FAQ for Consumers:
- What is HighYa?
- Why are there ads on HighYa?
- Why do I see ads for something that you criticize or for less-than-reputable companies?
- Do businesses pay you for a positive rating?
- How is the overall star rating for a product or service calculated?
- What does it mean when a blue checkbox badge appears next to a product or service’s name?
- Can HighYa’s consumer reviews be trusted?
- Do companies pay you to have their products or services added to your site?
- What are your consumer review guidelines?
- What makes a great review?
- Why doesn’t my review get published right away?
- Do you edit reviews?
- Can I update my rating and review?
- Can I delete my review?
- What should I do if a company replies to my negative review and fixes the situation?
- Should I submit a review if a company is offering me money?
- What should I do if a company pressures me to take my review down?
- What do your star colors represent?
- What’s the best way to read reviews?
- Is a HighYa user account free?
- What do you do with my personal information?
- Can I delete my account?
- I sent a message via your contact form and didn’t receive a reply?
- How much does your newsletter cost?
FAQ for Business
- Does HighYa charge businesses to manage their reviews?
- What is a HighYa Business Account? How do I sign up?
- What does the blue checkbox next to a business’s name mean?
- Can I remove my business page from HighYa?
- How can I correct information on my business page?
- What can I do about a negative review?
- What is the best way to respond to reviews?
- How will a reviewer know that we commented on their review?
- Will HighYa remove a false or defamatory review?
- How do I know your reviews are from real consumers/customers?
- Can a business collect reviews on Highya?
- How do businesses collect reviews on Highya and why do some businesses have substantially more reviews than others?
- My business is not on HighYa. Can I pay you to review it?
- Do you promote or sell products?
- I believe HighYa is hosting information or material that infringes my copyright. What can I do?
FAQ FOR CONSUMERS
HighYa is an independent website known for consumer reviews, in-depth editorial content, guides, articles, and e-books, which are available for free to our users. We also offer a place where businesses can interact with their customers.
We are not associated with any product or company reviewed or advertised on our site, other than 3 companies through affiliate relationships, as disclosed here.
The reality is that producing valuable content involves thorough research, potential interviews, text editing, and fact-checking, so running a consumer review website comes with built-in costs. And to cover these costs, HighYa’s primary source of income is from ads.
Since our goal is to provide an enjoyable site experience, we try to follow publishing best practices and create a non-intrusive place where you can read content, and voluntarily click on the ads that you find relevant and useful.
We stay away from confusing navigation designed to cause users to unintentionally click on the ads, and we also don’t use pop-up ads or sticky advertisements.
The bottom line is that we believe, as a consumer, you have the right to easily distinguish between HighYa’s main content and advertisements, which are clearly marked as such.
Here’s the short answer: We don’t control the advertisements that appear on our site.
Here’s the detailed answer: Google AdSense is our main ad network. While AdSense’s ads are controlled via an undisclosed algorithm outside of HighYa’s control, we do know that they’re contextual; e.g. based on the current page’s topic, and/or your browsing history.
For example, if you’re reading a review about a credit card, you might expect to see ads related to credit cards, or even a broader category like personal finance.
As a result, we rely on Google’s policies and practices for vetting ads prior to release into their network. If you see an ad that you believe violates Google’s policy, you can report it by clicking on the “AdChoices” icon located in the top right corner of each advertisement.
Absolutely not, nor do we accept the exchange of money or services in order to artificially boost a product or service’s rating. Why?
Our goal is to provide readers with the most relevant information in an honest manner. Exchanging money or services for a positive rating would be in clear violation of our mission, as well as our ethical and editorial practices.
We do, however, offer free Business Account tools to all companies reviewed on our website, which can be used to interact with their customers and legitimately build their rating.
The star rating you see next to a product or service’s name represents the average number, as calculated based on individual reviews that have been published that meet our Review Guidelines. Each individual review contributes equally to this average.
HighYa never directly or indirectly assigns a star rating to any product or service listed on the site. Instead, if no customer reviews are present for a specific listing, no rating will be displayed.
We offer a free HighYa Business Account to companies whose products or services are listed on our website so that they can help foster communication with their customers, address any issues that appear, and—when necessary—tell their side of the story.
Consequently, this blue badge indicates that official company representative has undergone our verification process.
As a result, if you leave a review for a company with a Verified Badge, they’ll receive an alert and may respond to your feedback (whether positive or negative) directly.
However, the presence of this badge does not impact rating in any way. In fact, you’ll sometimes see verified companies with average ratings below three stars.
This is the million-dollar question, and one we take very seriously.
