- What are you?
ConsumerAffairs.com is a Web-based consumer news and resource center. We are not a government agency and not affiliated with any other consumer organization.
- Are you non-profit?
- Is this a government site?
- Why are there ads on your site?
When ConsumerAffairs does not have a business relationship with a company, advertisements are placed on our website by a third party, and we do not know the identity of a specific advertiser or have control over the advertisement. Our site is very large and handles a lot of traffic each day. It is very expensive to maintain.
- I see ads for companies that are criticized on your site. What's that all about?
ConsumerAffairs is supported by advertising, membership fees, and referral fees. We make money through membership agreements with many of the companies featured on our pages, and from companies who pay us a referral fee if you purchase products or services by clicking links or calling phone numbers on our website. In addition, there may be advertisements placed by third parties like Google on our site, for which we receive revenue, but over which we have no control. The fact that an ad appears on our site by no means indicates we approve of the product or service.
- Do companies pay you to recommend their products or services?
No. But companies pay us to become Accredited Members (see below). Our membership agreements with Accredited Members may impact the location and order in which they are presented. While star ratings are based on input received from consumers, brand order rankings may be weighted based on a brand’s market share, conversion ratio, economic relationship between the brand and ConsumerAffairs, general consumer interest, and star rating. Neither ratings nor rankings imply endorsement of a brand by ConsumerAffairs, but are meant to be tools to help consumers make informed and intelligent choices.
- How does sorting work on your guides?
We provide four different sorting options for our visitors to use while they are deciding which company to choose. Explanations for each are as follows:
“Featured” will sort companies based on ConsumerAffairs’ own preferences, which may include revenue ConsumerAffairs receives from a Company.
“Most Popular” will sort companies based on an algorithm that takes into account a company’s market share, the number of customers who make purchases from that company based on our Buyer’s Guide, and a company’s star rating.
“Most Reviewed” will sort companies based on their total number of customer reviews.
“Best Rated” will sort companies based on their average star rating from customer reviews on the ConsumerAffairs website.
- What is a "Verified" company?
Verified companies are in good standing with regulatory authorities, have been vetted and approved by trusted 3rd parties and are affiliated with these 3rd parties.
How we handle reviews
- I sent you a review. How come it hasn't shown up?
Your approved review may be put on hold until we are able to publish a page about the company.
Additionally, all reviews are moderated before publishing, meaning that they're not published immediately upon submission, and are filtered for "spam" or fake reviews.
- What are your review guidelines?
Our Moderation Team evaluates reviews and images to make sure they fulfill our guidelines before publishing. Not all reviews or images are published. The best and most helpful reviews and comments, whether positive or negative, are factually correct, include details from your firsthand experience, and have photos.
Guidelines for writing your review:
- Include enough of a description to be helpful for others (usually over 100 words)
- Please exclude profanity, threats or personal insults
- Don’t include personal information such as email addresses or phone numbers
- The description should be unique - please do not submit a review if you've submitted the same review to other sites or if you've already reviewed your experience with this company on ConsumerAffairs
Guidelines for uploading photos:
- Do not publish, post, upload, or disseminate any inappropriate, profane, defamatory, obscene, indecent, shocking, or unlawful images.
- Photos should apply directly to your review
- Image format should be jpeg, gif or png
- If you have privacy concerns, consider blurring or blacking out the face of individuals in the photo
- Please do not violate anyone's copyright. Post only your own photographs and not photographs from other sites, users, or individuals.
- If you believe your copyright has been violated, please see our DMCA page to submit a request for review.
Additionally, ConsumerAffairs receives tens of thousands of reviews each month, so we use intelligent software that helps us filter “fake” or “spam” reviews for our users. This software uses many factors and variables to determine which reviews are from legitimate consumers, and which are fake and/or have been generated at the direction of the company being reviewed.
- How do you calculate star ratings?
A company’s “star rating” is the average numerical rating submitted by actual consumers. If a company has more than thirty reviews in the most recent 12 month period, we only use the most recent twelve month period to calculate the company's rating. We also do not include ratings from reviews that are “spam” or fake. As a paid service, we help companies that are accredited members collect ratings and reviews from consumers. We do not write or create reviews, however, and we never change a rating at a company’s request. If an accredited member disputes the accuracy of a review, depending on the outcome of the dispute, we may not include the rating in the company’s overall average. As of February 2018 the disputes feature is changing to a resolutions feature.
