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A Guide to Google Customer Ratings

There is something going on with these paid-for “online review” companies. We thought you should know.

To summarize the data below, this is our essential conclusion:

Essentially the point of these paid-for services is to ensure that the company pays a service to help them avoid or remove bad reviews, hence propping up a rating that is “influenced” by the company itself.

Therefore aggregate rating scores that come from these paid-for services are not nearly as credible and believable as actual Google Customer Reviews


Rating scores should be something an online buyer can trust as being real and not just a tool of the company publicizing it.

These paid-for review services seem to be popping up everywhere. Companies that used to use the much more credible Google Review system (more on that below) are now replacing Google with these online paid-for review services and websites that promise all sorts of benefits to the company. Why do they do it? There is one reason and one reason only. To make sure they have a higher rating. But it goes much deeper than that.

First, we should comment that as a company 100% dedicated to the planet and to being ethical, we would never do such a thing. Reviews are important. We believe that all reviews should be for the benefit of the customer, to inform them. A review score should be something trustworthy, and should never be a number that we could influence or change by bribing or negotiating with customers before or after a transaction. We believe that if a company can influence a review score so easily, then that review score is simply irrelevant.

What is the point of a review if companies can influence their ratings like that?

When you see an online seller use a private review service, you will almost always notice one interesting fact. The positive review percentage is often SKY HIGH. Our competitors in the contact lens industry are a great example, but it all over the place with online companies. We have even seen a 99% rating with one online company. Really?? 99%? Seriously?

How do they get these types of rating scores? These crazy high ratings are coming almost exclusively from paid-for review services that have very different protocols than Google does. Google calls these “Partner Sites” and wow are the rules of the road completely different. In fact, one could argue that the paid-for review sites are more about public relations, remarketing and doing damage control than being a credible review service.

So what is a “Partner Site”? What service or product are they selling to the companies that use them? What benefit do they bring and why are their review ratings figures so much higher than that of an actual Google Customer Rating? Let’s dig a bit deeper…

Examples of how review sites sell themselves to companies:

One site boasts that companies can “retain and engage visitors with our Consumer Care engine“. Yet another claims to companies that their site “provides you with a full cycle content engine to bring your customers together.”

Another company tells client corporations that “if a customer ever leaves a 1 or 2 star rating, you are instantly alerted, and can open up a private message board…” On another site, they claim “We make moderation seamless and simple…” and even have a “moderation window” (whatever that is) to help the company avoid a bad review.

Wow. If that isn’t obvious, we don’t know what is. Clearly the purpose of these review sites is to HELP the company avoid bad reviews.

Let’s think logically. How stupid would a company be to buy a service that doesn’t help them? More importantly, how crazy would a review site be if they offered a paid service but offered no benefit to the company? It actually all makes perfect ‘business’ sense when you think about it.

Let’s explore the services that some or all of these “review” websites provide to online companies:

        1. Collect your customer review data and other contact information for re-marketing, outreach and/or sales promotions;

        2. Allow the company to alter or personalize the review call-out, therefore altering the possible outcome of a review by influencing the reviewer in some fashion;

        3. Allow the company to contact the reviewer AFTER THEY HAVE REVIEWED so that they can influence the buyer into changing their review or offer the reviewer some incentive to remove a bad review;

        4. Allow the company to “personalize” the review request so that it appears to be a “survey” instead of a review or in some form influence a review outcome.

        5. Allows the company to directly offer incentives for leaving a review, sometimes even BEFORE they purchase.

        6. Since the reviewer is not anonymous with these services, these services can allow a company to blacklist or ban a customer who leaves a bad review. Theoritically, it could even open up the door for the company to take legal action against a reviewer.

Like they say “When something walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it is probably a duck.” Yes, we are indeed saying it. Review rating scores that derive from such practices (where companies can remove, negotiate or blacklist) is most certainly A DUCK!

Contactsforless.ca has the highest actual Google Customer Rating of all contact lens websites in Canada

When you check out our competitors, they use the paid-for services and most have disabled the Actual Google Review system they used to use. The reasons are most likely based on what you have already read. That is why we can say we have the HIGHEST GOOGLE RATING (actual Google rating that is not based on a paid-for “partner site”) among our industry. We thought you should know that too.

You see, when your actual google rating is verifiable, unalterable and anonymous, then why pay someone to help dilute that rating? We don’t. We don’t have to. As for the others, ask them why they do it. I bet you they won’t want to talk about it. In fact, they probably don’t want us talking about it either. Yes – that makes sense doesn’t it.

Want to view our actual Google Customer Review? We have the highest rating in our industry in Canada. Period! Click here (and remember it is not diluted by any paid-for review service or “partner site” as Google calls them).

Actual Google Customer Reviews for online customers are anonymous and cannot be removed, altered or negotiated away by the company being reviewed

Well, that says it all, doesn’t it? In other words, reviews are not supposed to be marketing tools for companies to promote themselves. That is – unless the unalterable reviews are actually high, like ours are. Instead, private review sites basically allow the company to dilute any bad reviews using their private paid-for review system. What does this mean to you as a customer?

