Why Contractors Should Check Umbrella Reviews


Before selecting a payroll provider for your temporary assignments, it is important that you consult the opinions of the umbrella companies to ensure that you are considering only the best on the market, writes Ciaran Woodcock, director of Umbrella Company United Kingdom.

After all, the umbrella industry is crowded, and you’re spoiled for choice! Therefore, umbrella company reviews could seriously help you make an effective and informed decision. Here, exclusively for ContractorUK, we’ll explain more and give you some advice on umbrella company reviews.

Umbrella company reviews help you paint a picture

When looking for a carrier, you will have certain expectations. For example, you expect customer service to be efficient and your contacts to be polite.

You also expect the umbrella company to have a competitive margin and pay you on time. The best way to assess whether an umbrella company is likely to meet your expectations is to research the reviews of the companies you are interested in. This will help you paint a picture of the organization.

Apex company reviews will speed up the verification process

There are hundreds of umbrella companies in the UK, so where do you start looking for a reliable payroll provider?

Online apex company reviews are very convenient because you can instantly exclude apex companies with poor reputations, allowing you to focus on the most “liked” or best performing origins. This will help you identify a small selection of companies to consider, which will make your overall decision easier and faster.

Consider the number of reviews

It is essential to delve into the ratings of umbrella companies and this must be done before joining a payroll provider.

However, the amount of reviews is important when making a decision. For example, an umbrella company may have a rating of 4.8 / 5.0, but they may only have received ten reviews in total. Is this umbrella company going to provide better service than a umbrella company with a rating of 4.5 after 10,000 reviews? Maybe, but 4.5 after 10,000 reviews shows you that the umbrella company is very well established and has provided a high level of service to many workers consistently.

Have reviews of the umbrella company improved or deteriorated?

Most established and reputable review platforms will allow you to filter reviews the moment they are left.

This can be very useful as you can see if a business is improving, deteriorating, or providing a consistent level of service. Say a business has a selection of negative reviews from a few years ago, but everything has been positive since then. Maybe they have some new procedures in place to improve their overall service.

Every business can have a bad day

Bad reviews are a part of life and no business is perfect. However, by checking recent reviews of umbrella companies, you can identify trends or consistency with complaints. For example, if an umbrella company is constantly being criticized for late payments, you might be better off looking elsewhere.

Some reviews are written by people with a vested interest – so beware

It’s hard to prove, but some reviews are fake and maliciously written by competing companies. Therefore, don’t always take every comment you read at face value, and some should be taken with a grain of salt. When malicious or self-interest reviews are written, staff from the recipient’s umbrella organization often respond. The nature of how they respond; their tact and tone, for example, might give you additional insight into whether this is the umbrella for you.

Remember, even wonders can get a star

It’s also worth remembering that some customers are just plain hard to please, and in the internet age, “people are far more likely to leave a negative review than a positive one.”

To put this into perspective with an example outside of contracting out, a recent review of Machu Picchu – one of the wonders of the world – gives the site one star. The reviewer criticizes it for being “just” a mountain with “nothing else to see”. Another reviewer also gives the site one star and says the whole place is a “scam”. Unsurprisingly, Machu Picchu has earned tens of thousands of positive reviews. But if you were just focusing on the negative reviews, you’d probably avoid the place! And probably to your disadvantage. The same goes for umbrella companies. Naturally, some people will have negative experiences. It’s a shame, but it’s the reality.

Take a Few Umbrella Review Sites, Not Just One

To help reduce the effectiveness of maliciously written reviews, try several umbrella company review sites. For example, check out reviews on Google My Business and Trustpilot. If the umbrella you are reviewing has received unfair review, the interested party may have only posted on one site.

Accreditation is usually a good start

Seasoned entrepreneurs tend to consider umbrella companies with an accreditation from the Freelancer & Contractor Services Association or Professional Passport. There are hundreds of umbrella companies in the UK, and it is essential that you only consider using genuine and compliant companies, as the risks associated with tax avoidance schemes are serious.

But keep in mind that just because a professional body accredits an umbrella does not guarantee that the service you receive will meet the high standards you expect!

Go to several levels in your search

So, as you would with most other major purchases, do multi-level research on the umbrella companies you’re interested in. And do this research even if the umbrellas have an industry body endorsement!

Then use a mix of review resources before committing. For example, reviews on Google My Business and Trustpilot may come with umbrella worker verification or entrepreneur forum, where you can chat with real and existing users of the umbrellas you love. It is these genuine employees of the company you are considering who will likely give you the most honest feedback on the performance of their parent company!


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