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Alec Caldwell: It’s time to do away with anonymous negative online reviews of contractors

The contractors who have their reputations damaged, are not allowed to be "anonymous." Why should their accusers be given this privilege?


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May 25, 2016 by Alec Caldwell

review -and-RatingsWhy do contractor review websites still allow individuals to post anonymous negative reviews? Reputable contractors (many of which pay these sites hundreds of dollars a month) are often victims of these unnamed critics. Why can’t these critics put their names out there? The contractors’ names are public!

If you receive a negative anonymous on-line review, it’s very difficult to respond directly to your accusers. Was the negative review posted by a real consumer or someone fictitious, maybe an angry competitor who lost the business? When these posts are anonymous, who knows?

HomeStars does not divulge to contractors the identities of anonymous posters who slight them on their site. This denies them the opportunity to fix the problem. In the process, ratings are reduced. If that’s a coveted 10 (top rating) you’ll kiss that quickly goodbye, affecting your business.

I understand “anonymous” has its place in life and some customers not want personal details online. But I believe that review web sites should not allow posts without the identity of the poster at least being declared to the operators of the website. At their discretion they could provide this information to contractors who have received negative reviews.

The first contractor review website to ban anonymous negative reviews would have the respect of our entire industry. They would get a 10 out of 10 rating for fairness!

What do you say, HomeStars?

Feedback on this article is most welcome.

CARAHS are approved Ministry of Labour Working at Heights approved trainers. Special summer deal. Toll free 1 866 366 2930

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Alec Caldwell

Alec Caldwell

Alec Caldwell is the Founder of CARAHS, a Health & Safety Organization. We are approved providers by the Ministry of Labour (Ontario) to teach Working at Heights Training (Pro#34609) Visit the Ministry of Labour's web site to view our listing
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3 Comments » for Alec Caldwell: It’s time to do away with anonymous negative online reviews of contractors
  1. Edward says:

    What about Anonymous positive reviews? I would assume those would outweigh the anonymous negatives. Then again, who’s to say the positives are legitimate customers???? Nothing is fool proof!

  2. Hi Edward,
    We never know if those who post reviews are real or not. So your comments are very true.

    Its a pity HomeStars accept anonymous reviews and as one highly paying renovation contractor (paying HomeStars) said to me, I’m paying them hundreds of dollars monthly and even a call to their founder Nancy makes no difference. Tough luck.

    Do they ( HomeStars) care. If they loose some paying members along the way, is that part of the game plan.

  3. Bob says:

    I agree anonymous customer reviews should never be allowed!! My company is in the gas service repair business, if the customer calls because they are having an issue with their gas appliance we always tell them before going that we charge a service call out charge which includes diagnostic and safety check labour and parts are extra. Some customers when calling us out tell us they just require a maintenance. When we arrive we find the appliance doesn’t work so we add the diagnostic fee which we explain. Everything is explained!! “Customers should not be allowed to be anonymous” On the Homestars format.