Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood Flooring

Forget Yelp if you’re serious about hiring a real pro

Our company initially started out pretty well on Yelp and then we fell victim to the sales scam of Yelp. I’m not the only one, just click here

http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/directory/yelp

http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/yelp-and-the-business-of-extortion-20/Content?oid=1176635

Our phone instantly started to explode with calls to advertise shortly after we were leading the pack with 5 star reviews. In the final phone call with the sales rep I actually hung up on them and sent an email to the corporate headquarters to insist they leave me alone. The sales rep insisted Yelp was filtered based on a proprietary algorithm beyond her control. Interestingly though, within two weeks of the sales call chaos we went from all five star reviews to consistently 3 stars average with all negative reviews present.By the way, only 1 of the three negative reviewers ever used our service. Since then, we have no longer been popular with the Yelp crowd and I am very happy about that.

This evening while watching the Colbert report I saw a report where I saw a segment about Yelp reviews of correctional facilities that was very entertaining. Here are links to the reviews.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/rikers-island-correctional-facility-queens

http://www.yelp.com/biz/arlington-county-detention-arlington

If Yelp is such a credible source for reviews, then why would they allow reviews of correctional facilities if they are in fact true? You cannot really choose to pay for service at a correctional facility. It’s actually free to evaluate the service as long as you commit a crime, usually a felony.

So that leads me to this article:

http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2161315

I understand reviews are very important. I promise with full honesty that real people have written all of our reviews and no other compensation than a thank you e-mail after getting notification of the review.

Where am I going with all of this banter? I actually would suggest that if you are serious about choosing a contractor around Portland, then you should consider the following approach:

1) Review the formal credentials of the company. Do they have any certifications of knowledge at all?

2) Are they members of prominent trade organizations with good standing?

3) Check out their company’s complete licensing history at oregon.gov/ccb. BTW you can actually check for things such as workers compensation, bonding and insurance. If they have employees, then workers compensation is required. If they do not have it and their employee falls down your stairs, then prepare to get sued and pay the bill for the related injuries and long term health care.

4) Are they generally upbeat and helpful? Broke contractors are desperate and bid low. Broke companies cease to exist. The price may be cheap now, but wait until you need a repair in 2 years and they filed bankruptcy, then you need to find someone else and hope the new contractor can make a good guess at what stain was used on your floor.

Reviews are part of the process, but professionalism and expertise come from knowledge obtained from experience and networking with other skilled contractors. Hiring the right professional is an insurance policy that safeguards your time and your sanity.

Take care everyone!

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