Reviews Policy

This policy applies to reviews of products and services. For comments on articles, see our Comments Policy, and for replies to reviews, see our Vendor Replies Policy.

We love reviews and appreciate the time that our readers spend to share their experiences and give advice to others. All voices are heard and encouraged on this site, including those with negative feedback and contradictory views.

However, some reviews are not appropriate and will be deleted to protect our readers and

Review removal reasons

We will consider removing reviews for the following reasons.

1. Review standards

We expect all reviews to meet the following basic standards:

  • Genuine user. Reviews should be written by people who have used the product or service, for example in a free trial or as a paying customer. Speaking to the company on the phone or exchanging emails is not sufficient.
  • Personal experience. Reviews should provide feedback on the reviewer’s own experience of using the product or service. Do not include hearsay or speculation on the opinions of others.
  • Online retailer. Reviews should be written from the perspective of an online retailer, by people who own, manage, represent or work for an online retail business, including sole traders and part-time businesses.
  • Informative. Reviews should provide a level of detail that is helpful to other businesses. Single word answers are not sufficient.
  • Review as a whole. Reviews should be of the product or service overall. They should not be feedback on a single customer support call, for example.
  • Contactable. We sometimes need to contact a reviewer, for example to help verify that their review is genuine. Reviews with disposable email addresses (such as those from Abine or nada) are not accepted.
  • In English. Web Retailer is an English-language site and we expect all content to be written in English.

2. Conflict of interest

Readers should submit reviews to talk about their experiences, and provide useful feedback to other ecommerce businesses. They should not be submitted to receive or coerce any kind of benefit, reward or advantage. This includes submitting reviews as a favor, whether requested or not, to personal or business contacts.

Examples include:

  • Receiving any type of incentive from the vendor, including cash, vouchers, discounts and service upgrades.
  • Gaining leverage over the vendor, by threatening/offering to submit/remove a review. For example, threatening to submit a negative review unless certain demands are met.
  • Reviewing your own product or service, or those of competitors, business partners, friends or family.

3. Duplication

Only review a product or service once. Multiple reviews of the same listing are unnecessary and crowd out other opinions. We want a range of viewpoints to be heard.

If you have changed your opinion of a product or service you have reviewed, and want to change your review, please ask us to remove your existing review. We will send an email back to the address used when your original review was posted, to verify that the removal request is genuine.

We allow a maximum of two people from the same company to submit reviews of the same product or service. Our readers expect reviews to reflect a range of experiences, which may not be the case if many reviewers are from the same company.

4. Spam or promotional

We don’t allow reviews that are spam or promotional in nature.

Links can be included in reviews, if they provide a reference to relevant content. However, reviews with the following kinds of links will be deleted:

  • Promotional links.
  • Affiliate links or codes.
  • Links to websites that are offensive or fraudulent.
  • Links that are shortened just to disguise their nature or hide the website being linked to.

Reviews that appear superficially to be genuine but are actually spam or promotional in nature are not allowed.

Reviews should not include junk characters, repeating text or irrelevant text to meet any minimum length requirements.

5. Offensive or inflammatory

We don’t allow reviews that are offensive or include profanities.

We also don’t allow reviews with remarks that are posted to inflame feelings or provoke an extreme reaction from others. One example of an inflammatory remark is claiming that a service is a deliberate scam or fraud.

We understand that discussions can become heated, but ask that reviews are not posted in anger.

6. Attacks or harassment

We don’t allow reviews that directly attack or harass individuals on a personal level.

Do not make negative comments about people who could easily be identified by a third-party from the information in your review.

Do not expose other people’s personal information without their prior agreement, or otherwise post reviews which harass people.

Do not criticize other reviews or reviewers, for example, by questioning their authenticity. Everybody is entitled to their opinion, regardless of how different it may be to your own experience. If you suspect that a review is not genuine, or is against our policy in any other way, please click the flag icon under the review to report it to us.

7. Dishonesty or misrepresentation

We expect reviewers to be honest. Give your personal opinion, but do not exaggerate or deliberately misrepresent your experience. State the facts as you understand them to be.

It is important to note that reviewers and vendors can have different views of the facts, without there being any dishonesty or misrepresentation.

About industry relationships

“Industry relationships” means working in, or having a connection to, the ecommerce software and services industry.

It includes any financial or contractual agreement, as well as less formal arrangements such as freelancing, business partnerships and affiliate schemes. Examples include being employed by a multichannel management software company, or having a partnership arrangement with an ecommerce logistics company.

People with industry relationships are allowed to post reviews, subject to all the guidelines above, but must be particularly careful not to misrepresent themselves or promote their business (either deliberately or through implication).

Disclosure of industry relationships is required in reviews, to help avoid reports of misrepresentation or dishonesty. Including your name, company and position at the end of the review is sufficient.

Note that all the guidelines above still apply, including those about conflicts of interest and promotional comments. For example, it is not permitted to review your own product or service, or those of competitors or business partners, even with a disclosure of the relationship.

Review solicitation

We encourage vendors to ask their customers to post reviews. Before asking for reviews, vendors should read this Reviews Policy as a whole and make sure they understand it.

When asking for reviews, vendors should:

  • Make it clear that the reviews are for Web Retailer
  • Tell customers that the review should be of the product or service as a whole
  • Not encourage (whether explicitly, implicitly or by omission) the submission of reviews that violate this policy in any way. For example, they should not ask colleagues to submit reviews, or ask for multiple reviews.

We do not allow incentivized or directed reviews. Vendors should not:

  1. Provide any kind of incentive.
  2. Ask the customer to give a positive rating.
  3. Ask for specific comments to be made.

If you have evidence that a vendor has solicited reviews in violation of this policy, please contact us.

How we moderate reviews

We moderate reviews in multiple ways:

  1. Automated spam detection.
  2. Moderating all reviews after submission for clear abuses of our policy.*
  3. Investigating reviews that are reported to us.

If you see a review on the site that you think violates this policy, please click the flag icon under the review to report it to us.

We use a variety of data to moderate reviews including IP address, user agent, email address, time and date of posting, review content, overall review patterns, authenticity of past reviews etc.

A range of actions may be taken when a review is under investigation, including:

  • Temporary removal of the review.
  • Asking the reviewer to provide evidence that they used the product or service.
  • Asking the reviewer to provide evidence that they own or work for an ecommerce business.
  • Inviting the reviewer to submit a new review which does not violate our policy.

Reviews are moderated in accordance with this policy, and moderation decisions are made at our sole discretion.

We cannot provide vendors with information about why a specific review was accepted or rejected, as that would potentially violate our privacy policy and relevant data protection laws, as well as provide information that could be used to circumvent our policies.

* The policy to moderate all reviews after submission was introduced on January 1st, 2020. Before then, a policy of random checks was in place, so reviews submitted at an earlier date may not have been moderated.

About this policy

This policy is subject to change at any time, and may be applied to reviews that were submitted at any time in the past as well as new reviews.

If you have any questions about this policy, please contact us.