Welcome to Capterra
Software can help you save time and solve problems, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out the solution that’s right for you. That’s where Capterra can help.
These Community Guidelines govern the Reviews Program of the Capterra Site and our Affiliate Sites and describe the rules of play for Users and Vendors.
Vendors and Users acknowledge that compliance with these Guidelines is a condition for use of our Sites.
This document includes three main sections:
Understanding Reviews: A guide for all Users which covers our Reviews Program, the quality assurance (QA) and vetting of User Reviews published on our site, and how to interpret software User Reviews.
Writing Reviews: An outline of the guidelines User Reviews must meet in order to be published and reasonable expectations those writing User Reviews, the process for flagging User Reviews, and a few other details about our program.
Issues Affecting Vendors: An overview of the issues affecting Vendors, including guidelines Vendors must follow, Vendor expectations, best practices, and a link to our Vendor Portal with more information.
For a glossary of definitions used in these Guidelines, please click here.
Reviews Program Overview
Reviews play an important part in educating potential software buyers by sharing the opinions of peers and others who have relevant experiences. Reviews not only help buyers make better informed decisions, but provide Vendors with feedback and valuable insight about their software or service. We take each Review seriously and aim to create a site that is helpful and maintains high-quality, relevant content written by verified Users and is free of conflicts of interest.
As a website operator, we display content generated by our community of software Users in the form of User Reviews. The opinions expressed in User Reviews are those of the Users and not of Capterra. We do not endorse any of the opinions expressed by Users or by Vendor in response to User Reviews. And we identify in these Community Guidelines the rules governing our Reviews Program for (i) the Users of the Site, (ii) those Users who write User Reviews, and (iii) the Vendors who are listed and/or reviewed on the Site.
Quality Assurance (QA) and Verification Process
We have built a Reviews QA and Verification Process in order to assess compliance with these Community Guidelines. Our QA team endeavors to examine all User Reviews, submitted to our Sites to ensure User Reviews are from verified sources and conform to the rules set out in these Guidelines.
As a neutral user-driven reviews platform, Capterra intends to facilitate discussion between Vendors and Users. As such, we aim to safeguard against fraud by taking steps in an effort to verify each User’s identity as set out in these Community Guidelines. We also use reasonable endeavours to confirm where possible that the User, in providing the User Review, has no conflicts of interest as set out in these Community Guidelines (such as being an employee or competitor of the Vendor), and that the User Review content meets our guidelines for publishing (listed below).
Here are the Three Keys of Reviews Verification
We endeavor to perform (either manually or by other processes) the following checks for each User Review:
Identity Check. Research key identifiers such as name, job title, or email address in an effort to ensure that the User Review is by a real person. If we’re unable to identify the Reviewer, the User Review may not be published or may be taken down if already published.
Conflict of Interest Check. Check the name and company, as stated by the User who has posted the User Review, against the product they are reviewing. If we determine or reasonably believe that they’re affiliated with the Vendor, or are a direct competitor of the Vendor, the User Review may not be published or may be taken down if already published.
Content Check. Each User Review undergoes an evaluation by us with the aim of verifying it meets our quality standards and is authentic. If we determine or reasonably believe the content does not meet our standards (which includes, but is not limited to, those set out in these Community Guidelines), the User Review may not be published or may be taken down if already published.
What Else Does the QA Team Screen for?**
The QA team will endeavor not to allow publishing, and will remove from publication User Reviews which we determine or reasonably believe are or include:
Inappropriate language, violent or hateful speech. If the User Review contains profane or obscene language, bullying or discriminatory, or promotes feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different groups of persons.
Spam Content. If the User Review is spam, nonsensical, or self-promoting.
Invalid Reviewer. If the User Reviewer is identified by us as fraudulent, such as a Vendor writing User Reviews on behalf of a customer, or its own User Reviews, or a User Reviewer paid to write fake User Reviews.
Duplicate Reviews. If the User Review content has been previously published on our Sites, or the User Reviewer has already reviewed the product on our Sites.
