Word of Mouth Fair Play Policy


The purpose of the Fair Play Policy is to ensure that Word of Mouth reviews are legitimate and accurately describe people’s experiences and opinions. The integrity of our reviews is our number one priority.

Please read the Fair Play Policy carefully to ensure your reviews comply with these guidelines.

The content of this page is subject to change without notice.

Review Guidelines - The basics


  • Be clear, objective, and detailed in expressing your honest opinion
  • Check your review for spelling and grammar - make sure it communicates clearly
  • Leave a review if you are a paying customer
  • Disclose any personal connection or special treatment


  • Use offensive, discriminatory, or abusive language
  • Exaggerate the facts, use generalisations, or leave inflammatory remarks
  • Single out individuals (remember, you are reviewing the business not the person)
  • Advertise, spam, or mention other business names in your review


  1. Only write about your personal, first-hand experience
  2. Don't exaggerate the facts
  3. Avoid negative personal comments
  4. Only review businesses if you are a paying customer
  5. Don't offend
  6. You must disclose any personal connections
  7. Disclose any special treatment
  8. Reviews for providers of professional services (doctors, physiotherapists, dentists, vets, lawyers, etc.)
  9. Keep it relevant and recent
  10. One review, one business
  11. Ensure your review is unique
  12. Posting sprees & spamming
  13. Fake Reviews
  14. Report any suspect reviews
  15. Transparency in Editing Reviews
  16. Legal Consequences for Violations
  17. Periodic Review of Policy

Only write about your personal first-hand experience

Personal Submissions:

Reviews should reflect the direct experiences of the individual submitting the review. That means, you should only share your personal perspective and experience of any encounter or interaction you have had with a business on the Word of Mouth platform.

Describe your experience in as much detail as possible, mentioning any unique qualities, and include any helpful suggestions you have for other Word of Mouth users or the types of people that might like or dislike the service. Users should focus on providing feedback that can help businesses improve rather than solely highlighting negative aspects. Constructive feedback is important to businesses.

Do not submit a review on behalf of someone else. We will only accept reviews that are firsthand experiences had by the reviewer. If we suspect a review is not based on firsthand knowledge and personal encounters, we reserve our rights in handling the review in a manner we deem appropriate, which may mean the review is removed from the platform.

Reviewer Accountability:

Reviewers are accountable for the accuracy of their reviews. False information or deliberate misrepresentation may result in consequences at the discretion of Word of Mouth including the removal/deletion of the review.

Ensure the information shared is accurate and truthful. Misleading or speculative content undermines the integrity of the review system.

Don't exaggerate the facts

Be objective and tell us about your actual experience, avoiding inflammatory descriptors and generalisations. This way you'll come across as a credible reviewer and Word of Mouth users can draw their own conclusions based on the facts you include.

Avoid negative personal comments

We don't discourage negative comments or low ratings (provided they are legitimate), but these should be directed at the business. Negative feedback should not identify any individual and should never contain a name, position or any other descriptive term that would make identification possible. A breach of this condition will result in the removal of the review for non-compliance of these terms.

If you experience bad service, describe what happened without naming the individual. The same rules apply for positive reviews.

Do not engage in any activity that may harm the reputation of a business or individual without cause. Malicious intent or the use of offensive language is strictly prohibited.

Only review businesses if you are a paying customer

You can't review a business unless you actually transacted with them.

Reviews which are not accepted:

  • Free gifts
  • Price-shopping

Exceptions include:

  • Free promotional services designed to acquire regular business as it this can be considered trade in commerce
  • Site-inspections or quotations

Don't offend

The use of language or content that is offensive, vilifying, or discriminatory, such as racist or prejudice comments, is not permitted. Such comments will be removed immediately.

You must disclose any personal connections

If you are in some way connected to a business, you can still submit a review (provided you are also a paying customer), as long as you are explicit and open about your relationship in your review. Other Word of Mouth users should know when a reviewer's perspective may be influenced by personal connections.

Disclose any special treatment

If a business you review has given you something for free, a discount, or any special treatment (including if they are intending to give this to you later), you should always disclose this in your review.

Reviews for providers of professional services (doctors, physiotherapists, dentists, vets, lawyers, etc.)

Word of Mouth will not publish content that speaks to the clinical competency or experience of health practitioners, such concerns should be addressed with their respective governing body, such as the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Instead, feel free to share your experience about the service received.

Examples of reviews which will be rejected:

  • “I needed to get a blood-test done and the nurse didn’t know how to properly put in the needle. She jabbed my arm multiple times before she found the vein”
  • “The cosmetic dentist had no idea what he was doing and now my teeth look uglier than ever!”

