It seems the tables have been turned.
Touted by its originators as the “reverse Angie’s List,” a new website allows contractors to review customers in the hopes of arming small-business owners with helpful information before they sign on the dotted line.
ContractorsCustomers.com is the brainchild of Scott Carzo, a Boston-area landscaper. He recalled a time when he had to take a customer to small claims court over a $5,000 bill and discovered that he wasn’t the only one who got stung. Other contractors on the same job were looking to collect, too.
“I thought, ‘Gee, that would be really nice to know before I went into this,’” said Carzo, owner of Perennial Landscape Corp. in Woburn, Mass.
The B2B website allows tradespeople and home service providers to read and write reviews of past clients. Reviews are based on a multiple-choice questionnaire that asks whether or not the contractor would work for the customer again, and if the customer paid in full and on time.
There’s no opportunity to narrate, badmouth or rant. That keeps things simple and informative, Carzo said, unlike other review sites.
“I think their downfall is that people get off track and start talking about things that aren’t relevant to the situation,” Carzo said. “Did they pay on time? Would you work for them again? As a business owner, what more do you need to know?”
To Carzo’s surprise, the reviews aren’t all negative. Contractors also are writing positive assessments. These prove just as helpful, he said, because it’s nice to find paying customers. In some cases, homeowners are requesting good reviews so they can attract high-quality help.
Homeowners’ information is not made public. The website is exclusive to members.
Carzo declined to say how many people are subscribing, only that membership has grown rapidly since the website launched early this year. Members are coming from a variety of fields, including HVAC, interior design and, yes, the pool industry.
Membership currently is free.