IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE REVIEWS WE COLLECT
Online reviews are now an important source of information for consumers. They are particularly helpful for those consumers looking to buy services or products whose quality they may find hard to assess before it has been experienced. (Competition & Markets Authority Report June 2015)
The reviews that we collect are impartial, which means that we have a clear, transparent policy when it comes to dealing with all reviews and responses and wherever possible ensuring that we abide with Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) and the UK Advertising Codes. For this reason, we have developed our system to detect and verify fake reviews; provide the ability to give prominence to reviews more likely to be helpful; and enable users to flag and report dubious reviews themselves.
If you require any further information on our review policy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 043 2100 and ask for the Moderation Team.
The Rating System is based on the answering of the question sets within the feedback form. When a review is published, it displays an overall 1 to 5 star rating (this rating is the mean average score of all published reviews). Individual reviews are also published with an overall star rating together with a breakdown of 1 to 5 as individual aspects of the questions answered. The star rating for each review is generated by using the mean average to determine a % score giving them a 1 to 5 star rating when rounded). 5 out of 5 is the maximum rating score.
The star ratings mean:
- Very Dissatisfied
- Fairly Dissatisfied
- Neither Satisfied or Dissatisfied
- Fairly Satisfied
- Very Satisfied
How Reviews Are Submitted
Reviews are received through an online form, reply-paid forms, email and SMS Text Messaging.
We only accept reviews that are submitted by genuine users i.e. those with direct experience of the service or product (anonymous reviews are not considered) and comply with our content guidelines (e.g. are relevant, civil and decent). All reviews are moderated prior to publication.
Reviews received do not represent our views and we accept no responsibility or liability for any such Reviews or testimonials.
This website provides the ability to submit comments and ratings on providers or service/ product experiences (commonly referred to as 'Reviews').
The Reviews feature is not a formal complaint procedure or to be used for allegations of negligence, abuse or criminal activity. Anonymous reviews are not considered, we require the name and telephone/email of the reviewer, so that reviews can be properly validated. If you have a serious complaint or allegation of negligence, abuse or criminal activity, you should consider contacting the provider, the relevant regulatory authority or the police.
The views, comments and opinions expressed in the Reviews submitted to our site do not represent our views and we accept no responsibility or liability for any such Reviews. All Reviews are left in accordance with our terms and conditions.
Moderation - The Checking of Reviews
- A Review is submitted online or received from a feedback form and then entered onto our internal system by the Moderation Team
- Reviews that do not comply with this Review Policy are not accepted or published.
Then, an email explaining the primary reason why the Review has not been accepted is sent to the reviewer (where there is an email address). When a Review is rejected for not conforming to the Content Guidelines, the email to the Reviewer, states that they can resubmit another Review.
- Reviews that appear to meet with the Review Policy are authenticated with the reviewer:
- For a number of Reviews, the Moderation Team will individually telephone/email/text the reviewer. If a reviewer has submitted on behalf of the service user they may be asked to provide more detail as confirmation
- Further checks are undertaken to validate Reviews (checking the IP address, same name/email/telephone as an existing Review etc)
- If we cannot validate the Review, an email is sent to the contacts of the service provider and to the reviewer stating that the Review could not be verified
- If authenticated, the Review will move to pending made live
- Reviews Pending Made Live:
When a Review moves into Pending Made Live, it goes into a queue to be made live. An email is sent to the contacts of the service provider with a link to the Review and the ability to add a response. The service provider is informed that the Review will automatically be published.
We encourage companies/organisations to be open and transparent and to respond publicly to all reviews.
We reserve the right to edit and alter Reviews to ensure that the Review complies with our Review Policy. As a general rule, we will only edit Reviews to remove names from the content of the reviews and to correct spelling or basic grammar.
We try to publish as many Reviews as we can but do not guarantee that all Reviews will be published and we may reject a Review with or without giving reasons for such rejection. If we reject a Review submitted by a user, they are able submit a new one.
We try to process the Reviews as quickly as we can, however depending on volume, postage issues/strikes etc. it may take longer than would normally be expected for them to be published or deemed non-compliant with our Review Policy.
The moderation process is identical for organisations that we have a commercial relationship with and for those we do not.
We endeavour to ensure that any Reviews posted on our sites are fair, and that companies/organisations always have an opportunity to provide their own point of view and to make clear where they disagree with anything being said by a reviewer. By engaging with us in this process companies/organisations acknowledge that the Reviews and associated material published together constitute a fair and balanced set of opinions about their services.
