Taking a leap of faith and hiring a lawn guy with no reviews can be scary... But where can you read reviews about local lawn services?
The problem is most local lawn services do not have any kind of web presence. If you do a Google search , odds are you won't find them. Sometimes, they will have a Google+ page or a Yelp Page profile, (most likely barren) but 90% of the lawn care services cutting grass in your area do not have profiles on these review sites. And even if they do have a profile, how do you know its not their friends and family leaving the positive reviews you are reading over?
You really have no way of knowing. Yelp does a better job than any other review sites of filtering, but it can still be gamed.
So what do you do?
Well... some obvious things would be to ask them for references from other customers, and personally check out their equipment before hiring them, but that can take allot of time, After all, you probably need the lawn mowed tomorrow. So you're left with taking a gamble, and what if he shows up in setup like the picture above?
This is one of the problems we are trying to solve with GreenPal. We are currently live, delivering lawn care in the Tampa Bay area and also Nashville , TN. So if you're in either of these cities, you can signup and get bids for free from local lawn services, and then read their reviews. The reviews in GreenPal are from other GreenPal customers that have used the lawn service that you are considering, so you know they are legit, as the reviews are from actual lawn mowing transactions.
If you do end up going out into the web in search of reviews are the top places and their pros and cons.
Not many companies will have reviews on Yelp because their filter is so strict. But here is a pro-tip, if you do see a company on Yelp you are considering, look down at the bottom of the page and see "hidden reviews." Odds are there will be additional reviews there that you can read. These have been hidden by Yelp's filter for a number of possible reasons, but there are usually legit and you can still use these for consideration.
Same as Yelp, they may not have any reviews.. However, on Google+ the filtering is not as strict so there may be better shot of reading what others have to say about the company. It would be best to hire someone with at least one review vs no reviews at all.
Angie's list's whole thing is reviews, but the problem I see with their service is that they actually charge their contractors to be members. It just seems kinda phony to me, but its still a good place to consider.
Some lawn vendors are on Thumbtack, but not most. The only drawback I see with Thumbtack is that they also charge their lawn vendors. Rather than a monthly fee like Angie's List, they charge per the lead. So if you request a quote on Thumbtack, the contractor that responds to you is actually paying around $10 just for the opportunity to speak with you... Talk about a racket. Vendors despise this way of getting business. and its probably going to show in the integrity of the reviews.
Bottom line, (unless you do a ton of leg work by personally vetting the vendor) you have few options for really knowing if the lawn services you are about to hire is legit and does quality work. But don't worry, GreenPal is growing quickly and will be in your area soon if not already.