Pros and cons of Angie’s List

Angie’s List has been around for a while. Those who know and use it swear by its utility while others struggle to find a use for the site with the introduction of simpler, public-er and ‘free’ sites of the same variety, such as Yelp. Should you make use of the List and how reliant on it should you be? Here’s an overview of the good and bad sides.

What Angie’s List has going for it

Back in the day, Angie’s List was like the be-all-end-all of review sites: if you weren’t using it, you probably weren’t reading a lot of reliable customer reviews. Over time, though, enough similar services popped up to make quite a few people consider the List obsolete.

Perhaps the biggest thing Angie’s List still has going for it – and what makes it so great if you’re a contractor – is that it looks out for business owners. Whereas on sites like Yelp or FourSquare business owners are at the mercy of dissatisfied customers even if they didn’t do anything wrong, Angie’s staff goes above and beyond to help out businesses and protect them from unwarranted negative reviews.

If someone slams you with a negative review on the site, the staff will get in touch with the person and ask them what’s what, trying to form a bridge between you and the disgruntled customer. This is a tremendous perk of the site and one that other sites of the kind are clearly lacking – even a single negative review can do plenty of harm to a business, especially one that is still growing.

Indeed, the whole atmosphere at Angie’s List is what lets the site continue rising above its competitors in a lot of cases: one gets the feeling of being in a tightly-knit community where people look out for one another (reviewers and contractors alike) as opposed to a free-for-all forum environment found on similar sites.

With that said, Angie’s list is not without its downsides, and it pays to consider both sides of the coin.

Things that make Angie’s List less-than-great

In a sense, the same things that make Angie’s List work can also make it seem somewhat inhospitable: new business owners can get the feeling of being shut out by older and more established businesses with a presence on the site. In fact, one could say that the very existence of these sites presents a major issue for business owners who have no choice but to participate in the game and hope for the best.

Another issue one could name is the site’s relatively-dwindling popularity. Sure, the List isn’t going anywhere, but its mechanics and difficulty of access have made it less popular in comparison to competitors (even if one could argue that Angie’s list is more effective at what it promises to do). Therefore, your efforts to establish a presence on the site and get good reviews could end up not amounting to much if people simply flock to a more-popular site for reviews they consider less biased.