There are all kinds of services out there for consumers.
From resume writing to cable TV, we pay for all sorts of things that we need and want.
So what are the best and the worst? A lot of these you would expect but there were a few surprises.
Each year, Angie's List analyzes its consumer reports to determine who has given consumers the best and worst service.
Today, we are looking back at the best and worst company categories for 2010.
Consumers turn to Angie's List to find companies with good customer service track records, and they generally limit their hiring searches to those with A or B grades.
If the companies deliver as expected, they earn more high grades, and maintain those high grade-point averages.
Members submit more than 40,000 new reports each month to Angie's List.
Consumer Expert Angie Hicks of Angie's List said, "The top two categories on the most complained about list this year are home warranty companies and property management companies. They both are a result of people giving big decisions in the hands of someone else. I mean they are really looking for a safety net in this scenario and what happens when they hand over that decision making process they end up with service they may not want. Consumers need to understand what they are buying in those scenarios and realize what are reasonable expectations for those services."
Also making the top ten most complained about companies internet service providers, cable and satellite TV providers, wedding professionals like bridal and tuxedo shops and wedding planners, dry cleaners, phone companies, car dealers, taxi and limo services, and florists.
"On the communication services, whether it be telephone service, Internet, cable companies, it comes down to a combination of customer service in regards to coming out for appointments, not showing up, not getting the service done right - as well as sales. A lot of consumers, with all the gadgets they can buy these days, want to be educated by their salesperson so they can make their own decision. We're finding that people are reporting that they don't feel like the salespeople know enough about the products they are selling," said Angie.
Which were the top ten least complained about companies?
Artwork/mural services, resume services, website design/development, dryer vent cleaning, home organization services, hauling services, screen repair, lighting services, ceiling fan installation, architects and building design.
"The interesting thing about the best list is we often find categories that have a much closer relationship between the customer and the company. We are seeing resume writing services, home organizers, mural and artwork painting. All situations where you have to understand the customer in order to do the service right and in those scenarios they are doing well. They are getting lots and lots of A's," said Angie.
The most important thing for consumers is to be educated in the service you are going to hire, have your expectations aligned, and demand a level of service from the companies because that is going to be important.
Do not be afraid to let them know if something is not going quite right, because that will give them the opportunity to fix it.
So, the key is to do your research and not make an impulsive decision.
Yes, too many consumers learn the hard way about companies that provide bad service.
People have skipped out on doing the research and hired someone based solely on an ad they have seen or a quick recommendation from a friend or family.
More often than not, it is that kind of hire that leads to a hiring experience no one wants to repeat.
Consumers turn to Angie's List to find companies with good customer service track records, and they generally limit their hiring searches to those with A or B grades. If the companies deliver as expected, they earn more high grades, and maintain those high grade-point averages. Members submit more than 40,000 new reports each month to Angie's List.
In 2010, Angie's List looked specifically into the 6 areas grades are assigned: Overall experience, price, quality, responsiveness, punctuality, and professionalism.
Angie's List 2010 Most Complained About Companies
1. Home warranty companies*
2. Property management companies*
3. Internet service providers*
4. TV cable & satellite providers*
5. Wedding professionals - bridal and tuxedo shops, planners
6. Dry cleaners
7. Phone services*
1. Auto sales
2. Car services - limos and taxi services*
*Repeat appearance on this list
In summary: For the sixth consecutive year, home warranty companies topped the worst-graded categories list. Fifty-four percent of the consumer reviews submitted by Angie's List members who'd bought a home warranty and reported on their experience in 2010 gave their company D or F grades. Property managers maintained the dubious distinction of being the second most often complained about service, and four other services repeated their appearance on the highest complaints list.
Angie's List 2010 Least Complained About Companies
1. Artwork/Mural services
2. Resume services
3. Website design/development
4. Dryer vent cleaning
5. Home organization services
6. Hauling services
7. Screen repair
8. Lighting services
9. Ceiling fan installation
10. Architects and building design
In summary: Companies offering artwork/mural services, resume services and website design and development all ranked well with Angie's List members this year, earning less than 1 percent of negative reports. These companies know how to listen to their customers. They take the time to know what their customers want and they deliver on that.
*Rankings are based on Angie's List analysis of member reports submitted during the first three quarters of 2010.