For ISP owners

// August 29th, 2012 // Uncategorized

I’ve been getting a lot of ISP owners contacting me lately. Their opening complaint is always the same: we’ve checked our records and we don’t have a “John Doe” on our accounts. So I’m writing this blog post to save me writing the same email over and over.

I always have to explain that there are many instances where people who do NOT pay the bill can leave a legitimate review.  Spouses, partners, children, and tenants of the bill payer are some obvious examples. Given that there are many more people who use a service than actually pay the bill, it’s statistically much more likely that the reviewer will NOT be the account holder.

Some other points

  • Asking me to checking the IP address of the reviewer is not relevant either. They may be writing the review at work, college or from the new ISP they have switched to because they were so unhappy with yours.
  • Please don’t ask me for their contact details people have submitted to the site.  That’s never going to happen.
  • I have my own methods for checking fake reviews and in my experience, glowing reviews with 5 stars are the ones that are much more likely to be fake than the bad ones (despite some of the more paranoid claims that some ISPS have about their competitors).

So what will I do if you think a review is fake, taking all of the above into account?

  • In some circumstances, I will contact the reviewer and ask if they would like to confirm they are a customer and back up their review. If the email address bounces, or they don’t reply, I may remove the reviewer. But saying their name isn’t on the records is not a good enough reason.
  • I also sometimes remove reviews that really bring down the tone of the site or are quite slanderous, or in one case racist.

Future plans?

  • I want to add a forum which would give ISP owners a better forum to state their cases against some bad reviews.
  • I also want to add a reply to comment feature at some stage.

Unfortunately I find it very hard to find the time to do more development on the site.

What can you do?

  • If you are getting a lot of bad reviews and not many good ones, can I recommend that you engage with your happy customers and tell them about the site. Get onto your Facebook, Twitter etc and tell them about ratemyisp
  • Some ISPS have even had competitions encouraging people to leave a review to enter a draw. If you are doing this PLEASE stipulate that the review does not have to be a good review to enter the draw. I may have to dismiss reviews that are 5 stars just because people are trying to win a competition.

Ending on a good note

Thank you to the ISP owners who have been in touch to let me know that ratemyisp has completely grown their business. I’m delighted to hear that.

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