Consumer's FAQs

How can I learn more about a Company from which I plan to purchase products?
There are two ways to learn about Companies on the net; 1) by clicking on the membership seal on their websites, or 2) by performing a free search in the dAtabasesm. Only Member firms are permitted to display the seal on their websites, while the dAtabasesm includes listings for thousands of non-members as well. When reviewing the dAtabasesm, consumers can screen for member firms only, or show all Companies about which we have collected information.

I recently had a very good experience with an Internet company. How do I let others know about it?
Any Company's commitment to cost of providing quality customer service includes building on what went right as well as responding to what went wrong. We encourage consumers to file Praise about companies with whom they have had good experiences, so that other consumers can incorporate this information into their buying decisions. Once reviewed by the Member firm, praise filed by consumers will appear in a Company's Business Background Reportsm. We also accept praise on non-member firms for our records, but this information is not published.

Can I file a complaint against a website which is not a member?
Absolutely! handles complaints and praise about Companies all over the world, whether they are members or not. Assuming we have the email address of the company in question, we will contact any Company on the consumers behalf and will do everything we can to persuade the Company to resolve the issue. Of course, we can not guarantee that non-member firms will always do so.

What actions will take to obtain satisfaction for a consumer complaint?
The first step is for the consumer to AdDResSsm the issue. AdDResSsm is what we call our revolutionary Automated Dispute Resolution System. Once a complaint has been set in motion, a number of automated steps ensue. These steps begin by encouraging the Company to resolve the issue voluntarily (member firms have agreed to use their best efforts to do so). The longer a complaint goes unresolved, the more strongly we will insist that the Company rectify the situation. Unresolved complaints are reported in the Company's Business Background Reportsm for the world to see. If it becomes necessary, we will assign a Mediator to review the case and decide on a fair settlement. members are contractually bound to abide by these mediated settlements. If it becomes evident that a Company recklessly disregards the standards we expect, we will revoke their membership, highlight them in the Watchlistsm, and coordinate with the pertinent authorities if appropriate.

Can the Certification Seal be copied by unauthorized users?
While the Member Seal graphic can be copied, the "CLICK TO VERIFY" mechanism can not. This is why it is imperative to always click on the seal to ensure that the merchant is a Member in good standing. When consumers click on a seal they are taken to a dynamically created, up-to-the-minute Business Background Reportsm for that Company. If the referring site is not a Member, the report will clearly indicate this fact. Furthermore, the URL appearing in your browser's address box when viewing a valid Business Background Reportsm should begin with " & .." If it does not, you may be viewing a counterfeit report, and we ask you to contact us immediately. We take unauthorized use of our Seal very seriously, and we will prosecute violations to the fullest extent.

Does the certification expire, and can it be revoked?
Yes! We require our members to periodically confirm their commitment to our standards by renewing their membership. Upon renewal, Members receive an updated Certification Seal. Note that authentic Seals have a "Member through" date watermark. This indicates the date at which Members are required to re-commit to our standards. Should you come across an expired seal, please report it to us immediately as such use is strictly prohibited by our membership agreement.

Furthermore, reserves the right to revoke any Membership if the Company violates the principals of our various programs. This "revoked" status will be reflected in the Business Background Reportsm for that company, so that even if they fail to remove the Seal from their site, consumers who "click to verify" will be aware that the Company is no longer a Member.

How accurate are your Business Background Reportssm?
The most valuable facet of our service is that information is collected from independent third parties (consumers), on a global basis, 24 hours a day, and disseminated in real time. This efficient use of vast monitoring resources gives consumers a valuable tool to judge how well a Company has satisfied its past customers. Obviously, this information becomes more valuable as more experience is garnered with a particular company. A report of one complaint against a Company which has only been in existence for three months, for example, may not present an entirely accurate reflection of that Company's business practices. On the other hand, a report that shows a Company having no unresolved complaints for a period of three years speaks strongly to that Company's level of customer satisfaction.

How can remain objective when it is supported by its member firms?
Our services are supported by the Internet community because they benefit the Internet community as a whole. By promoting increased consumer confidence in electronic commerce, all on-line merchants benefit. The dues we receive from Member firms represent a sharing of the cost to providing this infrastructure, not a right to any special treatment. We do not endorse or persecute any Company - we merely provide the mechanism which allows consumers around the world to voice their opinions and make informed decisions. We field complaints on all companies equally, non-members and members alike. We will revoke a Company's Membership if they fail to abide by our standards. We do not accept paid advertising.

We represent a system of self-regulation - of the Internet, by the Internet, and for the Internet. Annual dues paid by our Members are a demonstration of the community's commitment to keeping the Internet free of government intervention, yet reliable and trustworthy in the minds of consumers.