Angie’s List Earns Outside Certification Again

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The process Angie’s List uses to collect and share consumer reviews on local companies, from home repair to health care, have been certified – again – as fair and impartial.

“There’s a lot of information out there and consumers can get overwhelmed in trying to sort through it all,” said Angie's List Founder Angie Hicks.

The process Angie’s List uses to collect and share consumer reviews on local companies, from home repair to health care, have been certified – again – as fair and impartial.

Angie’s List is the nation's premier provider of consumer reviews on everything from home repair to health care. The audit conducted by BPA Worldwide, an international auditing firm, examined the company’s processes, as well as whether company employees could manipulate grades or service provider standing to benefit or harm the consumer-reviewed companies.

“In our opinion, the Angieslist.com service follows a consistent, documented set of processes to present fairly, in all material respects, the ratings and input of the site’s members,” BPA said in its April 15 letter apprising Angie's List of its findings.

Consumers continue to turn more and more to review sites to help them make hiring and buying decisions, said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. Hicks said sites that place a premium on fairness and accuracy offer value to both sides of the transaction. Consumers learn from others about the behavior of the service professionals they’re thinking about hiring, and the companies can glean great insights that can help them improve their customer service quality.

“There’s a lot of information out there and consumers can get overwhelmed in trying to sort through it all,” said Hicks, who opposes anonymous reviews because they lack accountability.

BPA issued its 2011 report on Angie’s List after conducting fieldwork and analysis in February and March. BPA has conducted audits on the company’s data since 2007. The 2011 audit included examination of member feedback for service providers who advertise with Angie’s List, as well as those that don’t, to determine if the reviews are treated differently. The audit found all data was treated the same.

“We put significant resources into making our information as reliable and fair as it can be, and we have an outside auditor go over our work every year as another check and balance. That review is in, and we’re happy with the results,” Hicks said.

The Angie’s List accountability structure is designed to maximize fairness and reliability by:

Prohibiting anonymous reporting:
-Limiting members to reporting only once on each, specific hiring experience
-Prohibiting companies from grading themselves or their competitors
-Alerting companies (free of charge) to reports so they know what's being said about them
-Encouraging companies to respond (free of charge) to give their side of the story
-Using proprietary technology and human review to screen reports
-Offering the Angie’s List Complaint Resolution Service to settle differences

Angie’s List collects consumer reviews on local contractors and doctors in more than 500 service categories. Currently, more than 1.5 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. A quick tour of Angie’s List and the latest Angie’s List news are located on the website.

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Cheryl Reed
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