One of our readers alerted us that RatePoint, the customer review software solution that many eCommerce and other businesses used on their websites, is shutting down. The RatePoint homepage is still operational as of this writing. But some customers report being unable to access their accounts, or report what they consider poor treatment.
Michael McDermott of BashFoo wrote a few days ago:
The leaders in online reputation management services, Ratepoint Inc. of Needham, MA reported this afternoon the abrupt shutdown of all operations. In an email that was sent out this afternoon to all “partners, customers and friends” they stated:
“RatePoint’s assets and technologies are currently being acquired, and unfortunately this means that all RatePoint accounts will soon be closed. Effective February 2, 2012, all RatePoint services, including Reputation Management, Email Marketing, Surveys, and Product Reviews will be discontinued. Your ability to access your RatePoint account will end at this time.”
Although the date of February 2, 2012 was mentioned as the deadline date that accounts could no longer be accessed by customers to retrieve their data, some RatePoint customers are reporting that they are unable to access their accounts now.
According to a thread at the Web Hosting Talk forum, some customers were taken by surprise by the news of the closure. They are scrambling to find a replacement for customer reviews.
What baffles me is that from the homepage of the RatePoint website, it is still apparently business as usual. There is no notice of the pending closure on the RatePoint homepage, as of this writing on January 28, 2012. You have to dig into the Customer Support center to find the notice of operations discontinuing buried deep, with the date of January 4th on it. Yet over 3 weeks later, there’s nothing on the home page about it.
But here’s the worst part: RatePoint made the decision to shut down as early as November 2011, according to this item in their Customer Support database. Yet they seem to have done little to notify customers at that time and — so it would appear — kept accepting new ones in the meantime.
A Venture Funded Company Goes Sour
RatePoint was venture capital funded. According to a press release back in 2009, the company reported at the time that it had “closed a $10 million Series B round of funding led by Castile Ventures of Waltham, Mass., with participation by existing investors .406 Ventures and Prism VentureWorks.” Which goes to show … venture funding is no guarantee of business success.
We reviewed RatePoint back in August 2011 during happier times for the company. Since then, Constant Contact acquired the email marketing portion of the business, leaving the reputation management/reviews piece behind at RatePoint. It’s the reputation management (customer reviews) piece that is shutting down at this time.
What Should You Do if You Are a RatePoint Customer?
So what should you do if you are a RatePoint customer?
- Try to export your existing customer reviews if you can — immediately. There are these instructions for exporting your Business Reviews buried in the Customer Support database.
- What if you’ve prepaid annually already? Buried in the help center is a notice of where to mail your refund request.
- Search for a competitor offering a special deal for a replacement. Customer Lobby and Shopper Approved are two such that are offering special deals to RatePoint customers left in the lurch.
This is Scott Brandley with Shopper Approved.
One important thing that Ratepoint customers need to know is that both Shopper Approved and Custome Lobby are offering to transfer existing Ratepoint reviews over so they don’t lose them.
This has been the #1 concern that Ratepoint customers have had since the announcement.
Thanks for sharing that information, Scott. I am sure that will be a relief for many RatePoint customers.
– Anita Campbell
That is not an option. It is a requirement. I would rather have the ability to retrieve my company’s information without being held hostage by another company in order to get it. I paid for a service that now has left my company high and dry.
There’s another service that will be available in 10 days that kicks the review generation process up a notch. Rate Point customers might want to check out this new service at http://beta.bestlocalreviews.com
It might as well shut down. I find that ANYONE can post a review even if they have not purchased a product from you. What is the point of that? Bad reviews get pushed onto another page quickly! I wish I had read ALL the reviews BEFORE I purchased from a company using this service.
I have not been able to get any of my company’s information out of RATEPOINT. The first notice that I received of the company closing was on January 23rd. Since then, I have been unsuccesful at retrieving any information.
The only contact that I received from RATEPOINT after threatening suit, was that I was to open yet ANOTHER account with their suggested ‘partners’. Well, that’s what I’d call ‘bait and switch’ and if I were Constant Contact, I’d be more than a little concerned that my new acquisition was referring clients elsewhere.
Have you still been unable to get your reviews? We may be able to help without “holding you hostage” as you say. Send me an email at “service [at] ratelobby.com” and I’ll look into it for you.
Of course we’d like for you to consider our service when it launches, but I’m sympathetic to your situation so long as we can cover our costs in recovering these RatePoint reviews.
Our site: http://ratelobby.com
If you are looking for a new review solution feel free to contact PowerReviews Express (www.PowerReviewsExpress.com). We can import your reviews for free, as well. For more information feel free to email me or give me a call at 415-489-6075.
This powerful review engine used by more than 850 leading merchants across 2700 websites — including industry leaders such as REI and Staples — is the most deployed customer reviews solution on the web today.
http://www.VerifiedHonest.com is importing all RatePoint customers for FREE to be listed and reviewed on our site AND we are importing all RatePoint reviews for free. No credit card required, 1Click setup.
We have a Feedback Widget identical to the one from RatePoint to be displayed in the bottom right hand corner of your site. Add your listing now for free 🙂
You don’t have to export your reviews, our ReviewSpider will crawl your RatePoint page and import your reviews – all for Free.
Ironic that a company built around customer reviews has done such a poor job of working with their own customers. Seems congruent with a shutdown.
This is David Goehl with ClientVoice. I’d like to encourage RatePoint customers to give http://www.clientvoice.com a try.
We’re not perfect but we love our customers and we offer many of the same features as RatePoint for free.
As a former sales manager at RatePoint, I always liked Customer Lobby and would recommend them highly.
Does anybody have the physical address of where I can request my refund from ratepoint? Those pages no longer work.
Hi I would like to introduce our new Review collection company Verifiedfeedback.com we offer the most advanced review collection service in the industry. We are part of the hugely popular UK based Reviews.co.uk group.
Will have to look for another service of reviews
Now I,m thinking to use the reviews on microformats, but I have to get more, do you recomend another place for to get it? Thanks