Providing a fair playing field for the Consumer

April 1st, 2010 · No Comments · by

In this day and age, anyone can design a wonderfully slick, impressive website, trumpeting the praises of their company and the myriad services they offer. Is this a good thing? Well yes, certainly in some cases it is, but what about for the dishonest businessman? What about those companies that are willing to forego any scruples and make false claims by way of an enticing website? The internet provides such people with a golden opportunity to mislead, misdirect and misguide the consumer time and time again. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had friends (or even myself for that matter) pick a company out of the book or online based on an ad, only to be completely misled.

How do we really know who we’re letting in to service our most valued investment, our home? How do we know that the company has provides quality Toronto plumbing services and has really been in business for the 10+ years they claim proudly in their advertisement? There are far too many “fly by nighters” who are “here today, and gone tomorrow”, who have crafted a career out of being savvy enough to slap a magnetic sign on the side of their unmarked truck, and find some generic, yet slick pictures to put in their ad purporting themselves to be something they’re not.

In reality, there are a lot of these roving mercenaries for hire who do a great job of masking what they’re all about until it’s too late, and your hard earned dollars are in their pockets because you felt the pressure of getting the problem fixed immediately. Is every company that has a nice website dishonest? Certainly not, in fact, in most cases, it’s to the contrary. The problem is, how do you as the consumer make that distinction in an environment which doesn’t always have the tangible check and balance to make an informed, educated decision? How do you ensure that you’re getting a company who will deliver on their claims of being the best in their respective field?

Thankfully, with the advent of technology, and the wealth of information available and how pervasive it has become in all of our lives, there are several resources that enable the consumer to make such decisions, like choosing plumbers in Toronto, confidently. By this, I’m referring to Contractor review websites. Essentially, what makes the best of these sites so invaluable to the consumer is the peace of mind in knowing that the information that they’re getting is from other consumers, not so Public Relations guru or some tech savvy snake oil salesmen. These sites work very simply. They enable consumers to post their experiences with a given company or contractor therefore spreading the word of mouth far beyond the reaches of a tangible backyard. Think about it; there is no more powerful or confidence inspiring form of information than to see multiple consumers praising a given company in the field you’re looking for whether it’s a mover, drywaller, plumber or a number of other trades people. Anyone can talk the talk, but by giving the consumers a voice, you see who really walks the walk.

Worried about the integrity of these sites? A lot of the larger and more reputable review sites online have systems in place to verify the reviews are from real customers and will go to great lengths to ensure this is accurate and truthful information. By combining a companies website with a few of the more prominent review sites out there, you can ensure that you as the consumer are getting the product “as advertised on the tin” as the saying goes.

There are several review sites online for consumers to peruse; however two of the more prominent local ones available are n49 (http://www.n49.ca/) and HomeStars(http://homestars.com/) . Both of these sites enable you to read several reviews about the companies in the area you’re looking for service in, good and bad; it’s all there. In addition, you can narrow your searches down by region and several other specifications. By being able to compare and contrast companies in the respective field you’re looking for, it ensures that YOU as the consumer get what you want from a company and ensures that the playing field between consumer and company is truly level and that is a wonderful thing.

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Tags: General Interest

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