Online Reviews: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
There is so much to write about these days no matter what your profession. Even though we are a landscape company, we are still business owners trying to improve our company just like anyone else. We here at Bailey Construction & Landscape Group try to have our customers submit reviews to us so that our future clients know that these are real people and not paid reviewers. We do use Angies's List too, since they are a highly reputable company, but even they have quirks.
When choosing a company to do work for you, really take a look at all they have to offer and not just what you read in 1 review. Investigate a company and see if what they have on their website they can backup. Websites like Yelp aren't very reliable. We were told when approached about advertising that anyone can make negative reviews disappear if they were willing to join their program and pay a fee every month to be in their "Top 3 spot." No one should have to pay for reviews. They also use a filtering system that basically filters out any positive reviews a company may receive. Other bloggers have the same opionion. Check out this article written just a month or so ago http://womeninbusiness.about.com/od/yelp-help/a/How-Yelp-Unfair-Review-Filtering-Practices-Hurt-Business-Owners.htm.
Angie's List is a great place, but if you're not a member (pay membership), it can be a little tricky getting your review heard on there. They do now offer an exta link for you to go to so that if you don't have a membership, you can still place a review for a company and have it heard www.angieslist.com/review/.
Just remember that with any company you plan on hiring, do research and don't just rely on one website or person. Webstes that have actual testimonials from REAL customers are usually the best. Really take a look at everything you can find and most of the time you'll be able to find the company that is just right for you ad your needs.