Is the value I receive from Angie’s List worth the annual fee I pay for access to it? That’s the question I’m asking myself as I approach the end of my first year of membership. You’ve probably seen television commercials for Angie’s List—it’s a subscription-based website where you can access reviews of local businesses written by consumers.
I joined Angie’s List early last summer as part of a half-price Groupon offer. Membership prices can vary by city, but for me to renew, there are three options:
- Pay $12.50 a year to belong to the traditional version of Angie’s List, which focuses on services for the home, automobiles and pets, as well as beauty salons, accountants, real estate agents and other professional business services.
- Pay $25.00 a year to belong to Angie’s Health & Wellness, which includes reviews of physicians, dentists and hospitals.
- Pay $30 a year for a combo subscription to both sites.
My Groupon deal gave me access to the combination subscription, and over the last year, I’ve turned to Angie’s List often. Since my husband and I moved to a new city in 2011, the list has been a resource for finding vendors for a variety of different services. However, Angie’s List is only as good as the data it can offer, which varies by category. For example, I can find a lot of reviews of landscaping and home heating/air conditioning companies, but it’s tough to find many customer comments in other areas, such as septic system businesses and car detailing shops. Finding comments on a specific physician can be difficult, but more data seems to be available when you look at a group of physicians operating under a single practice.
I know the staff at Angie’s List is trying hard to expand its library of reviews. When I log into my account, I receive messages asking if I’ve used any of the services I recently researched and encouraging me to review those I tried. I also receive occasional phone calls from Angie’s List with staff offering to take my reviews over the phone.
As my membership year ends, I will probably renew my subscription for the traditional Angie’s List so I can access reviews of home-focused and other non-medical services. I am not sure the value is there to pay an additional $17.50 for the combination subscription.
Are you an Angie’s List member? If so, please post your thoughts on whether this website is worth the price you’re paying for it.