RealTime IT News

BizRate to Provide AOL Members With Certified Merchant Ratings

BizRate, which monitors customer satisfaction with e-commerce merchants, signed an agreement with America Online to provide AOL members with the ability to review customer ratings of AOL merchants.

Ratings include price, on-time delivery, ease of shopping and returns as well as give feedback on the online shopping experience. Financial arrangements were not disclosed.

AOL said the ability to view ratings and participate in the rating process will help give its shoppers the assurance that when they shop via AOL, the merchants serving them are committed to quality, reliability and security.

Under the agreement, BizRate will be able to monitor members' overall shopping experiences by giving AOL members the option to respond anonymously to a survey as they complete their online transactions. Shoppers will rate vendors on 10 aspects of service: product information, selection and availability; price; Web site navigation; on-time delivery; ease of ordering; ease of returns; customer loyalty and support.

Shoppers will also be able to review actual customer ratings of AOL merchants before they shop--accessible on AOL at Keyword: AOL Guarantee and at the BizRate Web site.

"E-commerce is maturing rapidly and online shoppers are becoming less worried about the security of the transaction itself and more focused on the service and reliability of the burgeoning crop of new e-tailers," said Farhad Mohit, president and CEO of Binary Compass Enterprises, BizRate's parent company. "After all, what good is secure ordering to online vendors if the vendors are incapable of filling the orders in a timely and efficient manner?"

"BizRate's customer rating-driven quality assurance program will ensure that the merchants doing business over AOL can get quick feedback from our members in order to provide them with the best possible customer service," said Wendy Brown, AOL's vice president of electronic commerce.