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The more you know, the more you don’t know

This content is a little crusty, having been with me through 3 separate platform changes. Formatting may be rough, and I am slightly less stupid today than when I wrote it.
02 Jun 2015

Angie's List subscription pricing

I recently needed to find a service provider in my area, and considered subscribing to Angie’s List for all those amazing customer reviews that they like to tout. As a seasoned customer of online subscription tools, my first stop was the Angie’s List homepage with the goal of finding out just how much the service would cost.

There’s plenty of links that will take you through registration, but exactly none of them show you how much you’ll pay until you’re well along in the process. I consider this a huge no-no in UI/UX design, and they pretty much lost me as a potential customer at that point. However my professional curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to figure out where they buried the information, and why. You can learn a lot simply by looking at how other online sites and services operate, good and bad.

Actual pricing is located here –

There’s a couple things not to like here. The reason they bury the link is that prices vary based on what geographical area you wish to subscribe for. Popular areas – where Angie’s List can display a lot of service providers and reviews – fetch a higher price than smaller or newer coverage areas.

Your area does not simply determine price either, your account is actually locked into services and reviews in the area you choose. If you live on a border between coverage areas, you’ll have to subscribe to both areas in order to accurately see everything nearby. Your bill could double or triple if you live in one of the many tri-state areas along the east coast.

Finally, a heads-up if you do decide to sign up: I came across numerous customer support complaints that Angie’s List does not issue any kind of email notification leading up to your subscription renewal. Some even claimed that they received no notification after they were billed, only discovering the charge on their monthly statement. Make a note of your renewal date and cancel in advance if you’re not using the service.

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