Angie’s List vs. Consumers’ Checkbook

Trying to decide between Angie’s List and Consumers’ Checkbook, two organizations that rate and review DC area companies and services?

Here’s our personal experience: After reviewing costs for each, my husband went with Consumers’ Checkbook. According to its Web site, Angie’s List charges $90 for two years, which includes a one-time $15 signup fee. Consumers’ Checkbook charges $34 for a two-year subscription–but this only applies to the current quarterly issue. If you want access to its archive of of past ratings and articles, you’ll have to pay another $25. Still, that’s a total of $59, vs. $90 for Angie’s list.

Here are some free resources to check out companies in the area:
Better Business Bureau
The Web site for the DC area chapter allows you to search for members and find out whether any complaints have been registered in the last three years.

Fairfax County Consumer Protection division
This division’s staff is really on the ball and very pro-consumer. You can search online for complaints lodged with the county against companies; the reports are fairly detailed and tell you what the outcome of the case was. You can also file complaints online.

Arlington County has an Office of Consumer Affairs; couldn’t find a page for the office on the county’s Web site, but the no. is 703-228-3260.

The Alexandria Office of Consumer Affairs Web site says you can call them to ask about any complaints lodged about a company. Tel. no. is 703-838-4350.

Loudoun County does not have an office of consumer affairs; they refer consumers to the state’s office, the Virginia Office of Consumer Affairs.

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