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(36 Posts)
totallyrandom Tue 09-Oct-12 21:29:39

I wanted to share with others, my experience with netmums, partly to see if anyone else has a similar story to tell but also to avoid others having to go through the same thing.

My family moved to Bromley recently so I searched for a local gardener on Netmums. There was one gardener, who only had positive reviews. In fact he had dozens of RAVE reviews. As there were no negative comments as such, I RELIED on the integrity of netmums as a website. I chose this gardener over another gardener that DH had found through a friend (you can imagine what that conversation was like...)

Sadly I was disappointed with the work done, despite giving the gardener the benefit of doubt all the way through the job. I left a negative review on Netmums, simply listing in chronological order what had happened.

Said gardener rebutted my negative review on Netmums and made some untrue comments (e.g. that he had worked for me for free and that I hadn't paid him - of course I have bank transfers to prove the contrary). Netmums have now completely removed my negative feedback and the rebuttal and stated "Netmums have removed a review which the listing owner feels is defamatory" (being a lawyer myself I know that "truth" is a defence to any accusation of libel!). In the mean time, another Netmums and Mumsnet user has contacted me to say the same thing happened to her regarding her negative review. Once again there are just lots of RAVE reviews on Mumsnet.

So it seems that Netmums let the companies who advertise with them request the removal of negative reviews at the cost of new people moving to the area/innocent Netmum users who think the reviews on there are given by genuine local mums/women. Nobody is checking that any positive reviews are genuine! I have reason to suspect that (i) some of the positive reviews are not genuine and/or (ii) the gardener knows someone on the local Netmums board.

I do not want a similar thing to happen to another innocent consumer (who gained false comfort from the reviews on the Netmums website and was INDUCED into a service contract as a result of that)! The Netmums website is misleading. They are incentivised to keep the people who advertise with them "happy", at the cost of consumers. I had falsely thought that Netmums is about mothers and others communicating their honest thoughts about e.g. local services (rather than it being primarily driven by advertising revenue for Netmums).

(1) Has anyone got the email address of the CEO of Netmums?

(2) Was I just being naive to not realise that this is the reality of Netmums' reviews?

picnicbasketcase Tue 09-Oct-12 21:31:23

I suspect this might be removed because you can't insult other websites but it does all sound very unfair.

MrsKeithRichards Tue 09-Oct-12 21:34:19

Have you posted about this before?

UndeadPixie Tue 09-Oct-12 21:35:23

Is there a CEO of netmums? There was a thread not long ago very similar to this, exactly the same problem just a different kind of worker, might be worth trying to search for it and see what was said? I cannot remember much about it though confused

WithoutCaution Tue 09-Oct-12 21:35:25

You have to word negative feedback a certain way - Overall ok/average but wouldn't use again - never give details as to why you weren't happy, if other users want to know more they can ask you

Happens on other websites too

Fairyloo Tue 09-Oct-12 21:35:47

Would to really trust a Gardner based on unknown people's reviews?


Pippinintherain Tue 09-Oct-12 22:19:35

I've posted negative comments about a soft play place on there.
They were removed.
As were all the other negatives reviews about the place.

Matesnotdates Tue 09-Oct-12 22:21:57

Fairyloo - so why does checkatrade and the like work then? How does anyone with no friends in a new area employ anyone? I don't think it is weird. I have used netmums reviews in the past and been happy with the work done but I can see the issues OP is talking about.

gallicgirl Tue 09-Oct-12 22:22:05

YABU you should know better than to use nethuns!

