by Cam in Toronto 10 months ago
I regularly refer to Homestars and have written reviews of business found on the site and others. Initially I was not aware that this was a service that merchants or businesses paid for. (Just another marketing tool.) Naively, I thought that it was a consumer-run site. The companies or service providers I used were okay, but certainly not up to the raves I was reading, which made me a bit skeptical.
I respect that the review I wrote on a non-listed business was followed up before it was posted, but when I read the other reviews closely, it was apparent that many were not real and could not be trusted. In other words, too few real customers actually write reviews. The ones that write reviews are more likely to do so if they have complaints, which would give many merchants lower standings than they probably deserve. As such, in order to promote a business, the site (or someone) has to provide or permit false “rave” reviews.
That said, I still use the site as a research tool to find local businesses, but it is only one of many. A couple of suggestions for Homestars – Make it clear to users that Businesses pay to be listed on your site. Also, I think users would appreciate more sort options for review. I’d like to be able to sort the reviews by rating. I find the lower reviews which often include responses from the business, are often the most useful because the demonstrate how that business deals with disputes. That is often the most helpful information. The fawning reviews are often simply unbelievable.
Of course, I am not a paid subscriber, so if this is posted, I’ll be pleasantly surprised.
by Brian from Ossington Village 10 months ago
Thanks for the post. We appreciate the feedback. While we do get revenue from companies we are very clear that homeowners are the people we serve. Our site is designed to help homeowners find good companies. We try to clearly mark sponsored links as sponsored and note that there are companies that pay to have enhanced profiles. But search results on our site are driven by reviews.
We spent a lot of time and technology verifying reviews. We want to make sure what is posted on the site is by real homeowners. We’re by no means perfect, but you’ll find that most reviews on most companies which you think are “rave” reviews are in fact, “rave” reviews. Ask the companies and they can probably tell you which customer they are from. Ask them to call that customer. That’s a good cross-check.
As for your feature requests. Look forward to some upcoming features. We’re working on some of the exact things you are looking for.
Keep posting the feedback. We appreciate it and listen to it all.
by HOTWIRE ELECTRIC 416-553-5533 10 months ago
Homestars is client based site. yes we pay to have our pictures and website posted but regardless clients are able to post comments on us whether the pictures are there or not. the payment isnt for editing of info from client reviews. You are right no one is perfect but we the TOP STARS work very hard to maintain our status on this site and enjoy hearing from our great clients about the work that we do, and some of the fawing we really hope is true and its what keeps us getting better and better… Thank you from the Hotwire Electric-all inc team