GUIDELINES FOR THE USE OF TRUSTRATING'S
(Version 4.0, July 2019)
These guidelines (the "Guidelines") apply to any use of TrustRatings's websites by our community, such as trustratings.com, uk.trustratings.com, dk.trustratings.com and similar ("our Website"). We refer to users of our Website throughout the Guidelines as "you" and "your".
Use of our Websites by companies is governed by TrustRatings's Company Guidelines. Find them here.
1. When can you write a review?
1.1 To write a review on TrustRatings, you need a user profile and account. You may only have one user profile and account. This must be attached to a valid email address that we can use at any time to contact you directly. In order to create an account at our Website you must comply with the requirements for Registered Users set out in our Terms and Conditions.
1.2 You can write a review on TrustRatings about your service experience, if you have had a buying or service experience with a company, an organisation, a web service, etc. ("the Company"), which means that:
- you have purchased a product or service from or placed an order with the Company, or
- you can otherwise document your use of the Company's service, including via correspondence or other interaction with the Company.
(these are collectively referred to as "Service Experience" in the following).
1.3 You may not write a review about a Service Experience with a Company you have previously owned, currently own, or which an immediate family member currently owns, or if you are an executive or employee of that Company, or work for the Company.
Similarly, you may not write a review about a direct competitor to the Company you own, are employed by or work for.
1.4 Your Service Experience with the Company must have occurred within the last 12 months. This means within 12 months from the date on which you write the review. If you have signed up for an ongoing service, the Service Experience begins immediately upon sign up and continues until the service is no longer provided by the Company. You are free to write a review immediately after sign up or at any point up to 12 months after the service ends.
2. What should you write about?
2.1 You may only write about your own personal Service Experience. You are not permitted to write a review about somebody else's Service Experience, such as that of a family member or friend.
2.2 Your review must reflect your own Service Experience from within the last 12 months. You are encouraged to be specific and factual, and include relevant points about your Service Experience, for example the customer service and other aspects such as the ordering process, delivery, size and fit.
2.3 If you have been offered an incentive by the Company to write a review, you should include information about this in your review. Incentives include the Company offering you a gift, reward, discount or advantage for writing a review about your Service Experience.
2.4 If a Company has multiple stores in different locations, you may specify in your review at which location you had your Service Experience.
3. When do we ask you to provide proof of your Service Experience, and what should you send us?
If we need to verify your review, we may contact you and ask for documentation that shows that you have had a Service Experience with the Company that you have reviewed. We therefore recommend that you keep such documentation for 12 months from the date of your review.
We explain the type of documentation you should send us here.
4. When can you edit your review?
You can update or edit your review at any time. See how to do so here.
5. When do we ask you to change your review?
5.1 We do not censor, monitor or moderate reviews on our Website, either before or after reviews are published. We do, however, employ two sets of safeguards:
- We run automatic checks for certain content that is not permitted in reviews, such as coarse language and links.
- We have integrated into the Website two notification options in connection with any public review: (1) we can receive notifications from users that a review doesn't meet our Guidelines, and (2) companies can report a review that doesn't meet our Guidelines. Collectively, we call these two options for notifying and reporting reviews “flagging”.
5.2 You can be asked to change your review if it has been flagged for any of the following reasons and we agree or cannot reject the report as unfounded:
- Your review contains language that is accusatory and likely to be viewed as inflammatory, includes defamatory statements, or otherwise violates our Guidelines or applicable laws,
- Your review contains violent or coarse language, or has a sexist or racial character,
- The content of your review appears to be solely concerned with ethical, political and/or value-laden opinion,
- Your review includes personal information about another individual, such as a person's name, address, phone number, email address, credit card information or any other information that could be used to track, identify, contact or impersonate someone,
- Your review includes promotional references or links, or
- Your review exclusively describes the website’s layout.
6. When do we remove your review?
As a general rule, we do not remove reviews from our Website. However, we reserve the right to remove reviews that we determine violate these Guidelines, our Terms & Conditions* and/or applicable laws or regulations, or reviews that are inappropriate for an online review community. Examples of when we may remove your review include, but are not limited to:
- We ask you to change your review and you don't do so within the specified timeframe.
- We ask you to send us documentation showing that you have had a Service Experience with the reviewed Company (in accordance with clause 3) and you don't provide sufficient documentation within the specified timeframe.
- Your review doesn't appear to be based on a genuine Service Experience (e.g. it is a fabricated review, see clause 11 below)**.
- Your review is solely about an imposed tax or a fine.
- Your review violates other people's or companies' rights, including intellectual property rights, rights of privacy/confidentiality and/or personality rights.
- Your review is of a marketing nature or has marketing purposes.
- You are, or work for, a competitor to the Company you have reviewed***.
- You are an employee of (or work for) the Company you have reviewed, you are or have previously been an owner of the Company, you are an executive of the Company, or an immediate family member to the Company’s owner***.
- You have created multiple profiles to review the same Company multiple times**.
- We need to delete your user profile (see clause 8 below) which means that by default, your review(s) attached to that profile will also be deleted.
*Find our Terms & Conditions here.
**This only applies to Service Experiences and not to Products. See the definition of "Product" in clause 14 below.
***With respect to Product reviews, "the Company" means the manufacturer of the Product that is being reviewed. See the definition of “Product” in clause 14 below.
7. When do we block your account and what does that mean?
We may block your account if you are misusing our Website or services. This can include, but is not limited to, excessive use of the notification option (flagging a high number of reviews without justification), writing fabricated reviews, threatening or abusive behaviour (see clause 12 below), spamming our Website with marketing material, or violating these Guidelines or our Terms & Conditions.
