Thursday, May 23, 2013

Rated People (the good and the bad)

We had an electrician in this afternoon to install an extra phone socket close to the tv, ready for the Sky installer next week. We found Clive through Rated People and he did an excellent job.

Clive told us how much he resented a poor review he'd received a few weeks back. He'd been delayed at a customer and was forced to call the next client and apologise for a delay. That client got someone else in and Clive got his poor review.

This story confirmed that Clive reads his reviews carefully and by implication nudged us into writing a positive one (we were happy to do so).

Clive also warned us against bad guys who arranged with their accomplices to post fake reviews on Rated People  and then fleeced their deceived customers.

I am not sure that Rated People is so easy to game over the number of months which most trades-peoples' reviews span. It's certainly true that both client and tradesman start from a position of mutual uncertainty and distrust which only the rating system can address.

So far it's worked for us but it's never been less than somewhat stressful.

Our other chore of the day was Church cleaning at six. This twice-yearly activity (for us) nicely exhibits a mini tragedy of the commons. The vacuum cleaners had not been emptied and had little pulling power. At the end of  our cleaning we did the right thing :-).


Four days after Clive did the job we found we couldn't call out - dialling wasn't being recognised at the exchange. At first I thought it was an exchange fault, but after belatedly calling BT the fault was located to the house. 

On Friday May 31st a BT engineer called and fixed the fault: Clive had mis-wired the socket. This will cost us £90 as the call-out fee so I was not pleased. Clive found himself down-rated to two stars on Rated People (he did a good job on the physical wiring) and my review comments were updated appropriately. He should have stuck to what he knows, high-voltage electrics, and not bid for something beyond his competence. Rated People is not good at warning users about this.