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Question DetailsAsked on 8/11/2014

AMH
WHY ISN'T THERE A WAY TO CONTACT MEMBERS WHO HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM?There should be a way for a member to contact..

.....another member if they're having a problem with unscrupulous entities who are ripping them off, particularly if they're in the same general area, in order to talk to them about it. If someone writes a bad review about an entity here on Angie's List and I have the same experience with that same entity, AND THE PERSON WHO WROTE THE REVIEW WOULDN'T MIND BEING CONTACTED, then that should be able to happen.The person who wrote the review should be given the option to initiate contact. And here's why: Complaining to the Better Business Bureau doesn't do anything. They have no authority to do anything but give a rating of good or bad.They can't make the bad entity do anything such as correct the problem or refund money. Angie's List is the same as the BBB, all they can do is basically shame the entity into doing the right thing.Even the AG won't help just 1 or 2 people. However, 1 or 2 people, or a group, CAN do something but not if we can't get together to fight against the entity.

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7 Answers

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I will continue my statement here.......I happen to be in the situation where a member in my local area wrote a bad review. Another person also wrote a bad review on the BBB site. All 3 of us can't do a THING about this entity because we're only individual people. We would all have to live with the fact we won't get our money back, or the problem made to be fixed by someone who can make that happen (judge or court). We all live in the same area. Not Zip Code, because that's very restricting. AREA (town or county) is what the criteria should be.


The Attorney General won't help only one or two people (I talked to them). BUT, if there was more of us, THEN they could MAYBE do something. Also, even if it's only one or two people, or the AG won't help, a lawsuit can still be brought, and NOT in Small Claims Court, which is another farce, because YOU are responsible to collect from the entity and no one - not the Court or police or ANYone will help you. I talked to them, too. SO, a lawsuit is the only other option - which has a much better chance to succeed if it can be shown there's a history of wrongdoing, which means the more people that can show an entity (company or person) has or is continually doing the same thing to a number of people, the better the chance of a judge saying the entity refunds, fixes, or pays a fine and/or goes to jail. It could be added that the entity would pay for attorney's fees, also, in addition to whatever the judge says they have to do, so there would be no money out of anyone's pocket. HOWEVER, if I want to sue, I'd need to know who the other people are that were or are still getting ripped off by a particular company/person, to see if they'd like to join in and get some justice. If I don't know who those people are, then the chance of ANY of us getting recompense is zero, and we're ALL out whatever money we paid. I know this entity I dealt with has and is still doing work for people out there who think they can't do anything about it. That's only true if we can't get together to talk about what we CAN do. All sites like this - Angie's List, the BBB - are geared to help people read bad reviews and not hire an entity due to those reviews. HOWEVER, that doesn't help the people who have already been ripped off because for whatever reason they didn't know/see/hear of a bad review.


THAT'S why there needs to be some sort of system where members can contact each other if it's agreeable. In fact, the person who left the bad review says in their review that they'd like to talk to anyone about it. However, they didn't post any contact info. Understandable, of course, but then there should be a way through Angie's List as a third party to let that person contact anyone who wants to give their contact information. Just saying I'd like to talk to someone about it doesn't actually let me DO that if they can't contact me or I can't contact them. And so the bad entity continues on their merry way ripping more people off because we can't get together to stop them.............


Would be nice if people who read this and agree would just post an I Agree answer so Angie's List can see it's something people want...............


Answered 6 years ago by AMH

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Hi,


This is Leah B. in Member Services. Thank you for your feedback.


I apologize for any frustration caused by the privacy and anonymity policies in place. For the protection of our members' privacy, member contact information is and will remain confidential. It is important that our members be able to trust us with sensitive personal information such as contact information. Members can communicate with each other via tools such as the Band of Neighbors website at neighbors.angieslist.com.

Answered 6 years ago by Member Services

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Leah B - members can only communicate with each other through Band of Neighbors (taking your word for it) ONLY if there IS one in your "neighborhood." And as I told someone from Angie's list, there could be one RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET FROM ME but I'd never know it because of the criteria you use in creating/finding it. So, no, Band of Neighbors is worthless if you can't find it................


