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As I stated at another forum - it seems like it's backwards. I would charge contractors to be listed so the homeowner would receive it for free. I see what their thought is - we don't charge the contractors so it seems unbiased on our part. So a homeowner has to pay an annual fee to find out who is the best roofer in my area?
If you charged all the contractors the same it's essentially the same as not charging them anything. They pay to get listed and open themselves up for feedback. It's a chance on their part because maybe they suck and everyone says so. The people who are the craps will not list themselves, unless they are braindead, so it keeps the listing cleaner.. that's my opinion anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Actually I like that it's not free for home owners. Too many would leave frivilous complaints. This way you know the complaint is at least worth $50... plus any company can be listed with or without the contractor's consent.
 
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Angie's List

I'm reluctant to pay for a service unless I personally know someone who's used it and can see it's worthwhile. Unlike a magazine, you can't really test out a website for how useful it'll be when deciding whether or not to subscribe. It's not really backwards to get the fee from consumers, though, because then they answer to consumers, not companies. If funds come from businesses, credibility on rating them and posting negative comments would questionable. Many consumers don't know that the BBB operates on business membership fees, and doesn't even make all the complaints on file public information. In my opinion, the BBB misleads consumers, and many business owners feel BBB membership is tantamount to extortion anyway. However, people ARE reluctant to pay for such website memberships without the opportunity to try it out...heck it can be hard to get people just to register. If they're really good, word will spread and people will pay if it's reasonable.

Another one that's popped up is Rate Your Builder: http://www.rateyourbuilder.info It used to require registration just to look...now it only requires it to actually rate a builder. These kind of sites are useful especially if they take off, but what would REALLY help consumers is a national or state database of all consumer complaints, cross referenced by type, company name, and listing other co's the corporation had under it's umbrella. I am not saying it should be federally or state run, but that the database be maintained either federally or by state, and by neutral parties. Funding for it could be from the state consumer protection agencies, which currently can range from somewhat effective, to worthless, depending on how public they make their records. Take the politics out of it, and cut the waste, and it would probably be cheaper than what these agencies now spend, and be more effective, too.

People assume complaints are a lot more public than they are...and there is really very little that records positive comments on a company, or verifies that the person commenting, good or bad, is truthful and not misrepresenting who they are.
 
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Grumpy said:
http://angieslist.com/ Anyone ever heard of this? I think it's something like the BBB.
Hi Grumpy--Angie's List is a forum for homeowners to report on & rate services they receive from contractors. Somebody put me on it a few years ago and it really helped my small Tree Service grow. Now, if only contractors would begin a web site to rate homeowners!!! It would save lots of us lots of grief. [email protected]
 

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Treeman, I thought of your 'customer website' years ago. I think that one could make a fortune. Startup would be shallow but once it was up I'd pay $20.00 a month for the info. I have a customer right now who demanded copies of all of my reciepts! Being a good businessman I aquiesed. I am always running 4-10 jobs at a time and am purchasing for all of them at once. The Wizard (Debbie) figures it all out in house and I'll be hung before I figure it out for him! Hehehe!
I'm sure every one else has their horror stories as I have many more.
Has anyone ever asked a customer for references from other contractors? Where I am the shoe could easily be put on the other foot. I'm going to try it on the next one and see what happens. Let you know.
 
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