Bubblegum78 Tue 09-Oct-12 22:24:41

I'm glad you have posted about this sort of thing OP, I will bear this in mind. x

fairyloo yes, that is the point of "reviewing" something/someone, it is sensible to hire a trades person based on the recommendation of others so you know they are reputable, supposedly. x

GranToAirMissiles Tue 09-Oct-12 22:28:16

Last time I looked, even 'Which? Local' only post positive reviews - as their stated policy.

totallyrandom Tue 09-Oct-12 22:50:16

I just thought Netmums would be different from other websites as I had this preconception that it was honest feedback by other mums/women (and that only offensive comments etc. would be removed, not reviews of "unhappy" customers about below average services) (see Pippinintherains comments above about her review being removed).
If I weren't new to the area I would have asked a friend to recommend someone. It wasn't a small job either - it cost us a lot and am going to need to rehire someone to rectify the mistakes/do the job again in the spring. What worries me is that the same thing might happen to other people (if they are as naive as I was).
I don't know how the corporate structure of Netmums works, hence the question about CEO.
In total contrast is the NHS website (I was trying to find a local GP today). Lots of negative reviews on there that nobody would dare to remove as it wouldn't be acceptable to do so (the NHS "must" hear us out and act on the feedback to improve services).
So why is it acceptable for Netmums to remove negative feedback? I wasn't being offensive. It just wasn't good "advertising" for the gardener which is what he thought he is paying Netmums for. If that is what Netmums is about, fine, but please put it in BOLD on the website (not hidden away in some terms & conditions) so people like me aren't misled.
Anyway, I am never trusting any website reviews ever again, Netmums or otherwise.

NorksAreMessy Tue 09-Oct-12 22:55:05

Have reported.
Actually this is the second thread I have reported tonight.
I am clearly in a grumpy mood

TodaysAGoodDay Tue 09-Oct-12 23:03:05

Have reported this. This is not on, bringing whinges about other sites onto MN. Go and whine at NetHuns please, we don't really give a damn.

gallicgirl Tue 09-Oct-12 23:06:38

Why shouldn't the internet be transparent?

Why shouldn't websites be upfront and say they will remove negative feedback, particularly about one of their advertisers?
God knows we moan about everything else here so why should this be different?

It shows a total lack of integrity.

GranToAirMissiles Tue 09-Oct-12 23:15:36

Well I give a damn, and think people should know about this misleading practice.

queenofthepirates Tue 09-Oct-12 23:20:46

Glad you're mentioning this-I'm afraid I don't have the kind of cash to get ripped off by dodgy traders and would like to read honest reviews. I expect them to be real and by other parents. Not too much to ask!

Fuchzia Tue 09-Oct-12 23:25:32

This is good to know. Lots of people use both nm and MN so not sure why people are complaining about this thread.

redwhiteandblueeyedsusan Tue 09-Oct-12 23:29:47

thanks, it is helpful to know that.

QuintessentialShadows Tue 09-Oct-12 23:37:07

I think you will find that whether it is Radley or M&S or Netmums, bad reviews wont be tolerated.

You can however leave your review about him on Qyipe (sp) without problem! grin

QuintessentialShadows Tue 09-Oct-12 23:39:47

Also, Google plus for the gardener in question is another one....

I once hired a gardener for a really small 1 hour job, it was like a test prior to doing a MEGA job (which he knew, as I let him come into our massive back garden to look).

He said he had to charge me £50 for 30 minutes work attaching my 3 meter tall rambling rose to the wall, as he had come all the way from "30 minutes drive away"

I did not hire him for the Mega job.

soontobeyummy Tue 09-Oct-12 23:43:06

I use both sites, so am grateful you highlighted this. That's pretty disgusting if they're doing that, as what's the point in having reviews if not to depict a realistic view of the tradesmen advertising?
Pretty pointless if they only show good views.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Tue 09-Oct-12 23:49:43

I think it's good to post here and warn people

We have loads of posts about shops/websites that have bad customer service etc I don't think this is much different

ChaosTrulyReigns Tue 09-Oct-12 23:54:53

Why does that fact that reviews are done by mums make them more honest?

<<ignores daft inter-site placement>>

GranToAirMissiles Tue 09-Oct-12 23:58:04

Plebble have negative reviews.

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