“I imagine the property management company pays the Angie’s list fee as a service”
Someone is paying for the company to get listed. For us, we have to pay for each city we are listed in (and every single suburb), and we have to pay for coupons.
Angies claims they don’t take advertising, they can call it whatever they want, but we pay a large sum for online coupons, more than we pay for our yellow pages.
It is effective though, but getting less expensive as they continually raise their rates, and use boiler room telemarketing tactics on us every month (they never used to do that). I dread when I see their phone # come up on our Caller ID, I always know a confrontational shake down is coming.
And yes, consumers have to pay to rate contractors, that’s the biggest complaint I hear from folks. And they have to pay to find contractors in their town/village/city, and they have to pay for each town they want searches in (at least in Chicagoland). That in itself is costly for both parties, with our suburbs being so close together.
But, it works I guess, for the person who wants bids on a job, and doesn’t know where to go, it’s better than nothing I imagine.
Folks don’t trust the BBB anymore, they don’t trust the yellowpages, they just don’t trust anyone, and I can’t blame them.
Best advice I offer folks when I do get asked “how do you find a good contractor” is: ask a contractor you already know for a referral, then ask that contractor for a license and insurance and check it out! Call the state and make sure the license is real (many are fake numbers), call the insurance company they claim to have, make sure they are insured, and make sure they have a surety bond in the city you live in (call the village or town).
And keep in mind, you get what you pay for. If you want to pay 2 grand for a roof, you will get a roof thats worth 2 grand. If you want to pay 500 bucks for a heating system, your gonna get shoddy work. Folks see a water heater listed at Menards, and think they’re gonna buy it themselves, its not hard to install, so they shouldn’t pay more than $50 to have it installed. Well, your gonna get what you pay for.
I have to charge around $90 an hour, just to cover my costs (liability insurance, all the licensing, classes that I have to provide, government compliance, advertising, bonding in towns, gas, unemployment insurance, workers comp insurance, wages that compete with union scale so I can retain good trained and well mannered workers, the list goes on forever), and I have folks that think our pricing is nuts, and I have folks who are underbidding me on labor by 1/2, who work beneath the law, either in labor or by not being insured.
Folks get what they pay for and they never learn, because we do alot of “clean up” work, after a shoddy outfit has gone in and put in undersized cooling or heating units, etc, just to get a bid. Now, the owner is really stuck, they probably owe the bank for a loan on the 1st set of equipment, and they are paying us to go in and put in a 2nd set. I feel their pain, and have total sympathy. But then they want us “contractor B” to cut them a deal because contractor “A” screwed them. Because they chose to have a company employing illegals do the work? Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t. It depends on my gut feelings. If its granny, yeah, we do, If its just some womans-libber with a mouth on her... no, she’s gonna pay full price. Oh, and like the previous poster mentioned... Obama stickers on the car = Full Price, that is... if they are even tolerable enough to do business with.
Same here. It's amazing how much brother-in-law work can wind up costing since it turns out he's a total idiot. LOL!
At one time or another, hubby's told me the same as everything you posted. People just don't understand how expensive it can be to run a service or contracting company....much less how tough it is to find competent help.
Hubby's just a hired hand, but he's still the one that gets sent because one of the other guys showed up to do the job, but can't hack the work.
IMHO, word of mouth to find the right contractor and research [as you suggested] into their bonafides IS the way to go.