Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is The Franklin Report?

The Franklin Report is a customer-driven survey of home renovation and maintenance services, presently focusing on the New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Westchester/Fairfield county areas. By leveraging the technology of the Internet and the power of customer opinion, the team at The Franklin Report is creating a comprehensive database of top service providers, from architects and decorators to plumbers, carpet cleaners and electricians. Our mission is to simplify the task of choosing a home service provider for renovation, interior design, repair and maintenance by codifying the "word-of-mouth" approach we all rely on -- and to give the community a chance to contribute to this ongoing dialogue. In the process, we'll develop an extraordinarily valuable resource -- the definitive collection of home service providers demonstrating a commitment to excellence in their field. We published our first New York City Guide in November of 2000, are quickly expanding our database and publishing books in the other major metropolitan areas nationwide.

2. How is The Franklin Report different from other lists of service providers?

The Franklin Report is more than a factual listing of service providers. It provides ratings and comments from The Franklin Report community of users, who are homeowners and service professionals in the area, as well as research from The Franklin Report editorial team. The mission of The Franklin Report is to simplify the task of choosing a home service provider by codifying the "word-of-mouth" approach we all rely on -- and to give the community a chance to contribute to this ongoing dialogue.

3. Is every service provider in my area listed?

No. Part of the value of The Franklin Report is that we provide a listing of service providers serving a range of job sizes and budgets who are, based on our research and customer reviews, committed to striving for excellence in their field.

4. Do people pay to be listed in The Franklin Report?

No. The listings in The Franklin Report are derived from consumer submissions and from the company's research. While there may be advertising and sponsorships on The Franklin Report site, these will not affect the integrity of the listings and ratings in the database. We are just like the New York Times who accepts advertising from movie production companies, but then reviews the movies independently.

5. Is The Franklin Report guaranteeing these service providers are good?

Appearing in the database of The Franklin Report is in no way a recommendation or endorsement of a service provider. The site compiles consumer opinions and comments. It is ultimately the responsibility of the end user to make his/her own informed choice of service provider. Nonetheless, we are, to the best of our ability, screening for service providers who strive for excellence in their field, based on research and the comments of consumers.

6. How can I tell if a service provider is legitimate?

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the end user to ask to seek licenses and insurance verification, check for appropriate membership in professional organizations and check with the Better Business Bureau. Where possible, The Franklin Report has done a preliminary check on the providers, but information can quickly become outdated and is not always available. So before starting to work with a service provider, be sure to ask the right questions and get everything in writing.

7. How do I submit a review of a service provider?

The Submit a Reference Report link here or on the top right of the Home page takes you to our online Reference Report. Fill out the Reference Report, making sure to complete the required fields, and click on the "Add this evaluation to the Franklin Report!" button. Please submit only one report per service provider every six months. Service providers who wish to submit factual information on themselves for inclusion on the site must fill out the information requested after following the link for Service Provider Information, here or on the Home page.

8. Who are Franklin Report Users?

Individuals like you and your friends and neighbors are Users. Businesses may also be Users.

9. What is a Reference Report and when is it appropriate to fill one out?

A Reference Report is the same as a review of a provider. It is appropriate to complete one for a service provider with whom you have worked fairly closely on a project or for a long period of time (architect, contractor, etc.) or a service provider who performed a brief or one-time only service (carpet cleaner, window washer).

10. How many reviews can I write?

You may submit one report on a provider for each project he/she completes for you. A project is defined as a household repair, improvement or construction undertaking that is completed within six months. For any undertaking lasting more than six months, you may submit one report per provider every six months.

11. What happens to my review once it is submitted? When can I expect it to be included in the report I see on the site?

Once you submit a Reference Report, your ratings are integrated into the existing Service Provider Report. If the provider is new to our system, a new listing will appear after we make an initial review of the service provider and the report. The comments you submit pass through our editorial team, which creates the Summary of Comments and chooses quotes for the Specific Comments sections of the Service Provider Report. Please remember that all reviews will be examined by our editorial team to determine if the review is appropriate for posting.

Should there be any questions about your review, your identifying information -- particularly your email address -- or the provider, we reserve the right to put a hold on the Service Provider Report until we can resolve the questions to our satisfaction.

12. Does The Franklin Report edit the service provider reports?

We reserve the right to invalidate a report we believe to be fraudulent or misleading in any way and then take those ratings out of our system. The Franklin Report editorial team creates the summaries you read on each service provider from comments submitted, and chooses quotes for the Specific Comments section.

13. Can I retract or change my review?

We want to use the most up-to-date and accurate information you can give us. You can amend or withdraw your comments by writing to us at (be sure to include identifying information). However, please be aware that we cannot guarantee how quickly those changes will be reflected in the published content and/or that any additional comments will be incorporated. Therefore, please think carefully about your review before submitting it.