- What are resolutions and how are they used?
Accredited Members have the ability to contact consumers in an effort to work thru an issue/problem. The Accredited Member can ask the consumer to update the star rating of their review as part of the resolution process. Only the most current rating from a consumer’s review is factored into the Brand’s overall star rating.
- Aren't you being terribly unfair and one-sided? Where's the good news?
We publish both reviews and comments, whether positive or negative. Also, we are happy to consider responses submitted by the companies at issue through the ConsumerAffairs for Brands software tool, which allows them to respond to consumer's reviews and comments at no cost.
- Shouldn't companies have a chance to respond?
We love it when companies engage with consumers. That's why companies can sign up for ConsumerAffairs for Brands, which allows them to respond to consumers' reviews and comments for free.
- A friend of mine sent you a review, then the company took care of him but you didn't remove his review. Why not?
- So what should I do if I review a company and they then respond and rectify the problem?
If you haven't already, create an account, then go to 'Your Reviews'. Click the title of your review, and click 'Would you like to mark this review as resolved?' to adjust your star-rating and post a new public response.
- What is a Verified Reviewer?
A Verified Reviewer has created an account on ConsumerAffairs and confirmed his/her email address through our verification process, has logged in through a social media site like Facebook or Twitter that has confirmed the reviewer's identity, or has been identified by a company that has provided ConsumerAffairs with valid contact information for the reviewer. Verification ensures reviews are written by credible members of the ConsumerAffairs community.
- Who do I contact with a question or concern about my review?
If you have a question or concern about a review that you have posted on ConsumerAffairs.com, please email email@example.com.
- I just got a call from someone who claimed to be from ConsumerAffairs and wanted to ask me questions about a company I did business with. Is this a scam?
With the permission of a Brand, ConsumerAffairs may call consumers who have purchased goods or services from the Accredited Member in order to ask the consumer about their experiences. In addition, ConsumerAffairs will never use a consumer’s telephone number provided for review collection to market any goods or services, and will never sell or license the number to another company to do so.
- You say you keep reviews indefinitely in a database. What do you mean?
We categorize review content -- by vendor, industry, product, geography, etc. -- so we can spot patterns and trends. We think that as time goes by, this will be a great research tool. It's pretty good right now; we regularly spot new problems with various consumer products.
- Who else can read my reviews?
Your reviews are publicly available on our site to users, and we may share your reviews with others, including companies who have signed up for ConsumerAffairs for Brands. We may also format and re-distribute your reviews on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr or a ConsumerAffairs affiliated site.
- Why do you send my reviews to the companies I write about?
We forward reviews and comments to companies who have signed up for ConsumerAffairs for Brands. To receive such information, companies must agree that they will use the information only in an attempt to resolve a review and/or improve their practices, not for marketing purposes. They must also agree not to use the information to sue a consumer.
- Do you have the right to share my review on social media sites?
- How do private and public company responses work?
We provide companies access to a free platform whereby companies can login and send a message to consumers privately and/or respond publicly. When companies use this free platform to read reviews and send messages they cannot see consumers' names or other contact information, rather the message is routed through our system and delivered to the consumer's email address.
- What are my privacy rights as a reviewer?
- What is a Verified Buyer?
A Verified Buyer has purchased the reviewed product or service and provided proof of purchase history to ConsumerAffairs. This specification is intended to identify those members of our community who are submitting reviews of products that they own or services they've received. Any proof of purchase information submitted to ConsumerAffairs will not be displayed on our site or used for any other purpose.
- What do I do if I believe ConsumerAffairs is hosting information or material that infringes my copyright?
If you believe that Consumer Affairs is hosting information or material that infringes your copyright, please follow the steps below to notify us of your good faith claim under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA):
- Identify the copyrighted material you claim has been infringed
- Specify details, such as a URL, that will provide us enough information to locate the claimed material that is to be removed or disabled
- Make a statement that you have a good faith belief that use of the material is not authorized by the copyright agent, its owner or the law. Include the following language “I have a good faith belief that the material claimed as copyright infringement is not authorized by the copyright agent, its owner or the law. I swear under penalty of perjury that the information in my notice is accurate and I am the copyright owner or I am authorized to act on the copyright owner’s behalf for matters pertaining to notification of infringement of its rights in its material.”