The List Goes On… We use a variety of tools beyond a basic web search. A User Review that we determine does not pass our checklist may be given a deeper dive by us or not published or removed.
Reviewers that violate our Guidelines more than once, attempt to abuse our program, or that we find to be spammers may have all of their User Reviews removed, and may be subject to other sanctions, including legal penalties. However, we do not otherwise evaluate the merit of the products or the opinions expressed on our Site or in User Reviews, or fact-check Content, when assessing which User Reviews should be published. We do offer the ability for third parties to flag User Reviews for investigation (see Flagging a Review).
How to Read a User Review
A User Review expresses the opinion of a single person in relation to a certain Vendor product. As a User, when evaluating a Vendor’s product, you should consider the following:
Do not rely on a single User Review. Each Reviewer’s experience is unique to their own situation. Wherever possible, take into consideration multiple User Reviews to develop a broad understanding of the Vendor’s capabilities and support.
Consider the response of the Vendor. There is always more than one side to every story. Take both a User Review and any response from the Vendor into consideration. Vendor responses can provide insight into how the vendor handles customer support issues.
Evaluate User Reviews over time. It’s important to consider how User Reviews about a Vendor have progressed over time to see if past issues are being resolved, and whether new issues are being addressed. More recent User Reviews may be more likely to reflect a Vendor’s current set of capabilities and relevant experiences.
User Reviews are not intended to provide readers a specific course of action. You must use your judgement when evaluating a User Review’s content and make your own decision based on all information available to you.
Writing User Reviews
Tips for Writing a Great User Review
Users should consider these tips when writing a User Review:
Be specific. What features do you love? Instead of just saying that you like the product, explain why. Use clear examples of specific experiences - the more details, the better.
Be readable. User Reviews need to be readable for others. Use proper grammar, without excessive capitalisation or punctuation, and be sure to check your spelling.
Be objective. Try to highlight both positives and negatives in your User Review, even if your experience skews heavily in one direction.
Be recent. The best User Reviews are those written about current software versions, and within a year of use.
Be relevant. Keep your User Review useful to other software buyers. Avoid off-topic discussions or personal opinions not relevant to your direct experience using the software.
NOTE: The above tips do not constitute formal guidelines, but rather are intended as best practices for generating a useful, well-written software User Review. Whereas, the following Guidelines must be complied with when using our Site.
User Reviews Guidelines
User Reviews that do not meet the guidelines below may, at our discretion, be removed or not published:
User Reviews must be submitted with an authentic identity we can verify. Even if you choose to display your User Review anonymously, we must be able to verify your identity. We encourage you to log in via LinkedIn to help facilitate this verification.
User Reviewers must not have a conflict of interest with the product being reviewed. Vendors, their employees, or anyone with a financial interest in the success of a product must not submit a User Review for their own product or a competitor’s product.
User Reviews must be posted by the actual User Reviewer. User Reviews must not be posted on another’s behalf or under an assumed or false identity.
User Reviews must contain original content. Users must not copy User Reviews from another source, including our Sites.
User Reviews must not contain abusive, hateful, threatening, or harassing content. Users must not submit User Reviews that contain personal threats, obscenities, or hate speech.
User Reviews must not include others’ personal information. Users must not submit User Reviews that contain information that can be used to identify an individual or otherwise compromise their privacy. Personal information includes names, addresses, phone numbers, or any other type of personally identifying information.
User Reviews must provide honest feedback about the product being reviewed and must not be used to primarily promote or unlawfully disparage another product. Reference by Users to other product(s) or Vendor(s) other than the product being reviewed is permitted only when the reference is considered by us in our sole discretion, to add value to the Review.
User Reviews must not violate any legal agreements. User must not submit a Review that violates any third party confidentiality, non-disclosure, or contractual obligations.
User Reviews must not contain financial information. A Review must not contain any references to specific amounts of money spent while using the product.
