Do You Get an Honest Opinion of Who is the Best Contractor in their Field When You Search Them Online Using Crowd Sourcing Companies?
THE SHORT ANSWER IS…NO!
The online reviews that you see for a lot of businesses are for the most part accurate. The big question is…..when you search for a particular type of business, why do you see the businesses that you see? The answer is simple. Those businesses are paying that particular “crowd-sourcing” company to put themselves up front and “in your face” first. For example, if you type “Tree Service” into YELP the first thing you will see is a fairly long list of tree companies in your geographical area that have paid YELP to put them first. These companies are called “Sponsored Results”. The next group of companies are listed under a heading called “All Results” and are usually listed by the number of reviews the company has received and their “star” rating that relates to how customers view that company. If you do not pay YELP, you are automatically listed under “All Results”. Now what happens if you bypass a “sponsored Result” company and select a company from the “all Results” list? Well, YELP will automatically direct you into a sequence of questions that will ultimately redirect you back to selecting a company listed in the “Sponsored List” of companies. Then we have Angie’s List which has pretty much fizzled out over the last couple of years. These folks do basically the same thing as YELP but they use a different method. Angie’s List has always maintained that everything they do is for the members as it relates to putting quality contractors first and foremost on their list. NOT TRUE! Angie’s List will list those contractors who pay them at the very top of the list with little to no regard for the quality of the contractor. For example: Adirondack Tree Experts has nearly 600 ratings on Angie’s List with 557 of those being an “A”. We have more than 3 times the reviews of any other local tree contractor on Angie’s List with the absolute highest rating. However, if you search Angie’s List, we are buried on page 11 among the tree contractors who have only a few ratings.
So how do you find contractors that are the best in their perspective fields? The first thing one must do is use a source that does NOT ALLOW contractors to pay them! In our area and most major markets across the country, that source is Consumer Checkbook. Contractors cannot pay these folks regardless of how much they offer. As a matter of fact, you do not even make their list unless you have had at least 10 reviews submitted to them. However, one must pay an annual membership fee of $119.00 in order to access their contractor ratings. This method undoubtedly keeps the “fox out of the hen house” as it relates to unbiased ratings. Unsurprisingly, Adirondack Tree Experts has the highest rating based on total reviews in Consumer Checkbook and we have garnered the “Checkbook Check of Quality” every year that we have been rated by them with more ratings than any other tree Contractor.
There you have it folks! This is how they do it and this is why you may not be exposed to the best possible contractor to fulfill your needs.