One of the things we’ve harangued on constantly is the need to really closely examine your demolition contractor‘s reputation. There is a lot of competition for demolition jobs right now. And there are also a lot of small time scam artists operating as demolition contractors out there. One thing way you can check on a demolition contractor’s reputation is via internet review sites. But, whether you know it or not, internet reviews are not always accurate and sometimes are downright fakes.
Demolition contractors wh are desperate for business often will hire writers (either in the U.S. or overseas, mostly from India) to pump out hundreds of fake reviews to be posted on various review sites. Many demolition contractors will also ask their employees (or retain an employee full time) to write reviews for their company.
So how do you separate out the fake reviews from the real reviews?
People who have had a specific experience generally speaking have very specific memories to go along with that experience. Think back to losing your virginity. How would you describe it if your life depended on it. Would all you have to say is, “Well I lost my virginity and it was great. Highly recommend!”? Probably not.
Generalities and brevity are your first clues when it comes to spotting fake demolition contractor reviews. Regardless of whether someone had a great experience or a terrible experience, they’ll probably go into some fairly deep and sharp specifics relating to their experience with that particular demo contractors. A person who just had their pool removed and had a good enough experience to warrant taking the time to write a review will have more to say than just a single sentence.
A lot of unspecific, one or two line reviews is a pretty decent tell that you are dealing with a lot of fake reviews.
2. The combative good review
This scenario generally plays out something like this. A demolition contractor is hired by a homeowner to remove some concrete. He pulls a classic bait and switch, and charges her a lot more than what he estimated. That person, rightfully, goes to the internet to warn others off that particular contractor.
A day or a week later a new review pops up. And its from a guy who also had some concrete removal done and had a completely opposite experience of the last reviewer. Even to the point of calling that reviewer out specifically.
People are often oddly territorial about the companies they love and hate. I’ve seen grown men get into fights about whether Canon or Nikon made a better camera, for instance. But when it comes to demolition contractors this is often a swarmy tactic used to drag down a legitimate review and make their company look better than it probably is, which leads us into …
3. The Five Star bandit
Internet reviews are never perfect. People have outsized expectations of what a business can and can’t do. And when those expectations aren’t fulfilled they often take to the internet and holler about it. So when you are reading reviews of anything, even demolition contractors, its pretty normal to find one person that had a bad experience. However, a lot of bad reviews with similar complaints probably form a pretty accurate portrait of a bad contractor.
But, wait, a minute, there is one guy who really loves this one demolition contractor! Could he be a lone wolf crying in the wilderness?
No. Mostly likely that single good review was put their by a demolition contractor who felt like his business was on the ropes from bad (and I would guess accurate) reviews. So he made an account (or his brother or his mother) and posted an accurate review … of himself.
My rule of thumb is mostly good reviews mixed with some mediocre and one or two bad reviews equals accurate. A lot of bad reviews also equally accurate. One good review isn’t enough to shift the weight of the people’s gestalt.
4. Reviews Live from New Dehli!
One of the darker corners of the internet is the space where demolition contractors who want to quickly build a good reputation or combat a string of lousy reviews buy internet reviews. The going rate for skilled U.S. Based reviewers is around $25 to $50 a review, and these reviews can be hard to spot.
But bad demolition contractors typically didn’t become bad demolition contractors by spending money, so instead of opting for good old American English Majors turned Yelp Fakers, they spend $200 on an Indian content farm that promises them hundreds of internet reviews that read better than the King’s Speech.
And what they get is, “Hello good sirs of the Pages that Yellow. I hired the above nice gentlemen to demolush a pool in my bath room. His work was of a superlative nature. Would highly recommend upon the altars of Vishnu. Praise be to the four stars!”
One immediate tip off of a fake review is misspellings and tortured phrasing. Misspellings aren’t uncommon on the internet (gasp) but look for obvious 8th grade and under misspells. Then look at the phrasing. Grammar was assassinated a long time ago by that coward known as the internet but people have a distinct way of talking about things in America. And typically this colloquial phrasing is completely lost to the reviewers in New Dehli.
5. The copy paste
The copy paste review has gotten rarer because internet review sites realized that their existence hung upon their credibility. But every so often a proton torpedo slips past and lands in the reactor shaft of life. Every so often copy and paste internet reviews get posted.
These are easy to spot.
For instance, “I love these guys! I would high recommend! Very professional pool demo!” — Gary
Followed by, “I love these guys! I would high recommend! Very professional pool demo!” — Larry
Yeah, that’s a fake.
In conclusion, there is no real way to verify every review you read. Chances are that some of the best reviews you read may be carefully constructed bits of artifice made in the foundries of a copywriter’s forge. But if you practice a certain amount of discernment and a skeptical eye, you can keep from getting fooled 80% of the time.