BUYERSVOICE TERMS

Whenever you use the BuyersVoice website, whether it is for the purpose of submitting a complaint, doing a pre-purchase search, reviewing a product or business, or just signing up to receive information, our Terms of Use apply. This is because a legal agreement between you and BuyersVoice Pty Ltd ACN 167172527 (“BuyersVoice” or “we/us”) commences from the time you click on one of the buttons on our website which says “I agree to BuyersVoice terms of use”.

Please be aware that the terms are binding whether you read them or not. Also, they apply to interactions between you and BuyersVoice which go beyond the website (e.g. emails, phone calls, rewards, etc).

You will see that our terms are not written in a formal or legalistic way. This is to make it easier to understand but it doesn’t change the fact that, when you click on that button, you are agreeing to all the terms set out below.

Complaints

What we agree to

BuyersVoice will include your complaint in the results which we make available to consumers when they do a search but not if it breaches any of our terms. We will also notify the relevant business (if it is registered) about your complaint but we will not provide your name and contact details unless you consent (see privacy policy).

If there are enough complaints about the same thing, it may be helpful to get our lawyers to write to the business.

If you accept an offer from the business to resolve your complaint, we will change our records as soon as you and the registered business both confirm that the complaint has been resolved (using the procedure in our FAQs).

BuyersVoice will remove any complaint if we receive evidence which satisfies us that it is not genuine.

What you agree to

It is important that your complaint and all accompanying information is truthful, accurate, not misleading and reflects your genuine opinion. It is also important that you disclose whether you have an association with a business which could result in a biased complaint.

In addition, you agree –

  • that you will only submit one complaint about the same problem (unless it relates to both a product and the business, in which case it is a good idea to submit a product complaint and a business complaint);
  • that you will provide additional information if requested to back-up your complaint and that, if you choose not to, your complaint may be removed;
  • that BuyersVoice can use the information provided by you (even if you don’t provide all the information requested by us) in ways that are consistent with our objectives subject to the requirement that your personal details will not be disclosed without your consent;
  • that you will not submit a complaint solely for the purpose of damaging the reputation of a business;
  • that you will advise us if you accept an offer from the business to resolve your complaint;
  • that a lawyer we choose may write to the business and include information about your complaint but not your personal details unless you consent; and
  • that you understand it may sometimes be possible for the business to identify you by cross-referencing its own records even though we have not supplied your name or contact details.
Reviews

What we agree to

If your review complies with our terms, BuyersVoice will publish it for the benefit of people doing a pre-purchase search for the product or business/service you have reviewed. The final decision regarding publication is up to us.

We will not publish your personal or contact details and will not provide this information to the business unless you consent. However, a registered business is entitled to receive information to enable it to verify that your review is genuine (such as when you purchased the product, what you paid, etc). Please be aware that it is possible that the business may be able to determine your identity by cross-referencing its records.

If your review appears to meet the spirit of our guidelines, but needs editing to comply with our rules/guidelines (or other terms), we may edit and/or summarise it before publication without getting your approval. This includes adding or changing the title of your review. We agree that the essential message of your review will not be altered and any changes we make will not be misleading.

What you agree to

It is important that your review and accompanying information is truthful, accurate and reflects your genuine opinion. It is also important that you disclose whether you have an association with a business which could result in a biased review. In addition, you agree to our Review Rules & Guidelines below.

