Owner claims false reviews on Angie's List hurting company

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - We get to the bottom of a bitter dispute for a former customer of Angie's List. The owner of B.N.W. Builders is furious and says false reviews hurt his business' reputation.

I spoke over the phone with the founder of Angie's List, Angie Hicks. She says they followed the proper process for verifying customer reviews.

Bruce Wiegan, owner of B.N.W. Builders, claims anybody can post anything about a company.

According to its own website, Angie's List is the trusted place where millions go for ratings and reviews on companies before hiring one.

The most recent review that got Wiegan all worked up was posted on Angie's List the first week of April.

"The homeowner put down there that we quoted them $220,000 to put siding on their house," said Wiegan.

He couldn't get what he felt he deserved from Angie's List despite all the emails.

"They keep avoiding the $220,000 for siding. I asked them, why don't they ask the customer for proof of this because it's too absurd."

In one response, Angie's List writes, "reviews cannot be edited or removed. They belong to the member."

Another response, it got a re-confirmation from the member. It will stay. The disputed review was moved to the 'siding' category, his comments refuting the estimate were not, and the amount stayed the same.

"I keep going back and forth with them because I don't want that review there," said Wiegan.

I started calling right away and heard back from Angie's List Wednesday. It says, after my call, it went back to the member and then changed the post to $20,000.

I went to the member's home responsible for the review. No one answered. The family apologized for too many zeroes in an email to Wiegan, though.

Wiegan says $20,000 is still wrong. He emailed me a two-year-old purchase agreement showing a $10,000 amount and $13,000.

Angie's List says there's no maliciousness or fraud.

Angie Hicks says "we attempt to have a very fair platform. Companies have a right to respond to reviews. B.N.W. is well rated, and everybody gets a bad review sometimes."

Hicks says if Wiegan gives them the proof he sent me, they will go back and 're-confirm' with the member who wrote the review.

In addition to this change, Angie's List tells me, it's 're-confirming' a review about B.N.W. Builders from January and may actually remove it from the site.

It stresses though, that it has a sophisticated verification team, no reviews are anonymous, and companies and providers cannot post reviews on themselves or competitors.

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