If we block your account, it will not be possible for you to sign in to our Website and use our services, including writing and notifying us about reviews. Your user profile will still exist and your reviews will stay online, but you will be unable to use our services. If your account is blocked and you want to delete your profile or reviews, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll assist you.
8. When do we delete your profile and account?
As a general rule, we don't delete user profiles and accounts. However, we reserve the right to delete your profile and account if we believe that you are violating or have violated our Terms & Conditions, Guidelines and/or applicable laws, or if your profile is offensive or inappropriate.
Examples of when we may delete your user profile and account include, but are not limited to:
- It is not attached to a valid email address, including if the provided email address has expired or is no longer accessible by you. We need you to sign up to our services using a permanent, personal email address because we may need to get in touch with you. This means that we do not accept the use of temporary or disposable email addresses. If you have used such an email to create an account then we will delete your user profile and account.
- Your user profile contains an offensive or inappropriate picture or username.
- Your user profile or account has been used to create fabricated reviews or otherwise misuse our Website or services.
- You have created multiple user profiles. You may only have one user profile on TrustRatings. If you create more than one user profile we will ask you which one you want to keep and we might delete the other profiles. If you don't get back to us within the specified timeframe, we will remove all but one of your profiles at our discretion.
If your user profile and account is deleted, the reviews attached to that user profile and account will also be deleted.
9. Misuse of the notification function
All TrustRatings users can notify us about reviews that violate these Guidelines (or applicable laws). However, we consider misuse of the notification function a material breach of our Terms & Conditions.
Examples of misuse include, but are not limited to:
- Carrying out unfounded or incorrect notification of many or all of the positive reviews of a Company that you have had a negative Service Experience with
- Carrying out unfounded or incorrect notification of many or all of the negative reviews of a Company that you have had a positive Service Experience with, or have a special relationship to, or
- Notifying us about the same review multiple times when it has already been assessed in accordance with our internal quality process, except in certain exceptional circumstances.
10. When do we move your review from one company profile or location to another?
As a general rule, we don't move reviews from one company profile or location to another.
But if we are notified by the Company or another user that your review has been left on the wrong company profile or location, we will ask you which company you intended to review. If you left your review on the wrong company profile or location, we might move your review to the correct company’s profile page or location on our Website.
We also reserve the right to move your review from one company's profile page to another in special circumstances and to avoid confusion - such as, for example, where a company is rebranded.
Our right to move a review from one company profile or location to another does not apply to Product reviews. See the definition of “Product” in clause 14 below.
11. Fabricated reviews
Our aim is to create and maintain a best-in-class online review community where you can freely share your Service Experiences with the Company and thereby provide an informative and fair view of the Company's services and products.
We use customised and advanced detection software to identify fabricated reviews on our platform. To support the software, we have a dedicated Compliance Team who safeguard trust by protecting our platform from fabricated reviews or other service misuse and combat fraudulent behaviour.
We have a zero-tolerance policy against fabricated reviews. Trust is crucial to us and we cannot under any circumstances accept fabricated reviews. This includes reviews that are not an expression of a genuine Service Experience, for example because they are created by or on behalf of the Company.
We consider the creation of fabricated reviews a material breach of the Terms & Conditions you accept when you create a user profile and account on our Website.
Reviews that we deem false, fabricated or similar will be removed and can lead to the immediate blocking of your account and filing of a report with the relevant authorities. We also reserve the right to inform our community about any domains reviewed on TrustRatings that have attracted a high number of fabricated reviews.
If you have evidence that a review is fabricated, we encourage you to notify us through our whistleblower function by sending an email to: email@example.com.
We take all reports of fabricated reviews seriously and investigate them. As this is not an easy task, we ask you to provide us with as much information as possible, including documentation showing why you believe a review is fabricated.
12. Threats against TrustRatings employees and companies
We don't accept threats against or abuse of TrustRatings employees. Further, we don't tolerate threats against or blackmail of other companies by our users. This includes users requesting monetary compensation in return for editing or deleting their TrustRatings review(s).
We cannot accept such behaviour and we regard it as a material breach of the Terms & Conditions agreed between each user and TrustRatings. This can lead to us immediately blocking your account and filing a report with the relevant authorities.
We are committed to providing businesses and users with a fair and open online experience. We work extremely hard to maintain the integrity of our review community and the online review industry generally, nurturing a culture of trust and transparency and celebrating those businesses and users who use reviews to improve customer service standards and make the online retail environment more fair and open for everyone.
We reserve the right to enforce these Guidelines if we observe violations of them, or of applicable laws or regulations. The same applies if we observe behaviour that we believe or suspect to be inappropriate.
14. Product Reviews
A product is a tangible item. Examples of products are (but not limited to):
- pants, shirts, dresses, shoes and other clothing,
- mobile phones, computers, cameras and other electronic devices, books, toys and similar items, or
- software, computer games, apps.
(these are collectively referred to as "Products").
With the exemptions set out in clauses 6 and 10, these guidelines also apply to your review of a Product, and the term “Service Experience” shall be understood as also including "Products".
For the sake of clarity, the following examples are Service Experiences, not Products (the list is not exhaustive):
- tickets to a movie, a theatre and similar; or
- appointments with a hairdresser, dentist, beauticians and similar; or
- agreements with insurance companies and similar.
15. Got questions, need more information or have feedback?
Our Website includes a Support Centre section which contains extensive information about our services and these Guidelines. Find it here.
We welcome your questions and feedback about our services and these Guidelines. Please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
16. Changes to these Guidelines
We may at any time and without notice make changes to these Guidelines. We will notify you about such changes via our Website. You agree that your continued use of the Website or our services after we have posted a new version of these Guidelines constitutes your acceptance of them.