Reviews Guidelines

We want our customers to get the information they need to make their trip memorable, and we'd love to have your help doing that. As an ExploreBees customer, you can submit written reviews for tourism services listed on ExploreBees.com. We encourage you to share your opinions, both favorable and unfavorable.

People come to ExploreBees to connect with great local travel services providers. We know that people won’t always agree, but we expect everyone on the site to treat one another and the platform with honesty and respect. We’ve put together these general guidelines to help set the tone for discourse on the site—just in case. Please also read the additional guidelines below for specific types of content that you might contribute to the site.

Tips for Writing a Great Review :

The reviews posted on our site help guide millions of travellers to select the travel and tourism services that best meets their travel needs. You should consider these tips when writing your review which will helps others discover the travel and tourism services services that are just right for them. Here are a few tips:

(i) Be specific :

What features do you love? Instead of just saying that you like the service, explain why. Use clear examples of specific experiences - the more details, the better.

(ii) Be readable :

Reviews need to be readable for others. Use proper grammar, without excessive capitalization or punctuation, and be sure to check your spelling.

(iii) Be objective :

Try to highlight both positives and negatives in your review, even if your experience skews heavily in one direction.

(iv) Be recent :

The best reviews are those written about current services, we ask that you stick to writing about experiences that occurred within the past year.

(v) Be relevant :

We provide an open forum, but please keep your review useful to other travelers. keep in mind they are reading your review to understand what an experience with the business might be like. For this reason, please don’t include any personal opinions about politics, ethics, religion or wider social issues.

(vi) Keep it real :

Be authentic. Review your own experience, and explain why you liked or disliked the service. Try to be as accurate as possible, and include both the positive and negative aspects of your visit.

(vii) Be respectful :

Not every experience with services is going to be perfect. Sometimes you’ll want to share negative feedback. Even if you’re frustrated, make sure your criticism is constructive. Service providers often use feedback to improve their offerings.

(viii) Unbiased :

Reviews are most helpful when they provide unbiased advice. We don't allow individuals or entities who own or are affiliated with a property to post reviews of their business or competing establishments. Reviews submitted in an attempt to blackmail a listing will not be published.

(ix) Not too short, not too long :

Written reviews must be limited to 5,000 words. The ideal length is 200 to 500 words to keep your audience engaged.

(x) Be sincere :

We welcome your honest opinion about the service positive or negative. We do not remove reviews because they are critical. We believe all helpful information can inform our customers’ buying decisions.

What's not allowed

We love hearing about your experiences, While we appreciate your time and comments, we limit customer participation to one review per service and reserve the right to remove reviews that include any of the following:

(i) Reviewers must not have a conflict of interest with the product being reviewed.

Service providers, their employees, or anyone with a financial interest in the success of service is not allowed to review their own service(s) or a competitor’s services.

(ii) Reviews must be posted by the actual reviewer

In keeping with our verification process, we do not allow reviews to be posted on another’s behalf or under an assumed identity.

(iii) Reviews must not contain abusive, hateful, threatening, or harassing content

We do not allow reviews to contain personal threats, obscenities, or hate speech.

(iv) Reviews must contain original content

We do not allow reviews to be copied from another source, including our own website.

(v) Reviews must provide honest feedback about the product being reviewed and must not be used to deliberately promote or disparage another product.

Reviews must provide honest feedback about the service being received and must not be used to deliberately promote or disparage another service.

(vi) Reviews must not violate any legal agreements.

A review must not violate any third party confidentiality, non-disclosure, or contractual obligations.

(vii)Reviews must not accuse or make reports of fraud or any criminal activity.

Unless the fraud or activity has been proven by a court of law, we do not allow references to legal matters in our reviews. Our team is not qualified to make a decision as to the truthfulness of a legal accusation.

(viii) Non-Commercial

Don’t post promotional material unless it’s in connection with an ExploreBees advertising product and through a Business Account. Let’s keep the site useful for travelers and not overrun with commercial noise from every user. We reserve the right to reject any URL for any reason.

(ix) Family Friendly

To maintain a safe, family-friendly environment, we don't allow profanity or vulgarities on our site. We will remove content that contains sexually explicit comments, prejudiced language, threats or personal insults. Any content that describes or depicts first-hand participation in or advocates for illegal activities will be removed. Content containing extremely graphic descriptions of death, injuries or violent criminal acts will not be posted. We only publish content submitted by travellers age 13 or older.

