Check out online reviews before a big purchase

Rating companies and businesses

CLEVELAND - Online reviews have opened up a lot of information for companies. And that can be a great thing if managers are using them for customer feedback to improve their businesses, if consumers are honest.

"As a consumer, if you are going out and giving reviews, which I encourage consumers to do so, you want to make sure you are giving a truthful assessment of your experience, " said Angie Hicks of Angie's List.

And as a business, no matter how good your company is you're going to come across a customer that you're not going to please everyone.

"You have to be able to read the reviews keeping in mind that everyone is going to get a complaint now and then. Really sift through the reviews that have some good information, good takeaways for you to be able to make improvements," noted Hicks.

As a consumer, it's your right to post reviews about the goods and services you receive. But make sure to post those on sites you know can trust.

As for companies, it's important to be involved in the online review world because customers are using it more and more to make consumer decisions. Review and respond to the negative reviews .

"You might find that there's some really good information to take away to help improve the business," offered Hicks.

You can check out Angie's List at www.angieslist.com or check company complaints at www.bbb.org

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