Frequently Asked Questions – Canstar Blue
Canstar Blue is a consumer review and comparison website. We take pride in helping Australians make better-informed decisions about more than 300 different goods and services.
We have been made aware of scams involving the use of our brand. We have reported these to the relevant authorities, including the police.
To help you avoid falling victim to a scam, here is a guide to what we do – and what we don’t do.
This is what we do:
- Write in-depth product and service reviews.
- Publish customer satisfaction ratings based on expert research.
- Compare plans and prices for electricity, gas, solar, NBN and mobile phones.
- Share our findings and expert analysis with readers who subscribe to one of our newsletters.
- Promote various competitions throughout the year
- The only emails you will receive from us will come from this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
See below for further details.
This is what we don’t do:
- Direct sales. We allow you to compare your options and follow a path to purchase if you choose, but we don’t try to sell you anything.
- Cold calling. We’re an online comparison website, and while we love to receive emails from our readers, we’ll never call you.
- Door-knocking. Canstar Blue does not and will never engage in door-knocking sales or any other type of personal sales.
- We’ll never ask you for any personal information other than information you have supplied to us, such as your email address and name, if you choose to subscribe to one of our newsletters or enter a competition.
- We’ll never ask you for your bank account details, unless you win a cash prize competition. If this is the case you will receive formal notification from this email address: email@example.com
If someone makes contact with you claiming to be from Canstar Blue, with the aim of trying to sell you something, this may be a scam. If you have concerns, do not give out any bank details or personal information. Please contact us via the email address above so we can pass on details to the authorities. We also suggest you report the matter to the police in your area.
- Please be aware that Canstar Blue has no affiliation with this website https://compareelectric.com.au/ which we have asked to cease representing that it is connected with us.
Our Customer Satisfaction Ratings
- The surveys are delivered through our expert research online panels, as well as any external panels they may engage.
- Qualtrics utilises two ISO accredited panels, Dynata and Pure Profile
- Respondents rate their satisfaction with the products or services at a brand level on a zero to ten scale, where zero is extremely dissatisfied and ten is extremely satisfied.
- The criteria that are rated vary depending on the category. They typically include overall satisfaction and value for money, while other criteria are included as appropriate to the research subject. For example, customer satisfaction ratings for a retailer might include criteria such as service and range, while ratings for a refrigerator will include criteria such as reliability and quality.
- The winner in each category is the one that receives the highest overall satisfaction rating once the scores from all respondents to the overall satisfaction question are combined and averaged.
- Overall satisfaction is asked as a specific question. This means the overall satisfaction criteria represents an individual measure rather than a combined total of all criteria. As a result, some brands may find their overall satisfaction score is lower – or higher – than the scores they have received for other criteria.
- When we cannot determine a clear winner from the criteria for the overall satisfaction rating, we will then look at the supporting criteria. The brand with the highest number of five star ratings within the supporting criteria will become the five star recipient in overall satisfaction, and thus win the award.
- If a clear leader still cannot be determined from the supporting criteria, then joint winners will be declared.
- For each criteria, any brand that receives 6 out of 10 or higher receives at least three stars and any brand that scores lower than 6 out of 10 receives one or two stars.
- Rating results are comparative and the ratings table is first sorted by overall satisfaction star ratings results, and then by mean overall satisfaction score.
Note: Some past grids are sorted by star rating and then alphabetically. Please refer to the the ‘Important Notes’ disclaimer at the foot of the grid for sort type.
None of our ratings constitute medical advice, and Canstar Blue is not making a recommendation or giving advice about medications or health related products. Always seek the advice of a doctor or pharmacist to find the right medication for you.
Our Expert Value Ratings
In addition to customer satisfaction ratings based on accredited market research, Canstar Blue’s team of experts also produces live value rank ratings for NBN, Phone, Gas and Electricity providers. Products are ranked out of 10 (with 10 being the highest) based on our methodology for each respective category, which looks at both price and feature scores to determine which plans offer the best overall value. The expert value ratings are updated when we are made aware of price or product changes.
The full details of our value rank methodology can be found via the following links:
Canstar Blue is committed to making our customer satisfaction and value ratings freely available to consumers via our website. The business is privately owned by shareholders and continues to invest heavily in professional research. There are three ways in which revenue is generated:
Sponsorship and referrals: Canstar Blue may earn a fee for referrals from its website tables, email newsletters, and from sponsorship of certain products.
- Fees payable by product providers for referrals and sponsorship may vary between providers, website position, and revenue model, and are individually negotiated.
- Sponsorship fees may be higher than referral fees.
- On our ratings results, comparison tables and some other advertising, we may provide links to third party sites. The primary purpose of these links is to help consumers continue their shopping journey from the ‘research’ phase to the ‘purchasing’ phase. If customers purchase something after clicking a certain link, we may be paid a commission or fee by the referral partner.
- Where products are displayed in a table, the display order is not influenced by commercial arrangements and the display sort order is disclosed at the top of the table, with the exception of Sponsored products (see below). Consumers can change the sort order to suit their preferences.
- Sponsored products are clearly disclosed as such on website pages. They may appear in a number of areas of the website such as in comparison tables, on hub pages and in articles. Sponsored products may be displayed in a fixed position in a table, regardless of the product’s rating, price or other attributes. The table position of the Sponsored product does not indicate any ranking or rating by Canstar. The table position of a Sponsored product does not change when a consumer changes the sort order of the table.
Ratings licenses: Once category winners have been determined, the winning brands may have the opportunity to license the award logo for use in their marketing for a negotiated fee (however there is no requirement to do so). Each category is run approximately every 12 months. The market research remains independent and undertaken by a 3rd parties.