From day one, we’ve focused on fostering and maintaining readers’ trust as one of our cornerstones—which is why we go to great lengths to ensure that you can have confidence what you read here. How? In several ways:
In order to avoid conflicts of interest, we do not sell or promote any product. We also utilize internal processes and mechanisms to assist our moderators in screening the authenticity of every single review we receive, and that they were submitted by real people.
If our moderators suspect any suspicious behavior or irregular patterns, they fully investigate before posting related reviews.
No. Based on our editorial strategy and guidelines, we decide which products and services to write about.
A company can ask for their products or services to be added, which we might accommodate when it aligns with our overall strategy. However, when this is the case, it is completely free—we have never charged a penny for this service.
The short version: We care very much about posting reviews that are truthful, helpful, informative, and help build a positive consumer community. As a result, all submitted feedback is subject to our proprietary screening process before being published.
The detailed version: The point of any review is to help consumers find trustworthy products and services from reputable companies, learn useful tips and important information, report scams and other fraudulent activity, and to build a community.
As a result, reviews that contain key features like personal stories based on truthful accounts, detailed descriptions intended to help, and good formatting (including no grammatical/spelling errors and avoiding all caps) are often the most helpful.
Those that contain hate speech, plagiarism, self-promotion, exaggeration, or are submitted by third parties posing as legitimate customers (i.e. those who have actually tried the product), will not be tolerated. This is why we may require an order number when submitting a review.
We’re also looking for feedback that is relevant to the product or service and don’t veer off topic.
To oversee that reviews match these criteria, all submitted reviews are manually inspected prior to publishing through our proprietary process. If we find any that don’t fall in line, they may be removed (or not published in the first place).
For additional details, please visit our Review Guidelines page.
Here are several key qualities that can signify a great review:
Provides rich insight into the product or company by telling a story, and shares your personal experience and unique perspective.
Includes as much relevant detail as possible. But remember to be truthful (only review products you’ve used), fact-based, and relevant to the topic at hand.
Doesn’t contain unrelated rants. This is not a forum to express your opinions on various social issues.
Exhibits passion. Were you excited? Upset? Frustrated? Whatever you experienced, we love to see emotion coming through in your review. But be sure to refrain from profanity and hate speech, which (if present) will be censored out prior to publishing.
Avoids poor formatting. When you’re all worked up (whether good or bad), it can be easy to write your review in a “stream of consciousness” format, filled with all caps text, excessive exclamation marks, numerous spelling and grammatical errors, a lack of paragraph spacing, and misplaced punctuation. To maximize clarity, double check for readability before publishing your review.
Isn’t paid for by a company. If a manufacturer offers to reimburse you for a review, this violates our terms of service—not to mention the fact that it can mislead and cause harm to other readers.
We understand that reviews impact people’s purchasing decisions. As a result, we take a serious responsibility and go to great lengths to attempt to filter out those consumer reviews that are irrelevant, fake, or classified as spam.
As part of our internal screening mechanisms used to achieve this, HighYa’s moderators assess various signals and manually check every submitted review, in order to ensure that they meet our Review Guidelines.
Because of this process, most reviews are published within two to five business days of submission. If yours has not been published after five business days:
It may have been found in violation of our Review Guidelines, it may appear inauthentic, or it may have been deemed irrelevant to the product or service.
Your HighYa Account sign up process may be incomplete. Remember, if you signed up with your email, you must click on the activation link sent to your inbox.
Yes, we reserve the right to edit submitted reviews. In most instances, these edits relate to improving reader experience, such as censoring profanity and checking for spelling, grammar (e.g. adding missing punctuation marks), and formatting (e.g. breaking up large chunks of text) errors.
However, our edits will never change the meaning of the original review or the star rating.
Speaking of which, it’s been our experience that some customers will provide a star rating that doesn’t correspond with the nature of their review; such as leaving a one-star rating, while praising the product in their text.
When this occurs, we may reach out to the customer and ask them to provide a valid star rating. In the meantime, we won’t assign any rating ourselves and will refrain from publishing the review until we’ve received a response from the author.
There are many instances when an original review is no longer relevant, or no longer reflects the current state of affairs and needs to be updated.
When this occurs, you can update your original feedback by logging into your account, navigating to “Your Reviews” tab, and clicking the “Update” link located under your review. After doing so, you will be asked to submit a new rating and review, which will need to be approved by our moderators prior to publishing.
Once published, your original review will remain visible, although it will not be factored into the product or service’s overall rating.
It’s completely understandable that, in some rare instances, you may want to delete your review.