Review Rules & Guidelines
  1. Reviews should be concise but provide sufficient information to be helpful for people thinking about buying the product or using the business you have reviewed.
  2. A summary of your review should be contained in the first paragraph.
  3. A broad/general conclusion is rarely enough. For example, it is not enough to say “I love it” or “buy another brand”. It needs to be backed up by pointing out what is good or bad, and why. Reasons are good.
  4. When you are reviewing a business, it is usually better to review what the business has done (or not done) rather than the business itself. For example, try limiting your review to a particular job done by the business, or advice provided. And avoid saying something like “the business misled me” – you need to say what they said or did that was misleading.
  5. A good review should deal with the pros and cons – what you like about it and what you don’t like; the advantages and disadvantages. Of course, there will be situations where this may not be appropriate e.g. you feel so strongly that it is not possible to give a “balanced” view.
  6. Don’t make your review personal. If you are reviewing a job or a service provided by a business, the focus should be on what was good or bad about the job/service/advice rather than what is good or bad about the person, although sometimes it will be appropriate to say things such as:
    • the person who provided the service was discourteous (or careless or late or rude etc)
    • the person who did the job seemed as though they did not have sufficient expertise for that type of job (or experience or skill or training, etc)
    • the person who provided the advice failed to provide an adequate explanation or reasons to support the advice.
  7. Do not include anyone’s personal information such as names, addresses (street or email) or phone numbers.
  8. Your review should avoid excessive use of CAPITALS, underlining or bold font
  9. Avoid statements which are defamatory or which are intended to damage the reputation of a business or person.
  10. Your review must not be offensive. Personal attacks are not allowed.
  11. Avoid swear words, profanity, vulgarity, hate speech or threats of violence. Also, please don’t be discriminatory.
  12. Your review must not include any external links, spam, advertisements or promotions
  13. Your review must not include any misleading information. Omitting relevant information can be misleading.
  14. You must only publish one review about the same product unless you are reviewing different models in which case a separate review for each model is OK.
  15. You must only publish one review about a business unless you are reviewing different jobs, services or advice provided by the business in which case multiple reviews are OK.
  16. You should keep evidence which supports any claim made in your review.
  17. You agree that we may edit and/or summarise your review for publication provided we do not change the essential message.
  18. If you are not the person who purchased the product or dealt with the business reviewed, you confirm that you are authorised to write the review by that person.
  19. You understand that you may be legally liable for what you say in a review and that BuyersVoice is not responsible.
  20. You must disclose whether you have an association with a business which is affected by your review or with a competitor of that business.
Search results – pre-purchase checks

What we agree to

BuyersVoice will collate complaints and summarise the results so that someone conducting a search about a particular product or business will be able to get information at a glance about the number and the type of complaints. We will also publish reviews for those people who want to read more on the subject.

We will do whatever we can to make such information available for searching on a continuous basis. Will also keep you informed of scams and other information which come to our attention (which we think should be passed on) if you have signed up for BuyersVoice notifications. However, our ability to do this is not only dependent on our own internal resources but also external factors.

What you agree to

Please understand that we have no control over the number of complaints or reviews we receive about a particular product or business, or a particular type of job, service or advice provided by a business. Therefore, there may not be many, or any, complaints or reviews about your search query. This is not necessarily a reflection of the particular product or the business – just the information we have, or have not, received about it.

You also agree that BuyersVoice cannot guarantee the accuracy or reliability of information we publish which is provided by other people (unless otherwise specified). Furthermore, we rely on people complying with our terms and we cannot check the accuracy or completeness of information received. Therefore, you agree to release BuyersVoice from any liability relating to the availability, accuracy or reliability of information which we provide or do not provide.

Please understand that, because the information has been submitted by others, it does not represent the opinion of BuyersVoice or its personnel.

Disclosure of relationships

Disclosure by people who complain or review

Anyone who submits a complaint or review is required to disclose whether they have an association which may result in a biased complaint/review, or if they have been paid to submit a complaint or review. Not telling the truth about this may constitute a breach of Australian law which would expose the person to legal consequences.

However, this is little deterrent if the person posting a fake complaint or review is located offshore. Therefore, we have other ways of determining whether a complaint or a review is genuine or not. This involves BuyersVoice providing additional information to a registered business so it can cross reference its records for verification e.g. if a person says that a product was purchased at a particular time and place, the business will be able to tell from its records whether this is true. If not, it may suggest that the complaint is not genuine. We would then request the complainant to provide further evidence. If evidence is not forthcoming which confirms that it is genuine, we will remove the complaint or the review.

