When it comes to picking out a contractor to work with many people rely on reviews they read. If all you see is one after another of perfect reviews for any contractor, that should put up a big red flag. The main concern you should have is this, "who wrote these reviews?", and, are they a legitimate enough for you to check the reference source? It is interesting how so many sites like Angie's List, Yelp and the Better Business Bureau all portray to be "consumer advocates" and providing their service as almost community activists when the truth is they are for profit organizations.
When it comes to believing a review from anything you find on the web you might wish to consider the following:
1. Yelp - if you read the terms and conditions of use it is quite obvious how they conduct business. Yelp clearly tells businesses NOT to "ask for reviews" but then has sales people who are out calling on businesses and selling ads. Point here is to remember that this is a publicly traded company who answers to shareholders based on the revenue they produce. The revenue comes from advertising. If you see a contractor with a seemingly ton of all perfect or near perfect reviews I'd suggest you beware. In reality, who is going to pay $300 to get their refrigerator fixed and then run to Yelp to profess how great the experience was if the contractor did not at least suggest or out right ask for a review.
2. Angie's List - this again is a publicly traded company - they answer to shareholders. Their huge TV budget has the brand name recognized all over the US including here in Austin. The basic idea is by being a "member" a consumer will gain access to "trusted" contractors and service providers. In reality, it is a giant marketing organization whose end game purpose is to sell advertising to the contractors who want access to the "Angie's" members. It is our belief that there is really no sense in anyone paying money to find a simple Google search will show. The reviews shown on Angie's and then often displayed in result pages on Google/Bing/Yahoo are most times "solicited". In other words, you have to use extreme discretion when viewing these reviews.
3. BBB - So many people think the Better Business Bureau is a "government agency" when in fact it is a private held company. Although BBB does a good job with working out complaints between a consumer and a business don't assume this is a non-profit and therefore all the information you find is unbiased.
The very best way to check out our company or any other contractor here in Austin is to ask for a reference from a local person in your zip code that we have done work for.
For the past 20 years we have been company who provides the best service we can to homeowners and commercial clients. We do not profess to be perfect but you will always find us willing to do whatever it takes to make you a happy customer.