How important are reviews?
We live in a technology driven society where 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. Review websites are becoming the standard for consumer choices, though it is becoming more and more apparent that these review sites might not be what they seem. Consumers are much more likely now more than ever to use review websites like Yelp, Google, Facebook to find out information about companies. Consumers also use agencies like the Better Business Bureau to evaluate business’ practices. While consumers are doing their best to make sure that they are being conscientious, it has become apparent that not all of their resources can always be trusted.
Are online reviews real?
“There are easily over a million fake reviews online,” says reviewfraud.org. Amazon has sued more than 1,000 people in the past year for allegedly selling fake reviews to companies. Fake reviews appear on Google, Facebook and Yelp as well as many other websites. These reviews often praise the services provided by restaurants, retailers, home remodelers and many others alike. Professional “stock photos” are bought or stolen off the internet and are used to create fake reviewer profiles. Some businesses have generated hundreds of fake reviews.
The measures taken to thwart fake reviewers are far from solving the problem. Yelp, for instance, filters reviews through an undisclosed algorithm. Although they say they do their best to advertise equally, it is common that many real reviews get filtered out in the process. This inaccuracy is enhanced by the fact that infrequent users also are commonly filtered out. This can skew the ratings immensely.
What about the Better Business Bureau?
Consumers who are aware of the major flaws with popular review websites often turn to the Better Business Bureau as another resource. Unfortunately, the BBB’s business practices are generally misunderstood. The Better Business Bureau states on its website that “it does not act as a reference or give recommendations or endorsements.” The BBB is not government run, though it is often misrepresented as such.There are 128 local BBBs that are organized as nonprofit corporations. They are financed by membership dues paid by businesses that were solicited in the community. The BBB is solely funded by the annual dues paid by their members.
Many companies pay thousands of dollars each year for membership. These fees allow “accreditation” within the BBB. The accreditation allows business to display their ratings in store and online. Members’ positive reviews are posted on the BBB’s website, while non-members’ positive reviews are not allowed to be posted, nor can non-members defend any negative reviews. Many argue that since the BBB is fully funded by businesses rather than consumers it is impossible for it to remain objective in its rating system
Who can I trust?
We have devised a foolproof system to ensure that our customers get the most reliable information about the companies they are considering. Canvas Your Home only allows homeowners who have had projects completed by a company leave the company a review. This guarantees that all reviews are 100% authentic. There are no incentives given for reviews nor are any bad reviews filtered out. This allows our homeowners to remain informed and up to date.