Painters Reviews and an Interview with a Toronto Colour Consultant

Reviews are like reputation equity for Toronto painters. Sylvia O’ Brien of Colour Theory:

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Thank you Sylvia, the feeling is mutual! The transcript of the interview is at the bottom of the page.

Should You Trust all Painter’s Reviews?

Did you ever look at the reviews in the review sites for home painters? There are contractors in there with over 500 reviews and average ratings over 9.9 out of 10. How do you get 9.9 hundreds of times at anything in life? This is a ridiculously inaccurate average rating for our industry. Some were even commercial painting companies. Many don’t even have their own employees. How is this contractor utopia even possible?

Fortunately, after all the recent publicity about review sites, “the cat is out of the bag” and the verdict is in. A big number of reviews are fake. Some reviews are even written “on behalf” of the customer and the customer is asked to approve them after. We also find out that review companies make money from the companies being reviewed.

What is a consumer supposed to do?

Ask your contractor for references, hand-written and signed testimonials, even phone numbers. Call some of these phone numbers. Visit some of their job sites if you can.

Ecopainting has hundreds of signed reviews and testimonials from the GTA and they tell a story. Most customers that left us reviews agreed to be a reference for our company. Phone numbers are available on request. Words like “friendly” and “professional” often describe our painters.

Read some of our Testimonials

Just before the end of the paint job, the job manager will inspect the work.  The manager then will invite the customer to do a final walk-trough. Before the crew leaves the job site, we make sure the customer is totally satisfied with the work. If there are any concerns, we address them right there and take care of them. This happens while the crew is still on the job site. The next step for the customer is to fill the job completion form. In the completion form there a rating form for the crew and space for comments. Over the years we collected hundred of these testimonials. In addition to these, we have emails and comments left in our social media accounts. None of this would mean much without the customers’ contact information. Phone numbers from our customers are available.

Eva S. had her apartment, condo and her Scarborough home painted

I always recommend your company to whoever wants to listen. We were very happy with your job the last two times and we will be calling you in a few months for another painting job. Thanks for being nice and friendly, arriving on time, finishing on time, cleaning up afterwards, and for your competitive prices – all of it greatly appreciated. Can’t wait till next time.

Kim and Peter M. We painted their porch and interior in High Park 

Karon and her team surpassed my expectations. Not only was the prep work meticulous, but great attention was also paid to all the coats of paint. In addition, George helped with paint colours and visited our home twice before the work began. I ‘d recommend Ecopainting to anyone.

Brighid T. on her experience in her Markham home.

“Thanks for transforming my 1980s floral wallpaper bedroom! I can always count on you to do a superb paint job, even when encountering un-removable wallpaper. You are very thorough, show pride in your work and are always a pleasure to deal with. Thank you for helping with the colours too”

Rose D. Pressure Washing testimonial, her home was in Don mills.

Hope all is well and this hot weather hasn’t made working too bad for you and your crews. I haven’t had a chance to thank you for the deck work. It looks great and I love the colour. Your team did a wonderful job and were very professional and as I mentioned you had great customer service. We’ve had many compliments on how great it looks now.

Karen O. after washing and restoring her deck in North York

An excellent job! They took their time deckwashing and cleaning prior to staining it a few days later. Very professional team. Restored my deck to a vibrant new look from 4 year old greying. It looks like it was just installed. I’d recommend Eco painting, great service!

Kathryn B. Interior Painting in York Region

“The painting work was outstanding! All the painters were professional, efficient and completely focused on their work – and very friendly and polite. We appreciate the fabulous new look of our walls and the quickness with which it was completed. Eager to recommend your company – I have already done so to my neighbour. Thanks for a great job”

Bruce T. Deck Staining in Thornhill

This year, when it came time to refinish my deck, I was overwhelmed with the extend and difficulty of the task. Ecopainting stepped up to the job and did a superb job for a great price. My deck looks great! I will certainly call on Ecopainting again.

Tim L. Helen B. Exterior House Painting in Weston.

Karon, George and all the Ecopainting team, thank you for a fantastic job! Everything, from your meticulous preparation work, through to your attention to detail. Your quote was quick and accurate and you stayed on track with the schedule agreed upon. We have already received several compliments regarding how nice our property looks(even before the job was finished!). Looking forward to working with Ecopainting Inc. on our future projects. Thanks so much again.

Is there no value in online reviews?

There are legitimate reviews and good contractors in all review sites. If consumers want to play detective, can they separate the fake reviews from the real ones? There are ways to find fake reviews and spot a contractor that’s trying to deceive you.

  • Does a company have a ridiculous amount of reviews, most of them rated “9” or “10”? This type of success is impossible in every walk of life. There is no way the contracting world is that perfect. Run!
  • Do the reviews sound like a marketer wrote them? Do they use the same lingo? Run!
  • Does the Review site receive money from the contractors? Ask them, and If they do… Run!
  • Don’t make any major financial commitment based on reviews alone. This story on CBC.ca has been an eye opener to Toronto consumers. An unethical contractor stole thousands from unsuspecting homeowners. That contractor in question had an excellent rating in Homestars. The homeowners believe that they should have been told that Homestars receives money from contractors being reviewed. GarCon paid Homestars $150 a month for services that could include advertising on the site and having a hand in posting reviews.
  • Does the contractor write his own reviews and calls them “Assisted Reviews”? The customers must approve the review, but it’s not written by them. A bad contractor will not write a bad review on behalf of the customer. Do the non paying contractors have the same opportunity to write reviews on behalf of their customers? If they don’t, it means that advertisers are rated higher than the rest of the contractors.

The more the online review industry is investigated, the less trustworthy it is perceived to be.

If there is any merit for review services, it is with the ones that don’t directly benefit from them. Google does not directly benefit from reviews. You can find fake reviews here too but it is in Google’s best interests to eliminate them. Considering their record and other anti-spam efforts, there is some hope.

Transcript of the Video Review by Sylvia O’Brien.

Hi, my name is Sylvia O’Brien and I am the owner of Colour Theory, a colour consulting firm in Toronto Canada.

How Did You Discover Ecopainting? I met Ecopainting on the Benjamin Moore PDS Program. It was a colour consultant – painter referral program that Benjamin Moore set up in the in the early 2000s. I was about 2 or 3 years in to my business.

How Long Have You Worked with Ecopainting? About 11 years and I was thrilled to find them. Because I am really, really particular about the painters I send to my clients. I want the clients to be as happy with the painter as they are with me, otherwise it reflects on me. And I ‘ve always had a really good rapport with Ecopainting.

Why Do You Recommend Ecopainting to your Clients? I recommend them to my clients because they are very professional, they do an excellent job and they have a really good rapport with the client. The client is always happy at the end, so why wouldn’t I refer them to my clients?

What is a Colour Schedule? A colour schedule is simply a written report, sort of a chart, with colour swatches and location and special instructions about location. It’s for the painter to follow.

You Recently Worked With Us on a Large Condo Project. How Did We Do? Ecopainting did an amazing job for me. I was so pleased that I was working with them on that. Right from week one the feedback from the client, the board of the directors and the homeowners, they loved them! Everything went so smoothly, it was just wonderful. So I went every week to check up and nothing was new, everything was just perfect…so it was great!

How was Your Working Relationship With Uma, our Job Manager? Uma I find very nice to work with, he is very communicative, very personable and very skilled. I think he sets the tone, he is really wonderful.

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