Firstly, let us have a moment of silence for every American consumer’s greatest tool: The First Amendment. Thanks to free speech, you can write *whatever you want on your review. More importantly, you can write from your heart and your consumerist wallet – as a passionate supporter of equal accommodation and as a believer that the customer is king. deaffriendly.com is first and foremost seeking your opinions on deaf-friendly service. Other details, such as quality of food or merchandise, are useful but should not take the spotlight. Whatever makes you tick, we’re looking for your review.
*That being said, even the First Amendment has exceptions. Here are guidelines for being a thoughtful reviewer:
Reviews: Written by deaf, for deaf, and then some.
One important message deaffriendly.com wants to convey, is the sheer variety in the Deaf Community. Reviewers are deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing folks who come from all different walks of life. Some sign, some speak and others speech-read. Then there are hearing reviewers, who have a keen interest in deaf consumer experiences – perhaps because they have a deaf family member, or have deaf friends and/or clients. Bottom line: Reviews are open to anyone who has a hearing loss and/or takes an interest in the Deaf Community. So as you start writing your review, take note of the wide range our audience falls into.
Keep it encouraging, tactful and educational.
While we hope deaffriendly.com is full of mostly positive reviews, we realize this won’t always be the case. If you’ve been on the receiving end of less-than-deaf-friendly service, we strongly urge that you follow up any criticism by offering a solution on how the service could be better. For example, if your local barista mumbled and rushed you down the line, you may suggest that the staff learn how to communicate better with deaf and hard of hearing individuals by making eye contact, slowing their speech down, and offering a pen and paper.
Speak your mind – and the truth.
Hearsay is a no-no for deaffriendly.com. We are looking for firsthand consumer experience, not what you heard from Jimmy’s deaf aunt, or a fellow at the bar. Also be sure to back up whatever claims you have with the facts.
Don’t kick butt, but do take names.
Think you got treated badly by an entire mom & pop business? Not all businesses are full of bad apples. If you got terrible service from Jill, you might get fabulous service from Jack at the same place. Praise the Jacks and educate the Jills.
Get it right, right now.
The world’s most believable review won’t stick, if you add your review to the wrong business. In big cities where businesses have multiple chains, it can be very easy to make the mistake of reviewing the wrong business. So, be sure to double-check addresses and business names.
Add new “chapters”
If you’re a loyal customer or “old-timer,” there’s no reason to stop at one review for one business. A great business continues to wow you time after time. Maybe one time the owner helped facilitate a conversation between you and another person, and the next time, he learned a few relevant bar signs. Businesses are always evolving, and so should your reviews.