In fact, don’t just believe us. Google tells us right up front what the rating system is all about:

 

“Google doesn’t modify existing ratings. To provide consistent ratings, we calibrate ratings and filter out what we consider to be untrustworthy or otherwise questionable.”

 

…and then Google lists 30 non-Google (presumably all private and/or paid for) review sites that get mixed in with the actual Google Customer Ratings that Google itself collects. Again the conclusion is pretty simple. Google Reviews take comments ONLY from actual buyers, cannot be influenced or bribed with offers or special coupons or free stuff, and are 100% anonymous.

Why does anonymous matter? When a customer is NOT anonymous, the company can react to the review directly to the customer by either blacklisting them, offering them “goodies” to buy again and review again – this time with a higher review score. There is a reason that Google does it the way they do it – and it is not only better, it is more credible as a review system.

Can you trust these private, paid-for reviews then?

It is hard to say actually. How can you truly trust a REVIEW SCORE when you know that the company can contact the reviewers and offer them refunds, rebates or even free products to entice them to change their reviews? How can you trust a review score when you know the PURPOSE OF THE REVIEW SERVICE is to ASSIST THE COMPANY IN GETTING HIGH REVIEWS?

What is the point of a review if it is solely there to benefit the company’s image? Clearly there is something going on here…

A review is supposed to be a trusted source from which YOU THE CUSTOMER can learn, objectively, about the company you may (or may not) buy from. It is supposed to help YOU. It is not supposed to help the company show off how great they are (or are not). One article that advises users on how to best use these paid and/or private review sites states: “Offering a discount in exchange for a review nurtures customer loyalty while also providing content for other customers.”* Again, more of the same. Need we say more?

Trust our reviews: Contactsforless.ca thinks differently

Contactsforless.ca has NEVER used paid-for review services and never will. We believe that Google Customer Reviews for online sellers is the best, most accurate and most customer-safe review system. Yes, sometimes a product will be late or a mistake is made and a company get a 1, 2, 3 or 4 star review. We at Contactsforless.ca accept those reviews and do not try to “flag” or stop them. We simply do not believe that is the fair and honest thing to do.

Clearly other companies feel differently. In fact almost ALL OF THE OTHER CONTACT LENS SITES in Canada use private review sites as their customer review system. Almost all! We think we know why and now you do too.

So, it is our view that you should always buy your contact lenses based on Google Customer Reviews, not “partner sites”. Why? When you receive unalterable reviews that cannot be negotiated or bribed into being changed, you know you are getting the real information on a company. Buy smart and you will always buy happier.

To read more about the Contactsforless.ca mission, please click here.

The quote above in (*) is located here.

 

 

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Contactsforless.ca: Fastest Growing AGAIN in 2019

CEO Report Image

The 2019 Financial Growth Report

by Director & CEO Paul W. Slusher

Once again, 2019 proved that Contactsforless.ca is the #1 fastest growing online contact lens website in Canada. What do we mean by being “#1 fastest growing”? Well, to be very clear about it, fastest growing in total revenue and fastest growing in total orders. Of course no other website donates 51% of all net profits like we do. So, we are #1 in being the fastest growing in donations raised to save the planet too!

As we keep saying, there are companies that act like they care about the planet and then there is Contactsforless.ca – a company that actually does it. Most sites just make profits off of you and that is it. Maybe there is a site here and there that “donates” but do they donate 51% of net profits? Heck no! That would be insane! Yes it would be, because their reason for living is profits. At Contactsforless.ca our reason for living is to help our planet. That is why we are the fastest growing contact lens site in Canada.

Video: CEO Paul reports on our record-breaking 2019!

Numbers (Still) Matter…

It is one thing to say you are #1 like some of the other sites. It is another thing to prove it. Well, numbers don’t like like some folks do. Here is the math that backs up our claim. Let’s see the “other guys” do that. Don’t hold your breath, because they won’t. Trust us on that.

So here our record-breaking numbers. We are very proud of what we have accomplished. However, we won’t stop here. We plan to donate MILLIONS OF DOLLARS someday to help our planet, feed children, help victims of war, stop cancer, alzheimer’s and so much more!

TOTAL ORDERS UP 3,825% 2015 – 2019

Yes, you read that correctly. 3,825%

2015 – 394 Orders

2016 – 5,137 Orders (UP 1,203%)

2017 – 7,063 Orders (UP 38%)

2018 – 9,471 Orders (UP 34%)

2019 – 15,471 Orders (UP 63%)


TOTAL SALES REVENUE UP 2,272% 2015 – 2019

Again, we never cease to amaze. We are growing so fast it is incredible. Here are how the numbers break down in this category:

2015 – $92,101 Total Sales Revenue

2016 – $628,083 Total Sales Revenue (UP 582%)

2017 – $874,479 Total Sales Revenue (UP 39%)

2018 – $1,258,503 Total Sales Revenue (UP 43%)

2019 – $2,184,834 Total Sales Revenue (UP 73%)


ONLY SITE TO DONATE 51%

It needs to be said that we are also the ONLY online contact lens website in Canada to donate 51% of its net profits to the non-profit that YOU the customer choose. No one does it. No one dare give away profits like that – except Contactsforless.ca.

