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How do I find a recommended installer on YouGen?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 29 October 2013 at 12:47 pm

One of the key barriers to investing in renewable energy that I identified before I started YouGen is finding an installer that you trust to do a good job. How do you evaluate what they are saying, and compare them. Our response is to invite installers to become YouGen members. This means they can promote their services on the site, and ask their customers to recommend them (if they think the service is up to scratch).

To find an installer in your area, go to Find a... and select the company type you are looking for (ie installer, green deal advisor), the renewable technology or energy efficiency measure you are interested in and the county you live in. You can choose between local companies (by which we mean those based in the county) or companies based elsewhere that are happy to work there. The more details you include in your selection, the more accurate your search results will be.

When you get your search results they will come in a random order. You can choose to sort them by relevance, by recommendation (the one with the most recommendations will be at the top), or alphabetically. 

Here are some frequently asked questions about our system of recommended installers.

What do you mean by 'recommended'?
We do not recommend companies ourselves, we leave it to our visitors to feedback on their experience, and recommend companies that they are happy with. However, we do have a code of conduct that we ask all YouGen members to sign up to when they join. If an installer you found in our directory does not live up to any of the code, please let us know.

Are the companies with most recommendations always better?
The feedback customers leave is a good indication of the customer service that they have received. However, reviews do not necessarily tell the whole story. For example, reviewers may not know whether or not the price they paid was competitive, or what quality of equipment they have. The number of reviews a company has will reflect its size, and the amount of time and energy it puts into asking for feedback, as well as how highly its customers regard it.

Why aren't there more companies in my area? 
Companies pay a small fee to be in the directory. This is how YouGen pays for the costs of running of the website. Not all companies want to spend their marketing budget in this way.

Why are all the reviews so positive?
We have been surprised ourselves at how enthusiastic our readers are about their installers, and we think there are two main reasons for this.

Firstly, we ask customers to recommend their installers (rather than review them). If the company has delivered an average level of service, people are less likely to bother to leave feedback. We do also hear about bad experiences. Often if the company puts it right swiftly, the customer will review their rating. 

Secondly, as companies have to pay to be in the directory, those that are worried about what their customers will say about them tend not to sign up. And if they get bad reviews, they aren't so keen to continue their membership.

Can I trust all the suppliers listed on YouGen? 
We do not screen companies before they add a profile to the site, so you need to ask all the usual questions, as you would when taking on anyone to do work for you. However, we do emphasise that we want only the best companies on YouGen: ones take customer service seriously, who ensure that they supply appropriate technology for their customers’ circumstances, and that it’s installed to a high standard. We rely on you, the users, to report back on your experiences, to help others. So please do let us know how your installer did, so others can benefit too. If we get consistently poor feedback on a company then we will revoke its membership and remove it from the website.

What’s to stop companies recommending themselves? 
We are. We do regular spot checks, and we have set up various procedures to prevent it.

  • You must be registered with a valid email address before you can make a recommendation, so we can contact you if we think it’s not genuine
  • We know the IP address of everyone who makes a recommendation, and so we can see if someone signs up with more than one address from the same location
  • If we are concerned about a company we will undertake extra checks, and may do some mystery shopping.

How do I recommend my installer?
First you will have to create an account on YouGen (or log in if you've already got one). This is just so we can check that recommendations are genuine, and we guarantee we will not use your details for anything else unless you give us your permission (ie sign up for our monthly newsletter).

Next, find the company you want to recommend on YouGen. You can just type its name in the search bar at the top right hand corner of each page, or go to Find a....

On the profile page click on the link that says Recommend this company (it has a blue tick symbol beside it) and fill out the short form.

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If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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