14. How do I tell someone that a service provider has moved?

We appreciate when Users help us keep our information as up-to-date as possible. Please email us at if you know that a provider has moved, changed phone numbers or changed its name.

15. Do you limit the number of Users who may comment on each service provider? Is there a minimum?

No! The strength of The Franklin Report is in the volume of reports for each service provider -- the more reports, the more comprehensive the ratings. We encourage everyone to give their opinion and share their experiences. We do ask though, that each User enter only one report on each provider for each project he/she completes for you. (Please see FAQ #10 above.)

No service provider ratings will appear on the site until our Editorial Board is satisfied that we have sufficient information on the provider. If there is not enough information, you will notice that the provider is posted with empty rating folders, inviting you to submit more detailed information.

16. Can anyone else see my reviews or my identity?

No. We take your review and combine it with the reviews of others to develop ratings, summary comments, and specific comments about the service provider. Therefore, visitors and Users will be able to see the RESULTS of your review combined with other reviews, but they won't see your specific review or your name. They may see a quote from your comments, but your name will NEVER be attached to them. The only way others will be able to know your identity is if YOU decide to reveal it to them in message board discussions.

Our data is stored in a secure, password-protected environment. While we believe we have excellent systems in place to protect personal information with a high level of confidence, there exists the possibility that a system may be compromised (hacking, software glitches). We therefore cannot promise that Users' personal information or private communications or report submission identity will always, under every circumstance, remain private. We can promise that if a situation arises whereby personal privacy is compromised, we will use reasonable efforts to correct the problem as soon as possible. If we are required by law or to assist in the resolution of a breach of security, we will provide personal information to law enforcement authorities.

17. How can I learn who the other Franklin Report Users are?

You won't learn that from us. Just as we protect YOUR identity, we protect the identities of other Users as well. The only way you might learn another User's identity is if he/she reveals it to you in a message board discussion.

18. What happens to my personal information?

The Franklin Report collects and stores certain personal information that you voluntarily give to us. We store that information securely in a password protected database. We may, from time to time, use that information to contact you about services in which you have expressed interest, or in which we believe you may be interested.

We may use User information in aggregate for a variety of purposes. This aggregated information may be shared with partners and others, and, is not now, but might in the future be sold.

See our Privacy Policy for a more information.

19. I am a service provider and I am I not listed. Why? How do I get listed?

There are four reasons that you may not be listed. First, we may not have heard of you. To remedy this, either register as a Service Provider, email us at, fax us at 212-744-3546 or write to us at: The Franklin Report, 201 East 69th Street, Suite 14J, New York, NY 10021. Please include all your contact information and a detailed description of your company and its services.

Second, your review may be on hold while we do our background research and call references to develop your ratings. To speed this process, make sure we have all of your company information, customer references and the customers' phone numbers. You could also encourage your customers to log on to The Franklin Report and submit reviews of your service online.

Third, you must predominantly be a service provider whose business revenues flow mainly from home visits and services, or have visits and services as an integral part of your business.

Fourth, unfortunately, we may have determined, based on customer reviews and our research, that your service does not seem to meet our standards of "striving for excellence." If you feel that this determination is incorrect, you might encourage some of your customers to log on to The Franklin Report and submit reviews of your service.

20. I am a service provider and some of my information listed on The Franklin Report is incorrect. Whom should I contact?

We're sorry! We take every effort to ensure that your factual information is correct, but if we have made a mistake with yours, please let us know. Email us at , fax us at 212-744-3546, or write to us at: The Franklin Report, 201 East 69th Street, Suite 14J, New York, NY 10021. Please include your name and contact information, and tell us what we have that is wrong and what the correct information is.

21. I am a service provider and I don't think my review fairly reflects my work. How can I change that?

The comments and ratings are directly derived from reviews of your service. If you think your rating is undeservedly low, you can suggest to some of your favorite clients that they log on to The Franklin Report and rate you. In addition, you can click on the link at the bottom of page listing the full details of your rating and respond to the review.

22. How can I contact The Franklin Report and/or give feedback about the site, the offerings or anything else?

We appreciate your feedback and love to hear from you! If you have suggestions, or feedback email us at We WILL get back to you.

23. Where do I get a print copy of The Franklin Report guide?

The Franklin Report is currently available in local bookstores and home improvement and home furnishing stores in the New York City and Chicao Areas. The book will be hitting Westchester & Fairfield Counties bookstores in September of 2003. If you have sent us your email, you will receive periodic updates from us giving the details of exactly when and where the books will be available.

If you have any questions, please contact us at 212.639.9100 or
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