Which type of consumer service company was the MOST COMPLAINED about in 2011? Make a note of this so you don’t find yourself griping in 2012: Home warranty companies. That’s according to consumer review organization Angie’s List.
Rounding up the rest of the list are: Internet service providers, phone companies, bridal shops and wedding planners-- but these have been the usual suspects over the 7 years Angie’s List has been making a “list”.
Some new, but not so surprising offenders: Banks and credit unions. Consumers ccomplained about unauthorized fees, unsatisfactory communication from banks on their policies and poor customer service.
“Consumers are demanding better service more now than ever before and they’re not shy about voicing their displeasure after getting bad service,” said Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks. “We’ve already seen some banks respond to consumer feedback; hopefully we’ll see more companies take this information and use it to improve their service, too.”
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Also new to the most complained about list are auction services, boating sales and service, mattress retailers and travel agencies.
Angie’s List 2011 Most Complained-About Companies
1. Home warranty companies*
2. Internet service providers*
3. Banks/Credit unions
4. Property management companies*
5. Auction services
6. Boating sales and service
7. Mattress sales
8. Mobile and landline phone providers*
9. Wedding professionals – bridal and tuxedo shops, planners*
10. Travel agencies
*Repeat appearance on this list
Forty-six percent of the consumer reviews submitted by Angie’s List members who’d bought a home warranty and reported on their experience in 2011 gave their company poor grades – either a D or F grade overall on the Angie’s List grading scale.
“Many times when consumers purchase an existing home, the purchase includes a home warranty to cover plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling and appliances, however all-too-often, the consumers don’t clearly understand the details of the warranty,” Hicks said. “This is reflected in the reports we collect on home warranty companies. Most complaints stem from perceived poor communication by the warranty companies on what exactly the warranties cover, and unsatisfactory work by the contractors the warranty companies provide.”
Related: Which Companies Leave You 'On Hold'?
How does Angie’s List work? Members use an A-F scale to grade service companies on overall experience, price, quality, responsiveness, punctuality, and professionalism. Proprietary technology and human review are used to ensure the grades are reliable and fair. Anonymous comments and self-reporting are prohibited, and companies are encouraged to monitor and respond to reports free-of-charge.
Okay, so who are the good guys ? Hauling companies, dryer vent cleaners, ceiling fan installers, home organizers, lighting, glass block and screen repair companies all repeated on the Least Complained-About list this year, with fewer than 3 percent of their respective reports being negative.
Piano tuning, this year’s least complained-about category, as well as mailbox repair, graphic design and ceiling fan installation all joined the good list.
Angie’s List 2011 Least Complained-About Companies
1. Piano tuning
2. Mailbox repair
3. Hauling services*
4. Graphic design
5. Dryer vent cleaning*
6. Ceiling fan installation*
7. Home organization services*
8. Lighting services*
9. Glass block services
10. Screen repair*
*Repeat appearance on this list
“These providers certainly range in their scope of services offered, but they all have something in common,” Hicks said. “They’re personalized services in which the providers listen to their customers to determine what they want and then they find the best way to deliver that. Companies that want to improve their relationship with their customers would be well-served to listen to what their customers are saying, continue to emphasize with their employees the practices that lead to positive feedback and work on improving the areas that don’t.”
What do you think? What type of service do you have the most gripes about? Let us know in the comments section below. And remember a wise, fast rule of thumb: Before you hire a company, just try Googling it, and see if complaints come up.
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