1) HOME ADVISOR: HomeAdvisor bought Angie’s List and is a scam for honest contractors. They use to be called ‘ServiceMagic’ but there were so many complaints and lawsuits they changed to HomeAdvisor. This company could put contractors out of business. Let me repeat: This company could put contractors out of business. They take over your website and direct your websites traffic through the Home Advisor website. Far and away the most evil “Pay to Play’ contractor referral website. BEWARE.
2) ANGIES’S LIST: Angie’s List is a scam. After your company gets added they contact you and tell you that your company has been added and reviewed. If you’d like to have an enhanced listing you can pay for that. They specifically outlined to one of my vendors that what I would be paying for is good reviews. They achieve this in two ways. One is by paying people to write the reviews, the other is by using telemarketers who call current consumer members and pressure them to write good reviews for your company. So the whole “we are acting in our members best interests” thing is bull! They have one interest in mind: their own. Angie’s List is not honest… you can never know if the reviews you’re reading are true or not.
3) YELP: Yelp is the biggest scam on the web. As a small business owner, you are concerned about social media to stay relevant for your company’s success. Well, Yelp likes to sabotage that with what I call extortion. Let me explain. Yelp creates a shell where they provide your company information online, and you have to “Claim it” to accurately provide your hours and photos of your business, policies, etc. When you create an account and login to update the information they have about you, the promotion starts. A crack sales team starts phoning you endlessly as soon as you login wanting you to buy advertising through Yelp. The sales people say it helps promote your business, keeps it more visible to consumers and they place you up at the top of the Yelp listings. Now if you do not spend money with them, you are not favored very well.
So now that you have a listing, anyone can create an email account and make comments on your business. These comments can come from virtually anyone whether or not he or she has even visited your business or used your services. So the interesting part is if you have something negative to say and you decide to rate the company, you can give it a 1-5 stars. So Yelp, in its infinite wisdom, chooses to just show the negative 1 star unless you pay them to advertise
These are referred to by Yelp as “Recommend Reviews.”
So here is the scenario, if a customer rates your company with a 3, 4, or 5 stars, these are referred to as(“Un-Recommended reviews”).These reviews disappear to the very bottom of the Yelp site in an obscure area, but the 1 and 2 star ratings get prominence. B & P Painting has many 5 star Yelp reviews that you will never see unless we ‘pay to play’. Yelp has not only scammed my painting business, but it is detrimental to small business owners everywhere.
4) WHAT TO DO? B & P Painting counts on local word of mouth referrals. Happy customers tend to refer only great contractor’s they trust to friends or family. We also like to be involved in local advertising in the Ann Arbor News Thursdays and Sundays print edition and online at MLive.com. We also support the local “Coffee News” and “Current” magazine. Whenever possible we like to support local youth sports leagues, religious organizations or other local fund raisers. Another great place to check on contractors is at the local paint stores (Anderson Paint Company, Sherwin-Williams). They do not get paid to give out referrals to honest painting contractors. We have many happy customers with dozens of testimonials, just ask. These are much more indicative of our business then what greedy scammers the likes of Home Advisor, Angie’s List or Yelp tries to undermine.