(WHAS11) -- From dating to home improvement you can find a review on just about everything on the internet these days. Some of them are reliable, and some are not.
The key here is knowing which reviews you can trust and which ones you can't. In a tough economy it's more important than ever to do your research before spending your hard earned dollars and online is not your only tool.
Online tools are only one option. You still need to get estimates, interview the company and go with your instinct.
Angie Hicks from Angie's List has been in the business of reviews since 1995. The site prohibits anonymous reporting. Earlier in the year the Federal Trade Commission announced plans to develop guidelines in an attempt to crack down on fake consumer reviews.
"The first thing they want to do is understand how the site works. How are the reviews compiled? How do companies get listed on the site? These are all important questions for consumers," said Hicks.
The Better Business Bureau's site is also an already established watchdog consumers can count on for reviews.
Beware if you're a company inclined to inflate reviews for positive press. Last year the federal trade commission fined one company 250-thousand-dollars after it was discovered it's staff was posting positive reviews.
If you have a consumer issue you'd like WHAS11 to look into just e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.