Monday, September 28, 2009

"But I didnt' care for the way the contractor kissed my ass, so I'll give him only TWO stars...."

I find these commercials for Angie's List funny and infuriating at the same time.

Commercial #1: Customer tells us how awesome this woman she hired to clean her house turned out to be. She vacuumed, she dusted, she just did an amazingly awesome job.

BUT- she whistled the same song over and over again while she worked, and now, gosh darn it, the customer can't get that tune out of her head! "I could learn to love that tune" says the customer- but meanwhile, her stupid, thoughtless snark has set off a few alarm bells to the terminally anal among Angie's list browsers, and this cleaning woman has lost a few jobs. (No problem, that probably means she can be squeezed for even more work at lower pay in the future.)

Commercial # 2: Customer tells us how he hired a group of painters to repaint several rooms in his house. He tells us this story of how one of the painters stepped into a can of red paint and was picked on by the other painters, and he stalked off, leaving red footprints behind.

"They finished on time and on budget, but they are hardly professionals" this dick concludes. Oh, that's nice- they didn't act like fricking robots and had a bit of a spat, so despite the fact that they FINISHED ON TIME AND ON BUDGET, you are going to give them a low rating.

Commercial # 3: Woman talks about how she had a plumber working in her house, when she realized that she wouldn't get home in time to give her dog it's evening walk. So the plumber walked the dog up and down the street till she got home. "He really went above and beyond" the customer says.

This one strikes me as the funniest of all- she thinks there's something wonderful about her plumber walking her dog. I'd agree- if the plumber didnt charge her regular hourly rates for doing so. I would assume he did- after all, his time is His Time- except that I remember that there's this thing called Angie's List. All the customer had to do was to remind the plumber of Angie's List too- and it's easy to picture the poor guy walking up and down the street with the dog, scooping up it's leavings as they go, in order to avoid a bad rating.

And that's what pisses me off about this concept- I suppose there's nothing wrong with a web site providing reviews of plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc.- but the commercials strongly suggest that Angie's List is an awesome way to beat these professionals about the head if they do ANYTHING to step out of line (whistle an annoying tune, step in paint) or if they aren't willing to go out of their way to kiss the customer's ass (walking the dog.) In a tough economy, I imagine it's a very effective gun to hold to the head of these guys.

Did the job you were contracted to do? Awesome- but you annoyed me slightly, so I'm subtracting a star. Don't like it? Jump for me, Monkey!


  1. The really annoying thing about these ads is that they present the tyrant-homeowners as being the victims of the contractors they're treating like slave labor; sure, it's a masterwork of misdirection but it still isn't right.

  2. Yes- just another version of the eternal whine of the Upper Class- "you just CAN'T find good help anymore!"

    I have a friend who bitches about her once-a-week housekeeper from time to time. It goes over really well with her co-workers, all of whom have to do their own cleaning, every day.

  3. Sorry you're not a fan of the commercials, John.

    We're in the early stages of putting together new ones, so instead of more of the same, what would you like to see? We're always open to suggestions, comments and critiques!

    Cas from Angie's List

  4. Hi Cas, thanks for the reply.

    You'll note that I took no objection to the commercial where the woman complains about the carpenter who took twice as long as expected to do the job he contracted for- and a month later, she discovered that said carpenter had been spending time watching Pay Per View films instead of working. That's the kind of information people looking for help need to know about. Whistling on the job? Stepping into a bucket of red paint? That sounds like whiny nitpicking, and intentionally downgrading someone's work just Because You Can.

  5. jjamele, I thought you might enjoy this article taking KFC to task for "a bacon and cheese sandwich that featured two thick slabs of fried chicken instead of bread."

  6. Thanks April, I suffered heart pains just reading it!

    I love this site- as disgustingly unhealthy as the ingredients of these dishes are, I would like to taste some of them :>)

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