I Don’t Like BizRate

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I recently placed an online order with one of my favorite small merchants  (Barclay-Crocker).  When the transaction was completed, I was given the option of doing a BizRate survey. For the sole reason of thinking I might be helping this merchant out with their web site usability, I agreed to take the survey.

What a mistake. It was a survey — pretty bland, pedestrian questions that I cannot imagine generate much in the way of insight into the site — but boatloads of potential spam . . . lots of radio boxes to uncheck (the default is to subscribe you to a ton of junk; You must manually opt out of dozens of selections).

Even worse, was the "Thanks for taking the survey, here’s a free magazine subscription. Anything that’s free which asks you for your credit card ain’t really all that free. 

I ended up with the sense that the Biz Rate survey’s were less a real tool to help online retailers, and more an excuse for some (mildly) permission marketing — or potentially worse.

All told, it was not a satisfying experience interacting with Biz Rate. They send reminders, verifications, and other idiotic time wasters. If you are a merchant, I suggest you do not annoy your clients with this worthless tripe. And as a consumer, I found it a bothersome waste of time. Even the unsubscribe requires several subsequent pitch filled annoying messages:

Thank you for verifying your Cash Giveaway entry information. We are sorry you decided not to receive BizRate’s FREE Shopping Newsletters. This email confirms that you are unsubscribed from our Newsletters. (If you recently completed a survey you may receive an invitation to rate your satisfaction with order delivery, if you have haven’t already done so.)

Here is your additional thank-you, featuring a free trial to Netflix and a free cell phone.

They are actually a covert spammer. Every contact I had with them contained some advert, some come hither "offer," some special pitch. Just because it wasn’t for viagra or porn doens”t make it any less spam.

For future reference — no more Biz Rate for me . . .

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Bruce commented on May 27

    Hi Barry,

    I love your blog!

    In regard to Bizrate, I agree with you about the survey.

    On the other hand, my sister-in-law, who is art director at Bizrate, says that people actually want the promotions, and that they receive more surveys when the offer them.

    Cheers,
    Bruce :-)

  2. yn commented on Jun 2

    This same thing happened to me. Bizrate is sends nothing but spam

  3. Al commented on Nov 30

    Can you email me address of bizrate for enquiring about magazine subscriptions i did nort recieve? Thanks
    Al

  4. mary nadeau commented on Mar 3

    can you give me a e-mail address to contact bizrate about opting out of thatr magazine subscription??thanks

  5. M commented on Dec 23

    I sent my complaint to Payless, but all they offer me is an apology letter.
    *******
    Survey – After placing my order on payless.com, I was offered a survey.
    >Normally, I do not participate in surveys unless there is a substantial
    >incentive. The survey offered a value of $25-$100 – perhaps as discounts on
    >future purchases from Payless – I was certainly looking forward to that! As
    >a longtime, loyal customer of Payless, I completed the survey and was
    >offered one-year subscriptions to my choice of 4 magazines – which is a
    >good exchange for my time. HOWEVER, in order to receive the magazines, I
    >would have to pay $8 and enter a credit card which would enroll me in
    >automatic renewal. NOT ACCEPTABLE. There was no other reward option
    >offered. The survey is designed to put me further in debt, not reward me
    >for the valuable market research from an actual customer. I seek a good
    >value for my time and money – that is why I am a Payless customer. Please
    >provide the reward I expected to receive: 1) $25-$100 coupon for future
    >purchases at Payless or payless.com or 2) One-year paid subscriptions to
    >the magazines I selected (Kiplinger Personal Finance, Readers Digest,
    >National Geographic Traveler, Premiere) at NO COST to me. Thank you for
    >your prompt attention to this matter.Your customer,M

  6. Ngoc LE commented on May 13

    I ordered a magazine subscription and it did not come, but they charge me immediately. Can you send me some info. about Bitz Rate so I can do something about it? Thank You

  7. PMS13031 commented on Jun 14

    I agree – how do we get in touch with bizrate by email to complain? What a rip off!

  8. matt commented on Jul 17

    i agree , last night shopping online did the same thing !

    what i have learnt from these offers is to go to your local bank and get a visa giftcard for $25 or so to use in a situation where you would be autorenewed

    you know that its a giftcard but the comapny does not !

  9. howdy commented on Jul 24

    Thanks for the heads up. Was about to complete one of these surveys.

  10. bert commented on Jul 25

    does anyone have a suggestion for a person who is close to making a purchase via an internet company for a substantial amount of money? what website would one go to in order to verify the legitimacy of the company selling the expensive product?

    thanks,
    bert
    bert2468@aol.com

  11. aem commented on Jul 26

    Depending on what the product is you can sometimes go to manufacturer’s sites or professional associations to get info on the company to see how long they have been in business and if there are any complaints filed with the better business bureau. Does the company list a real physical address and fax number, if not be suspicious? If so you can try to look them up in superpages.com to see if it matches up with a real listed business and if not then beware. There are other tricks and try to google the company and see what you come up with. Go with your gut feeling and call them up if you want to ask for more info on the company. Hope that helps :-)

  12. Denise commented on Sep 27

    Where’s the address to BizRates’s free magazine subscription once you finish the survey? I was kicked out of the system and don’t see where I can take advantage of the magazine offer. I’m very disappointed with BizRate.

  13. PD commented on Nov 11

    I strongly agree to all those who object to the survey. My specific objection is that the request to do the survey suggest one is really going to get a hundred bucks, not unreal savings though discounted whatever. I object to it enough that I will never respond to a Bizrate whatever ever.

    Also, their decision not to provide any way for anyone to contact them is stupid business, among other bad things. I am amazed that there is no e-mail address that’s come up in this mail sequence. They must really not care a bit about us web users.

    Boo Bizrate

  14. Jill commented on Dec 13

    I need a email address to get in touch with BIZRATE! They ripped me off big time and I need to talk to them
    Thanks so much

  15. Ryan commented on Jan 16

    Wheres their email address??? They ripped me off in total of $114 dollars plus 6 overdrafts of 37.50 each. Help!

  16. help commented on Jan 31

    OH MY GOD ARE YOU SERIOUS I WAS DUMB AND I ALSO TOOK THE SURVEY AND MY PARENTS LET ME USE THEIR CREDIT CARD TO BUY SOME SHOES AND I TOOK THE SURVEY AND I READ THE TANK YOU THING ABOUT THE MAGAZINES AND THE ONLY THING THAT WAS LEFT WAS FOR ME TO CLICK “SUBMIT” AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME I DONT WANT THEM TO SEND ME MAGAZINES OR NORTHING AND IF THEY TAKE MONEY FROM THE CREDIT CARD MY PARENTS ARE GONNA KILL ME SOMEONE PLEASE HELP AND ALSO TELL ME IF IM ALREADY SUVSRIBED TO THE SITE EVEN THOUGHT I DIDNT CLICK SUMIT HELP HELP HELP!!

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