Is Contractor Review Site a Scam?

Authentic they do look, and my neighbour got suckered in. He found a roofer on their recommendation than may be less than legit. As with all things internet, it is buyer beware.

Even a cursory search for “homestars scam” on Google search shows a lot of mixed comments. it seems like contractors pay $150/month to Homestars and they get favourable reviews. When I say “favourable” I mean really stupendous reviews. This is what tweaked my curiosity. When reviews are gushing over a roofer’s services, I am a little suspicious. Site over site on Google have complaints about Homestars. If you are looking for a contractor in Canada, please use other means than Homestars. You may be scammed by their fake reviews.

Red Flag Deals is certainly legit. There is an honest to and fro on their forums, and it shows. Democratic and fair to all, including contractors and stores. There are always dissenting opinions, and this is a good thing. Not so positive on Homestars. Beware.

You really need to be diligent when doing internet research. People lie like crazy. Verify with multiple sources. Solid references that you know are the best. You really cannot verify with certainty on the internet, so be wary.

Independent reviews are also helpful. If you see a democratic give and take, this leads to site credibility. Not so positive about Homestars, with rebuttals from a company rep, and this hurt more than help his case.

Do your internet research and be wary of so many positive reviews. We are humans and as such should have both good and bad reviews. Trusted review sites are rare and should be treasured.

How did I find Homestars? I was looking for a new roof, so searched for “Toronto roofer” and came up with Homestars, who recommended Mr. Roof with a 9.7 rating. My neighbour did the same for some roofing related issues. The outcome of this was a new roof, very expensive, which might have not been required. Only time will tell if the roofing redo was good or not. I, too, needed a new roof, so called for a quote. They want to charge me $150 for a roof inspection and then they will give me a quote. My point is that I need a complete reshingling, new underlayment/ice and water shield, new fascia, the whole thing. An inspection of the roof that I want completely redone is a waste and smells of a scam. Of course I when I redo my roof my $150 will be deducted from my bill, but if I do not go with them my money would be wasted. Scam. I don’t mind paying for good work, but to pay for a quote on an expensive home item is completely ridiculous.

For sure has their internet marketing and ranks high on Google Search, but I’ll steer clear of their recommendations. It seems doctored from the start.

3 thoughts on “Is Contractor Review Site a Scam?

  1. Nancy

    Hi Dontai – Perceptions are reality, so I’m very worried about your comments. Our mission is to protect homeowners and if you feel we are not doing enough to stop fake reviews – we need to hear this. I would love to invite you in to see how rigorous our checks are, and get a first hand look under the tent. Our software checks and moderators catch and reject over 25% of reviews before they are published, and we still do checks on reviews after publishing. This is such an important role we invest in – our team read reviews before it is published. Advertisers are treated no differently than non paying companies. If you are interested in coming in for a breakfast or lunch tour of our office and team anytime – please let me know. Outside eyes may tell us things we need to do better.
    All the very best, Nancy Peterson – founder

  2. MV

    The problem with Homestars is the massive conflict of interest that their whole business model is based on. They get their funding from the same people that get reviewed on their website. If I ran a car review website that was funded by the auto makers, would you trust it? Hell no. If Ford gave me a ton of money and Jaguar told me to piss off, guess who gets the good reviews? Homestars is an advertising website, not a review website. It’s like looking in the Yellow Pages. The more a company pays, the better advertising they get.

    [Don: Hi MV, and well said. Reviews on the site are exaggerated, to say the least, and clearly not believable. There is also the other negative reviews from sources unconnected to the site, and therefore unbiased. I would rather believe the unbiased reviews. I tried to sign up for the site and was repeatedly denied. My neighbour got cheated from one of their “98% approved” companies, so I was more than suspicious.

    In the age of the internet you need to be especially vigilant for cooked reviews, even to the point of being pessimistic. I don’t even think you need to go very far in this case though.]

  3. Madetohome

    I know this article is a bit dated, but would you say that other external sources offer stronger validity than the BBB? For instance, reviews on sites such as Angie s List, NextDoor, Google, and Facebook?

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