Value in Reviews?

Reviews are only helpful if you have say two dozen or more from people who actually buy the same product or service and then write a review.  You can read them all and make a final determination.  If there is only a single review and it is negative, or even abusive, it tells more about the reviewer than the product or service.  In fact, chances are it is bogus. 

It would appear that certain services pride themselves on encouraging scathing reviews by annointing their reviewers with a title such as "elite."  Reviews from people who are clearly on the edge of reality and eager to spew their venom.   I have had two reviews from people who have never contracted for or paid for my services.  They shouldn't have been able to review my services because they never had them.  When I complained to the company, they claimed I should respond to the reviewer even though I had never met or spoken with the person.  Then, although they would not remove it, they suggested if I would advertise with them, they would move the positive reviews to the front and bury the negative review in the back.  So I should pay  $100+ a month in effect to suppress any negative reviews?  That's extortion! 

These online lists of the "10 best", "the 4 best," "the most qualified and vetted" have a list of contractors who fell for extortion tactics and are paying thousands of dollars a year.  The listing companies advertise to the consumer, "it's free."  It certainly isn't free and it isn't advertising because there are no ads.  But, think about this.  If they did have a list of the best contractors, why don't they have the exact same list covering a specified area.  They are not even similar.  A Name appears on one but not on the others.  Each online listing company has a completely unique "list."

In any case, unless you can view dozens of reviews that are both good and bad, there is no competent way to assess the product or service utilizing reviews.