BuyersVoice – commercial relationships

Dealing with businesses and assessing submissions that complaints or reviews are not genuine is time-consuming and therefore costly, particularly because we need to do our own research and check the evidence provided by the business with whoever submitted the complaint or review. We need to cover this cost by charging businesses to provide this service. Accordingly only businesses whose registration is current will be given additional information to enable them to make submissions.

Two disclosures flow from this. Firstly, BuyersVoice and registered businesses have a commercial relationship. Secondly, if a business chooses not to register with us, there is less chance of us identifying non-genuine complaints or reviews.

In relation to the first point, the commercial relationship entitles a registered business to valuable information which it would not otherwise get. For example, if a person has consented, the business can contact that person to discuss the problem. If the complaint is sorted out, it will be recorded as resolved on the results page so people can see that the business has done the right thing. In addition, the information will help businesses improve the quality of their goods and services. Finally, registration enables a business to provide a response to complaints or reviews about their products or services and to submit professional reviews and reviews from customers which we will check for bias. If they meet certain criteria, the reviews will be categorised as “independent” rather than “sponsored”.

In relation to the second point, complaints submitted by anyone who is associated with a competitor of the business will not be included in the search results. This applies to all complaints, whether the affected business is registered with us or not. Similarly, a review submitted by a person who is associated either with the business or a competitor of the business will be listed as a “sponsored” review. This will enable you to make an assessment of the merit of such a review.

The last paragraph needs to be read in the context of two points which were made earlier. Firstly, without the help of a registered business, we can only identify if a person is associated with the business or a competitor based on the information the complainant or reviewer provides. Secondly, registered businesses can submit reviews which will be categorised as independent if they meet certain criteria.

Finally, you should be aware that we plan to accept advertising and accordingly we will have commercial relationships with businesses who advertise on the BuyersVoice website. It is likely that the advertising will be managed by a third party and therefore we may not have control over who advertises on our site. Subject to this, we reserve the right to refuse advertising subject to the number of complaints or adverse reviews about a business.

Businesses

All businesses can do a pre-purchase search which will provide collated/summarised information about complaints and reviews which affect their business or products. However, a business is not entitled to any additional information unless its application for registration is accepted and the terms which relate to its registration are complied with.

This “additional information” includes further details of complaints and reviews which are needed for various purposes. For example, the search results themselves are not sufficient for a business to make an assessment of whether a complaint or review is genuine or fake. They also do not include all the underlying reasons for a complaint, the details of which are valuable for marketing, sales and product improvement purposes. This will be provided as part of the additional information as well as contact details of complainants (if they have consented) so they can be contacted to sort out the problem with a view to getting the complaint removed.

If you use our website to check what complaints or reviews may affect your business or your products, you have agreed to our terms and therefore you are agreeing that BuyersVoice is not required to process any requests for information or submissions regarding the genuineness of a complaint or review unless you are a registered business. If you have obtained this information from a third party and not used our website yourself to get the information, the third party who has provided the information has breached our terms by passing on this information and accordingly that person is personally liable for the consequences, including any costs or losses incurred by BuyersVoice as a result of an attempt which is made by an unregistered business to obtain additional information or have a complaint or review removed from our website.

Please also understand that, when you do a search, you acknowledge that the results are based on information provided by third parties who have agreed that the information is accurate, truthful and not misleading but that we cannot vouch for this. Furthermore you agree to release BuyersVoice from any obligation or liability relating to any results, information or opinion on our website. This release continues to apply notwithstanding that you may have notified us of your belief that certain information is not accurate, truthful or that it is misleading.

