What is the purpose of The Ratingz Network?
How much does this website cost me?
This site was created to help consumers find the best products, places, and services by sharing information and ratings, and to give business owners a "scorecard" on how they are doing. The Ratingz Network is dedicated to helping consumers make smart choices.
Nothing! The site is free to use.
Do I have to give you my name or email address?
You are not required to log in or enter your name or email address.
I've seen 'Want to login or Create an account?'. What's that all about?
NO ONE has to have an account to use the site, but creating an account will allow you to track and edit your ratings. After your account is created, you can login to it. We get quite a few emails from people who made a mistake in rating a business and want us to change them. WE don't change someone's rating. We can delete the entire rating or delete the comment, but we won't change them. This option gives the user a way to make sure their ratings are correct. We have a lot of changes planned. Some of them will be for members only, so if you want to use the site to its fullest, be sure and create an account.
What do business owners think of this site?
Well, that depends on the business owner!! We get a lot of emails from people telling us they like the site, and we've even had some telling us how the site has helped them. We also get some pretty hateful emails telling us how inappropriate the site is, how they are going to shut us down, etc.
Don't people use this site just to flame? Aren't most of the ratings negative?
Absolutely not. You might be surprised to learn over 65% of the ratings are positive.
I know a business that I think would like to advertise on the site. Are you interested?
Of course! Contact us and we will discuss our rates for banner ads and sponsorship opportunities.
Who are you and why do you have this site?
We are just common, ordinary people who believe that the CUSTOMERS have a right to voice their opinions.
Are the ratings statistically valid?
Not really. They are a listing of opinions and should be judged as such. However, we often receive emails stating that the ratings are uncannily accurate, especially for businesses with over 100 ratings.
I'm a business owner. How do I get my name removed from your site?
The short answer is, you don't. The longer answer is that this site is for consumers and they are rating you every day, whether or not you are listed on this site. Think of this site as an opportunity to hear what your customers normally keep secret from you.
What if I sue your website?
Before you do, consider this information we received from the Electronic Frontier Foundation:
It sounds as though you're familiar with 47 USC Section 230, the federal law that permits many entities to "host" other people's content without being liable for defamation/libel etc. "By its plain language, Section 230 creates a federal immunity to any cause of action that would make service providers liable for information originating with a third-party user of the service." Zeran v. AOL, 129 F.3d 327, 330 (4th Cir. 1997).
You ask -- does this change when we delete inappropriate comments?
NO. You are still protected as long as you do so in good faith. Under 230(c)(2)(A),
``(2) Civil liability.--No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of-- ``(A) any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected;
Further: The Supreme Court of the United States has held that anonymity of speech is protected under the First Amendment to the Constitution (see McIntyre v. Ohio, 514 U.S. at 337; Talley v. State of California, 362 U.S. 60). United States courts also have consistently recognized that the right to speak anonymously extends to speech on the Internet.
A few more links you should probably check out before trying to sue:
Court punishes school for punishing student
Profs get hit with anti-SLAPP payments for suing website
I'm a business owner and the ratings don't accurately reflect what my customers think.
If you really believe the ratings are not fair, ask your customers to rate you on the site.
You guys didn't answer my question. How can I contact you?
Email us here. We read every email and respond to most of them. (No, we don't respond to threats - although they may be forwarded to the appropriate authorities.)