Content Integrity Policy
At Hometrust, we've created a community where members can read one another's home renovation reviews to assist in making renovation decisions.
Once in a while, someone will try to game our system by posting a fake review, so we thought it would be helpful to share our approach, our policies, and the actions we take to identify, block, and remove fraudulent reviews. Here's what we believe.
We believe the best renovation advice comes from the first hand experience of other homeowners.
At Hometrust, our members can submit reviews of their experiences of interactions and quality of work with renovation firms.
We believe in "the right to write."
The Hometrust community has a wealth of valuable experience, and homeowner should feel confident sharing their opinions. We believe every experience counts, not just the ones where you paid the bill. Whethere you have only received a quotation or you have completed a full fledge renovation works, you have a fundamental right to talk about that experience with others. We are immensely proud of the community we’ve built which helps customers do just that.
That's what Hometrust stands for.
Because we believe in promoting personal experiences, we do not take lightly the decision to remove a review from our site. It might be easier to give-in to censorship and remove reviews that a business owner disagrees with. But it goes against what we stand for, which is the right for genuine consumers to share their experiences.
In keeping with this philosophy, our policy regarding review submission is self-directed. While we do require reviewers to certify that they are reviewing their own experiences before they can submit their review to Hometrust, we don’t seek third-party verification.
We believe that everyone should play by the same rules. Businesses are not able to influence Hometrust to improve their reviews, ratings or ranking.
We have unique processes for moderating the content submitted to Hometrust, as well as proprietary algorithms that calculate a business's daily rank with our Rating Index. Those processes and algorithms are applied in the same way to all content, complaints and properties. We never have and never will give our advertisers or anyone else preferential treatment. From large chain renovations firms to small independent business, every review of every business receives the same level of scrutiny.
We believe that businesses who don't play by the rules should be penalized.
Businesses know that consumers rely heavily on reviews when making home renovation decisions. Unfortunately, there are always some unscrupulous businesses will try to cheat in order to attract more customers. We define “cheating” as positively reviewing their own business (or finding others to do so on their behalf) or negatively reviewing their competitors.
How Hometrust identifies and blocks fraud
Our proprietary algorithm detects what normal reviews and reviewing behavior tend to look like on our platform and insert them into our proprietary fraud detection processes.
We run reviews through automatic filters to identify moderation or integrity issues prior to publication.
Once reviews are published, we allow business owners and community members to flag content for our review if they believe it is fraudulent. All reports from our community and owners are reviewed and analyzed by the Content Team.
We proactively engage with companies trying to hire people to write reviews as well as property owners attempting to buy fake reviews in order to expose those that try to circumvent our systems.
How Hometrust penalizes businesses found to engage in fraudulent activity
We block or remove the fake reviews.
Each fraudulent submission we identify has a negative impact on a business’s rank in our Popularity Index algorithm.
We aggressively pursue companies that offer to boost a business's reputation by writing fake reviews on its behalf. When we catch them, we expose all of the fake reviews they've posted, and we penalize their clients.
You may be surprised that Hometrust doesn’t simply remove the listing on our site for a business caught engaging in review fraud. In fact, that's exactly what some of these businesses want us to do, so they can prevent consumers from researching and commenting on them. But we believe consumers have the right to know what other Hometrust users are saying.
Finally, we believe it's important for our community to be informed, and we're confident that we're taking the right steps to keep our content fresh and useful.