After 20 years in business, Angie's List is changing how consumers use the service.
Angie's List has offered subscribers over 2 million reviews and ratings of electricians, plumbers, landscapers, roofers and most other home repair and improvement. Those reviews from customers who've used those businesses include grades AF based on the work completed, the time it took and the response of the workers. The subscription fee has kept many consumers from using the service.
In June, Angie's List began offering consumers a free subscription.
The change is an apparent reaction to new competitors offering the same type of service for free.
Facebook last year launched business search which gives users the same information on those workers and also includes reviews from friends. The Facebook search returns results based on whether the business is open when you search, accepts credit cards and how much the service cost.
Amazon has also launched Amazon Home Services in which businesses can sign up to be included. The search of Amazon's participating businesses offers reviews and, in most cases, estimates.
Amazon says it screens businesses before they are listed, conducts background checks and confirms those businesses and contractors are licensed and insured. Amazon also backs the work and its "Happiness Guarantee" promises that if the job is not complete to the home owners' satisfaction the company will find another contractor who will do the job right.
Angie's List has three subscription options. The free subscription offers reviews and ratings of business listed on the services. A $25 Silver subscription includes a fair price guarantee, discounts and email support. A Gold Membership, for $100 a year adds a complaint resolution process and customer phone support.