Reading reviews about products, services, and companies is a common practice in today’s digital world. However, knowing how to read between the lines, and the red flags to look out for, can be a valuable skill set to have during your online research.
Companies and services are a little harder to research than a product on say Amazon.com. With Amazon, you can simply filter out all of the five star reviews (as those tend to be loyal fans) as well filter out the one start ratings (as those tend to be people that hate everything) and just review all of the 2-4 star ratings to learn everything you really need to know about a product. In this review, we’re going to use an actual company as an example of how to determine if you will be scammed or not. Spryrocket of Dallas, TX has a lot to learn when it comes to basic business practices.
Is Spryrocket a Scam?
The worst possible scenario with any service is to pay for it and never receive your goods or service. That happened to us, with Spryrocket of Dallas, TX here at Serving Texas Families so we just wanted to make you aware of their negligent business practices. More importantly, our goal isn’t to slander a company that probably means well: it is more about using them to demonstrate some warning signs you can look for when researching a company you are considering doing business with.
Following are some warning signs to look for when you are doing research for a company using Spryrocket co-space of Dallas, TX as an example.
Caption: No contact information?
Hidden contact information – In 2013, there is no excuse not to have your website URL on your signage. At the very least, not having a contact phone number is a clear sign that this business has something to hide. How can you be in business if you don’t give a way for people to contact you?
Incomplete website – It’s one thing to have a website that is in the process of being built and another thing to have a website that you just quit on. This can be a clear warning sign of how the owners run the business. Since we didn’t know the website URL from their onsite signage (as seen above), a Google search for their business name shows a few surprising details.
You will note that they failed to use a META description tag which is the only way you can communicate information about your business to potential website searchers in the search engine results page.
Next we have pages indexed in Google that are templates to their website theme and have no relevancy to someone looking for their business. Again we see no link to a contact page. What is Spryrocket trying to hide?
Spryrocket Raising Prices
With consistent rate increases, you’d think that that customer service was outstanding, yet the one review we could find online for them says otherwise. See below.
Do Not Settle for Bad Service
It is a common mistake to overlook early warning signs when doing reviews. You WANT to find positive reviews so you can justify your buying decision. Sometimes, like in the case of business lounge space in Dallas, you might be tempted to overlook what surely is just a “web guy’s” fault with the previously outlined mistakes, right?
Let’s take a look further into the rabbit hole on Spryrocket.
Spryrocket: Business Owners Too Busy with “Real” Jobs?
While reading the local newspapers write-up of the Spryrocket launch, we note that the three business owners have day jobs and this is side project for them. This may be another warning sign that customer service could be an issue as the owners have more important projects than to focus on any problems you may have with their service.
Is this an assumption? Let’s see.
Spryrocket: Pay for Service and Receive Nothing in Return
If you visit the “join us” page of the Spryrocket website, you’ll note that we find yet another red flag or two.
For starters, there is no direction on what or how securing a spot works. Next, we have a mislabeled pay button for day passes.
Upon going through the Pay Pal checkout process for a day pass in order to try their office space out before risking a whole month’s rent, there is no redirect back to any page on their site explaining what to do next. You don’t ever receive an email with direction. In our experience with Spryrocket, even after using their contact form notifying them of our purchase, we never received any details then either.
You simply give them your money and they take it, giving nothing in return. At least that happened to us.
Even filing a dispute with Pay Pal results in no refund or contact. Is Spryrocket a scam? Probably not. If they are a good company, they will (hopefully) have Google Alerts or at the very least Google their own name and find this cheatsheet on how they can improve their business. This post was written on May 15, 2013…hopefully everything has changed since then.
At the very least, we hope you are armed with some key areas to look for when you are doing a review of a company or service beyond the traditional Better Business Bureau and other review sites. Good luck!
When was the last time you didn’t have anything to do? For most people, this situation (nothing to do) is something you only read about in books or see in the movies. Even on vacations, we are tied to our phones and laptops. Will they have Internet access? Do I need an international plan for my phone before going? Life is on fast forward…all the time. In this post we will discuss some time management tips for busy families to help your upcoming week be a little less stressful.
Pay Yourself First
Regardless of the time management system you use, the very first thing you should schedule is personal time and family time. While personal time and family time may sound the same, they are completely different. Personal time is just as important as family time. We are all individuals and we can’t be expected to take care of anyone else if we don’t take care of ourselves first. Even five minutes alone, with our own thoughts, can go a long way to recharging the batteries. Likewise, making sure our family doesn’t play second fiddle to our careers or other passions is vital to a happy life.
Get Everyone on the Same Page
Lack of communication within the family unit is an unnecessary drain on our time and energy. With handy tools like Cozi, everyone in the family can be on the same page and aware of each person’s role and responsibility when it comes to managing busy schedules. Who is picking Susie up from soccer practice? What day did Dad say he was working overtime again? Cozi, or comparable tools, can help take the headache out of family logistical issues.
Time to Eat!
Food planning is one of the most overlooked aspects of managing a busy family. No wonder obesity is one of the biggest health problems facing Americans. Fast food is just too convenient. A good family time management system should include meal planning for the whole week. Not only does this make grocery shopping less stressful and more economical, but it can impact the overall health of the family unit. Say no to greasy burgers and yes to more plant based foods by planning ahead.
Having too many “things” can be stressful. Ask anyone that has purged belongings via a garage sale, Criagslist, or even the good ole trash and 9 times out of 10 you will find someone that feels “relieved” of the burden of whatever it is that they got rid of. Clutter causes stress and robs us of our precious time. Create dedicated places for cell phones, your car keys, and purses. If you have a hoarding mentality, start small and let momentum gradually change you from hoarder to organizer and see how much time you gain in your day/week/month.
Learn to Say No
The final tip is to learn to say no. This is the twin brother to the first tip of pay yourself first. There’s only so much time in a day, and many of us simply overextend ourselves because we’d rather face the pain we know than the pain we don’t know. Sure turning down a happy hour with co-workers might get you some snide remarks from co-workers, but if that time can be better served for more valuable activities…then it is worth it! Be clear and honest with yourself about what is really important and spend your time as if you were spending your last dollar. You’re worth it.