So here’s a thought… with the growth of the service app, are we shirking our responsibilities?
Which responsibilities? Well, usually if we want someone to come into our homes to fix the cooker or repair the heating we would do due diligence with regards to how competent they are.
We might ask friends for a recommendation, and for a larger piece of work we might even ask to see examples of their work. Right?
However, we now have apps on our smartphones that do that due diligence for us. The apps are responsible for checking the business, making sure they’re reputable and competent. Some even do credit checks.
The whole truth?
Of course, the best people to refer a business are its previous customers – us – but herein lies the biggest problem. Are all the reviews being published?
I know of one company that (in its T&Cs) states: “We would never publish a negative comment or scores lower than 5, without contacting the business first”
Hold on to that thought for just a second…
When a business does a good job, the positive review is posted immediately. But when it does a bad job (these things happen) the whole process gets delayed while the bad review or score is approved by the business that has done the bad job.
Our perception that we’re getting a balanced, transparent view with regards to the reviews we see, is simply wrong.
And the sites get away with it because this discrepancy is explained by most sites/apps in their terms and conditions. They aren’t interested in taking responsibility for you hiring a company based on not-entirely-truthful reviews.
#1: we cannot be held responsible for any work carried out or goods supplied nor do we control or are held responsible for prices of such services, products and goods, availability, competency, suitability of tradesmen, companies and suppliers listed
#2: does not make any warranty or guarantee over the quality, timing, integrity, responsibility, legality or any other aspect whatsoever of the materials or services offered or delivered by its members to their customers
#3: it is your responsibility to carry out appropriate checks (including, where relevant, DBS checks) on any Trade Business that you are considering engaging
The sites and apps think it’s our responsibility to read the T&Cs.
And it is, but they know nobody really does.
So what’s the answer?
Either these companies are transparent regarding the publication of reviews (good and bad) allowing visible dialogue and are up front about their pricing or we have to accept that there can be bias when relying on a third party to do these checks on our behalf. After all, the company doing the checks isn’t going to be held responsible.
We think we have a simpler solution.
me:now doesn’t claim to check people in advance, nor do we act as a middleman between you and the business. We simply show when a business local to you says it’s available. We leave you to be responsible for checking who comes into your home, works on your car or grooms your dog.
Plus it’s much easier to get feedback or recommendations from friends and neighbours when you use local businesses.