Customers have had the chance to comment on your business online. Now it's your turn.
February 20, 2012
by Robert Koci
Randy’s List is looking to change the game of references in favour of the contractor. Watch the video to learn more, or go to RandysList.com
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Really interesting idea. Many of our company users of HomeStars have discussed such an idea with us as, yes, they have difficult customer. This particular concept seems fraught with both privacy and libel issues.
The alternate idea is to use social networks. I recently used AirBnB to book a room in Calgary for HomeShow and how they build those trust levels is to attach social networks. Contractors may, at some point, ask for some of the social networks of their clients, or use a tool such as Rapportive to find them on their own.
You are right about the liability issues. I know Angie’s List gets around that by designating itself a membership-based organization, which allows members to speak freely among themselves. Their comments are not deemed to be “public” and therefore are not subject to libel laws that apply to public speech.
I am a present account customer of HomeStars. I feel that the site, though not perfect, is a excellent investment for honest contractors that are passionate about their work. I live by the concept “It is not how you start that counts but how you finish”. This being said, it does not always satisfy that two per cent of clients that, know matter how hard you try, can never be satisfied. These are the clients that you wish you never even entertained the thought of dealing with them. They usually have a previous track record of burning the hired help and feel a sense of joy in getting one over on you, by whatever means. It would be nice to have a site dedicated to outing these types of clients to protect the integrity and goodwill of all honest companies. The courts are a long process and do not necessarily mean you will be paid and these scammers know it. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. I also suggest you start a site that list contractors, homeowners, property managers, or persons that do not pay their bills whether it be to the suppliers or sub-trades and even employees. I spend a lot of time pre-qualifying potential clients beforehand and would use your site as another useful tool.
We have had many internal debates about the reviews written by subtrades and employees. Right now, HomeStars doesn’t publish them – for the primary reason is that they aren’t particularly relevant to the quality of customer service for a homeowner. (although good to know). They are also very hard to verify.
@Robert – Because of the internet, I think libel laws are far less applicable these days. People comment on Twitter, facebook and other social network and it’s pretty hard to stop that. The best thing to do is to respond and engage the conversation.
@Brian: “The best thing to do is to respond and engage the conversation.”
As you are doing, which I appreciate. It is the sign of a mature attitude towards the new realities of media.
Brian’s company, HomeStars is a good example of a moderated review service. When we had a bogus review I called and Brian stripped it immediately. Keep up the good work Brian. (And let me know if you ever need articles ok?)
Thanks for the mention Robert. Things are going well since we met in Orlando. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions that anyone has.
@Gordon, our site shows the non-paying customers and the “impossible-to-please” along with the jobsite “micro managers” that can also cost you time and money.
Concerning the legal issues, we are all entitled to our opinion and yes, RandysList is a membership site and all entries have to be entered by the person or company that performed the work. Third party reports are illegal and not allowed.
If you haven’t taken the time to look at our site, please do so and let us know what you think. We are always glad to hear comments and suggestions about how our site could be better. We’re in all 50 states and Canada and growing fast and are adding and changing everyday. There’s even a renters section coming within the next few weeks.
Randy – RandysList Founder
Memberships and customer reports are booming! Still traveling and promoting. Hope to visit Toronto soon.
As we’ve told a few others, report your good, 5 star customers, let them know you did and they will remember and use you again in the future. You still have the ability to search the database of bad customers. I’ve been a contractor for 16+ years and every now and then a customer comes along that you just want to strangle. Maybe you’ll report them, maybe not, but we need this list. All of us have thought about it doing this at least once before. Our company completes over 100 jobs a year and I only posted 4 negative ratings. The database is currently about 70% positive. This information can be just as important to us as the negative.
We are still a new site but have reached all 50 states and Canada and continue to grow larger everyday. We will always listen to the advice and opinions of our members or any contractor as we continue to grow. We are willing to make changes if need be to make this site a helpful tool for every contractor in every industry. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Randy Simonton – Randy’s List Founder
The Renter’s Blacklist is being added to http://www.randyslist.com this week! This will be useful to apartments, extended stay hotels, equipment rental companies, realtor and real estate agencies and any other type of rental companies. The customer search results will be combined with the contractor and service industry customers in our existing database. This already includes individual and business customers! All 50 states, Canada and now the United Kingdom!
I believe it is a great idea, to let other contractors know about bad clients. This way the table is turned, but how will the client know that their name is on the blacklist. Is someone from contractor.ca calls them or the contractor informs them.