Asking for Reviews: Is it Against the TOS

Sunday, Nov 1, 2015| Tags: Reviews

Offering an incentive for reviews puts you under truth in advertising laws in most countries but asking for reviews without any incentive is usually safe. If you are unsure about your country, it is best to consult a lawyer.

But there’s another layer of possible restrictions than just the legal ones and that is each review site’s terms of service (TOS).

For sites like Yelp, they have no business without their reviews and so they put alot of effort in to protecting the integrity of reviews. That includes making asking for reviews against their terms of service.

Other companies, like Google, encourage the practice.

Here are some of the most popular review sites and their policies on asking for reviews.

Asking for Reviews is Against the TOS

These sites explicitly forbid asking for reviews.

Asking for Reviews is Acceptable

All of these sites either have a policy that explicitly allows review requests, have a policy that does not mention review requests, or encourage asking for reviews in blog posts and other non-official documents.

No Obvious Policy

These sites don’t have any easy to find documents covering terms of service for businesses.

  • CitySearch
  • Epinions
  • Foursquare
  • G2 Crowd
  • HomeStars: They seem to want you to ask for reviews through premium services but it is not clear of asking for reviews is against the TOS for companies that don’t pay for premium.
  • InsiderPages
  • Judy’s Book
  • Manta
  • MerchantCircle
  • Trusted Pros

These policies are subject to change. Please <%= link_to ‘contact me’, ‘/contact.html’ %> or leave a comment and let me know when a listing needs an update.

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