Reporting of inappropriate content on our websites
If you believe that a Review/Reply on our websites does not comply with our Review Policy or you wish to remove a Review/Reply you have written, you can alert our Moderation Team by clicking on the link provided to report a Review. You will need to provide your email address and/or telephone together with a short explanation why you believe the Review does not comply with our Review Policy. Reporting a Review will not automatically remove it, but will ensure that we look at it as soon as possible. The Moderation Team will then decide whether to remove it permanently or reinstate it. We reserve the right to remove a Review at any time.
Who can submit Reviews?
Reviews of companies/organisations can only be submitted by genuine users i.e. those with direct experience of the service or product (anonymous reviews are not considered). Reviews from members of staff and from parties, such as suppliers will not be published. However, where required, members of staff or friends/relatives are permitted to assist users / clients in completing a Feedback Form. If a staff member or relative provides assistance, they must provide their name and connection and then on the published review it will state that assistance has been provided.
People under the age of 16 should obtain permission from a parent or guardian before posting on our site/s.
Reviews must be:
- User friendly (No profanity, threats, prejudiced comments, hate speech, sexually explicit language, or other content that is not appropriate)
- Be accurate (where it states facts)
- Original (Not quoted from other sources, including (but not limited to) websites, e-mail correspondence, other reviews, etc.)
- Non-commercial (We do not publish URLs. No promotional content of any kind. We reserve the right to reject email addresses, passwords, financial information or phone numbers for any reason)
- Be verifiable by email or phone
- Be genuinely held (where it states opinion)
- Be relevant and of use to others
- Be informative
- Be written in English and comply with acceptable standards of spelling and grammar
- Be about events within the past year
- Comply with the laws applicable in England & Wales and in any country from which it is posted
We are committed to ensuring the integrity of the content collected and provided to our website users.
Any attempts by submitting a review to mislead, influence or impersonate is deemed as fraud. Such fraudulent behaviour includes but is not limited to:
- Attempts by a company owner, employee or commercial supplier to boost the reputation of an organisation by:
- Writing a review for their own organisation or for any organisation they own, manage or have a financial interest in
- Utilising any optimisation company, marketing organisation, or third party to submit reviews on their behalf
- Impersonating a competitor, a service user or a friend / family of a service user
- Offering incentives or inducements (including discounts, free prize draws or any special treatment) to users or friends / family of users in exchange for reviews or to influence the content of a review
- Submitting reviews on behalf of a service user or friend / family of a service user except where a service user requires the assistance of staff / relatives and so long as the staff / relatives provide their name and relationship and the service user signs the review
- Causing the reviewer undue influence to remove a negative review
- Asking users or their friends / family to remove their reviews in return for a financial gain or other award
- Prohibiting or discouraging service user or their friends / family from posting negative or critical reviews of their experience
- Attempts to damage competitors by submitting a negative review.
- An owner or commercial supplier writing a review on a direct competitor, even if the review describes a genuine experience
If we discover a fraudulent review, we will remove that review and we reserve the right to remove all reviews relating to that company/organisation.
Verification details are required when submitting a review but these details will not be published and will only be used to verify/respond to your Review as is necessary. We will retain the information you provide to us in connection with a particular Review for as long as the Review is published on our website/s or for as long as the information is required for our ongoing moderation process. The information will only be shared with the service provider with the express permission of the reviewer.
Reviewers are also asked to provide a Name to be shown with the Review, however there is the option for the name not to be published.
Use of your Review
Reviews are published on our website/s and can appear on other affiliated websites. They are displayed for a minimum of 1 year and retained for up to a maximum of 12 years. By submitting a Review, you agree to grant us a non-exclusive, perpetual royalty-free, transferable and sub-licensable licence to use that Review. Although you will still own the copyright in your Review, we will have the right to freely use, edit, alter, reproduce, publish and/or distribute the material contained in your Review. The right to edit and alter the Review will be exercised in order to ensure that the Review complies with the relevant law, this policy and to protect the privacy of individuals. We also have the right to remove Reviews from the site/s. You further grant us the right to pursue at law any person or entity that violates your or our rights in the Reviews by a breach of these terms.
By submitting a Review, you are warranting that you have the right to grant the licence above.
We reserve the right to alter or update this policy at any time.