Thursday, November 06, 2008

Product Review Policy

© By Othmar Vohringer

There have been a lot of questions recently about product reviews on this blog from companies and some from my readers. As this site has grown to one of the most popular hunting blogs since I started it two years ago, so has the interest of hunting product and service providers - I frequently receive queries to review products and services. Some readers that write to me want to know on what I base my reviews. An often-asked question is “Do you test the product yourself or do you just post the information you’re provided with?”

This is a very legitimate question that I will gladly answer in the form of the following product review policy.

As a writer and hunter I have a responsibility to my fellow hunters and the company whose product or service I review. I am fully aware that a review may be the deciding factor for someone to purchase a product. To serve the readers and the product / service company in the best possible way I find it imperative that any product / service reviewed on this blog and my other outlets should be written from personal experience.

Therefore it is my policy to write all my reviews based on personal field tests. I strive to be fair in my assessment of a product. The things I look for are quality, usefulness, safety and fair pricing. My aim is to provide my readers with a qualified unbiased review based on real life testing, and the company with the best possible endorsement of the product. If a product does not measure up to my expectation or the promises advertised the review will not be published. I these cases the product will be returned with suggestions of how to improve it.

On the other hand, should I become aware of a product on the market that I feel is a danger to users, or simply a rip-off, I will publish a warning about said product.

Service Reviews:

Reviews of outfitters and hunting guides are a particular concern to me. There are so many things a hunter has to consider before he chooses the service of a particular outfit. Some of these are: what game would the hunter like to pursue and in what area? What are the client’s special needs and wants plus many other very personal aspects. Obviously I cannot answer these questions with my review of an outfitter or hunting guide. It should also be mentioned that there are always things that can and will go wrong which the outfitter or hunting guide has no control over.

What I first will review are the service provider’s reputation and professional conduct. For this I will conduct intensive research by local wildlife departments and former clients to ensure that the outfitter is legitimate and offers a quality service based on client satisfaction. I am aware that it is impossible to please all the people all the time in the service industry and I take this in consideration in my final review. The final step in the process of the review will be a personal hunt (field test) with the outfitter or hunting guide to obtain a personal impression of the operation and the service provided.

As with the product review, if I find an outfitter or hunting guide to be lacking in service the review will no be published. Instead I offer advice, based on years of experience in the service industry, to the outfit on how they can improve their service for their clients. Since choosing an outfitter is a very personal matter my reviews are to be regarded as a general guideline based on my findings and my perception of fairness. I cannot guarantee 100% success or 100% trophy harvest in any review of fair chase hunting outfitters. What I can do is provide information and point my readers in the right direction of a quality service.

I welcome comments on all my product and service reviews from readers with personal experience as well as any additional information they wish to provide.

If you wish to have your hunting product or service tested and reviewed please contact me.

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