Funny you should say that. I used to make it a practice, that if I was in a strange city, I would check out the phone book (remember those?) and find out if there were any electrolysis practitioners near, and try to go in for a consultation and sample treatment. While I would do this without saying who I was, so that I could get treated like any other Joe off the street, people often took it as if I was either spying on them, or trying to do something nefarious. At any rate, it was rare that I found someone who I would recommend to my mother to visit for professional services, and when I did, I would tell them who I was, and ask their permission to post their info on HairTell so others could find them. A funny aside to this is, there are people who I have recommended on here, based on having had personal contact and treatment with, who for some reason refuse to admit that anyone has come to see them based on my recommendation. This even though I know for a fact that more than one person who saw them on this site, and identified themselves as such, is currently paying for work from them on a monthly or weekly basis. I guess they have trouble saying “Thank You.”
Anyway, the problem with any of us giving you any insight on who is good is that besides that being a personal opinion, people in this industry are loath to work on anyone else in the industry. This is especially true of those who may have some years of practice under their belt. Everyone is afraid that someone will have a negative view of their technique, instead of hoping for some give and take on the subject.
The Dectro meetings are so wonderful because those who attend find out quickly, that the intent there is NOT to have you sit and take notes, but to get behind a machine, and work on each other! I got so many new names to refer people to out of those class days, not to mention pictures of me having fun with lovely ladies at the cocktail and dance party they hosted on the last day.
Anyway, you have poked me on something that I have been mulling over for a while, and I guess it is time I just got the conversation started. There are some thoughts that I have had rolling around in my head about the whole professional/consumer review information sharing system in place these days, and I think I have to just get this off my chest.
Review information sources are mostly doomed to various states of worthlessness! I include HairTell in this indictment. Even we are limited to our scope of reach. If you live in New York or California, we can find you someone who works no more than four hours from where you live, who we trust can do fine work. If you live in Michigan or Montana… We can tell you what nearby state to drive to, but that’s about it. If you live outside of the US and Canada, Hairtell is still waiting on customer feedback to trickle in on your corner of the world.
As bad as that is, we are not so horrible as sources like The Better Business Bureau (BBB) or Online services like Yelp.
In my area, the listings that the BBB and Yelp have posted are overwhelmingly populated by businesses that have ceased to operate. Of those that are operating, most are not even listed. It has come to my attention that those who buy a membership in the BBB start with an A+ rating and can only go down as complaints come in, while those who don’t buy in can only achieve an A+ by having a certain amount of positive reviews without any negative reviews. Well, let’s be serious, those with negative reviews are MUCH more likely to post them than those who have had a good experience. Don’t get mad at me, it is you people who can change that, by posting your positive experiences with as much frequency as you do your negative ones. Again, no matter what the client feedback is, the BBB plays favorites with its paid subscriber businesses, and will even post things like, “problem resolved” in a complaint thread and remove the lowered grade on a downgraded business that is a member, but non-members don’t get so lucky.
Next up, when a negative review is posted, some people scare the hosting service into deleting, or other wise hiding from the public the negative reviews. What good is it if a service that purports to tell you who is good, and who is bad censors the bad reviews? There is one business I know of that has had bad reviews from at least 5 different former customers that I know of posted on a review site, and who knows how many others on the same review site, and had them all removed. Now when someone goes to that source for information, the source is making it look like this business has nothing but good reviews, or no reviews at all. Here on HairTell, we have usually tried to just get both sides of a bad review, and let you all decide what you think really happened, with maybe a little practitioner and long time client wisdom thrown in for perspective. Alas, even that has cost us friends, as some people felt that we were “taking sides” by not deleting the negative information, even when we did our best to explain what we thought the misunderstanding to be.
In any event, no review source can give info that people don’t share with it, and on that point, I have to hold YOU PEOPLE accountable. If your area of the world has little to no info on who is good in that area available on HairTell, it is because YOU have not posted your experiences here, good, bad or indifferent, not because Mike and I have not traveled the world tirelessly in search of getting as many sample treatments and consultations as we can.