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Why I Don''t Ask My Friends to Recommend Services On Facebook Anymore

By: Mike Thomas

As a contractor, I?m always looking for recommendations. With the economy the way it is, I know there are a lot of guys looking for work. Some may think the social media would be a good place to find fellow contractors. But what I?ve learned recently is not to ask my friends to recommend services on Facebook anymore. See, the thing about the social media is, it?s a publicly accessible community. And anything that is said against you can be used against you without you even knowing about it.

Let me give you an example. A Facebook friend of mine told me about a plumber that uses illegal piping. He shared this information in a post, which was visible to anyone we are friends with. I was reluctant to believe him at first, but I figured it must be true if he?s posting it on Facebook. I had a meeting set with this guy to discuss the plumbing on one of the new houses I?m building. I cancelled our meeting. Another Facebook friend highly recommended another plumber. Ironically, what I ended up with was a house full of illegal piping and an oversized bill I felt obligated to pay because it was my friend?s nephew. I did not want any of this getting back to my friend so I paid the bill and never used his nephew?s services again.

I decided to go with my gut and call the guy I was originally going to use. He agreed to meet with me and during our discussion he asked me why I cancelled our first meeting. After I vaguely explained, leaving out my friend?s name, he assured me his piping was legal. After our meeting, I immediately removed the post and called my friend to set him straight. This man?s integrity was jeopardized and he wasn?t even aware of it. I thought about how many friends the average person has on Facebook and I got a sinking feeling in my stomach. It was then that I decided that the days of using Facebook for business were over for me. I?m now keeping the social media? social.


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†Average repair and replacement costs as reported in a nationwide survey: A Study of Homeowners Appliance and Home System Service Experiences Decision Analyst (2011) and reprinted with their written permission.

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