INDIANAPOLIS – Fresh out of college in 1995, Angie Hicks accepted a challenge to create a service in suburban Columbus, Ohio, that would help homeowners find contractors
who would answer the phone, arrive when they said they would and do the job right once they got there.
She went door-to-door gathering data and signing up members for a company that would become known as Angie’s List.
Fifteen years later, that company has been recognized as an Internet pioneer, the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews
on local service companies and the place more than 1 million people go to find the most reliable information on local contractors, as well as local doctors, dentists and virtually any other personal service you can hire out.
“We’ve been really thrilled with the progress we’ve made over the years,” Hicks said. “As I see it, the key to Angie’s List is the fact that we’re still just a group of neighbors swapping stories about the people we’ve hired and how the projects work out so we can help each other make smart hiring decisions.”
Hicks no longer goes door-to-door, but she still meets with members and service companies to keep her finger on the pulse of consumer trends and issues. Many of the basics she established more than a decade ago remain with the company – but at a much more sophisticated level.
“When I started Angie’s List, the Internet had yet to become a household tool. We started out as a call-in service and a monthly magazine. The office equipment was a phone, a borrowed FAX machine and a card table,” Hicks said.
Today, Angie’s List is headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., offers its subscription service in 127 cities across the country, and has new (currently free) markets in dozens more. The company will expand to Canada this year. More than 1 million consumers use the service, submitting about 40,000 new reports each month.
Angie’s List devotes significant resources to provide the nation’s most reliable and fair consumer rating service, including:
• Prohibiting anonymous reports;
• Holding members accountable for the accuracy of their reports;
• Human review and proprietary technology to deflect efforts to game the system;
• Prohibiting companies from rating themselves on the List;
• Helping companies track reports and encouraging them to respond (free-of-charge); and
• Offering a complaint resolution service to settle issues between companies and members.
We’ve learned a lot through the years, but the constant lesson that keeps coming back is that consumers value a resource that delivers reliable, consistent information,” Hicks said. “We save our members tons of time, trouble and money, and we’re happy that the model we started out with has proven its worth as the world has literally changed around us.”
Angie’s List collects consumer reviews on local contractors and doctors in more than 500 service categories. Currently, more than 1 million consumers across the U.S. rely on Angie’s List to help them make the best hiring decisions. Members get unlimited access to local ratings via Internet or phone, exclusive discounts, the Angie’s List magazine and help from the Angie’s List complaint resolution service. Take a quick tour of Angie’s List and view the latest Angie’s List news.