Angie’s List was founded in 1995 by Angie Hicks and William Oesterle. Oesterle was Hick’s supervisor at a time when Hicks was having difficulty finding a reliable construction contractor. Hick’s moved to Columbus, Ohio, to join in a business venture with Oesterle. The original name of the company was Columbus Neighbors.
The company purchased Unified Neighbors in 1996 and moved their headquarters to Indianapolis, Indiana.
Angie’s List is an online, paid subscription referral service for a wide variety of consumer needs, such as contractors, roofers, auto repair shops, even doctors, and healthcare facilities. The company uses a rating scale similar to grade school report cards with ratings ranging from a perfect “A” to a failing “F”.
In early 2014, the company paid $2.8 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that it automatically renewed members at a higher rate than they were led to believe.
Then in August of 2016, Angie’s List agreed to settle three lawsuits for a payment of $1.4 million. The class action lawsuits focused on the company’s acceptance of advertising payments from service providers, and whether those payments affect service providers’ letter-grade ratings and reviews. Angie’s List denies the plaintiffs’ claims but disclosed that revenue from service providers can affect the order of search-result rankings of the service provider under certain settings.
Angie’s List, now rebranding itself simply as Angie, isn’t all sunshine and roses. Problems with contractors are not unheard of.
Today, Angie’s List has more than 70,000 subscribers and more than 3.2 million paid members. On May 2, 2017, IAC (InteractiveCorp), owner of HomeAdvisor, announced that it had agreed to acquire Angie’s List for $8.50 per share (valuing the company at over $500 million). IAC plans to merge Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor into a new publicly traded subsidiary known as ANGI Homeservices.