I had a very bad experience with Angie's List this past winter. I saw they were marketing a special for roofing inspection and reports from a company called Cornerstone (Another lying company that does not follow through on its products, professionalism, resolution of complaints due to poor service or lack of service in this case and comes up with so many excuses for not providing the service you paid for. Your head would spin). Bottom line, service was paid for $189. It wasn't provided. Angie's list was contacted - they stated they would reimburse me the $189...they didn't. The company also stated they would - they didn't.
I contacted Better Business Bureau - also no resolution there (The company stated they did the service but couldn't provide anyone with proof as the supervisor was fired and service reports were lost or taken when he left. The owner's excuse was his mom was terminally ill so he had to step away from the business and he returned to find the supervisor/manager had "messed things up".
I'm a very forgiving person. I can understand things happen...However, the owner failed to provide any report to me that the service was done - constantly came up with excuses as to why he couldn't. Failed to provide the service he was contracted for through Angie's List and failed to reimburse me as he stated he would (in good faith).
Angie's List likewise failed to provide the services (selecting reputable companies endorsed by them) and failed to reimburse me as well (once I contacted them and stated what had occurred and how I had been contacting (over 6 m period of time) the company/owner and no service or reimbursement has occurred. Both companies are unprofessional lying cheating companies that swindle people out of their money (I know of one person. I'm sure there are more).
The big deal works like this: you get an email from Angie's List with a discounted service (tree trimming, carpet cleaning, .etc). If you like the offer, you sign up for the coupon and the price (discounted) is paid for with your credit card (on file as you have to renew their membership periodically). Most coupons have a 90 to 120 window for use. What they don't tell you is there is a 30 day window to get your money back from Angie's if you change your mind about the service (buried in the fine print on the website). After that, any money for coupons not acted upon (apparently) are sent to the business.
So for a coupon at with 100 people taking an offer, 50 actually got the service (good), 30 people decided on a refund in 30 days (good), and the rest (20) lost their money as this was residual paid to the business. In short, free money for the business. Nowhere on the coupon does it spell out these details and the user is left thinking that he or she has the full 90 to 120 days to either redeem the coupon or get the refund.
The "BIG DEAL" works best if it's a coupon with a single price for a service, say $100 vs. $200 for duct cleaning. It's worst for a $200 savings for a service. In my case, I finally got the estimate for the service (within the 4 month window) but found it way too high and I've been trying to get my money back ever since. To no avail.