Please understand that the terms above are necessary because of the time and cost involved in processing requests and submissions regarding complaints or reviews. Our ability to process such requests and submissions is financed by registration fees paid by businesses, which is why we cannot deal with an unregistered business. Any business which claims that it is adversely affected by information which is not accurate, truthful or complete or information which is misleading may apply for registration.

Please note that businesses are bound by all our terms, not just the terms set out in this section. All registered businesses are also bound by the terms and conditions which are given to the business before an application for registration is accepted by us.

Advertising

Terms and conditions which apply to advertising on our site will be provided before an application to advertise on our site is accepted by or on behalf of BuyersVoice.

General terms

Further terms of the agreement between you and us

Even though we have separated our terms into different sections, you are actually agreeing to all the terms no matter what section they are in so you should read everything above (and below).

In addition, you agree –

  • not to pass on any information you obtain from BuyersVoice (either orally or in writing) to anyone else;
  • if someone asks you for information from BuyersVoice, please decline and advise them that they need to apply to become a member, or a registered business, in order to obtain that information;
  • not to publish or reproduce information from the BuyersVoice website without our written consent;
  • if you pass on information to a third party or publish information in breach of our terms, you are personally responsible for any costs or losses which we incur as a result of you doing so;
  • to make only one application to become a member (in other words, multiple memberships for the same person are not allowed);
  • not to set up a new account in a different name if an account you have previously set up is terminated by BuyersVoice;
  • to notify us of any changes to your contact details or any errors or inaccuracies in any information you have submitted to us;
  • not to hold us responsible if our website is not accessible at any time or times;
  • not to hold us responsible for information on our website;
  • not to compete with BuyersVoice;
  • not to copy, reproduce, reverse engineer or otherwise replicate the way in which BuyersVoice operates or any part thereof;
  • not to use any automated means to access our site or collect any information from the site;
  • not to use any logo, trademark or domain name which is similar to BuyersVoice
  • any changes made to this agreement by BuyersVoice will become effective from the date the new terms are posted on our website;
  • BuyersVoice may reject or remove any material that you submit to our site for any reason;
  • BuyersVoice may use information provided by you to do a review of a product or business which was the subject of your complaint;
  • you are at least 14 years of age;
  • not to give your username and password to anyone else;
  • not to hold BuyersVoice responsible if any information about you is obtained without authorisation by a third-party e.g. by a hacker;
  • to release BuyersVoice from any liability whatsoever relating to complaints or reviews or the content of any complaints or reviews; and
  • the law which applies to this agreement is the law of New South Wales, Australia
Rewards

Any rewards or incentives offered by BuyersVoice will only apply for the length of time stated when the details of the reward/incentive are published or in the specific terms relating to that reward/incentive below. This includes a time limit on claiming the reward/incentive – if a claim is not made within the required period, it lapses. The reason for this is that we have to gauge our future obligations to provide rewards/incentives to ensure that we are able to provide them within a reasonable time which will depend upon the resources available to us from time to time. Therefore, we cannot extend the time to make any claim.

If no time limit is specified on our website or in the terms below, the reward/incentive must be claimed within 2 weeks of your entitlement arising.

Reward 1 – Free legal advice for 3 reviews in a 4 week period

If you qualify for this reward (see below), we agree that –

  • We will arrange legal advice by a lawyer of our choice as to whether a complaint which you have submitted to BuyersVoice is the type of complaint which warrants a letter being sent from a law firm to the business (in the sense that a letter is likely to produce a worthwhile outcome). The decision regarding this is at the discretion of the lawyer.
  • If the conclusion of the lawyer is yes, the lawyer will draft and send a suitable letter to the business.
  • The terms of the letter, which will be sent by email, are at the discretion of the lawyer but it must be consistent with the circumstances of the complaint
  • If the conclusion is that it is unlikely to produce a worthwhile outcome, you will be given the right to get the same reward in relation to one other complaint you have already submitted to BuyersVoice or which you submit within 2 weeks of us advising you of the lawyer’s conclusion (the “2nd complaint”). This right does not apply to the 2nd complaint.

