Gough’s Review Challenge

As this site has grown in visibility and viewership, I have been contacted by numerous individuals, groups, and companies to review their products. This site sees over 1,800 visits a day on average and continues to grow. Many users come here for the high quality photo teardowns and technically oriented impartial reviews.

Each and every time, it takes me an inordinate amount of time to explain how I conduct my reviews and the rules which I follow to protect myself and to ensure the readers receive the most impartial review possible.

I’ve decided, instead of explaining it to each and every person individually, I might as well make it a part of the site so that readers know how the reviews are done, and others may consider sending products to review with the full knowledge of how it is being conducted. This provides a level of transparency in the whole process.

The Rules

Before going on with the rules, I’d like to preface this section with a goal statement. My aim is to produce quality reviews of products as thoroughly and impartially as possible. As a hobbyist, I volunteer my time and expertise to produce reviews that (I hope) the internet community values highly. In order to do this, I spend both time and money to ensure I have the right gear to test, photograph and document my experiences with products, and take the time to tear down and deduce the inner workings of some products. The aim of the site is to inform, and not to generate profits. (It doesn’t.) Only limited non-intrusive banner advertising is placed on the top and bottom to best cover hosting costs, and annoying features such as text underline, pop-up/over/under, and splitting reviews into several separate pages are not used as I value my readers highly.

With this in mind, I hope you can appreciate the need for the following rules and find them reasonable:

  • NO payments will be accepted for ANY review. Likewise, no payments will be expected for any review – you cannot bribe your way to a certain result. No payments will be taken to remove, edit, or alter any review.
  • You will cover the cost of sending the product to me, to an address I nominate. The product will not be returned. If it is necessary, I can negotiate on this requirement, however due to high postal charges, unless the item is particularly valuable, I don’t see this as being an option.
  • Once the product has been posted, I cannot be held liable for losses of the package in the postal system. The title to the items passes to me as the items are dispatched in the postal system.
  • Once the item is received, I will produce the review as I see fit. It is likely that the product will be extensively examined, tested, photographed and taken apart to the point of destruction. As the product is now mine, I will do as I see fit. This includes keeping the product for use in future testing and comparisons. If your product fails in a major way, it will be documented.
  • In case of severe trouble, or frustrations that take up time beyond a reasonable amount, I reserve the right to refuse to deliver a review with no compensation.
  • The review will be produced and published online as soon as possible. No definite time-frame can be committed to, as I am often unpredictably busy and some products take longer than others to review. However, historically, most products have been reviewed within one month, or at most, two.
  • If you wish to have specific links to certain pages, that can be accommodated provided there aren’t too many (maximum of three). I reserve the right to place links to any other pages readers may find useful (e.g. your webpage, your product page, competitor’s webpages, datasheets, etc.)
  • The review will be published online at this website, and you will be provided a link to it as soon as it is published. You will not have a chance to review the result prior to its public release. If you feel the need to respond to claims made in the review, you may provide a return statement via e-mail  within 48 hours which I will append to the end of the review.
  • Under no circumstances can I be held liable for any losses or damages incurred by sending a product for review, including direct and consequential. That being said, I’m also happy if you don’t hold me liable for anything good that might happen.
  • As all content is generally created by me, I own all copyrights to the material. However, I encourage you to share the review with anyone who may be interested, and make as many back-up copies of the review only, electronic or hardcopy, as required for your own personal and corporate requirements.
  • In the case excerpts are made from the review, attribution for the review shall be given to Gough Lui (http://goughlui.com) and a prominent link to the review article placed.
  • No review will be removed unless legally required to do so. That means, unless I receive a cease and desist letter. I am not, however, responsible for any copies of content that remain on archive services, search engines, in back-ups or hard copy printouts made by users. Once something has been published, you can’t cover it up, so it’s best not to try at all.
  • I will not remove or modify any aspect of the review unless:
    • it was factually incorrect at that time and can be clearly shown to be so. If any statements become factually incorrect in the future, I cannot be held responsible. I can only claim that it was factually correct to the best of my knowledge at the time of publication. Even then, I may choose to amend the review to reflect any corrections, but I will not entertain change requests unless I am satisfied there is a factual problem with the review.
    • it is a simple editorial mistake, e.g. a typo, and changing it would not affect the result of the review.
    • it is a mistake in data presentation and changing it would correct the review.
  • If, in the future, follow-up testing shows that your product has severe problems, I reserve the right to edit the review and publish follow-up postings detailing any issues encountered and retract my support for your product.
  • I cannot guarantee the reviews produced will remain online and accessible at all times. Due to circumstances beyond my control, not limited to the web hosting provider’s infrastructure, internet congestion, hardware failures, I cannot ensure that the review will always be accessible. I will, however, endeavour to keep it online as long as humanly possible as it is a work of my passion.

This might sound like a lot of rules, but it’s what is necessary to ensure that I can go about reviewing products as thoroughly and impartially as possible, in a way that is most transparent and gains the reader’s trust.

As a result, I would strongly recommend that those who are interested in taking up the challenge ensure they stand by their products 100% and are confident in their prospects before they consider submitting their product.

If you are interested, please contact me by e-mail.

Common Reasons for Refusal

Despite my willingness to review products, I may choose to refuse to review your product with some of the most common reasons being:

  • I’m just not interested in your product. No offense, but my time is valuable, and I don’t have time to waste on some low-value, low-utility products which doesn’t interest me and might not interest my audience either.
  • I’m running out of time to do anything. Sorry, but as I do this as a hobby without payment or profit, and I’ve got a life of my own to live, it’s understandable that I might have to pass on some offers especially if I’m inundated with other things to look at.
  • I’m not experienced enough in your sort of product to offer a decent critique. I think more reviewers need to do this and realize their boundaries – there are some things which I just don’t have the experience to review adequately, so I will pass on those offers.
  • The product itself is obviously faulty, or you have sent me several faulty products in a row. If you evidently don’t have good quality control, and you send me this sort of rubbish, I don’t think you’re worth a mention at all.
  • It’s obvious that all you care about is SEO. Pushing cheap products of very little utility over and over while simultaneously requesting specific link formats, link text, with keyword terms just shows me that you don’t respect my time and see me as a cheap way to generate SEO links for your store. While I am happy to put in a link as requested, doing this over and over just isn’t on.

I do these reviews because there are some worthy, innovative, high-perfoming, funky, new and exciting products out there, some of which deserve some exposure. In other cases, there are great products out there waiting to be discovered. In other cases, it’s because I feel that there needs to be proper testing and comparison in a review. In the end, my aim is to inform the reader, in both positive and negative aspects, in an unbiased fashion.

Advertising

At this time, as this site is mainly run for my own interest and not profit, I will not offer to run any advertising on this site aside from the Google AdSense units above and below the content that I already run.

Likewise, I will not run any affiliated shopping programs with click-through commissions at this time.

This situation may change in the future, but if you feel the need to, you can target my banner ads directly.

Reviews Done with Submitted Gear

In most cases, I’ve followed the methodology above when it comes to reviews, whether I’ve explicitly stated it to the companies in question or not. As a result, quite a few companies have submitted products over time to be reviewed, some successfully, others less successfully.

Here is a list of the reviews where the products were supplied by a company, a group or an individual – i.e. not purchased by myself. The list of reviews is presented in reverse chronological order and will be periodically updated.

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