(x) We Respect Privacy

We respect both your privacy and the privacy of the businesses we list. We want to know about your experience but please keep personal or exclusive information to yourself. Content containing personal financial information, including credit card numbers, loyalty rewards numbers, or other financial information can be removed. This includes both the reviewer’s information and the information of others.

Flagging a Review for Investigation :

We have a robust QA and Verification process designed to help ensure site guidelines are met, plus technology in place to further safeguard against fraudulent reviews. However, no system is perfect, and occasionally an inappropriate or fraudulent review may slip through the cracks. In these rare instances, reviews may be flagged by users for review and investigation by our team.

If you believe a review is fraudulent or otherwise inappropriate, please report it by emailing us at reviews@explorebees.com. Along with the indication that you would like to flag a review, please provide a link to the product page, details about the review in question, and all facts that would help our team in their investigation. Our reviews team will evaluate the review to determine if it meets our site guidelines. If the team determines the review does not meet our guidelines, it will be removed from the site. If the review meets our guidelines, it will remain published.

Because reviews are not fact-checked for content, we cannot remove a review due to a disagreement about the opinions or facts stated. Moreover, because we are a neutral content platform, we will not change a review at the request of a partner or simply because a review is negative.

While we may investigate the legitimacy of a review if a concern has been raised, any decision about the review is made by the reviews investigation team alone, independent of the source of the request. A "flag" request will only ensure an investigation from our reviews team and is not a guarantee for removal. All requests will be evaluated in the order they come in, and no further action is required on the part of the requestor.

After confirming receipt of your request, we will send a communication regarding the results of our investigation, once complete. Please be aware that abuse of our flagging system may result in penalties.

Reviews Investigation Process :

When a review is flagged for investigation, our support team will review it to ensure (i) it meets our Quality Assurance and Verification process, and (ii) the content of the review does not violate our Reviews Guidelines. The team may contact the reviewer to obtain additional information and will use a number of tools to determine if the review violates our Reviews Guidelines.

Note the following:

  • Because we are not able to validate private communications, including email exchanges and phone conversations taking place between a partner and a reviewer outside of our site, these can be unreliable. Any evidence provided along these lines will be one factor among many considered in our investigation.
  • As a neutral content platform, we will not make subjective decisions as to the intent and opinions expressed in the content of any review.
  • We do not facilitate arbitration. We are not mediators and will not intervene in disputes between our reviewers and partners.
  • We will not share personal contact information or communications between us and our reviewers. We take privacy seriously and always endeavor to adhere to our privacy policy.

Most investigations are concluded within a week but may be extended to allow for the research and outreach necessary to make an informed decision. During the investigation, the review at issue will remain published and visible on the partner’s profile. In order to prevent false accusations from manipulating the overall reviews scores received, we do not remove reviews during investigation.

We do not disclose our investigation protocols, as doing so would help those looking to game our system. Be assured that we take requests for investigation seriously, and that each case is manually evaluated and discussed by our team in the order that the requests are received. At the conclusion of our investigation, an email will be sent to the requestor to communicate the decision form the investigation.

About our Reviews Team :

Our reviews team seeks to evaluate each review submitted through our sites. We train each team member on our investigative procedures and task them with verifying the identity of each reviewer, identifying potential conflicts of interest, and making sure that submitted reviews meet our Guidelines. With tens of thousands of reviews submitted each month, we continue to develop and hone our team’s expertise in this area.

Our team is trained to be neutral and unbiased when verifying a review. We treat a five-star review sharing a positive experience in exactly the same way we treat a one-star review sharing a negative experience. As a neutral online content platform, we cannot remove an opinion or statement from a verified reviewer unless we deem, in our discretion, that it violates our site standards.

To reinforce this position, our reviews team remains separate and independent from our sales and relationship teams and initiatives. The reviews team treats all partners--clients or non-clients--equally by ensuring that all posted reviews undergo the same Quality Assurance process. We take our legal and regulatory obligations seriously when it comes to our reviews program and continue to ensure that all of our policies and practices comply with the most current applicable laws and regulations.

Partner Guidelines :

In an effort to protect our customers' rights and remain a neutral, trusted platform, we ask partners to adhere to the following guidelines regarding reviews of their services. partners who violate the guidelines below may be subject to penalties imposed both by ExploreBees and under the law. Penalties may include a comment on partners profile, or suspension of services, to be determined at our discretion.

