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Suit Alleges Companies Pay For Better Angie's List Reviews

Gretchen Frazee

Financially-embattled Angie‘s List is remaining tight-lipped about another federal class action lawsuit.

The suit filed in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia alleges the firm gives better ratings, reviews and exposure to clients that pay more and downplays the negative reviews they may receive.  The Angie‘s List business model is built in part on the integrity and reliability of its business reviews and ratings.

Angie‘s List Spokeswoman Debra DeCourcy says it‘s company policy not to address pending litigation.

This comes as the company is seeking more than $18 million in taxpayer money for the planned expansion of its downtown headquarters on the near eastside.

IU Kelley School of Business Assistant Professor Todd Haugh says that while the allegations remain just allegations, the suit doesn‘t sit well for Angie‘s List.

“If it progresses and more allegations come out, then that hurts them even more, regardless of what the ultimate disposition and whether they’re proven down the road,” Haugh says.

Haugh says companies built on the trust of stakeholders may have a tough time even with allegations that question their core values and branding. He says it‘s important for all companies to make sure they walk the talk of their core mission. 

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