Examples of reviews which will be accepted:

  • “The staff at this clinic were extremely responsive and polite, they were able to fully address any of my questions and concerns. They made me feel at ease, although wait times can be a little long, their quality of service is fantastic”
  • “The wait times at this clinic are extremely long and the staff don’t seem like they care. Often when I asked a question they would brush it off or completely ignore me! When I brought this up with management, they told me to go somewhere else”

For additional information about reporting health practitioners, please see https://www.ahpra.gov.au/Notifications/How-to-submit-a-concern.aspx

Keep it relevant and recent

Only review businesses that you have used within the last 12 months. All businesses on the platform have a right of reply and a delayed review makes this difficult.

One review, one business

Don't mention any alternative businesses by name (although you can always review them separately if you've been a customer).

Ensure your review is unique

Content on Word of Mouth must not appear on other websites.

Posting sprees & spamming

Do not spam Word of Mouth with reviews or comments that are not helpful or are advertisements as they will be removed and your account deactivated.

Fake Reviews

Fake reviews whether positive or negative will not be tolerated on Word of Mouth and we reserve the right to take action against the offending party through:

  • Removal of access to account
  • Removing the offending content
  • Locking the listing to any future submissions
  • Taking further action through regulatory means such as the ACCC
This includes but is not limited to submitting fake negative reviews to competitors, or submitting fake positive reviews for your own business.

Report any suspect reviews

If you read a review that seems suspicious, incorrect, offensive, or in some way inappropriate, please click the link that says "Flag as Suspect or Inappropriate". This will prompt our team to investigate and either verify the review, have the member edit the review, or remove the review if necessary.

Note that reasons such as: "This is fake" or "We don’t know who they are," are not legitimate reasons to flag a review and will be rejected.

Word of Mouth will not investigate reviews that are more than 12 months old unless they are in serious breach of our conditions of use.

Transparency in Editing Reviews

If a user edits their review, they should clearly indicate the changes made and the reasons for the modification. This ensures transparency and prevents the manipulation of reviews.

Can reviews that breach the guidelines be amended?

In the event a review violates the guidelines, a team member from Word of Mouth may contact the reviewer to provide them an opportunity to amend their review to ensure it complies with the Fair Play policy. If the amendments to the review make the review compliant, the review may be republished. In some cases reviewers in serious breach of the guidelines will not be given the opportunity to amend and republish reviews.

Handling Disputes:

User and Business Communication: Word of Mouth encourages users and businesses to communicate via clicking on the “flag” button directly beneath a review. Often, misunderstandings can be resolved through open dialogue.

Flagging System:

If a dispute persists, either party can use the platform's flag button to report the review in question to initiate intervention from the Word of Mouth team. Review Investigation:

Upon receiving a dispute report, the Word of Mouth team will conduct a thorough investigation into the review. This may involve reviewing communication between the user and the business, checking the review content, and examining any evidence provided by either party.

Notification to Involved Parties:

Our team will notify both the user and the business that a dispute has been raised regarding a specific review and provide a brief overview of the process that will follow and request any additional information or evidence.

Mediation - Anonymous Users:

Word of Mouth offers a mediation process where a Word of Mouth team member facilitates communication between the user and the business to attempt resolution the dispute amicably. This can involve clarifying misunderstandings or finding common ground.

Review Editing or Removal:

If the review is found to violate the Fair Play Policy, or if a resolution is reached through mediation, the review will be edited or removed accordingly. Our team will clearly communicate the action to both parties.

Final Decision and Communication:

The decision of the team at Word of Mouth is final.

Word of Mouth prides itself on handling disputes in a transparent and responsive manner and this contributes to the credibility of the review platform.

Legal Consequences for Violations

Violations of the Fair Play Policy may result in the immediate removal of access to the user's account. This includes the ability to post reviews or engage in any activities on the platform.

Any content found to be in violation of the Fair Play Policy may be retracted by the platform. This ensures that misleading or harmful information is promptly addressed.

For severe violations, the platform reserves the right to restrict the listing associated with the offending content. This means preventing any future submissions related to the business or service in question.

In cases of serious misconduct, particularly involving fake reviews or intentional harm to businesses, the platform may pursue legal action through regulatory bodies such as the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) or other relevant authorities.

Businesses affected by false reviews may have the right to pursue legal action for damages against the party who has posted the review.

In instances of egregious violations that may constitute criminal behaviour, the platform reserves the right to collaborate with law enforcement agencies to address the issue.

Violating the Fair Play Policy is considered a breach of the platform's user agreement. Legal consequences may include actions allowed under the terms and conditions agreed to by the user upon joining the platform.

The platform may, at its discretion, make the community aware of instances of severe policy violations, emphasising the commitment to maintaining a fair and trustworthy environment.

Businesses adversely affected by fake reviews may choose to seek legal recourse independently. The platform will cooperate with lawful requests for information in such cases.

Periodic Review of Policy

The Fair Play Policy will be periodically reviewed and updated as necessary to adapt to changes in the platform or industry standards.

Please also read our Conditions of Use and Privacy Policy

Last updated: 12 October 2023