User Reviews must not accuse or make reports of fraud or any criminal activity. Unless the fraud or criminal activity has been proven by a court of law, Users must not submit User Reviews with references to legal matters to our Site. Our team is not qualified to make a decision as to the truthfulness of a legal accusation.
As a neutral platform, we rely on our Users to provide accurate and honest details about their software experiences. We do not attempt to determine a User Review’s truthfulness, or endorse the opinions expressed. However, we may review a User Review’s content at any time and for any reason; and at our discretion, we may remove any User Review that we believe violates our guidelines and policies.
By requiring compliance with these Community Guidelines and through our QA and Verification process we aim to provide a place where Users, who respect our Community Guidelines, can have the following platform experience:
Free from harassment from Vendors or Users. Vendors and Users must not subject other Users to harassment in any form of User Review on our Site.
Equal treatment of User Reviews regardless of User Rating or Vendor status. We endeavor to ensure that all User Reviews undergo the same verification and quality control processes, regardless of the Rating or the product being reviewed and that User Reviews for Upgraded Vendors are treated the same as for Basic Vendors.
User Reviews published as substantially submitted. We endeavor not to edit or modify the content of a User Review in a way that substantially changes its meaning (e.g., we may edit User Reviews to correct typos or to clarify its meaning, if for example words are missing). If any part of User Review does not comply with our Guidelines, then we may not publish all or some the User Review or will remove it. Users may resubmit a User Review that meets our Guidelines.
Anonymous on request. Reviewers may opt for their User Review to remain anonymous to Vendors and other Users by logging in using LinkedIn and selecting the option to remain anonymous. In these cases, Reviewer’s name and company details must be made available to us for verification purposes, but will not be available to Vendors and other Users of our Site.
Ability to update User Review content upon request. Any Reviewer who wishes to request to change or update their User Review must contact us at [email protected]
Notification of Upgraded Vendors. To ensure transparency with Vendors we will inform you on the Site if a Vendor is an Upgraded Vendor from which we receive a commission/fee for each purchase of the Product from Vendor made through our Site.
Vendors and Users should report any violations of the above Guidelines or conduct that otherwise interferes with another’s ability to have the experience described above to [email protected] so that we may initiate an investigation. Violators may be subject, to sanctions at our discretion, including a comment or other indication on a User’s profile or denial of access to the site.
Flagging a User Review for Investigation
We have a QA and Verification Process designed to achieve compliance with these Guidelines are complied with, including technology in place to which aims to provide further safeguards against fraudulent User Reviews. However, we make no representations or warranties that such processes and technology are error free or that all Reviews published on our Site will comply with these Guidelines. No system is perfect, from time to time an inappropriate or fraudulent Review may be published. In these instances, User Reviews may be flagged by Users for review and investigation by us. If you believe a User Review is fraudulent or otherwise inappropriate, you should report it by emailing us at [email protected]. Along with the indication that you would like to flag a User Review, please provide a link to the Product Listing, details about the User Review in question, and all facts that you think may assist us in our investigation. We will evaluate the User Review to determine if it meets our Guidelines. If we determine the User Review does not meet our Guidelines, it will be removed from the site. If we determine that the User Review meets our Guidelines, it will remain published.
We do not fact-check the content of User Reviews on our Sites. We are not obliged to remove a User Review due to a disagreement between Users or Vendors and Users about the opinions or facts stated. We are not obliged to change a User Review at the request of a Vendor or because a User Review is negative. While we may investigate a User Review if a concern has been raised, any decision about the User Review is made by us in our sole discretion. A “flag” request will only serve to notify and draw a User Review to our attention for potential investigation by us and is not a guarantee for removal. We are under no obligation to remove a post solely because it has been flagged. Requests will be processed 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 endeavor to send a communication regarding the results of our investigation, once complete. Abuse of our flagging system by Users or Vendors may result in sanctions or our cancellation of their accounts.
User Reviews Investigation Process
When a User Review is flagged for investigation we will endeavor to review it to assess if (i) it meets our Quality Assurance and Verification Process, and (ii) the content of the User Review does not violate our Reviews Guidelines. We may contact the Reviewer to obtain additional information and will use a number of tools to determine if the User Review violates our Guidelines.
