Why i don't like to use TheKnot.com or WeddingWire.com
Hi there, new bride to be, i have a VERY IMPORTANT MESSAGE that i would like to share with you. One that could save you or break you.
Through out my years I seen a lot of new "pro-photographers" that are emerging almost on a daily basis. As technology becomes cheaper and cheaper, it is easier for people to start photography business all around the world. Unfortunately, that is a very bad thing for couples. Why? because now days anyone with a camera can call themselves a pro photographer and open a nice website for a few hundred bucks.
Just here in San Antonio i have counted over 300 "pro photographers." That is an insane amount. Most of these are new with very low amount of experience and cheap cameras.
So whats the problem? the problem is with rating sites such as TheKnot.com or WeddingWire.com or even Weddings.com
What do you do when you want to buy a new product? you scan the reviews to see if its legit before investing your own hard earned money. The same thing couples do when they are looking for a vendor on their wedding day whether its a catering company, photographer, venue and so forth. Not a bad idea. I do it all the time. But, what about photographer reviews? This is where the huge problem comes:
A LOT OF THESE REVIEWS ARE FAKE!
anyone can open an account, fake a name, a fake wedding date, and a fake review.
I decided to try it for myself.
1.) I opened a fake photography company
2.) got a bunch of Gmail accounts
3.) used those fake emails to open fake bride accounts
4.) reviewed my fake photography company with fake names
5.) result: multiple 5 star reviews with amazing positive comments
its sad that this is so easy to do. What does WeddingWire or TheKnot do about it?
why? because they don't know or don't care. So please, be very careful when selecting your vendors through these outlets. Here is a sample of another photographer that did the same thing i did but describes his/her experience with better detail. If you want to read the whole thing you can go the the article here:
I will just give you the short part by copying the statements here:
This all started with an email I got from WeddingWire a couple of days ago. They were sweet enough to let me know I’d won the Couple’s Choice Awards for 2014. This from having a WeddingWire account that was started years ago that I never did anything with, and clients started finding it and leaving me really kind reviews after their weddings. I figured that couldn’t be such a horrible thing, so I left it up. When you would search for “Birdsong Photography reviews”, all of the reviews I’d been left on WeddingWire showed up.
Hey. That’s kind of handy. Sweet.
All of that was fine and dandy until I read the last sentence.
“The Couples’ Choice Awards recognize your business as amongst the top 5% of wedding professionals nationwide.”
Dear WeddingWire, that is an outrageous and blatant lie. I sincerely doubt with all of my heart that any of your employees could even name the top 5% of wedding vendors in this country, and I absolutely promise you that while I am busy as heck and thankfully so, I am not remotely near the top 5% of wedding photographers. But thanks for the ego rub.
So finally, to confirm my suspicions on just how easy it was for anyone with a pulse to get these awards, I created a fake WeddingWire account.
John Doe Photography had zero wedding photos posted in his gallery, was in business for all of 3 hours total, and ended up with 15 reviews in a matter of minutes. Note that he was even WeddingWire Rated.
With the help of some wedding vendors and past and current brides, reviews started pouring for John Doe. Even I was able to review John Doe 4 separate times anonymously.
Now, while this was all in great fun and at WeddingWire’s complete and total expense, it confirmed several things; anyone with a pulse can make a WeddingWire account and get reviews, and absolutely anyone can leave reviews for someone on WeddingWire. This is great when it’s clients talking about how great a vendor was. This is really bad when shady vendors leave themselves reviews and have friends/family/stoner friends leave reviews for them to make them look more trustworthy than they are.
So. All that to say. The awards from The Knot and WeddingWire, until they put more effort into knowing who they’re flinging awards at and not just silently laughing at all the schmucks marketing for them, unfortunately mean jack squat.
Which can all boil down to my mantra I’m going to tattoo on every new client I talk to……research your vendors.
Research. Your. Vendors.
And don’t hire John Doe.