Doctor Judy Weisman wanted to hire a housecleaner, so she registered with Angie's List. Like other rating services, Angie's List says its grades are based on reviews from real customers. Judy Weisman "Angie's List rated this business with an 'A,' but I had to go behind them after they had left and dust areas that were supposed to have been cleaned. I would have to give it no better than a 'B.'"
Consumer Reports Money Advisers' Margot Gilman says of course it's not unusual to disagree with user reviews. But be wary of jumping on companies at the top of search results. Margot Gilman Consumer Reports Money Adviser (SOT: Margot Gilman) "We've found that businesses with A or B ratings who also pay for advertising rise to the top of default search results on Angie's List. It's a big advantage." Consumer Reports Money Adviser also checked out other rating services, including Yelp and Google Plus Local. Margot Gilman, "Google Plus Local didn't respond when we asked how it verifies that its reviews are from real customers. Yelp told us that they have a way to identify and delete bogus reviews but admitted that the system has not been objectively tested." WebsitesYelp also allows businesses to buy their way to the top of the pack in search results. But unlike Angie's List, Yelp clearly labels the ad. Judy Weisman "I think there's really no substitute for using family and friends for references for this type of service." Margot Gilman "Bottom line - ratings services aren't perfect, and we saw ratings for the same business can vary significantly from site to site. But if you can't get a recommendation from someone you know, it may be worth it to look up a business on several sites." ."