Note the following:
We are not able to validate private communications, including email exchanges and phone conversations taking place between a Vendor and a User outside of our Site. As such, any evidence provided of this nature may only be considered, in our sole discretion, as one factor among many in our investigation and will not be determinative.
As a neutral platform, we will not make subjective decisions as to the intent and opinions expressed in the content of any User Review.
We do not facilitate dispute resolution between User or Vendors and Users. We are not mediators or arbitrators and are not obliged to intervene in disputes between our Users and Vendors.
We endeavor to conclude investigations within a week of our commencement of the investigation but in we may require further time to undertake for research and outreach in order to make an decision. During an investigation, the User Review at issue may remain published and visible on our Sites. In order to prevent false accusations from manipulating the overall User Reviews Ratings received and for any other purpose, we may elect not remove User Reviews during an investigation. All timelines provided by us in these Guidelines or otherwise are merely indicative and not binding on us.
We are not obliged to disclose our investigation protocols, as doing so may help those looking to game our system. We endeavor to ensure that each case is processed by us in the order that the requests are received. At the conclusion of our investigation, an email or other communication may be sent to the requestor to communicate our decision from the investigation.
About Incentivised Reviews
About Incentivized Reviews Offering “nominal incentives” as a means of encouraging the submission of Reviews is widely considered common practice these days. Simply put, incentives help motivate Users to leave Reviews. We believe that the value our online community gains by having a greater number of Reviews to consider far outweighs any potential downside, a belief supported by several of our studies.
Were we to only publish those Reviews that did not receive an incentive:
- (i) our online community would have less practical guidance to help inform their purchasing decisions; and
- (ii) there would be a risk that the incentive practice would simply move “underground” and not be disclosed.
This underground activity would be nearly impossible to police.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Online Reviews – a guide for business and review platforms (Online Review Guide) recommends, and other applicable laws in other relevant jurisdictions may require, online review platforms disclose any incentive which the User was offered in exchange for a User Review be placed by the platform prominently on the User Review page of the business whose User Reviews are affected by the incentive User Review(whether invited by the website or by the software vendor). See the link for more information.
We require that any such incentive must be made available to all Users who submit User Reviews, regardless of the Rating they ultimately give the product they are reviewing.
At the time a User submits a User Review we will ask the User to confirm if the User received a benefit / incentive from the Vendor for posting a User Review.
The “Reviewer Source” icon will indicate if a User Review was written in exchange for an incentive provided by us, even a nominal one such as a gift card. This applies whether the User Review comes from an invitation by Capterra or its Affiliate Sites, or from the Vendor.
PLEASE NOTE: In our ongoing efforts to comply with our legal obligations, Gartner will not provide an incentive to:
- Reviewers who are employees of -or affiliated with- the company being reviewed, or a direct competitor;
- Reviewers who are employees, officers, directors, agents of Gartner, Inc., its subsidiaries and affiliated companies and their immediate families;
- Reviewers who are government and public sector employees;
- Reviewers whose company policies prohibit the acceptance of gifts in the context of business transactions;
- Reviewers who are (or who are acting on behalf of) individuals subject to, residing in countries or employed by organizations identified in the US Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control Sanctions list.
** If you fall under one of the first four categories listed above, you may submit a non-incentivized review directly on the site by clicking here; however, you must always disclose any relationship or connection you have with the company you are reviewing or its competitor.
About “Anonymous” Reviews
Some Reviews posted on Capterra appear without an accompanying Reviewer name or company, instead simply noting they have been posted by a “verified user” or other similar notice. To be clear, while it may seem that these Reviews have been submitted anonymously, these Reviews have been submitted by people (logging in via their personal LinkedIn account) who have submitted their information to us, but have opted not to display their identity publicly for privacy reasons. While a Reviewer may choose not to share personal information with the public, their identity is verified as set out in our Community Guidelines by our QA and Verification Process before we permit their Review to be published.
