Ahhh, where to begin...
Dealing with ResellerRatings has been a terrible experience. First, they became the top result for any Google result like "business-name review" so this forced me to become a merchant to be able to respond to customer complaints. And so I did.
And I started realizing that there were definitely some suspect reviews, likely made by competitors. I'm not paranoid, ResellerRatings offers a great way to verify real customers. They ask them to enter their order number on the review. This makes it easy to find a fake review, IF, of course, you are a paid merchant member. Otherwise there is no way to know who wrote the review. And even that would be fine with me, had they not helped me when I was a paying member to remove fake reviews! They claim that they will remove a review if the order number is false. All my order numbers were 5-digits long, and anything not in order would indicate a false order number. However, flagging these reviews for removal has never worked for me. ResellerRatings does not hold up their end of their own policy.
Their price was $99/month which I felt was a good price so I signed up. Within 3 months they raised their price to $249/month. Okay, I thought, this is a bit steep but I'll do it. I then put their "free" website seal/widget on my site to show how much my "Customers Love Us." Only to find out that when you click on the prominent link at the top of the pop-up window to "Go back to merchant" they had signed up for my affiliate program on ShareASale.com, STEALING 15% of every order who clicked on the "Return to merchant" link!! I promptly posted a review for ResellerRatings on their own website, which was even more promptly removed, along with the Facebook post on their page that I posted as well to inform other merchants of this unbelievably unethical business practice (read: scam).
Now let's fast-forward to December 2012, about 6 months later, they raised it to $849/month!! They refer to comparable services like Yelp to justify the price increase. So I emailed them and said I can't afford this and please cancel my account. They replied, stating they could do it for $649/month without their new (useless) Facebook feature. I said this is still too steep. But it doesn't end here. While researching ResellerRatings online, I began to piece together a troubling reality. Merchants are charged different rates. Go ahead, just try and find a price for their services on their site. It's not there because they want to be able to milk every business for the maximum amount possible.
So how does ResellerRatings determine how much you should pay, you ask? Great question! Here is an excerpt from a Google review of ResellerRatings:
"ResellerRatings' pricing is tiered based on size, and you're quoting our largest tier, reserved for enterprise merchants doing tens or hundreds of millions in annual revenues."
So how EXACTLY does ResellerRatings determine the revenue of my business? Well there are numerous ways to do this, but they never actually ask YOU to provide your numbers. So how do they charge you accurately? Simple...they don't. They will just keep raising your price on an individual merchant basis, until you cave or cancel your account, at which time they will offer you a slight discount hoping you'll stay. But it's really a scam because they didn't need to raise your price anyway, just trying to juice you for max profits. Let me sum this up for you with a short dialog:
Business Owner: Hey ResellerRatings, what's your price?
ResellerRatings: Depends, how much ya got?
ResellerRatings claims 80% of their reviews are positive. Just a quick look at recent reviews on their site will paint a different picture. At this moment, there are 15 ratings, nine of which are 1-star and six are 5-star reviews. There are rarely any in-betweens, illustrating that reviewers are not urged to be fair. Customers are always either happy with their product, where they are not likely to go online and write a review, or unhappy, where they will go online, write a review, and generally will choose all 1's in a spiteful attempt to damage their reputation.
ResellerRatings puts a check-box on each review asking if the merchant solicited the review. If they did, this review will not count towards the merchant rating unless, of course, you are a paying merchant member. This is the scam! Of course customers are more likely to write a negative review than a positive one. This forces merchants to pay for their services to be able to respond to the customer. Without doing so, there is no way to find out who left the review to try and help them and resolve the issue. So they are NOT putting shoppers' best interest at hand, allowing the merchant to contact the customer.
So this was my horrible experience with ResellerRapings.
Does anyone have something to add?