deck boards
Redwood Table

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To the Facebook Page!
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Decks
"Installing a deck may be the most cost-efficient way to add square footage to your house, and of all the outdoor home improvements except painting, it may be the most reliable value. Decks average $6,304 and generally recoup 104% of their value. That may not sound terribly impressive, but other touted outdoor improvements fare much worse."
--SmartMoney.com
   June 2004

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"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey." -John Ruskin

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For the purposes of clarifying any "Deal" or coupon:
A "Deck" or "New Deck Installation" is defined by anything that is over 200 sf. and includes stairs and railing. Anything less may be defined as a Porch, Platform, Stoop or landing. Furthermore, sf. rates are higher for smaller items to cover set up costs; standard volume discounts on sf. rates apply to larger structures on top of any "Deals" or coupons.

 

 

 



 

~ Angie's List ~
We review the Review Site!

 

It's not fair that you can't leave a review for Angie's List ON Angie's List.

 

 

Overall Grade:                         C-
Price for Service Providers:     A
Price for its Members:             B-
Ethics:                                     F

 

 

When Angie's List first started, they were doing things right. They were actually providing the public with real, honest reviews. They also figured out to charge the public (the members) for their service instead of the service companies. Founder, Angie Hicks, knew that if the service companies were paying to be on Angie's List that the public could perceive the reviews to be untrustworthy; that her company could be swayed by the ones paying the money. Plus, she knew service companies are always being solicited for money and that we are all mostly out here barely scratching out a living as it is.
The people wanting the work done (the members; the public; the homeowners) are the ones that have thousands in their budgets to have work done and are the ones that would be willing to spend a few of those bucks to see a list of quality contractors.

Great. Everything went well for the first few years.

And then Greed happened.

 

To make several long stories short, Angie's List seems to be trying to find new streams of income to add and it has made everything fall apart.

Most of their members don't realize that when they see a "Featured" company on the top of the list, that company has PAID to be there. They call it "Advertising".
To be semi-fair, a company does, allegedly, have to have at least a 'B' rating to be eligible to "Advertise" by being "featured" at the top of the list.
Companies are now hounded relentlessly by Angie's List to do several different kinds of advertising. And they seem to have high turn-over in their Ad department since I get a new person calling me every month. Every time I have a problem or an issue I have to explain everything all over again - they don't keep notes in the system or seem to care about the issues of the service providers.

Another trick they do is called The Big Deal. The get companies to agree to do (for instance) $1,000 worth of work for $500 and they send out an email to their members offering them this "Deal". The members buy the deal from Angie's List for like $200, and then the service company goes and does the work for less than it's worth. Their salesman-line to the service company is that this Big Deal will generate much more work and therefore the company will come out on top in the end.
When they talked me into doing it one time, not one person bought the deal. But one guy did wonder how we could do $1,000 worth of deck work for only $500 and so he called me to ask. I explained it to him - that we really couldn't, we'd lose money. And then he asked who gets the $200 he would pay to Angie's List for the "Deal". When I told him that Angie's List keeps that, he lost it and began to curse them.
I found myself being a non-paid defender of Angie's List just to keep things peaceful. But I did agree with him that it was a despicable tactic on their part.

When Angie's List first started, I didn't even know they existed. One day I got an email that my company had a review on this website and so I went to go see it. They wouldn't let me view it because I wasn't a member. I didn't know if the review was good or bad - I really wanted to see what someone had told the world about my company!
So I called and wrote to Angie's List and suggested that companies should at least be able to see, and possibly respond to, reviews about their own company. I told them they were holding our reviews hostage - for ransom, if you will.

It wasn't long and they created CompanyConnect and allowed service provders to do just what I had suggested. We could now log in and see what members were saying and even respond. But the common sense and ethics of Angie's List ended there as far as I can see.

We have had straight A's on their site for the entire history of our company - thanks to the work WE do and the way we treat our customers. Until... one day we got an F due to a lady contacting us through the Angie's List Message Center that was a feature we didn't know existed. When she never heard from us, she left us a scathing review. We responded, apologized, and explained that she should actually be upset with Angie's List for getting in the middle of (hijacking) her relationship with us. We explained that if she had just contacted us directly we would have known about it and responded.
Again I contacted Angie's List and explained that the F we received is through no fault of our own and that it should be taken down. They responded that the member has a right to report their experiences with a company. We then explained that the member had NO experience with our company because Angie's List had put a button on our profile that made her think that if she clicked it she would be in contact with us. And that when she wasn't actually in contact with us, but rather had just left a message on the server of Angie's List that no one besides Angie's List knew existed, her bad experience was with ANGIE'S LIST, the only company or website she did visit, not Custom Deckworks.
The Angie's List militia was unmoved and we still have that lone F in our reviews to this day.

So they proved that they ARE going to pick sides and that it IS going to be with whomever is paying them. They have chosen to support the lady that paid them for a $7 membership rather than be ethical at all.

They have proven to me over and over again that all they care about is money. Their representatives have lectured me, screamed at me, cursed me, and even threatened me.
One told me that if I didn't pay some money that they'd remove my listing and straight A reviews from their website and the view of their members. Others have since told me that guy has been fired. But the jig is up. They have proven that they are even willing to provide false information to their paying members if it suits them - i.e. take a quality company off of a list that they got paid by innocent members to provide thereby taking away the members best choice of contractor. And for what? The Almighty Dollar.

 

Over the years I have begged their reps to put me in touch with Angie Hicks herself. They won't do it. She is untouchable. She is hiding from responsibility.
I've offered, as a friend, to fly out and meet with her on a professional level and give her feedback from the field. We, the contractors and service providers, are the ones that see and speak to their members and we could be endlessly helpful to her in making her product/service better for everyone involved. But she doesn't seem to care. I have warned them that they would end up being viewed by the public harshly, like the BBB is today, if they didn't listen and get back to the core values they started with.

But alas, money talks and it seems that is the only thing they are listening to.

This is why I tell people to actually READ the reviews. In our category, we are alone at the top. No other company even comes close. But since we don't pay Angie's List any money, you may have to dig deep into the list to try to find us listed anywhere. And placement on their list doesn't equal quality-of-contractor.

 

Well, that's our review of Angie's List. And yes, that WAS the short version!

 



Important News & Updates. Please Read!

 

Members - Click Here!
MUST READ for Angie's List Members!

 

Before you sign a Contract!

Must Read!

 

Spring 2013 :   BEWARE! Scam Alerts....

- Don't ever say you weren't warned!

 

 

Spring 2012 :   Pricing Information....

"The Bitterness of Low Quality Remains
Long After the Sweetness of Low Price
is Forgotten!..."

 

 

Spring 2009 :   Apples to Apples in a Bad Economy....

...It could be a mistake not to read this.

 

 

Update: 2012

Arkansas Code § 17-25-501 thru 17-25-515. Act 1208 of 2011 Summary:

ANYONE performing work at a Residence, when the project is $2,000 or more, labor & material,

IS required to have a license from the Contractors Licensing Board

starting January 1, 2012!

 

In most cases this does not apply to the Homeowners doing work themselves.

But if you hire someone to build your deck that does NOT have a license,

you may be breaking the law and will have very limited recourse in the event of a dispute.

If they don't have a REAL license, DON'T HIRE THEM!

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Businesses We Support!

 

 



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