Should this occur, please submit your request through our contact form or via email and we’ll be in touch in a timely manner. You can help ensure the fastest service by including the email address used when submitting your review.
Important note: Credible, trustworthy companies will never threaten, pressure, or bully you in any way to remove your review, which is a clear violation of our Terms and Conditions and should be reported. However, if the company feels they’ve successfully resolved your issue, they may respectfully encourage you to do so.
The bottom line is that you’re responsible for what you write. But as long as your review—to the best of your knowledge and understanding—accurately reflects your honest, factual, experience-based opinion, you have every right to write about it. In other words, you have freedom of speech; just be sure that it’s detailed.
In these situations, the appropriate course of action is entirely up to you.
Depending on the situation, though, we encourage all parties involved to remain friendly. After all, everyone makes mistakes, and the Golden Rule certainly applies here.
If you originally left a poor review, but the company has since owned up to the mistake and taken actionable steps to resolve the situation, you may decide to update their review with these new details, or request a removal.
No. If a company is offering to pay for a review, our experience has shown that this does not benefit consumers in any way, and it also violates our Terms and Conditions.
If a company reaches out and offers to pay you for a review (using money or in exchange for services), please report them using our contact form.
According to our Terms and Conditions, a business cannot pressure you to take down your review. As long as it’s accurate and represents the truth (to the best of your understanding), we encourage you to stand behind what you’ve written.
If you experience any such pressure, please alert us.
When we designed our stars, our goal was to send a clear, color-based message. And we thought to ourselves, “What better way to accomplish this than using traffic signal colors?” Stop, caution, and safe to proceed.
With this in mind, we implemented three colors into our star design, each of which is intended to signal (no pun intended) a different meaning:
- Orange (1–2 stars): Don't buy (we decided to use this color instead of red)
- Yellow (2.1–3.5): Proceed with caution
- Green (3.6–5.0): Safe to buy
It’s important to remember that reviews represent peoples’ opinions, and that it’s impossible to please everyone. And since any company can receive a couple of negative reviews (which don’t necessarily indicate that they’re bad), critical thinking is a must.
Here are some helpful guidelines to help you discern the difference:
Products that have a meaningful number of reviews (at least 20) will often provide you with a more accurate picture than those with fewer.
Identify trends, such as common praises or problems, which can help provide validity to each reviewer’s opinions.
If you encounter some negative reviews, has the company attempted to resolve them? When a company proactively replies to a reviewer, it can represent a genuine desire to help the customer.
Because a couple of raving reviews don’t necessarily indicate that a company is trustworthy, be sure to look for facts when reading. Is the reviewer using a lot of adjectives, or are they providing specific, relevant details about their actual experiences?
Be critical of negative and positive reviews, and always examine any statements made. For example, we encounter a large number of less-than-stellar reviews that simply resulted from someone not being able to skillfully use the product.
Keep in mind that a company can sell tens of thousands of units, and that only a small fraction of consumers take the time to leave a review. Again, look for trends and commonalities among feedback.
Compare what you read on HighYa with feedback on other trusted sites like Consumer Reports, Better Business Bureau, and Amazon. Is it consistent?
Yes. Our user accounts are completely free (and will remain so indefinitely) and involve no hidden fees. Your email address will never be shared with or sold to anyone.
You can create your account here.
While your name and location are publicly displayed in association with your review or comment, your email remains confidential and we will never share your information with third parties.
Yes, you can delete your account. To do so, please contact support using this form or by email and we’ll be in touch in a timely manner. You can help ensure the fastest service by including the email address associated with your account.
Although every message we receive is read, we don’t have the capacity to reply to all of them. We also do not assist in disputes related to any of companies, products, or services posted on HighYa.
With this in mind, if your email is specifically related to the use of our website, it’s much more likely that you’ll receive a reply.
Pro tip: Before spending your valuable time writing to us, we recommend reading the FAQ, About Us, and How HighYa Works pages, which were carefully crafted to answer many of your most common questions.
HighYa’s Newsletter is completely free. All subscribers will receive a weekly digest of our best content every Saturday morning, and will also receive three of our e-books upon signing up as an extra bonus.
Interested? You can sign up here.
FAQ FOR BUSINESS
No. HighYa does not accept money from companies looking to post positive reviews or remove negative ones, and we do not accept money to remove an entire page.
Instead, we offer a completely free, no-strings-attached, HighYa Business Account that allows you to tell your side of the story, as well as to report any reviews that you believe are in violation of our Review Guidelines. If you feel that your company has an unwarranted low rating, there are good ways to ask your customers to leave honest, insightful reviews.
