|Frequently Asked Questions|
PatronCheck is the first offering of its kind, as it provides the opportunity for businesses to not only rate their customers performance during a transaction, but report good, bad, unethical, even fraudulent behavior connected to their customer's name, address, phone number and/or email address. Many of our members have questions concerning what should and shouldn't be entered in the comments section when posting a review, how they can and can't use information provided by PatronCheck, how to rate a customer and more. You'll find the most frequently asked questions and answers below.
Freedom of Speech
Accepted Use of Reviews
Posting Customers Information
Dos and Don'ts
Rating Your Customer
Interactive Computer Service
Can my undesirable customer sue me and/or my business and win, if I post a review concerning his actions and bad behavior during a transaction?
No, as long as you
1. do not insult the customer (call the customer derogatory names)
2. make damaging statements about the customer's overall character (make sure you speak in terms of past tense when describing customer (e,g, "WAS inconsiderate" not "IS inconsiderate"
3. post factually correct information
Individuals have been exercising their right to free speech for many years when posting reviews on businesses, and businesses have the same right. When PatronCheck members post reviews concerning their customers, they are exercising their right to free speech as well, which is protected by the First Amendment. You should simply describe what took place during the transaction (e.g, customer paid immediately, customer's check cleared, customer refused to pay, check bounced, credit card transaction resulted in chargeback, gave us an unwarranted bad review, etc.), as well as the customer's behavior during the transaction (e.g., customer was very polite, was cordial, was great to deal with, was condescending, was patronizing, was rude, was argumentative, was belligerent, was verbally abusive, was physically threatening, etc.).
What can I use PatronCheck reviews for?
You can use PatronCheck reviews for any purpose, OTHER THAN using the information provided for decisions about employment, insurance, tenant screening, consumer credit or any other purpose requiring Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliance. You CAN, however, use PatronCheck reviews to screen internet orders for fraud. In addition, whether you are an internet dealer, own a brick and mortar store, or are a home construction and/or repair business, you may choose not to deal with people who have a history of being extremely hard to please, rude, argumentative, demanding more than what was originally agreed, have displayed verbally abusive or physically threatening behavior.
When posting a review, am I generating a consumer report (credit report) as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act?
No. When defining the construction of a consumer report, the FCRA states in section 603d(2), "Exclusions. The term "consumer report" does not include (A) any report containing information solely as to transactions or experiences between the consumer and the person making the report."
Even though I want to give a good review concerning my good customers, will they mind that their information is being posted on the web?
No. Most are aware that many "people-search" websites, as well as background check websites already have their information published on the web, including their name, address, phone number and email address. For instance, most people can be found on whitepages.com, Pipl.com, fastpeoplesearch.com, truepeoplesearch.com, beenverified.com and many more search websites, as is the case of Austin Jordan of Dayton, OH. Giving your "5 star" customer a good review could be very beneficial to them in the future.
When adding comments to my review, what is acceptable and what should I avoid?
1. When posting a review, DO NOT insult your customer. Simply describe what happened during the transaction, describe the outcome, and describe the customer's behavior in past tense. When describing a customer's behavior, YOU CAN use words like was condescending, was patronizing, was impatient, was inconsiderate, was rude, was argumentative, was belligerent, was verbally abusive, was physically threatening, was horrible to deal with, will never do business with him or her again, etc.
2. DO NOT post factually incorrect information, as this could be considered as "defamation of character" due to "libel" (untrue defamatory statement that is made in writing). YOU CAN speak the truth (customer refused to pay, gave us unwarranted bad review, threatened to tell others not to do business with us, etc.).
Before adding a comment to your review, you should examine the following:
When should I rate my customer as Excellent, Good, Average, Fair or Poor?
The following are examples of attributes that will aid you when rating your customer. Select a rating that contains three or more of the attributes listed.
Excellent - Perfect customer, (and/or) polite, personable, easy to please, didn't complain, paid as agreed, gave us a good review, would definitely recommend
Good - Good customer, (and/or) cordial, somewhat easy to please, no complaints, paid as agreed, gave us a good review, would recommend
Average - Ok customer, (and/or) not rude, minimal complaints, paid as agreed, gave us an average review, might recommend
Fair - Undesirable customer, (and/or) was rude, was hard to please, complained a lot, almost didn't pay, was verbally abusive, threatened to give us a bad review if we didn't perform more than was originally agreed, gave us a bad review, would possibly not recommend
Poor - Undesirable customer, (and/or) was rude, was belligerent, did not pay, was extremely hard to please, was verbally abusive, was physically threatening, threatened to give us a bad review if we didn't perform more than was originally agreed, gave us a bad review, caused us to suffer a loss, used someone else's credit card without their permission, transaction resulted in a chargeback loss, would not recommend
Can PatronCheck be held responsible for the content of reviews posted?
No. PatronCheck functions as an "interactive computer service" and is protected against actions filed as a result of content created by third party users, as set forth by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.