Monday, September 15, 2014

All Home Warranty Company Reviews Are Not Created Equal

Did your friend buy his new laptop bag without checking online consumer reviews? Did you purchase your new car without reading feedback from people who own the same model on car websites? The answers are probably "no" in both cases. Whatever we are buying these days, from online streaming video subscriptions to cell phones, the chances are very good that we are reading reviews on the Internet before choosing the one to buy.

Home warranty is obviously much different than a car, cell phone or laptop bag. Just for one thing, when a home owner buys a home warranty or has one purchased on her behalf it's usually not something that gets used immediately. A customer might own one for years before needing to contact the company to file a claim. And so the buyer doesn't always know if a good choice was made until it's far too late to do much good.

So even though home warranty might not be something that a home owner is excited about buying it still pays off to be a picky buyer. Reading reviews from other customers is one of the best ways to explore options in a way that roots out the bad apples. It's not enough, after all, to just find a product that sounds like the best fit for your needs. You really need to know ahead of time that the way the service sounds and the way it delivers are the same.

But this type of service isn't something that everyone buys, not at all like cell phones. So finding consumer reviews for the companies that sell it isn't always an easy thing. Since many consumers are not familiar with companies in the home warranty space it can be a daunting task to begin compiling a list of companies to request quotes from. But unlike Yelp, Angie's List, ConsumerAffairs and other well known sources of reviews and ratings, there are some websites that only cover home warranty companies. So you don't have to spend hours trying to narrow down the companies to read reviews about. Every company listed on such a reviews website is a company selling home warranties, also known as home service contracts.

Now that the reader knows where to go it's easy to assume that we're finished here. But introducing the best source of ratings is just part of the process. That is only the first part of making an informed decision about a company's reputation. The next step is even more important. Now we need to rule out the sources that are not legitimate.

When you employ a search engine to help find sources of testimonials for home warranty companies you find lots of results. The only problem is some of them are websites that do not provide real reviews. What they do provide are fake reviews, biased comments about companies and ratings that are engineered to create sales for their top marketing partners. In many cases these sites only appear in search results because of spam campaigns that confuse the search engines. The sites, to the search engines, look like they have been around for a long time or have quickly established a good reputation with other websites. When in truth the websites have only popped up recently and have had very few real users before tricking the search engines into ranking them in the top results for a particular search term. So, as you can probably see now, it's not always easy to find a website that specializes in testimonials for home warranty companies but isn't a fake.

But even legitimate websites can have fake reviews on them. There are the legitimate sources of home warranty testimonials that contain a scattering of fake reviews or unfair reviews. This is much more complicated to spot than the websites that are without real reputation or good quantities of real consumer feedback. In the case of the good websites that fall prey to misuse consumers must exercise at least a bit of their own experience as shoppers. We have all come across reviews which were difficult to read because of the emotional tone, lack of substance or overall brevity. These few characteristics are the calling cards of bad or bogus reviews and even on legitimate websites readers must be alert to them.

So you first pick a reputable website that specializes in providing reviews of home warranty companies. You next look for reviews that are full of detail and seem clearly thought out, not exploding with emotion. Then you compare what you read in reviews with other sources of information and look for inconsistencies. The end result should be buying a home warranty that won't disappoint you, no matter how long the wait is between buying and using it. And last but not least, once you have made your purchase it is important to other shoppers that you come back and write a review, positive or negative, about the company you chose.