As for the privacy of the members, members state in their reviews that they WANT to talk to anyone who has had problems with the same party they're reviewing, or they want to show pictures. You certainly can run interference in asking the member if they want to be contacted by another member. Just posting bad reviews doesn't stop anyone from continuing to advertize and ripping even more people off who haven't seen a bad review. You can have 1000 bad reviews and the person is still in business. That's where strength in numbers comes in, as I indicated. You can't get rid of the bad apple unless everyone who's been ripped off by them get together and do something about it.


As far as I'm concerned, not even giving members the option of saying yes or no to another member contacting them concerning their bad review severly restricts anything that can be done about those bad apples. Who cares if I have 500 bad reviews if no one sees them and I'm still out there ripping people off?? You haven't stopped me at all. BUT, get those 500 people together and it's a whole other story.


Unfortunately, there are a whole bunch of things Angie's List isn't doing that they could be to help members in more meaningful ways. You make it very hard to find a review. You can't even find it in a search, because you have to do a SPECIAL search, which you don't state anywhere. I had to call and actually talk to someone to find out how to get to it. They agreed it's something AL should change.


Just disappointed in how difficult it can be navigating the site and you don't even give options that members can use or not...................











Answered 6 years ago by AMH

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What you are basically describing, on the legal side, is a combined affidavit from a number of damaged persons requesting a fraud investigation by your local DA or prosecutors office; or on the civil judgement side a Class Action Lawsuit - but as for the government helping to collect on any judgemnet or the offending party paying the legal costs related to the case, that is a very rare thing generally only applied to child abuse and alimony cases.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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LCD - Absolutely to your first statement. DA wouldn't touch one or two people asking for an investigation, and one or two people do not a class action make. Which is why I state what I do - that the more the merrier - better chance of either happening.


You agree with what I said - the govt DOES NOT compel anyone to pay, neither does a judge in small claims court, so you're on your own trying to collect. However, a judge/court NOT of small claims CAN say pay or go to jail. Again, need bodies.


Your third statement that they wouldn't pay legal fees - not as rare as you might think. It does happen. Who's to say it wouldn't?

Answered 6 years ago by AMH

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I did not say it is not possible to receive an award that includes your legal expenses incurred in pursuing the case, but in most states generally only major fraud and RICO and similar "major" issues are awarded legal costs - in a vast percentage of civil cases they are not, and a judge CANNOT throw someone in prison for failing to pay a civil judgement (as opposed to a criminal fine) - the law specifically prohibits debtors imprisonment. The most they can do it imprison for a very short time for contempt of court ofr not following the court order, and that is for days, not years.


The way you have to enforce payment is by using a court order to put liens on physical property and then enforce (foreclose on) the lien, which requires MORE court action before the Federal marshalls service or sheriffs department (typically) will escort you while you physically take possession of the property (which can easily take a year or more with physical property or bank accounts), or filing for a court attachment order to garnish wages or such. Commonly takes hundreds to thousands of $ to do that process, which is NOT reimbursed out of the loser's money.


I agree the system stinks - once a court judgement is reached, the next thing should be a post-trial hearing on payment provisions including attachment orders or lien foreclosure conditions that would automatically kick in if the payment is not made on time. Of course, intererest should also accrue from the date of loss or damage, not from the date of judgement as it usually does. And in many cases the interest rate assigned by law if far below what the actual cost of the money is, so in many cases it works in the favor of the loser to not pay in a timely fashion and pay the 4-6% interest versus paying 15-20% to borrow the money to pay the judgement, or to sell their property and lose its use.


The law further aggravates the case by exempting most primary residences (in many states even if multi-million $ homes) and retirement plans. I read of one case where some celebrity had a home worth over $10 million and several million in retirement accounts, which could not be touched even though he owed many millions in debt to numerous vendors he had just blown off.


About the only way you can contact others with the same bad experience would be to get an attorney to initiate a class action, and advertise in the paper and on the web and such for others to join in - but for action against a small player (as opposed to say GM) that requires a slug of $ up front by your, because probably no attorney is going to initiate a class action suit against a small local company on contingency.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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Appreciate the education LCD. Yeah, the laws are mostly messed up. I understand all you're saying. The ad to find other people was my first reaction. Judging from my atty's reaction, he probably feels like you state.


SO P****d off this guy continues to do it.


So, anyway, thanks again for the comeuppance! :\


Answered 6 years ago by AMH




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