I know what you mean - last September, as I said above, I found my radiator was leaking...days before I had the NCT scheduled; The place I usually go to was closed for holidays, so I looked online and found a garage next to where I live that had nearly hundred glowing 5 stars reviews on Google.
Now, I wouldn't normally just go to somebody I found around, but it was just a radiator replacement, not an engine build, so I booked the car in. I went there, "customer friendly" operation which already gave me the wrong vibrations (I want to talk to an engineer/mechanic, not an useless sales rep), they did the job, the price was actually very competitive.
Yet...the coolant level kept dropping for the first couple of days; as I kept topping it up and I could find no leak anywhere, it was clear what was going on - indeed, after the 4th fill up it stopped dropping and hasn't since. They, somehow, forgot to do something as basic and essential as bleeding the damn system. They just took the old rad out, put the new one in, filled the reservoir, job done. Had I trusted them, or been a completely clueless owner, I'd be dealing with a dead engine now. And yet people keep posting glowing 5 star reviews - "great price", "hassle free experience"...
Similarly, I've asked for quotes around a couple of bodywork shops - they visibly sneer when they see the car, and then go "it's a 06, you'd better off getting something else, it'd cost more than the car is worth". I want a quote - I don't care if it's 1000 or 2000 Euro, you won't replace the car with that amount of money, especially in the horror that the Irish market.
So yeah, long story short, I was looking for somebody here who had work done to an older Alfa and got along well