Angie's List went the whole nine... ten yards!

Complaint Resolution FAQ


Introduction
Have you ever run into a problem with a service or healthcare provider that you couldn't seem to resolve on your own? So have we. That's why we developed the Complaint Resolution Process. It's a service designed exclusively for Angie's List members to help restore communication between you and a service provider you're having a problem with.

If your complaint qualifies (see below for the rules of the game), we'll contact the provider in question on your behalf. And space permitting, we may print the outcome of your complaint in our magazine and on our website — good or bad!

Providers that don't respond to your complaints end up in the Penalty Box. If applicable their name will appear in the magazine for three consecutive months, and may be listed in the Penalty Box online indefinitely.

We have helped a lot of our members get refunds, repairs and redos for remodeling jobs of all types. We've also helped resolve issues regarding billing and poor communication with health care providers. How? There's power in numbers, and you have the strength of the entire Angie's List membership base behind you.

To get started, all you have to do is fill out a report detailing your experience. A grade of "C" or below will trigger some extra questions, which will help us identify whether or not we can help you with this particular issue. If we can't help you, we'll try to give you some additional resources.
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What is it?
The Complaint Resolution Process is a third-party complaint process designed exclusively for Angie's List members. Angie's List leverages the strength in numbers to attempt to resolve consumer complaints for our members. There is no charge to initiate the Complaint Resolution Process
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Can Angie's List resolve complaints?
While we cannot strong-arm a provider to resolve the issue to your satisfaction, we find that if they care about their reputation, we often have the power of persuasion. However, we cannot guarantee a resolution.
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What is required of me to initiate the process?
To get the process started, members must simply submit a review with a "C" grade or below. Once this report is submitted, members will be asked a few follow-up questions to determine whether the report qualifies for the Complaint Resolution Process.

To qualify:

  1. Members must have first attempted to contact the service provider about the complaint directly.
  2. The complaint must be current. A current complaint is one that has occurred within the last 12 months or that has an active, written warranty.
  3. Members cannot be in litigation with the provider. Further, Angie's List will be unable to accept a case if the issue has gone through binding arbitration with the appropriate governing board, or if a member has accepted a settlement from the service provider's insurance company.
  4. As it pertains to complaints involving health care providers, members must be willing to sign a HIPAA waiver which permits health care providers to discuss the issue with Angie's List.
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What happens once I turn in the documentation?
We send it to the provider with an informative letter explaining your complaint as well as your desired resolution.. In this letter, we ask the provider to respond, in writing, within a specified time period (2 to 4 weeks).
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What if I don't send the documentation back?
If we do not receive it within the specified time period, we will assume that you no longer wish to pursue the issue at present. If you need to update the original report, or would like to begin the process at a later date, simply contact us. We will help you take the appropriate action.
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What if the company resolves my complaint?
We will delete your original report, and you will be given the opportunity to replace the initial report with a positive one.
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What happens if the company responds but doesn't resolve my complaint?
You have the final say as to whether you feel the issue is resolved or not. If the provider agreed to your requested resolution, or supplied a counter that you find acceptable, the case will be closed as resolved. However if the provider does not resolve the matter to your satisfaction, your report will continue to affect the company's rating with Angie's List, and both sides of the story may appear in our monthly magazine and online.
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Where does the complaint go after the process is complete?
The detailed complaint is turned in to our publication department. Angie's List may publish the issue in the complaint resolution section of our monthly magazine and on our website. Angie's List reserves the right to edit complaints for space and clarity.
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What does the complaint resolution status mean?
There are four possible outcomes to the Complaint Resolution Process, which are described by the complaint status: Pending, Resolved, Stalemate and Penalty Box. The outcomes are described below.

Pending: The complaint is currently in process. No final outcome has been determined.

Resolved: The complaint is closed as Resolved because the provider has met the member's request for resolution to the complaint (as outlined on the Complaint Resolution Process complaint form).

Stalemate: The complaint is closed as a Stalemate because the provider has responded to the member's request for resolution, but they have declined to fulfill the member's requirements for resolution. In some cases, the provider may have provided a counteroffer that the member has declined.

Penalty Box: Companies can be put into the Penalty Box for three reasons: They have declined to respond to our letter; they didn't use the official form for their response; or they initially responded, indicated they'd resolve the issue and then failed to follow through with their promise. Service Providers in the Penalty Box have a notice placed on their record and will be excluded from category and keyword searches until they've responded to the complaint. In addition, they may be featured on the Penalty Box section of our monthly or online publication. At any time, they can be taken out of the Penalty Box by responding to the complaint. Because of space and production schedule restrictions, qualified complaints typically do not show in the Penalty Box section of our magazine until several months after the deadline for responding has passed.
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What types of complaints are not acceptable?
Angie's List reserves the right to decline any complaint if we determine it doesn't fit within the parameters of the program. Complaints are not allowed if they've been filed for purposes other than resolution or are more than 12 months old (unless there's a warranty). Additionally, we don't allow any form of vulgar language or personal attacks on the provider or any member of the company or practice.
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Can Angie's List give me legal counsel?
Angie's List does not offer legal counsel. Should you require legal counsel, you will have to consult with a lawyer.
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What if I am suing or being sued by the company?
We can take a report about your experience, but we cannot initiate the complaint resolution process if you are engaged in a lawsuit with the provider.
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Do I have other options to pursue my issue?
Absolutely. There are many other avenues you can pursue, such as filing a complaint with media programs, trade associations, the Better Business Bureau, the state Attorney General's office, and local and national consumer advocacy groups. In the case of issues with health care providers, you should contact your state's medical licensing board as well. You are welcome to pursue these avenues during or after this process. We can also give you contact references for many of these other sources.
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