How Do I Find A Reputable Company?
With everything that’s been happening in the home improvement industry over the past week, it can be very difficult to hold faith in any other home improvement company (I’m not talking about Lowe’s and Home Depot, here). After the closing of a very…apparently UN-profitable company this past week, how do you tell which companies are reputable and which are exactly like the company that closed?
First off, let’s talk about how you’re finding these companies. There are many, many seemingly reputable sources on the internet which claim to be “consumer protection agencies” or companies which say they operate based on reviews by “real” customers. Let’s get one thing straight: most of these agencies can be paid off by a company to make their rating better than it ACTUALLY is or they SELL YOUR INFORMATION FOR PROFIT.
Those consumer protection agencies are first on the agenda. For example, Company A opens an account and gets “accredited” by this website (which really just means they pay a yearly fee to have the accreditation). They do business (extremely poorly) for a year and their rating ends up being a C or C-. Company A can then PAY MONEY to the consumer protection website AND WIPE OUT THEIR BAD HISTORY AND COME RIGHT BACK TO AN A+ RATING. True story.
What does this mean for you? Basically, complaints on that website may actually be real, but the rating of a company may actually be fake. Read through the complaints; if you can’t see the complaint, something’s fishy. If you see “Complaint Details Unavailable,” run! Complaints by a reputable business can ALWAYS be viewed, along with the responses and the resolution. So websites such as the one described above are not to be fully trusted, but can be trusted with some discretion from customers.
Secondly, there are companies which take your information when you’re looking for a trusted professional and actually just sell it to 6 or 7 companies who do the work you’re looking for. I’m dead serious. Very popular websites that claim to be on your side, are really only on the side of making money. Reviews on these types of sites can also be less than an honest depiction. For example, our company can be found with a C rating on one of these popular sites. The reviews which are on this site are reviews that have been filed many years after the actual work was done and the customer(s) never contacted us for services, they are for products we don’t even offer anymore (because we recognize that we are not perfect at everything, but want to be great at what we really do), and they are from people who have all signed a completion form that states they were satisfied with the work performed and then given a warranty packet with instructions to contact the company if they ever have any issues.
So what are you, the customer, supposed to do now? You can’t trust what you thought you could trust. So how do you discern a trustworthy company from an untrustworthy one? Just three simple steps could help you feel better about the company whom you choose to do expensive work on your home: ACT.
Call/email them yourself
Take time to do some research
Make sure when you’re researching for a professional you go to their company website and check everything out. Has it been updated recently? Does it look professional? Do they have the type of knowledge and experience you’re looking for? A company that’s been in business for only 1 year may not have the same level of knowledge, experience, and customer service as a company that’s been in business for over 20, over 30, or even over 40 years. When you do call or email (and you should), be sure to ask questions. Questions like: “If I’m financing this project, when do you submit the financing paperwork? If I have any issues after the initial install, is there a warranty? Is there a paper I have to sign at the end of my project that signifies I’m satisfied, and what do I do if I’m not satisfied?” Just these few questions should help you feel more at ease about finding a company that cares about the customer more than they care about making money .