Frequently Asked Questions
What is Sitejabber?
Sitejabber is a consumer protection service which helps people find great online businesses and avoid scams. Sitejabber was developed in part with a grant from the National Science Foundation.
Why was Sitejabber started?
Sitejabber’s goal is to make the internet a better place for consumers. We envision a day when consumers no longer have to deal with online scams or fraud and have all the information they need to make informed decisions about the online businesses and websites they use. Read more about Sitejabber’s founding on our blog.
What can Sitejabber do for me?
- Avoid fraud and bad experiences by researching online businesses and websites before using them: you can start by entering a website or keyword in the search box at the top of this page.
- Find the best online businesses
- Get weekly scam alerts and other useful consumer tips and information: read the Sitejabber blog
- Contribute to making the internet a better place: over 1 million consumers turn to the Sitejabber community for advice every month. You can give back and help people by sharing your own experiences: review an online business
How can I write a great review of an online business?
Check out our Review Guidelines for advice on how to write a helpful review.
How can I find my friends’ reviews?
The easiest way to discover your friends’ reviews or to share reviews with your friends is to log in via Facebook Connect.
What are Reviewer Badges?
Sitejabber reviewers earn badges in recognition of the number of reviews they have written. Badges demonstrate how active a reviewer is in the Sitejabber community.
What are Reviewer Levels?
Sitejabber reviewers earn levels for their contributions to the community. Levels are gained by writing reviews and forum posts that are found helpful by other community members.
How are Sitejabber business ratings calculated?
The total rating of any business is a weighted average of individual ratings, with 50% of the weighting coming from the average rating of all reviews, 25% of the weighting coming from an average of all reviews written in the last 12 months, and 25% of the weighting coming from an average of all reviews written in the last month. Should the 12-month or 1-month weighting periods be without reviews, that period is assigned an “average” rating (e.g. 3 stars) in the weighting.
This rating system was put into place to reflect the principle that more recent reviews are more valuable to consumers than older ones. The system was also created in response to consumer demand that ratings ought to reflect the most recent practices of a business, and business demand that improvements to service should be more accurately reflected in ratings. This system has been successfully rolled out to the over 50,000 businesses reviewed on Sitejabber.
Do reviews ever get removed?
Rarely. Users may remove their own reviews of their own accord (they can do this by visiting their profile page and clicking on the gray "remove" link on the bottom right of their review). Occasionally our Support Team will remove a review if it violates our Terms of Service or Review Guidelines. Additional reviews are not removed but may be filtered (see below).
How do I delete my Sitejabber profile?
You can delete your Sitejabber profile at any time by visiting your account settings. Deleting your Sitejabber profile will permanently remove your account, as well as all of your reviews and contributions.
I wrote a review that’s not showing up when I’m logged out. Why not?
In an effort to show consumers only the most relevant reviews, in 2010 Sitejabber introduced a Review Filter. The filter uses an algorithm that attempts to display to users only the most relevant content by filtering certain reviews. Reasons reviews might be filtered include: suspected solicited reviews in violation of our terms of service, suspected site-promotion spam (positive reviews), suspected competitor spam (negative reviews), language use, irrelevant content, and other terms of service violations. The same filter and algorithm is applied to every review. The filter isn’t perfect, but it is dynamic and always learning. As a result, you may see reviews move in and out of the filter as the filter learns more about the trustworthiness of the reviews of a particular site. The filter pulls from a wide range of data and is intentionally difficult to decipher to avoid gaming. If your review has been filtered, don’t worry, it hasn’t been deleted. As you continue to demonstrate your trustworthiness and contribute to the community, your reviews will likely no longer be filtered.
How does Sitejabber prevent fake reviews?
Sitejabber takes fake reviews very seriously and does four important things to prevent them:
- We run sophisticated software that spots and removes fake reviews. The software identifies characteristics that might indicate a review is fake (e.g., evidence that more than one review has been written by the same person), and then removes those reviews. This software is always improving and gets better as time goes on.
- We have a Review Team that manually spot checks reviews for fakes. Unfortunately due to the large number of reviews we get we cannot manually read everything but we try to get to as much as we can.
- Our community flags reviews that look suspicious so our Review Team can then look more carefully at the suspicious reviews. Community involvement in fighting fake reviews is critical for us.
- We seek to educate companies and consumers about the dangers of fake reviews and how to spot them. Please read 4 things you need to know before reading reviews and What is review fraud?
What is review fraud?
Sitejabber takes review fraud seriously. Writing or paying for fake reviews is unethical, against Sitejabber’s terms and is illegal in many jurisdictions. New York’s Attorney General recently fined 19 companies $350,000 for violations associated with fake reviews. Sitejabber uses software algorithms, community reporting and other methods to aggressively detect and remove fake reviews. If a company is discovered to be writing or paying for fake reviews they may lose access to their SJ Business Suite Account, have their business publicly flagged as manipulating reviews and be demoted in Sitejabber search.
All Sitejabber review collection tools for businesses must be used to collect reviews from unbiased samples of customers. Businesses may not select customers that might be more likely to write positive reviews and they may not offer incentives to write reviews. Any violation of any of these terms may result in the loss of access to SJ Business Suite Accounts.
How does Sitejabber make money?
Sitejabber supports itself through advertising. You can see Sitejabber ads if click around the site.
How is Sitejabber different from other review platforms?
Sitejabber is the only review platform that does not charge online businesses to manage their reputation. Businesses can freely respond to reviews and collect reviews from their customers (but they may not pay money to remove bad reviews). We believe this is a much fairer system for businesses and consumers, as it becomes much easier to see which businesses have legitimately earned good and bad reviews instead of merely showing which businesses were willing to pay the most to manage their reputations. Read more here
Can my business pay to remove bad reviews?
No. However, if you are affiliated with a business and would like to respond to a review, you can do so by registering here.
I’m considering legal action against a reviewer and/or Sitejabber. What are the precedents?
Websites like Sitejabber are protected under federal law by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Your attorneys will find dozens of relevant cases if they are not already familiar with the statute, but Zeran v. AOL, 129 F. 3 327, 330 (4th Cir. 1997) is a well-known example.
Careful consideration should be taken if you are considering legal action against a reviewer. Defamation suits are expensive, difficult to win, and tend to draw additional attention to the issues you would prefer ignored. You will also run a risk of the Anti-SLAPP statute requiring you to pay attorneys’ fees to the other side. Rarely, there may be cases where legal action is appropriate, but in general, it is unlikely you will find what you are looking for by suing someone who gives you a bad review.