be) for contractors.

Reality is that for every 1 good contractor on the list, there are at least a dozen or more other good contractors not on the list at all.

So I use it sort of like a yellow pages and 2nd hand recommendation through a work colleague (..."My neighbor used a guy"... sort of stuff).

The biggest problem I have personally is that I have no desire to write a negative review of someone because these are people who know the job and know where I live. So why would I start writing up my horror story which will cost this person jobs with people who do trust Angie's List? It's simply not anonymous enough--if you just rate them, then bad ratings are largely ignored or rejected without back story, but it's not possible to give back story in most cases without either lying or giving away who you are.

That said, there are plenty of glowing good reviews on there too. I think those are probably true enough, I doubt that the contractor is paying them to say nice things, I think the people are genuinely happy with the contractor. The trouble with that of course is that when you have 1-2 super-star-A+ companies in a given category of a dozen or so companies, that means that they are getting all the calls, which means they are booked and expensive.

That is what happened with my deck construction, the top guys were all booked out at least 6 weeks to start and they all had very high estimates that didn't even include all I was asking for. I ultimately ended up going with a local guy who had a binder with pictures of his previous work, it all looked good to me, he had good ideas, and his price was right. I did have the hand-hold the guy through the contract, and his construction had a few sloppy points, or areas where he didn't follow the town's code completely, but they still passed it, and it's certainly solid, so I'm happy enough. But that just puts me into the position of not wanting to write a good or bad review for him on angie's list, so he will stay in obscurity.

BUT... the "Big Deals" are quite often a joke. I've seen Big Deals for building a deck--really how can you possibly fit that into a standard price?? Another for a roof--again, that job ought to be priced on size, height, configuration, etc... to price it at a fixed price means that you are just going to tell the people who would have paid more anyway that their job doesn't fit into the coupon, so it will cost extra... and those who would have paid less??? Well, they bought "the deal" so it's their issue. I did burn myself on a "Big Deal" once, they were offering Chimney Cleaning for $75, that is inexpensive in this area as it normally is $125-150. They guy showed up, told me my chimney liner was too damaged to clean, and suggested I needed a SS liner installed, he would take the amount I paid him off the job... so in effect my $75 turned into the fee for an estimate. Meanwhile I called in 3 other local contractors who were happy to give me free estimates. Ultimately I went with the one where the person answering the phone actually knew about chimney's, instead of just being a replacement for an answering machine.
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:54 AM   #10
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Angie's List "Big Deals"


Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbler View Post
I think it does have some value, just not what they promise. They promise to be like a Consumer Reports (which isn't even what it used to be) for contractors.

Reality is that for every 1 good contractor on the list, there are at least a dozen or more other good contractors not on the list at all.

So I use it sort of like a yellow pages and 2nd hand recommendation through a work colleague (..."My neighbor used a guy"... sort of stuff).

The biggest problem I have personally is that I have no desire to write a negative review of someone because these are people who know the job and know where I live. So why would I start writing up my horror story which will cost this person jobs with people who do trust Angie's List? It's simply not anonymous enough--if you just rate them, then bad ratings are largely ignored or rejected without back story, but it's not possible to give back story in most cases without either lying or giving away who you are.

That said, there are plenty of glowing good reviews on there too. I think those are probably true enough, I doubt that the contractor is paying them to say nice things, I think the people are genuinely happy with the contractor. The trouble with that of course is that when you have 1-2 super-star-A+ companies in a given category of a dozen or so companies, that means that they are getting all the calls, which means they are booked and expensive.

That is what happened with my deck construction, the top guys were all booked out at least 6 weeks to start and they all had very high estimates that didn't even include all I was asking for. I ultimately ended up going with a local guy who had a binder with pictures of his previous work, it all looked good to me, he had good ideas, and his price was right. I did have the hand-hold the guy through the contract, and his construction had a few sloppy points, or areas where he didn't follow the town's code completely, but they still passed it, and it's certainly solid, so I'm happy enough. But that just puts me into the position of not wanting to write a good or bad review for him on angie's list, so he will stay in obscurity.

BUT... the "Big Deals" are quite often a joke. I've seen Big Deals for building a deck--really how can you possibly fit that into a standard price?? Another for a roof--again, that job ought to be priced on size, height, configuration, etc... to price it at a fixed price means that you are just going to tell the people who would have paid more anyway that their job doesn't fit into the coupon, so it will cost extra... and those who would have paid less??? Well, they bought "the deal" so it's their issue. I did burn myself on a "Big Deal" once, they were offering Chimney Cleaning for $75, that is inexpensive in this area as it normally is $125-150. They guy showed up, told me my chimney liner was too damaged to clean, and suggested I needed a SS liner installed, he would take the amount I paid him off the job... so in effect my $75 turned into the fee for an estimate. Meanwhile I called in 3 other local contractors who were happy to give me free estimates. Ultimately I went with the one where the person answering the phone actually knew about chimney's, instead of just being a replacement for an answering machine.
so you say it has value, yet you got burned. I say even if a product has value, if the risk of getting burned is good, there is zero value. plenty of other ways to get service than relying on a "for profit" web site.
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:01 PM   #11
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so you say it has value, yet you got burned. I say even if a product has value, if the risk of getting burned is good, there is zero value. plenty of other ways to get service than relying on a "for profit" web site.
I'm too long winded, my point might be lost--

Angie's List has value, it's a managed collection of contractor reviews, it's worth the ~$40/yr if you end up using a contractor every once in a while, which I do.

"Big Deal's", in my experience, are either rip off's or fairly priced--so I don't see value there vs. just calling the contractors for a regular estimate and work.
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:59 AM   #12
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Maybe it's a regional thing, but I've had nothing but success finding contractors on angie's list. We've had to find a lot of contractors in the past few years (for a theatre & our house), so it has been worth it for us. I did more background checks than just taking their word for it though. In my most recent case, it was a retaining wall, I also checked BBB, and went to look at prior retaining walls built by this contractor prior to hiring.

After finding none of my "usual" contractors interested in doing my projects (retaining wall/garage footings), AL pointed me in the right direction and I found the perfect contractor, and at a reasonable price. Maybe I just got lucky.

Before that, I had a few "big ad" type retaining wall guys, not from AL, come out for an estimate, sound really interested, and I never heard from them again, and they didn't return my calls. The AL contractor I found was a smaller operation and they did a great job just like his AL reviews stated he would. In fact, I originally had hired him just for the retaining wall, and he mentioned he did concrete work, so I showed him my garage and hired him to add footings to it. I did get lucky, as I hadn't had anyone interested in that job until then. His crew did a fantastic job, and I left a glowing review on AL.

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