- Provide your contact information so that we may respond to your complaint (address, telephone number, email)
- Signature (physical or electronic) of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the exclusive right that is alleged infringed.
- Mail or e-mail your notice of alleged copyright infringement to our designated agent.
EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.orgSNAIL MAIL: ConsumerAffairs
Attn: DMCA Notices
297 Kingsbury Grade
Stateline, NV 89449
- Why should I sign up for an account?
There are several reasons to sign up for an account:
- We'll be able to contact you if we need to ask a follow-up question.
- Companies pay more attention to reviews from users with verified contact information.
- A company can contact you privately to resolve your issues.
- You don't have to fill in your contact information again for each new review.
- When your situation changes, you can post a follow-up message to your published review.
- How do I get an account?
Click the Log In button at the top of the page, and pick a login method.
- Why do you recommend Social Login?
When you sign in with Facebook, Google, or another one of your social accounts, you get several benefits:
- You don't have to remember another username and password.
- Your account will be easier to setup, since we can get your name, email address, etc. from your profile.
- You can have your picture appear with your review.
If you do decide to use a password instead, please use a strong password that you aren't using on any other site on the internet.
- What happens when I use Social Login?
When you select Facebook, Google, or another of the social login providers, a pop-up window appears that takes you to that site and asks you to log in. In that pop-up, you are having a private conversation with that site (Facebook, Google, etc.) - ConsumerAffairs.com does not see your password. The first time you use a social login on our site, the login provider will ask you if you trust ConsumerAffairs.com. If you say yes, then they will tell us that you successfully logged in, and give us contact information such as your name, email address, and a profile picture.
You can use Facebook (or another social login provider) to log into our site, but we can't access your account on Facebook.
- How do I change my profile picture?
Go to your profile page (logging in first if needed). In the left toolbar, select 'Change Your Photo' You can pick from any of your social login profile pictures, or one of our anonymous pictures. Your image will change across the site in about an hour.
Mail & phone inquiries
- I mailed you a written review and didn't get a reply. Why not?
- I called to ask you a question and you didn't call me back. Why not?
See above. While we may call you to collect information about a company whose product or service you have used, we generally are not set up to respond to individual questions.
- You ran a story saying that most make-money-at-home schemes are scams, especially if they have anything to do with sending out bills for doctors. But I have found one, Ace Billing Co., that seems legit. What should I do?
We get countless inquiries like this. We really can't respond to them, partly because we don't have time and partly because no one can keep track of which companies are "legit" and which ones aren't. Consumers need to read our site, and others like it, and judge for themselves whether the company's claims sound credible.
- I sent an email asking for advice. Why didn't you respond?
We are a consumer news and information website, and are not set up to respond to requests for advice. We publish general advice on our Web site and we have a resource guide that can help you find assistance elsewhere.
- I saw some complaints or reviews on your site that are similar to mine. Can you put me in touch with those people so we can start a class action lawsuit?
No. While we occasionally share consumer reviews with attorneys who may seek to prosecute class action lawsuits, we are generally are not set up to connect individual consumers with each other. In many cases, consumers are better off going to Small Claims Court, often the simplest and most inexpensive remedy.
What is ConsumerAffairs for Brands?
- What is the ConsumerAffairs Accredited Seal?
A company that displays the ConsumerAffairs Accredited Seal has agreed to work with us to respond to consumer comments, whether positive or negative. In exchange for a monthly fee, we provide ConsumerAffairs Accredited companies with certain information regarding consumer reviews and comments and allow ConsumerAffairs Accredited companies to respond privately or publicly to the consumer. While ConsumerAffairs never changes star ratings at a company's request, a consumer may choose to change a star rating after communicating and working with a company, and this could increase a company's overall star rating.
- What is an Accredited Member?
In exchange for a monthly fee, Accredited Members receive information about consumers who have posted reviews on our website in order to communicate with consumers to resolve their issues . While ConsumerAffairs never changes star ratings at a company's request, a consumer may choose to change a star rating after communicating and working with a company with regards to review or comment. ConsumerAffairs also helps Accredited Members collect reviews through Facebook, email, feedback cards, targeted phone calls and through its website. As a result, Accredited Members may have more reviews than unaccredited members, which may increase an Accredited Member's star rating.
To see more detail about how our accreditation program works, check out ConsumerAffairs for Brands.