Signing up for a free business account allows companies:
- To reply to customer reviews and comments about their products
- To receive a Verified Badge (which adds another public trust indicator)
- To obtain instant alerts when new reviews or comments are left on your profile page
- New tools are added regularly
To claim your free account, you’ll first need to verify that we have a relevant page by searching our site for your product or service. If you don’t find your product, ask whether we can write a review about it by filling out this form and we’ll be in touch shortly.
This is HighYa’s Verified Badge, which indicates that an authenticated user (one who is authorized to speak on the behalf of a company) has undergone a verification process (based on corporate email address) to confirm their association with HighYa.
Verified Badges do not affect star ratings. However, they do convey a trust signal to users because they indicate that a company has taken the time to verify its page and respond to consumer reviews.
HighYa publishes information about popular products and services so that consumers can share their experiences, and so that others can learn about these products and services to make a more informed purchasing decision.
As a result, we don’t remove pages from the site. We also do not accept money or other goods in exchange for positive customer reviews and/or to remove negative customer reviews or a business’s page.
If you need to update or correct any of the information on your business’s page, please contact us with your request and our support team will quickly assist you.
Consumers’ expressions of opinion about a product or service are protected by the First Amendment. In addition, HighYa’s publication of consumer reviews is protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA).
For companies looking to resolve a situation with a customer, publicly respond to reviews, or share their side of the story, HighYa’s free Business Account allows them to effectively accomplish this.
In some cases, once a situation is successfully resolved, businesses can ask the customer to update their existing review, or request that they remove the review altogether.
It’s been our experience that reviewers are often more than willing to update their original feedback in response to businesses that truly care about their customers. This is especially the case when the situation is resolved soon after the initial review submission. In other words, the smaller the gap between the original review and company’s response, the better.
Finally, if you believe a review violates Highya’s Review Guidelines, you can report it through your HighYa Business Account.
Responding to reviews through a Business Account is a great way to show your customers that you care about them, as well as that your company stands behind the products and services it offers. Here are some general guidelines that can help achieve the best results in responding to reviews:
Make it personalized. In other words, use the customer’s first name when applicable and avoid generic or scripted responses.
Be sincere, polite, and helpful.
Don’t be defensive. Instead, try to empathize with the customer and better understand their concerns from their perspective.
When necessary, tell your side of the story.
When creating a HighYa account, customers are required to verify their email address. Without this information, their review won’t be posted.
This means that when you comment on a review, the reviewer receives an email notification indicating that an official company representative has responded.
Typically, HighYa doesn’t take sides in factual disputes. You may use your free HighYa Business Account to tell your side of the story.
HighYa utilizes a proprietary screening mechanism that verifies the authenticity of reviews before they’re posted.
In our Terms and Conditions and Review Guidelines, we explicitly prohibit anyone other than a person who used a product/service or had interactions with a company to leave a review. If you believe that an existing review is in violation of these conditions and guidelines, you can report it using your free HighYa Business Account, and our support team will investigate the issue.
In certain instances, we require that order numbers accompany any submitted reviews. If you believe this could help your business page, feel free to request this option.
This is a tricky question within the consumer review industry, as it can engender a variety of polarizing answers.
The short answer is this: We understand the importance of consumer reviews and the impact a good rating can have on a business, which is why our position is, yes; you can ask for reviews. However, there are right and wrong ways to go about this.
For example, we recommend asking all your customers for their unbiased reviews, as this will accurately reflect your business. However, asking your employees or company affiliates to leave reviews, or paying customers for reviews, violates our Review Guidelines.
Similarly, if you only screen for customers who leave positive reviews, this will certainly increase your overall rating, but it could also set unrealistic expectations for your business among customers. And if you’re not able to meet these unrealistically high expectations, consumers could be more likely to leave negative reviews, thereby decreasing your rating.
We also don’t recommend offering free products in exchange for reviews, as we believe this practice creates a feeling of obligation among reviewers to only leave 5-star feedback. Here again, this could potentially create an inaccurate picture of your company.
The reality is that businesses shouldn’t be afraid of negative reviews, as no one can make everyone happy all the time. Instead, consider using your free Business Account to tell your side of the story.
Never underestimate the ability of a sincere response that can speak volumes about your business to potential customers.
For additional tips, see 6 Tips for Getting Customer Reviews without Hurting Your Business’s Reputation.
How do businesses collect reviews on Highya and why do some businesses have substantially more reviews than others?
According to one study done by PowerReviews and another study by Vendasta, 92% to 95% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase. With such a large percentage of consumers relying on reviews, it is apparent that internet and technology have changed the way consumers shop, making online reviews “an expected part of the purchasing process.” According to the same PowerReviews study mentioned above, second only to price, reviews and ratings are the single most important factor impacting purchase decisions.