So, since our mission is to give 51% of our net profits, we continue to give, give, give. Despite the fact that profit margins on contact lenses are so very small, we still manage to give away thousands. Check out these figures:

2015 – $623 Donated

2016 – $3,141 Donated

2017 – $3,644 Donated

2018 – $6,717 Donated

2019 – $6,111 Donated

Total Donated 2015 – 2018 – $20,236*

* It is important to note that we have donated more than $25,000 if you include the funds we donated prior to 2015 but are not officially part of our report totals.

TOP 20 NON PROFITS OUR CUSTOMERS LOVE THE MOST

Lastly, here is the part you have all been waiting for! No? Well – this list is very important to us. What causes do our customers care the most about? Here you go, the top 20 non-profits in 2018:

    1. F*ck Cancer
    2. Humane Society of Canada
    3. Alzheimer Society Canada
    4. World Animal Protection
    5. Doctors Without Borders
    6. Women for Women Int’l
    7. David Suzuki Foundation
    8. Canadian Mental Health – Port Alberni
    9. CARE
    10. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada
    11. Save The Children
    12. Ecojustice
    13. Negative Population Growth
    14. Humane Society Int’l
    15. UNICEP
    16. World Wildlife Fund Canada
    17. First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada
    18. Climate Action Network Canada
    19. BC Aboriginal Childcare Society
    20. Adoption Council of Canada

2020 WILL BREAK MORE RECORDS!

We predicted a year ago (see our 2018 report) that we would break records in 2019. Turns out we were right.

A BIG THANK YOU TO YOU – THE CUSTOMERS OF CONTACTSFORLESS.CA

As the Owner, Founder and CEO of this hard working, little company, I want to thank you all again – for supporting the very best, fastest growing contact lens site in Canada. We could NOT do this without you, our amazing online customers. I just want to thank each and every person who has ordered from us at Contactsforless.ca. We could not have done any of this without you. It isn’t just about the amazing growth of our small, humble company. It is of course also about how we work together to change our planet for the better!

…and remember, together we can change the world, one contact lens order at a time.

Sincerely,

Paul W. Slusher

Owner, Founder & CEO

Contactsforless.ca

 

See our Google Rating, the highest of all contact lens sellers in Canada.

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January 2020 Contest Winner Announced

Contest Winner for January 2020!

Today we are announcing that MIRANDA OF CALGARY was drawn as the $1,000 Free Contact Lens Winner!

You can enter and be a winner too!

That is right, just see below our ballot entry, enter your email address and BAM – you could be a big winner in July of 2020. Contactsforless.ca, a very cool online contact lens company based out of Surrey, BC, are exactly the type of company you can trust, who give great prices and also help to save the planet. On top of that – the have this awesome $1,000 free contact lens contest for possible winners just like you. This is a Canada-wide contest!

No purchase required! Next Contest Winner Selected July 1, 2020

Our $1,000 contact lens contest is a BIG HIT with Canada! Enter today and you could win $1,000 in free contact lenses when you need them. The winner will be able to simply call us and order free contact lenses until the $1,000 runs out! What AN AMAZING CONTEST! Also: If you retweet the “Tweet About the Giveaway” 1 time every single day (see below). So this means you can keep adding ballots to each contest!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest Rules:

*Contest only available for residents of Canada. Any international mailing addresses provided will be automatically disqualified.**

No purchase necessary to enter. Enter as often as you wish. Every time a new winner is announced, we start fresh with new ballots so remember to re-enter with each new contest giveaway! When a winner is first selected, that contestant will be asked a basic “skill question” (see below). If the contestant cannot answer the skill question and/or does not respond to the email and phone calls from our team within 24 hours, we reserve the right to pick a new winner. The winning contestant will receive $1,000 in free contact lenses over the period of three years from the time of being awarded the contest prize. One winner will be picked randomly each time we hold a new contest and will be contacted by ContactsForLess.ca by both email and phone. If that person can verify by email or by phone the contents of their ballot AND can answer the “skill question” they will then be determined to be the winner. If not (again) then a new contestant will be drawn. By entering this online contest, all contestants give permission to ContactsForless.ca to use their name, city and provincial information in any announcement regarding this contest. All entrants to this contest will also have their email address added to the ContactsForLess.ca online newsletter and agree to this by entering this contest. Only one prize per contestant – previous winners are disqualified from winning a second time.

Please note that due to legal restrictions in Quebec, this prize cannot be awarded to someone residing in Quebec. We are sorry for this – but legal has advised us and so we do what the lawyers recommend.

SKILL QUESTION: 10-10+1-1

(The Skill Question will be asked at the time the winning entry has been drawn. This is required by B.C. law in a giveaway of this nature.)

Want to learn about our awesome Google Customer Rating? It’s the highest in Canada. Click here for more information!

To learn more about the Contactactsforless.ca mission to help save the planet, click here.