CityGrid Media now owns CitySearch.com, InsiderPages.com, MerchantCircle.com and a variety of other local search sites including ServiceMagic.com. I recently signed up on CitySearch.com to update a company profile for one of my clients only to find that the website listed for the company was a link to the company profile on ServiceMagic.com. The number listed was an 800 number that is used to track calls for Service Magic.
I would have liked to list the company independently and list the regular phone number and website, but I guess there is nothing wrong with Service Magic using its website partners to generate leads for their customers. Its worth noting however that they charge their customers per sales lead.
What stood out to me was one very recent review from a supposed customer.
“Complete work as agreeded apon in the time agreed apon. Pricing was good.” -Neighbor in Royersford PA
CitySearch profiles import reviews from Service Magic. On CitySearch anyone can sign up to write a review but it appears that this feature is not available on Service Magic. The review above could potentially be from an actual customer but it appears that it was fabricated. If a customer is going to take the time to write a review it is usually a lot more descriptive.
How are Service Magic Reviews collected? Do they contact the customer after the work is completed and ask or might they have some person or computer automatically generating reviews for paying customers? I looked randomly at 10 other companies on Service Magic and consistently found short, non descriptive reviews by a “Neighbor from a nearby town.” I glanced a about 50 other companies and could not find one that was rated less than 4/5 stars.
I usually used Google Maps or Yelp to read reviews because I often find negative feedback, or detailed positive feedback. I would never use a site where there are only good non detailed reviews because that completely defeats the purpose of having reviews.
I hope CityGrid Media will get more bad publicity for giving fabricated reviews to their paying customers. I found a lot of blog posts and comments on this topic but nothing from a large credible website. Did anyone else find anything about fake Service Magic reviews?