Once a Reviewer has selected the anonymity option, it is against our policy to reveal to the public or other Vendors any details about the Reviewer, including their personal contact information. Our QA team verifies each Reviewer in accordance with our Guidelines in an effort to confirm published Reviews have been submitted by Reviewers in accordance with our Community Guidelines. For further guidance on our QA process, click here.
Where Our Reviews Come From
Like all online reviews sites, Capterra sources its Reviews from a variety of channels. Many reviews are submitted by Users who visit our site in the course of their research and choose to leave a Review. Other Reviews are posted by members of our Reviews community to whom we may offer an incentive in exchange for a Review. Still other Reviews may be solicited by a Vendor that encourages its customer to leave a product Review on our site. In all cases, regardless of the channel by which the Review is submitted to our site, we apply the same rigorous Quality Assurance and Verification Process to all Reviews.
NOTE: Capterra also displays Reviews across its Affiliate Sites. While the Reviews will be accessible on all three sites, the site on which the Review was submitted will be indicated by “Source”.
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.
We undertake training to endeavor to ensure that Our team is 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 are not obliged to remove an opinion or statement from a verified Reviewer unless we deem, in our discretion, that it violates our Community Guidelines of the General User Terms.
To reinforce this position, our reviews team remains separate from our sales and relationship teams and initiatives. The Reviews team treats all Vendors–Upgraded Vendors or Basic Vendors–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.
Vendor Review Guidelines
Vendor Review Guidelines
Vendors mustIn an effort to protect buyer’s rights and pursue our aim to be a neutral, trusted platform, we ask Vendors to adhere to the following guidelines regarding User Rreviews of their products and services. Vendors who violate the guidelines below may be subject to sanctions imposed by Capterra and under the law which may includepenalties imposed under the law. Additionally. Capterra may include a comment on Vendor’s profile, or suspension of services, to be determined at our discretion.
Vendors must not attempt to influence reviews ratings through the enforcement of non-disparagement contract clauses. Applicable law may prohibit 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. Unless required by a court or Authority with jurisdiction over Capterra, 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 if we become aware of such a clause we may, but are not limitobliged to, include a comment on Vendor’s profile, or suspension of Servicesd of the Vendor’s account, to be determined at our discretion.
Vendors must not post User Reviews of their own products, or of a competitor’s products. Vendors must not post User Reviews on a User’s behalf, or submit a User Review for their own product, or for any product from which they could receive a strategic or financial benefit. Vendors must not coach their customers in their User Reviews or indirectly collect or host collection of User Reviews for our Site. User Reviews must be submitted directly by the User via our Site. In addition, Vendors must not post a User Review about a competitor’s product, even if the User Review is based on their actual experience with using the product.
Vendors must not harass Users about their User Review content or Rating. Vendors are encouraged to respond constructively to Reviewers on our Site, but must not contact Reviewers directly, other than via the Vendor Portal as set out below, about their User Review. We encourage a constructive dialogue between User and Vendor via the ‘reply’ feature within the Vendor Portal, which enables a Vendor to post a response to a User Review. Vendor responses to a User Review must be respectful and must not be abusive, hateful, threatening, or harassing content or manner.
Abuse of our User Review investigation service is prohibited. We investigate User Reviews that are flagged as potentially violating our Guidelines. However, if we have any reason to suspect a Vendor is abusing our system by flagging User Reviews under false or disingenuous pretenses or as a means of artificially inflating their Ratings, we may at our discretion impose sanctions to the Vendor’s account.
Vendors must disclose any User Reviews received in exchange for an incentive. In order to comply with the Australian Consumer Competition Commission’s Online Review Guide and other applicable laws in other relevant jurisdictions, we intend to provide an indicator on User Reviews which we are aware was received in exchange for an incentive. User Reviews sourced by our Sites or through our User Reviews as a Service (RaaS) program will have an indicator, which signifies that the Reviewer was offered an incentive for submitting their User Review. Vendors that offer incentives must use the incentive link provided in their Vendor Portal when hosting an incentivised reviews program that is independent from our reviews acquisition services. If the incentive link is not available, Vendors must disclose to us any incentive they offered and require their Reviewers to disclose any incentive received in exchange for submitting a User Review. Vendors are encouraged to contact their account representative for guidance on how to report User Reviews that received an incentive or for other questions.