With these major changes in the way people shop, businesses are now expected to have reviews if they want to succeed. However, the flip side of this is that most consumers will not leave reviews unless prompted by the business. This creates a new set of challenges, especially for unknown brands or new products entering the market.
To overcome these challenges, asking for reviews has become a necessary norm in the life of a business. In fact, according to one study performed by Northwestern University in collaboration with PowerReviews, 70% of reviews originate from post-purchase emails that prompt consumers to leave reviews.
Based on our experience and analysis of various studies and review websites, one trend is very clear – businesses that collect reviews tend to have substantially more reviews than businesses who don’t. In fact, it is very common for fairly new or small companies that collect reviews to have a lot more reviews than nationally known brands.
To illustrate this point, let’s compare a few business review listings on TrustPilot, one of the more reputable review websites online today. A moderately known electronics store B&H Photo Video has an “Excellent” 5-star rating based on over 186,000 consumer reviews. TrustPilot openly discloses that B&H Photo actively collects customer reviews.
Comparatively, both Apple and Best Buy, who are household names, substantially more well-known than B&H Photo Video, have a significantly lower amount of customer reviews and a poor rating on TrustPilot. According to TrustPilot, these two companies do not collect reviews on their platform. Apple has a “Bad” 1-star rating based on around 1,400 customer reviews. Best Buy also has a “Bad” 1-star rating based on around 230 customer reviews.
A similar trend can be observed at another reputable and Government granted review website, SiteJabber, which reveals B&H Photo Video having over 656,000 customer reviews, while both Best Buy and Apple have less than 4,000 reviews combined at the time of this writing.
So as you can clearly see on both TrustPilot and SiteJabber, B&H Photo Video has substantially more customer reviews than Apple and Best Buy.
Side Note: Theoretically, however, a company with invited consumer reviews may sometimes have fewer reviews than a company with only self-motivated reviews if the product with self-motivated reviews was listed on a review website longer and simply just accumulated more reviews organically over time.
In addition, because HighYa is a young company, at present time, only a very small percentage of companies listed on HighYa collect reviews from their customers. At times, this results in these companies having a substantially larger amount and frequency of reviews than other companies who rely solely on receiving reviews from self-motivated consumers.
When (a) it is confirmed with the company that they are asking their customers to leave feedback on HighYa and/or (b) our moderators notice a sudden uptick in the volume and frequency of reviews (among other metrics) entering the site for a particular product, we turn on a Review Collection Alert on their page to make our readers aware of it.
Rest assured, however, whether reviews are coming in from self-motivated consumers or as a result of an invitation effort from the company, every single review is always subject to the same consistent vetting and manual assessment process in order to help maintain helpfulness, quality, and integrity, and will be rejected if they don't meet our Review Guidelines.
At the present time, there is only one way in which a business can collect reviews. A business can claim their page (although they are not required to do so) and ask its customers to submit reviews using their own efforts. Usually, this involves sharing a link of their HighYa page on their social media channels and/or sending a post-purchase email to prompt their customers to leave a review.
In addition to helping the business build trust, there are additional benefits for consumers when companies collect reviews from its customers:
- A more accurate overall rating because it is based on a larger number of reviews.
- Products and services change over time. Regularly collecting reviews provides the most up-to-date information.
- According to a study conducted by Northwestern University, collected reviews generally come from verified buyers and reduce the chance of fake reviews.
On HighYa, we write about popular products and services on many topics. If your business isn’t currently covered, you can always send us a suggestion by submitting a friendly message.
We reserve the right to decide which products and services to write about, and we do not accept payments for these reviews.
Interested in first-hand feedback? We are open to testing your product directly and providing our assessment and comments in an editorial review. We do not charge for this and we promise complete honesty. We do not, however, promise a favorable outcome.
Without trust, we believe that a consumer review website cannot be successful. And to build this trust, we do not promote any product over another, nor do we favor any one review over another.
For example, we do not derive any additional benefit from a positive review than from a negative one, and vice-versa. Any review that meets our Review Guidelines will be published.
And while we make money when readers click on ads shown on some of HighYa’s pages, we have no control over which ads appear, nor do we promote any of these advertisements or products over another.
We take copyright infringement very seriously, so please report any alleged abuse by using this form and we will respond in a timely manner.
In your email, be sure include the URL where the infringed material is located, a description of the alleged infringement, proof that you own the copyright, and proof that you are the copyright holder (or are acting on the holder’s behalf).
Last updated: June 14, 2018