Category Archives: Local Reviews

Vermonters listen to neighbors’ business recommendations

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 7.18.49 AM“I visited Deepa’s Beauty Salon after reading a recommendation on Front Porch Forum. Thanks for the review. I also found it to be very clean, have professional staff, good prices, and great services. Thanks.”
• Luba, Winooski FPF

Here’s the original post recommending this local business…

“Today my out of town friend took our daughters to Deepa’s Beauty Salon for manicures. They had an excellent experience–great customer service and quality of work. The atmosphere was clean, professional, yet also homey and inviting. My friend took off her very valuable (both financially and emotionally) wedding rings for the manicure and then left them there. Several hours later, she realized her mistake.  The salon owners met us after hours on a Saturday night and very cheerfully opened up the salon and returned the rings. We are so grateful for their integrity, honesty, and friendliness. It’s businesses like these that bring pride to Winooski. I encourage you to support this wonderful locally owned business!”
• Arica, Winooski FPF

Like Angie’s List, only better… in Morrisville

“I’ve donated to FPF as I’ve found my ‘lawn guy,’ and someone to clean my chimney and repair my washing machine! I also gave away stuff that I no longer needed. It’s like Angie’s List, only better… and LOCAL! So I encourage everyone who uses FPF to donate if you are able – it is a great resource.”
• Debbie, Morrisville Front Porch Forum

Prom preparations… ask neighbors for tips

“Looking for someone to hem a prom dress. Not sure about other needs at this time. Needed prior to May 16th. Please let me know if you do tailoring/seamstress work and how much you charge.”
• Kelly, Northfield Front Porch Forum

Hearing aid recommendation saves the day

Sarah posted on the Shelburne Front Porch Forum yesterday…

I recently posted to FPF in search of recommendations for audiologists as my hearing aid had broken and I was looking for a second opinion. My current provider had suggested a hefty fee to fix my broken hearing aid and was going so far as to say that it needed replacement. Given the costs involved I believed it was wise to seek additional advice.

I received multiple replies to my post and I met with Dr. Julie Bier of Better Living Audiology in South Burlington. Lo and behold my hearing aid did not need to be replaced and the replacement part was substantially, read significantly, less than my (now former) practitioner was quoting. Thanks to Front Porch Forum I saved a considerable amount of money and have met a wonderful new physician!

Dog recommends sitter

Thousands of recommendations flow through Front Porch Forum.  But yesterday on the Middlebury FPF we saw our first recommendation made by a dog, submitted by human Christine:

This is an easy recommend. Debbie was recommend by FPF and also by a friend. She wanted to meet our dog before she came to care for him, so he wouldn’t be surprised. My dog highly recommends Debbie.

Need a financial advisor? Ask neighbors on FPF

Martha shared the following on her East Montpelier Front Porch Forum today…

Last week I posted requesting recommendations for a financial adviser to help me with retirement planning. Over 25 wonderful neighbors responded. Thank you all. Several people asked me to send them the names I received, so I thought I would open it up to FPF. If you would like to see the list of recommended financial advisers, email me and I’ll pass it on.






“Charlotte neighbors and FPF – thank you!”

Jill in Charlotte posted this yesterday on her FPF…

Recently, I posted on Front Porch Forum about accommodation for my sister and her family over the holidays. I received such wonderful responses, a range of great possibilities! She did end up going with one of them.

And, just today, I picked up my car from Chris at Charlotte Collision. I called him because I remembered at least one FPF post singing his praises. I’d like to add my voice:  Chris looked at the damage to my car, gave me an estimate and an appt, and today it was ready for pick up. It looks great and Chris was very reasonable, commonsensical, easy, and lots of fun to do business with.

Charlotte neighbors and FPF — thank you!

Online recommendations… who to trust?

Consumer Reports takes a look at review websites this month, including Angie’s List, Yelp, and Google+ Local.  While there’s a hint of conflict of interest of a review-based business writing a review about competing review sites, the authors do make some compelling points…

We think that the ability of A- and B-rated companies to buy their way to the top of the default search results skews the results. Cheryl Reed, a spokeswoman for the company, disagrees. “We don’t believe that,” she says. But Angie’s List marketing materials intended for businesses say that companies that advertise get “an advantage of increased exposure” that “can propel you ahead of your competition.” They get 12 times more profile views than companies that don’t buy ads.

Angie’s List encourages businesses to solicit reviews by giving customers free, postage-paid forms, stickers on thank you notes, and Web links embedded in e-mail invoices. But experts who study survey techniques say that can create a bias for positive reviews.

Angie’s List misleads consumers by prominently promising that “businesses don’t pay” and that it’s a consumer-driven service supported by membership fees. But almost 70 percent of the company’s revenues come from advertising purchased by the service providers being rated. Angie’s List tells consumers that it provides “reviews you can trust,” and takes steps to detect and remove fraudulent positive and negative reviews. But company investment disclosures say that “we cannot guarantee the accuracy of our reviews.”

On many Front Porch Forums, recommendations among neighbors for a wide variety of local businesses are a big ongoing topic of interest.  FPF makes no attempt to aggregate reviews or score businesses… we just provide a platform for neighbors to connect and talk about whatever they like.   Having a conversation with neighbors who are recent customers of a certain roofer/plumber/mechanic/etc. can be much more valuable than a couple of sentences typed by an unknown stranger.