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Question DetailsAsked on 7/14/2014

Why is sorting by grade inaccurate?

New member, just learning my way around. Searched for a contractor in a certain field. So far so good. Sorted the list by grade A-F, because that seemed like an obvious way to start. A bunch of A's, so required further digging. The first contractor, i.e. top of the list, did have an overall (average?) grade of A, but the detail revealed a significant number of C's, D's and E's as well. OK, not everyone will be happy, but a couple of them described pretty scary things (i.e. potentially dangerous issues). Continued on to look at contractor #2. This contractor had more ratings than the #1 contractor, AND EVERY RATING WAS AN A. How is it possible that this contractor would sort below the first? I understand they both had overall A's, but shouldn't the sorting algorithm be based on the calculated average?

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3 Answers

Voted Best Answer
1
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Welcome to the deep and nefarious world of paid search engine placement - AL first shows vendors who pay to advertise on AL (same as Google does), then the A's are presented in random order (changes every time a search is done), then the B's in random order, etc.


Sounds like you hit a paid advertiser first, then one who may have been an advertiser or maybe not who had all A's. OF course, a vendor with numerous ratings and all A's would probably be suspect from the get go, because no matter how good a company is at ferreting out false reviews, with free eMail accounts available everywhere it is not hard for a company to pad its ratings if it really tries.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

1
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Hi! This is Mary Beth from the Member Care Department.




I apologize for any confusion when searching the List. Service providers who have an overall grade of 'A' or 'B' are offered the opportunity to offer special discounts and Big Deals to our members, and for that reason, their listings will appear first when conducting a search. It is likely the case that the first provider you found at the top of the list is offering one or more deals to Angie's List members, and this is why they appear higher on the List than the second provider.






Please let me know if I can provide any additional assistance or information. You can respond by submitting a new answer as a response in this Q&A, email us at memberservices@angieslist.com or toll-free at 1-866-783-2980 to speak with a live representative. Our call center hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 am-9:00 pm Eastern Time or Saturday from 8:00 am-5:00 pm ET. Thanks for reaching out!--Mary Beth



Answered 5 years ago by Member Services

0
Votes

Thanks for both answers. It's a little inconvenient - it just means that while sort by Distance or Company Name are true sorts, sort by grade is more of a categorization. Knowing that means that after sorting by grade, you need to dive deeper and look at review histograms and individual reviews in order to determine the true ranking based on grade. (May I suggest some small print somewhere on the main list screen that shows the true calculated average - e.g. a really large "A", but off in the margin a 3.86, 3.95, etc. :-)

Answered 5 years ago by Guest_91732431

0
Votes

Hi! This is Mary Beth from the Member Care Department. Thanks for getting back to me.





We appreciate you sharing your suggestion about how overall grades for service providers are displayed on the website. We are always looking for ways to improve our service, so feedback like yours helps us to get a perspective on things we can do better. I have forwarded your comments so they can be considered as we continue to make improvements to our site.






Please let me know if I can provide any additional assistance or information. You can respond by submitting a new answer as a response in this Q&A, email us at memberservices@angieslist.com or toll-free at 1-866-783-2980 to speak with a live representative. Our call center hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 am-9:00 pm Eastern Time or Saturday from 8:00 am-5:00 pm ET. Thanks for reaching out!--Mary Beth





Answered 5 years ago by Member Services




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