“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

Manufacturer Review Response Form Letter

by August 17, 2007
There, there, you got a 4! Thats a great score!

There, there, you got a 4! That's a great score!

In an effort to facilitate the review process, the Audioholics staff has come up with a form letter that Manufacturers can use to reply to a review during any point of the review process. For those of you that don’t know, this is the general outline of our review process:

  • Review scheduled (either instigated by us or offered by the manufacturer)
  • Review samples received and evaluated
  • Review turned over to Audioholics staff for peer review
  • Review returned to reviewer for integration of peer comments as they deem appropriate
  • Review sent to manufacturer for technical review
  • Manufacturer comments sent to reviewer for integration into review as they deem appropriate
  • Review publication

Usually this is the end of the process. All pertinent voices have been heard and no one is in for any surprises. Occasionally, however, a manufacturer will decide to send us a letter expressing some concern that cropped up after the review has been published. These letters almost always have a similar tone and text to ones that have been submitted during the process so we decided it might be best just to provide a form letter for them to use. Eventually, this letter will be created in a web based form to further facilitate the feedback process. For now, manufacturers can feel free to cut and paste the below text (filling in the appropriate portions and leaving out the ones that don’t apply) into an email and send it to circularfile@audioholics.com.

Dear Audioholics Staff.

We here at (name of company) have come across some (concerns/additional concerns) about your review of (name of product). We’d thought we’d let you know that the samples you received were (one of the first off the production line/somehow defective) and we’ve seriously upgraded our (quality control/components/product/all) since then. We’d be happy to send you another sample with the upgrades. I’m sure your reviewer will find it to be much more acceptable than the current review samples. They would only have to update the negative portions of the review. We’ll continue to update our product and send you new samples until the review reads exactly the way we’d like. Alternatively, we’ll be happy to send out a member of our staff to help (train/setup/beat into submission) your reviewer so to facilitate understanding of the nuances of our product. Clearly you can see we are committed to (the prospect of getting the highest score possible/wasting your time/the success of our product that you gave a good review to but will never be good enough for us).

While we appreciate the hard work your reviewer did, we’d like to call into question their (ability/objectivity/manhood). Not to mention that their (transport/receiver/amplifier/processor/speakers/cables/room/all) were completely inappropriate for testing our product.  It seems that there has been quite a bit of misunderstanding generated by your review as expressed by (some troll on the internet/my girlfriend/I’m just making this person up). Obviously, your rating of (4/4.5/5) isn’t clear in that it doesn’t definitively state that our product is superior to all other products on the planet at any price. In addition, we’d like to point your attention to the review of (unrelated review from another reviewer) as evidence. While that product was substantially (more/less) expensive than our product, we still feel that our ratings should be adjusted because of it.

We understand that we were very positive about the review before (and even offered to send the reviewer a fruit basket in thanks) but it is clear now that said reviewer is at best incompetent, at worse a plant from one of our rivals. It would be best if you could (take down the review/let us send samples to another reviewer/publish this attached press release in review form as other publications do) and help us put this matter behind us.

Best Wishes,

(Name of manufacturer that can’t stand to see their “baby” insulted in any way even if every other word about it was positive)

In addition to the above letter, we’ve included a section where you can include your comments within the body of the published review. Many want their comments to be interspersed throughout but we find that too distracting to the reader – especially given the perchance for verbosity of some of these responses. Instead, you can include a short response that will be included as a separate page at the end of the review. Please use the box below and no smaller than 24 point type.

As you can see, once again, Audioholics is making the extra effort to include manufacturers into the review process in a way that maintains the integrity of the review. While we understand manufacturers concerns, it behooves us to remind everyone that we are reviewers and not praisers. Our job is to point out the little flaws inherent in any product. No matter how insignificantly one might think it is, it is our job, nay our duty to find it and point it out. Believe us when we say that the consumer is smart enough to read a review and determine if our “nitpicking” applies to them or not. Of course, manufacturers could always spend 80% of their operating budget on advertising and marketing, send out review samples only to “serious” publications like Stuff, Playboy and The New YorkTimes, and rely on infomercials and TV spots to convince the public that their product, which hasn’t changed in 20 years, is still “cutting edge.” But that’s their choice.


About the author:
author portrait

As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

View full profile