Canadian Contractor

"It (did) not take Columbo to read GarCon's reviews and smell a big pile of fish"

"I also took great offence at the Toronto Star and CityTV highlighting that Mr. Gardin is Jewish."

January 16, 2015
By Steve Payne

Lots of renovation firms go out of business every week. But few of them go under with public protests from homeowners AND employees AND subtrades, with multiple TV stations and other media covering the whole thing.

Adam Gardin of GarCon Building Group, Toronto, met such a fate last week as his firm stopped working for 20 homeowner clients and owed a pile of money to his crews and employees (a reported $1.8-million in debts showed up on a credit report, including taxes owed).

HomeStars had awarded GarCon a “Best Of” award in both 2010 and 2011. So after the flame out of the company, and allegations of fraud (fervently denied by Gardin), HomeStars took a major hit to its reputation.

Gordon Thomas Bailey, Academia Roofing, posted this defence of HomeStars – and also took exception to comments about Gardin’s religion.


I resent that (these) homeowners are blaming HomeStars for posting fake reviews and that no one should use their site. This is like saying do not trust Muslims due the bad ones we have been reading about and watching on television and the recent murders here in Ottawa and Quebec committed by the jihadists. This Mr. Hajee went out of his way to point the finger squarely at HomeStars because they probably do have some fake reviews submitted by dishonest contractors. I also took great offence at the Toronto Star and City TV highlighting the fact that Mr. Gardin is Jewish. Meanwhile, these politically correct media sources go out of their way to hammer anyone they can catch in a New York minute for such offences.

It does not take Columbo to read GarCon’s first three pages of reviews and responses to smell a big pile of fish, the dates of submission being so close when submitted for such large-scale projects. The front porch “zero” score on the first page, with GarCon admitting it was out of their depth, (then) so many reviews posted about all these high-priced structural projects. Then the low-scored reviews got buried quickly with a multitude of 10’s. Most obvious of all was the horrible grammar, spelling mistakes and repetitive forms of the submissions and the responses – they were very telling to the suspicious researcher.

If you look at the costs, where posted, it (was) obvious that consumers that (could) afford a $550,000 project (would) more than likely write properly and for that kind of money a two sentence response should have raised red flags.




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4 Comments » for "It (did) not take Columbo to read GarCon's reviews and smell a big pile of fish"
  1. Linda says:

    I am always suspicious when I see a company with lots of reviews and a high rating on Home Stars. We have a 9.8 rating for the 22 reviews collected over a 5 year period and this is with regularly encouraging clients to personally post their experience reviews. We are not affiliated with HomeStars in any way except to be listed on their free site.
    People are busy and can’t be bothered to write reviews. When I questioned the HomeStars rep on this a few years ago I was told that, for a monthly fee, they would collect and post the reviews from a customer list I would provide or I could collect and post them myself.
    I fail to see how HomeStars is able to provide the public with an honest representation of the service provider if they cherry pick or control the reviews posted to a paying client’s site.

  2. Edward says:

    HomeStars business model is for companies and has little to do with people looking for trades. Companies pay for their existence, they control their existance and they are able to manipulate their existance on the site. HomeStars requires a big change. For starters, people reviewing a company should be able to post a copy of invoice in question, regardless of rating (omitting last names and address) and published on every review. This way a company can’t use “we never done this job” or call customer a liar. 2ndly, HomeStars should still be posting reviews of customers who give negative reviews, but are later removed because “the Company” reimburses the customer. (Bribe and conflict of interest, both senarios seen with 2 highly rated plumb companies in the past).

  3. Hi Edward
    You are making very strong allegations here against Homestars. What physical Proof do you have? From my experience I have with homestars it is all about providing a platform for the consumer.

    • edward says:

      Reno Coach, until 2010 or 2011 Homestars beefed up their website to make it more secure so they can determine if reviews are faked (as they claimed, which they publicly advertised when it was implemented). They even introduced the banners of suspect reviews. So from 2005 to 2011, lots of fake reviews. Mind you, Garcon who’s reviews are even later than 2011, yet Homestars NOW puts a banner that reviews are suspect? That alone says enough. Now, it is well known that if a company reimburses the customer, that review is allowed to be removed. Regardless of what anyone says, the website is there to showcase PAYING companies. Do you see otherwise?

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