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I have 20+ years experience in Home Furnishings and Interior Design, specializing in Kitchen and Bath Design since '01. I work for Bilotta Kitchens in the A&D Building on East 58th Street in the Mid-town Manhattan. I have a passion for learning and love the opportunity to collaberate on projects of all sizes. My strengths in the field begin with my design background, use of color and texture to bring interest to a room, spatial relationships, organizational skills, innovation, decisiveness, and planning. I have had the thrilling experience of helping hundreds...?maybe thousands of people with their projects, and what I love is it never gets boring, and no two are ever the same. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Homeowner Beware Dishonest Practices

Be very careful what you read and believe in the online business review pages, such as Merchant Circle, Insider Pages, CitySearch etc. Not every business owner is scrupulous, and I know of one in particular who scoops reviews off other's LinkedIn and posts them on his own business pages as though the homeowner posted an unsolicited review. It's unethical and a good indication of the rest of the businesses practices.

Here is an example of one taken from me. The review on the left top was placed on my LinkedIn profile in 2008 shortly after the compeltion of the kitchen. It was recently re- posted on the web under a different business name, for a completely different purpose than it was written.

The person who took the referal is someone I worked for previously, so I am familiar with the ethics. I know  to be on the lookout for where my name will pop up, and it seemed to me he wouldn't stop with fake reviews, and taking referals that don't belong to him. Low and behold, while he stopped by my professional profile he also took the name of my blog...if it isn't nailed down he thinks he can have it. I obviously don't wish to have my business or reputation connected to this person, but what can a homeowner do to make sure they don't open the door to a conniver like this?

    The only way you the consumer can be sure that a review is genuine is to speak to actual clients and visit
their completed project, ask for three names, not just one. Ask for proof of how long the company has been
in business, and check with the Better Business Bureau, make sure they are a member,
these organzation can be very helpful in a dispute, and they keep good records. Ask if they have ever been sued or settled out of court, ask them face to face, not over the phone. Visit the address the business is incorporated at and if you have any doubts don't sign a contract. If you do sign a contract you have three days to rescind, but you must do it by certified mail. You could lose a lot of money by not rescinding properly even of no work has been done.

And Good Luck!

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