We apply these Vendor Review Guidelines to all Vendors, regardless of account status (Upgraded Vendor or Basic Vendor).
For all Vendors who access our Site and adhere to our community and Vendor guidelines we endeavor to provide:
A rigorous evaluation of submitted User Reviews. All User Reviews, regardless of their rating or the status of the Vendor (Upgraded Vendor or Basic Vendor), undergo the Quality Assurance and Verification Process.
An investigation of flagged User Reviews regardless of Vendor status. All flagged User Reviews will be investigated regardless of any client relationship between our Site and a Vendor.
An opportunity to respectfully respond to any User Review of their product. We encourage all Vendors to respond to User Reviews about their products as a means of engaging in constructive dialog with the Reviewer.
Vendor Best Practices for User Reviews
Vendors can manage their User Reviews in the Vendor Portal. Vendors will find, within their Reviews Tab, a link to the Review form for each of their listed products. If the Vendor has multiple products listed, they should also have a link to a Product Listing, which allows them to send a Reviews request to multiple customers at once.
Here are some things for a Vendor to keep in mind for their reviews program:
Vendors must comply with our Vendor Review Guidelines.
Vendors 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. For more tips, read our Reviews eBook.
Vendors 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, Vendors can log in to the Vendor Portal or contact their account representative for more details.
Vendors are encouraged to respond to all Reviews, regardless of the overall Rating, as a means of demonstrating to their customers and all software shoppers that they are interested and receptive to customer feedback. An effective Vendor 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.
Understanding Video Reviews
Video reviews are user-submitted video testimonials about software solicited by our site from our existing database of reviewers who are selected by us and meet a set of criteria. Reviewers submitting a video review will be required to have i) been previously validated through our Quality Assurance process, with a history of submitting reviews content that has not be reported to contravene our site Community Guidelines, and ii) have previously submitted a published text review for the same product.
Video Reviews Guidelines
Video Reviews vs. Text Reviews
As previously noted, a video review is submitted by a reviewer who has a published text review already published for the same product. Video reviewers are not required to read their previous review verbatim, and are not obligated to maintain the same opinions.
With this in mind, video reviews:
- Are not included in any ratings calculations. Video reviews are not considered “second reviews”, and are not used to calculate average review scores, and will not influence the ranking of a vendor in search results or any category rankings.
- Cannot be solicited by or for a vendor. Our site requests video reviews from our existing database of reviewers who have previously passed our Quality Assurance process and have reviewed a product.
Flagging a Video Review
If you believe a Video Review violates our Community Guidelines, please report it by emailing us at [email protected] Along with the indication that you would like to flag a Video Review for removal or replacement, please provide details about the review in question, your rationale for flagging it and any facts that would help our team in their investigation. As with all text reviews, our reviews team will evaluate the Video Review to determine if it meets our criteria for display. Video Reviews found to be in violation of our Community Guidelines will be flagged for removal or replacement by our system.
About Video Montages
A “Video Montage” is a compilation of key commentaries, moderated by us and clipped from previously submitted video reviews meeting our Community Guidelines to create an montage of opinions sourced from multiple reviewers. A product profile may contain more than one Video Montage at a time, with montages showcasing opinions on why users selected a software balanced by montages of opinions on what users would like to see changed or any other opinions as we consider relevant in our sole discretion from time to time.
Because the clips Video Montages contain are sourced from submitted and Video Reviews content, they are subject to the same set of Community Guidelines as our Video Reviews. Any individual clip of a Video Montage found in violation of our Community Guidelines will qualify such clip for replacement within the Video Montage, or disablement of the entire Video Montage, at our sole discretion. See Flagging a Video Review for more information.
Terms Last Updated: June 20201