Hiring a Contractor? Why Bad Reviews Are Better Than a Good Review

If you’re like most people, you depend on review sites before eating at a restaurant, buying a product, or hiring a home improvement company. Today we’re going to talk about why bad reviews are better than a good review.


Before we get started, I want to talk about bad reviews. Are bad reviews really a bad thing? In a few moments, we’re going to explain why it is the bad reviews that you should be paying much closer attention to.


Consider this, if a company is doing $1 million or more in business per year it would not be likely to have a number of bad reviews. In fact, I would say it is impossible to not have bad reviews. There’s not a single company that is doing any significant volume that has not had a customer write a negative review about their business at one time or another. And I’m going to show you why it is those reviews that are far more important than any good review you will ever read. But first, let’s talk about why we should not put too much stock in good reviews.

Reviews can be incredibly helpful when making purchasing decisions, but they can also be very manipulative and set up to lead you to believe that a company is better than they really are.


Compare Home Improvement Pro PricesFor starters, many companies today use software to filter out negative reviews from the positive reviews and then use that same software to prevent you from seeing most, if not all of the negative posts.

For example, some software will automatically send you a text message asking if you would write a review about how your visit was with their company. It will start by asking you a simple question. And that question is “was your experience good or bad”? What happens from there gets very interesting.

Manipulative Review Software: If you select the radio button claiming that you had a bad experience you will immediately be redirected to an online location where you can indeed post your bad review, but it will be very difficult to find, if not invisible from most of the public. If, on the other hand, you claim that you had a good experience, the review software will automatically send you to somewhere like Google, Yelp, etc. The same software will also be used to post positive experiences on their own website. That’s not to say that these good reviews cannot be helpful, but rather to say that you’re not getting the full story. And again, we’re going to discover that it is the bad reviews that we should generally be most concerned with, and you may find that companies with bad reviews are in fact the company we would prefer to do business with.

Reviews From Friends, Family, and Competitors

It’s also important to consider that it is very common for companies to have friends, family, and other third parties write positive reviews who likely have never made a purchase from the company.

On the flipside, fake bad reviews can be written as well. This would be much more common from somebody who was a competitor trying to tarnish someone’s reputation.

So why are bad reviews more important than good reviews? The answer might surprise you, and if you’re like most people, you may begin looking for these bad reviews much more often than positive responses.

Why I Like to Read Bad Reviews

So here’s why I like bad reviews versus good reviews. In particular, I look forward to what the response was from the company that got the bad review. Let me explain.

Let’s say I was looking for roofing quotes and a company received a bad review from a customer because after the job was completed they noticed they had a bad leak in their kitchen. I can say with confidence, that any roofing company that does enough jobs will eventually have something at least similar to this happen. And this is where a negative review can have so much value. It allows us the opportunity to see how the company responded. Did they ignore the review? Did they go out and fix the problem?

The purpose of a bad review isn’t so we can walk away and falsely assume that a company is terrible. But rather gives us the opportunity to see how companies handle problems that might arise and can arise with any company. For me, I want to find out if something goes wrong, is the company going to right the wrong? Or, are they going to take the money and run? I won’t know this if I can’t have access to the negative reviews.

In the past I’ve actually asked a bathroom remodeler if they would put me in contact with two people who were unhappy with their service, so I can hear about what they did to resolve the matter. You may or may not get cooperation here, but you see my point. Responses to negative reviews can accomplish the same thing.

Think about your favorite restaurant for a moment. For me, it’s a sushi restaurant down the road. I won’t list their name here. But I will say I’ve been eating there for 20 years and the food is absolutely amazing. They have tons and tons of positive reviews. And resting in the middle of them are a small handful of bad reviews. I know this because one of them used to be mine.

My Real Life Experience and Negative Google Review

In 20 years of business they’ve only messed up on my meal one time. And I’d prefer not to get into the details, but I will say that the food was fresh, but it was not easily edible. I immediately headed out and wrote a very negative review on Google. The restaurant immediately reached out to me by phone with the most sincerest apology they could give. And as it turns out, it was an innocent mistake that could honestly have happened to anyone. But rather than take the money and run, this company took full ownership of the problem and made it right. Not only did this company apologize and compensate me for the meal, but I’d also say they went way overboard and gave me upwards of $200 in free food over the months that followed. The point is anyone who read my negative review and then saw my own follow-up (or theirs) with how the company responded, would find this to be the kind of people they want to do business with.

So, if I’m going to try a new restaurant, I will definitely examine the good and the bad reviews, buy paying particularly close attention to the bad ones and how they were handled. I’m also willing to acknowledge that sometimes people make mistakes, and sometimes customers can be way overly critical, and we shouldn’t give but so much attention to some of the negative reviews we see.

Why You Need a Least 3 Home Improvement Quotes, First

On the flip side, if I’m hiring a home improvement contractor like a quality window company or a remodeling company, I don’t think the starting point for me would be reading reviews. For me, I want to meet the contractor. I want to assess for myself what I think about their character. I want to hear their story. I want to see photos of their before and after projects. I want to learn from them about what makes their product special and why I should consider them? And more importantly, I don’t want to just hear from one of them. I want to interview no less than three companies. Once I review their product and their price points, I will then conclude the process by examining their reviews. And as stated before, I put the major emphasis on examining the negative reviews from homeowners, and how the business responded.

If you found this information helpful, please be sure to like, share, and comment below. And if you’re in the process of hiring a home improvement company, make sure to compare no less than three quotes from contractors in your area. Simply visit 5Estimates.com. That’s the number 5, estimates dot com.




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