Without a doubt, the question I’m inevitably asked the most when discussing my contractor referral business is:

“Oh….are you like that company Angie’s List I see on TV?

And it always makes me laugh.  The truth is, I started Home Remedies®, my Homeowner Referral Network (HRN®), years BEFORE Angie’s List every hit the marketplace and, while our two businesses may appear similar at first glance, we’re very, very different.

First and foremost, the contractors I represent can’t pay to be referred.  Angie’s List accepts advertising from contractors which immediately comprimises their reviews.

Second, while my HRN® business serves as a reliable referral source for local homeowners, I also act as an outsourced sales and marketing force for reputable contractors and therefore represent their best interests.  One of the biggest complaints from contractors about Angie’s List is that they have very little recourse when a homeowner writes a bad review.

And third, my revenue model is success based.  I get paid when the contractor gets paid which means it’s in everyone’s best interests, to find the right contractor and get the job done to the homeowner’s satisfaction.

Over the years, I’ve heard from hundreds of contractors nationwide who are wholeheartedly disatisfied and frustrated by Angie’s List which is why the following article didn’t come as any surprise.

Read on and form your own opinion.  As a homeowner, would you trust an online review or would you prefer a referral from a local, trusted, unbiased source?

Should Remodelers Try to Kill Angie’s List by Boycotting It?

Reduced ratings, increased criticism have left the ratings/referral service vulnerable

To Our Readers:

When one reader saw our story on the latest earnings report fromAngie’s List and how the company recorded $33 million in losses last year, he wrote me to say this:

Maybe you should remind your readers that if we all just ignore Angie, she will go away. She can’t survive without our money. It might give the truth a better chance.”

Do you agree? Should remodelers try to help kill Angie’s List by starving it of the advertisements and listings from service providers that it depends on for a big share of its revenue? Would that really administer the killing blow? Or does Angie’s List deserve to live because it, more often than not, helps establish who the good remodelers are—the ones who most deserve to be in business?

The stock market already is down on Angie’s List, having cut its share price by more than 10% from its peak. Analysts are downgrading their ratings of the company—though none are recommending outright selling of the stock—and critics are questioning Angie’s List’s business model. Thus, Angie’s List is having troubles above and beyond remodelers’ complaints. But a boycott theoretically would add to the string.

So, REMODELING wants to know: Would you actively boycott Angie’s List? Write your opinions in the section below so we can get a better sense of what you think. We’ve also posted the same question to our Facebook page and on LinkedIn, so you can deliver your views there as well. Fire away

Craig Webb is editor-in-chief of REMODELING. Follow him on Twitter at@craiglwebb or @RemodelingMag. cwebb@hanleywood.com