  • partners may not post reviews of their own product, or of a competitor’s product. partners may not post reviews on a user’s behalf, nor may they submit a review for their own product, or for any product from which they could receive a strategic or financial benefit. partners may not coach their customers in their reviews or indirectly collect or host collection of reviews for our site. Reviews must be submitted directly by the user via our site’s review form. In addition, we do not allow partners to post a review about a competitor’s product, even if the review is based off of their actual experience with using the product.
  • partners must not harass reviewers about their review content or rating. partners are encouraged to respond constructively to reviewers on our site, but may not contact reviewers directly about the content of a review, especially if done so in a manner that the reviewer might consider to be harassment. ExploreBees encourages a constructive dialogue between user and partner by sending an email to reviews@explorebees.com which allows a partner to post a response to a review. partner responses to a review must be respectful and may not contain abusive, hateful, threatening, or harassing content.
  • Abuse of our review investigation service is prohibited. At ExploreBees, we are happy to investigate reviews that our flagged as potentially violating our Guidelines. However, if we have reason to suspect a partner is abusing our system by flagging reviews under false pretenses as a means of artificially inflating their reviews ratings, we may at our discretion impose penalties to the partner’s account.
  • partners must disclose any reviews received in exchange for an incentive. In order to comply with the FTC’s Endorsement Guides, we provide an indicator on every review that was received in exchange for an incentive. Reviews sourced by our site or through our Reviews as a Service (RaaS) program will have this indicator, which signifies that the reviewer was offered an incentive for submitting their honest review. partners that offer incentives must use the incentive link provided by their account manager when hosting an incentivized reviews program independent from our reviews acquisition services. If the incentive link is not available, partners still should disclose any incentive they received and require their reviewers to disclose any incentive received in exchange for submitting a review. partners are encouraged to contact their account representative for guidance on how to report reviews that received an incentive or for other questions.
  • partners must not attempt to influence reviews ratings through the enforcement of non-disparagement contract clauses. law prohibits the use of non-disparagement clauses in customer contracts, and Capterra views the creation of any such clause as an attempt to artificially inflate reviews ratings. We will not take down reviews on the basis that the reviewer has been compelled to agree to a contract that includes a non-disparagement clause, and the existence of such a clause may result in penalties applied to the partner’s account.

We apply these partner review guidelines equally to all partners, regardless of account status (clients or non-clients)

Partner Expectations :

All partners who access our site and adhere to our community and partner guidelines should be able to expect the following:

  • A rigorous evaluation of submitted reviews. All reviews, regardless of their rating or the status of the partner (client or non-client), undergo the same rigorous quality assurance process.
  • A fair investigation of flagged reviews independent of client status. Because our reviews team operates independently from our sales and marketing teams [link to About our Reviews Team anchor], all flagged reviews will be investigated on their own merits (link to Reviews Investigation Process anchor) and independent from any client relationship between our site and a partner.
  • An opportunity to respectfully respond to any review of their product. We encourage all partners to respond to reviews about their products as a means of engaging in constructive dialog with the reviewer. This interchange can result in a positive experience for both partner and reviewer and demonstrate to other travellers a partner’s responsive customer service.
Partner Best Practices for Reviews :

Our research shows that a trusted online reviews program complements partner marketing efforts and encourages an active user community.

Here are some things for a partner to keep in mind when building out their reviews program:

  • When soliciting reviews, partners should be aware that only reviews that pass our Quality Assurance and Verification process and meet our reviews guidelines are eligible to be published.
  • partners must comply with our partner guidelines at all times.
  • partners are encouraged to request reviews during ongoing communication with new and existing customers, in their email newsletters or campaigns, at industry events, and on their website.
  • partners are encouraged to participate in our reviews acquisition programs, such as Reviews as a Service (RaaS), to help collect reviews from users and complete a strong profile. For more information about review collection options, partners can contact their account representative for more details.
  • partners are encouraged to respond to all reviews, regardless of the overall rating, as a means of demonstrating to their customers and all travellers that they are interested and receptive to customer feedback. An effective partner response may also help put a review into context, providing another side to a reviewer’s opinion. Regardless of the nature of the review, all responses should be professional, constructive, and helpful in tone.