Many notaries seem to believe that posting a question about a potential NSA client in a notary group on Facebook is all they need to do in order to say they have researched the firm.
While asking your competition to rate potential clients might raise issues about collusion or restraint of trade or price fixing, so far at least, I have not seen any reports of any notary actually getting in trouble for posting such questions or for answering them.
So, I do understand the impulse to post such questions — but they don’t really constitute good research.
Here are my suggestions on what good research entails.
- Check the forums on 123notary, NotaryRotary, and NotaryCafe.
- Look them up on the rated list at 123notary.com/s
- Use Google to see if there are any reviews or reports of issues posted about them online.
- Visit them via Google to see if they have reviews on their My Google listing.
- Look them up on yelp for reviews.
- Look them up on the BBB site for the area where the firm is located.
- Look them up on manta and ripoffreport.
- If you’re a paid member, look them up on Signing Central on NotaryRotary.
- If you’re a paid member, look them up on notarybeware.
- Then use the search function on Facebook to look for posts about the company (limit it to your friends and groups to clear out company promos). Be sure you are a member of at least 10 or 12 notary groups so that your search here is fruitful.
- If you’re in the Deadbeat Firms group on Facebook, look them up on their list in the Files area.
If that does not show you enough about them to decide whether they are a good fit to be a client, whether you want to extend credit to them by working assignments and getting paid later, whether you can trust them to pay you on time and as agreed without having to hassle with collections — then you might have to post a topic in the groups you are in and ask for recent experiences from the members and see what comes up.
Or you could call them and see if you can smell desperation or BS in their phone statements.
This is a follow-up to my recent post about Working the Lists, as well as the earlier posts that are mentioned in that article.