To qualify for the reward, you agree that –

  • You need to submit to BuyersVoice within any 4 week period 3 reviews of different products or services which comply with our terms, including our review rules/guidelines
  • The reviews must be of a standard which warrant publication (the decision regarding this is at our discretion)
  • You must notify BuyersVoice within 2 weeks of submitting the 3rd qualifying review (by clicking on the relevant section of the CONTACT US page) that you wish to claim a reward
  • When you notify us, you must provide the information requested by us
  • You must supply any further information requested by us or the lawyer we appoint including, for example, evidence supporting your claim
  • You appoint us as your agent to instruct the lawyer on your behalf and to receive information and advice on your behalf from the lawyer and you release us from all liability relating to acting as your agent
  • You understand that the process of obtaining additional information, providing advice and writing the letter takes time so no commitment can be made as to how quickly this will be done
  • You must supply any information requested by us relating to the business including, for example, the email address of the business, the name of the appropriate person to address the letter to and any other complaints that you are aware of relating to that business or the product in question.
  • You are required to notify people via each social media platform that you use, and confirm to us that you have done so, that BuyersVoice has arranged free legal advice and a free legal letter for you in an attempt to resolve your complaint.

#DoTheRightThing Awards

 
Anyone over the age of 14 years may nominate people, including themselves, for the #DoTheRightThing Awards as follows – go to Contact Us, select “Other” and provide the information requested including (under "Your comments") the name of the person or business you are nominating; their email address; what that person has done which deserves recognition and why you think they should be a monthly winner (if you do). 
 
Each month, commencing from the month of February 2015, BuyersVoice will select a short list of people who we think are the best nominees for that month. Whilst BuyersVoice reserves the right to make decisions in its unfettered discretion, the criteria which will be taken into account include: the amount of time each year that a person spends helping other people for no personal reward other than the satisfaction of helping fellow human beings; the number of years that the person has been providing such help for others; What type of help is provided (e.g. raising money for charities and/or spending time providing direct personal assistance to other people who need help); the benefit that is derived by the people who are helped by the nominee including any potential flow on benefits for the wider community.
 
A person making a nomination may be asked to provide further information about the nominee to assist BuyersVoice to make a decision about a monthly winner and/or an annual winner. If the information requested is not sufficient or if the nominee does not agree to participate on the terms which apply to the award program at the relevant time, BuyersVoice may remove the name of the nominee from contention without providing any further explanation or reason. If there are not sufficient nominations in a particular month in the opinion of the CEO of BuyersVoice the nominations may be transferred to the following month and BuyersVoice may decline to nominate a winner for that month. If there are not sufficient nominations or the quality of nominations is not in the opinion of BuyersVoice of a level which would justify an annual award, BuyersVoice may decline to make an award in any particular year.
 
The prizes which will be awarded to the nominee selected as the annual winner and to the person who first nominated the annual winner have yet to be decided. The decision will be in the unfettered discretion of BuyersVoice and will be notified in due course.
 
BuyersVoice reserves the right to change or add additional conditions to the award program.
 

What happens if you breach this agreement

Consequences

In general, if you breach this agreement –

  • BuyersVoice is entitled to cancel your membership or registration
  • You may be required to indemnify BuyersVoice against any liability incurred as a result of a complaint or review submitted by you which is not truthful or accurate, which is defamatory or which was submitted for the sole purpose of damaging the reputation of a business;
  • If you pass on information you obtain from BuyersVoice to a third party or publish such information in breach of our terms, you are personally responsible for any costs or losses which we incur as a result;
  • If the breach also constitutes a breach of Australian law, for example, if you falsely state that you have no association with the business you have reviewed or a competitor of that business, you may have breached the Australian Consumer Law and be liable under the provisions of that Act.

In addition to the above, you agree to the consequences stated elsewhere in these terms.