I live in Oklahoma and if memory serves me well, purchased which was at that time a five year subscription, for the Home, Medical and Classic Cars subscription in April of 2011 for $55.00. In the intervening years the subscription was reduced to a four year subscription, a change they have the right to make, but still difficult to accept and it’s time for me to renew so I too am looking at cost. Having followed the company and the struggles they have gone through, I’m sure such changes where a difficult decision to make and were done so only as a last resort.
Still, Angie’s List provides a valuable service in our disconnected digital lives where forming long lasting relationships is difficult in a mobile society. I’ve watched them grow their business and pour their revenues back into the business improving the quality and reliability of the service as well growing it nationwide. They’ve struggled to do this and I applaud their efforts and highly recommend the service.
With that said, as a service company who facilitates the ability of its users in rating the quality, reliability, value and trustworthiness of other businesses, their entire existence is an acknowledgement of how important these issues are to the consumer. Their failure to display their rates for a given region, is more than just an oxymoron, it’s an embarrassment because it send a message that these issues and values apply to others but not to Angie’s List.
It may be too strong to call it deceptive, but it is a glaring hole in their business model, one they should take steps to correct so they can improve thier image. Failing to apply the same standards to their own business is an embarrassment. Dismissing the obvious, that cost matters, by dodging the question with an answer that fails to speak to the obvious, only adds to that embarrassment.
Equally as important is the concept of making yours, the customer’s and the vendor’s, lives easier, it is an overarching message in the way they promote their services. Neither customer nor vendor should have to jump through hoops or spend hours trying to address the issues of cost, managing the billing of their subscription or their account settings in this regard. Both should have easy and full access to features which help them with such tasks, this is where the concept of service to their customers should shine the brightest.
Personally I see the services to consumers and business as valuable enough to go on successfully even if the rates for all regions were available for all to see. The proof is in the success seen to date. And I think it would be easier to justify different rates for different regions, than it would be to justify the appearance of deceptive service practices for all.
Source: Renewing Subscriber