Want Happy Customers? Get Personal: Angie’s List Analysis Shows Complaints Increase as Distance from Customer Grows

INDIANAPOLIS, May 10, 2016 – Companies with a consistently high number of complaints about how they operate might want to take a page from the customer service playbook used by piano tuners who are highly rated on Angie’s List.  

An analysis of the verified consumer reviews submitted to Angie’s List (NASDAQ: ANGI) in 2015 shows the most-favorably graded home services are most often locally based and focused on personal interactions. Piano tuning, for example, kept its spot at the top of the least-complaints list for the second year in a row.

Among the highest notes played in the reviews:

  • “He was fabulous with both the work and the three little grand-kids who were "helping!"’
  • “We were amazed that this piano, which had been abused and had mouse damage and mouse nests inside it, could be restored to a beautiful working instrument.”
  • He patiently checked it out, determined it was indeed on life support and after about 45 minutes, finished his visit and did not charge me. My feeling was he loved his work and that's the kind of person you need to service your piano.”
  • Some tuners even give their customers a short concert at the end of their work, a treat that was much appreciated.

Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks said the distinctions between positively- and negatively-rated categories often correlate with the service providers’ proximity to the consumers that they serve.

“Consumers are happiest when they receive highly personalized care from service providers whether that’s from the company owner or friendly, qualified staff,” she said.

Conversely, the 2015 review analysis revealed home warranties, internet service and cable television service categories tied for first place in earning the greatest percentage of consumer complaints.

Home warranties was the top complained-about category from 2003 -2013, but in 2014 it fell to third. Hicks said then she was encouraged that the industry was doing a better job of communicating with its customers so they weren’t surprised when their coverage wasn’t as comprehensive as they had assumed.

“Customers dealing with a failed appliance are already frustrated when they turn to help from their warranty company,” Hicks said. “When they learn their appliance isn’t covered or when the situation isn’t quickly, easily or professionally resolved, that frustration grows.”

Comments on home warranty companies include some positives, with Angie’s List members saying they were quick to the rescue. But other consumers cited difficulty in getting help, long waits on the phone and unhappiness with the service technicians. One said “the service stinks” and another said, “I was better off not having the warranty.”

Angie’s List (NASDAQ: ANGI) offers eligible members guarantees on fair pricing and service quality. It asks consumers to assign an overall grade to companies’ performance but also to grade five categories of service: price, professionalism, punctuality, quality and responsiveness. Companies were ranked by the percent of C, D and F grades from their total reviews.

“Most companies work hard to please their customers but no one is perfect and occasionally there are going to be hiccups regardless of the services you provide. Companies that focus on getting it right the first time and quickly correcting a bad situation are the ones that rise to the top level,” Hicks said.

In 2015, the best Angie’s List grade earners by percentage were:

  • Piano tuning
  • Paper shredding
  • Window tinting
  • Stereo and home theater system installers
  • Dryer vent cleaning
  • Dog walking
  • Upholstering
  • Piano moving
  • Closet specialists
  • Radon detection and reduction
  • Oriental rug cleaning
  • Garage doors
  • Screen repair
  • Hauling
  • Animal and house sitting
  • Oil and other lubricant changes
  • Locksmiths


In 2015, the worst Angie’s List grade earners by percentage were:

  • Home warranties, cable TV and internet service tied for first place.
  • Landline telephone service
  • Property management
  • Furniture sales and satellite TV service tied for sixth place.
  • Cellular phone service
  • Home builders


Finding a pro for a job well done is made easy online by visiting Angieslist.com. More than three million consumers nationwide use Angie's List, a leading provider of reviews, offers and information in over 700 service categories to help them improve their homes. Built on a foundation of more than 10 million verified reviews of local service, Angie's List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

Cheryl Reed, 317-396-9134, cherylr@angieslist.com


News Resources

Media Inquiries

Cheryl Reed



Angie TV Partnerships

Cheryl Reed



Angie's List on Twitter