Checking Reviews and Complaints

So you are interested in a business or service and want to know if they are any good at what they do. It used to be you had to rely on word-of-mouth to find out the skinny on a company. You’d go ask your neighbors and friends what they thought of the restraint you were going to or the new school district you may move to. Now, you can find all the information you need right at your fingertips in the comfort of your home. Fire up the Google machine, type in “name of business” followed by review and you are sure to see some interesting information. But, beware, all is not what is seems.

Review sites can be helpful to prospective buyers. They offer reviews that can be helpful to customers who are seeking that information. Not every review that you see will be good. If most reviews are positive that will more than likely tell you that the company is legitimate and does stand behind their product. Not all review sites are honest and they are not all review sites. Some sites, such as one well known complaint site, do not offer positive reviews and they do require the company to pay to remove a negative review. This is true even if the customer complaint has been resolved.

Sometimes you can find small sites with reviews. I tend to trust these. But, at the end of the day you have to compile a lot of information to find out what is real and what is faked; when in doubt check with the better business bureau, or a state agency. For example, I ran some reviews recently for a residential school called The Pinnacle Schools and Elk River Treatment Program. I looked at these sites, the BBB, a site called Huntsville Troubled Teens, Yelp, and Superpages.com.

Finding legitimate reviews, and complaints, for a company can be hard work. When in doubt, find the most reliable source possible.

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