Online advertising: Canstar Blue allows limited advertising on the website. Our primary intention is to present quality advertising that is highly relevant to consumers. We always include an ‘advertising’ or ‘sponsored link’ sign above the ad so people know exactly what it is.
We partner with respected expert professional market research agencies who undertake research on our behalf. We currently utilise Qualtrics a global enterprise research platform. The research agents we employ are members of AMSRS, the peak body for Australia’s market and social research industry and work with panels that are ISO 26362 accredited.
In most categories, the sample is broadly representative of the Australian population in terms of gender, age and location, and is based on ABS Census data. Due to low incidence in other categories, the sample may be representative of those consumers who have had experience with the category researched. Only people who have used the specific product or service within a nominated time frame are able to answer the questions and be included in the survey results.
For example, only people who had purchased and consumed multivitamins in the last twelve months were included in the multivitamins results. The time frame specified for consumption or usage depends on the product or service category that is being researched.
In most categories, we receive survey responses from up to 9,000 people across a broad cross section of the Australian population for each category. We only include results from the respondents from this group who have used the product or service within the nominated time frame. In some low incidence categories, we receive survey responses from between 800 and 1,000 targeted consumers, who have had experience with the category researched.
Customer Satisfaction Ratings
Brands must receive a minimum of 30 responses to be included in our customer satisfaction ratings. The market research is designed to pick up as many brands per category as relevant. However, some brands may miss out due to low sample size – for example small local or niche brands where their market share is currently low. A rated brand may also receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating for one or more criteria if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
Expert Value Ratings
Canstar Blue’s policy is to capture as many relevant providers and plans as possible for our NBN, Phone, Gas and Electricity expert value ratings. However, in some circumstances, we may not be able to list a certain provider, for a variety of different reasons. If you think we have missed a provider that should be included in one of our value ratings, please get in touch and let us know.
Our published customer satisfaction ratings are the user friendly summary of the market research we conduct through our third-party expert research partners. This research is 100% funded by Canstar Blue and valuable to us as we use the findings to generate ratings and in many other areas of the business.
We can develop a bespoke research report for purchase to companies interested in learning more about our findings. Please note that this report does not include the raw data collected in our initial research. To find out more, contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The brands that feature in our ratings are those that have been nominated by respondents in the market research, and which have received a minimum of 30 responses. We do not choose which brands to include.
Canstar Blue only publishes state ratings for categories which we are able to get a robust sample size at a state level. This is often difficult, due to different providers in different markets and varying population levels.
In addition to our consumer ratings, Canstar Blue collects data from energy, phone and internet providers in order to show price comparison tables for relevant products. Users can list products in order of price and several other variables, including Canstar Blue’s unique expert ‘Value rank’. The Value score is a rating (out of 10) and is a combination of the Price score and Feature score, which is determined by multiple factors relating to the provider and plan in question, including customer service & support, billing and payment options, and plan flexibility. The full details of our value rank methodology can be found via the following links:
In addition to our consumer ratings, Canstar Blue may also publish expert awards for electricity, gas, phone and NBN providers. To do this, we use a sophisticated rating methodology, which compares providers’ suite of products offered to new customers. The ‘Provider of the Year’ award winners are determined by the cumulative performance of each provider across a range of consumer profiles within each category considered, over a period of 6 months. The awards consider a provider’s best performing product within each consumer profile, and considers the plan’s value proposition relative to the market based on Canstar Blue’s expert Value Rank for electricity, gas, mobile or NBN respectively.
In addition to our Consumer Satisfaction ratings, Canstar Blue publishes Student Satisfaction ratings, upon which our Most Satisfied Students awards are based. These ratings follow a similar methodology to our Consumer Satisfaction ratings, by which students who have attended an Australian university within the past 10 years rate their satisfaction with the university they attended cross eight satisfaction variables:
- Overall satisfaction with the university
- Quality of education received
- Teaching staff
- Learning resources
- Career prospects after graduation
- Student support available
- Social aspects
- Campus amenities.
A score for each variable is given on a zero to ten scale, where zero is extremely dissatisfied and ten is extremely satisfied. As with our Customer Satisfaction ratings, the university that wins a Most Satisfied Students award in a state or nationally is the university that receives the highest overall satisfaction rating, once the scores from all students to the overall satisfaction question are combined and averaged. Overall student satisfaction is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings.
Please see Research, Rating and Award Methodology above for more information on how winners are determined through overall satisfaction scores.
In cases where a variable was not relevant to a student, they were not asked to rate the university on that variable. For example, if a student studied their degree online, they were not asked to provide a score for the ‘campus amenities’ variable.
For our Student Satisfaction Ratings, we surveyed a sample size of 1,889 students. For a university to qualify for participation in our ratings, it must be subject to responses from 30 survey respondents.
Most Satisfied Students – National Award
The national award for Most Satisfied Students is awarded to the university that receives the highest overall satisfaction score of all universities that qualified, regardless of location. If a university has campuses in multiple states or territories, or operates mainly online, it is included in the national award but not in the state awards.
Most Satisfied Students – State Awards
To determine the state awards for Most Satisfied Students, the data were split by state, based on the university’s base state, before the overall satisfaction scores were calculated in order to determine the winner in each state.
Note: In this instance, universities in less populous states and territories either did not receive sufficiently large sample size for any particular university to receive 30 respondents’ responses so as to qualify for rating, or only one university received 30 respondents’ responses. In the latter case, such winners by default were not included in this round of state awards.
For further information on our Most Satisfied Student awards, please email email@example.com.
Act quickly. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has a simple guide on the steps you can take to report the breach. You can also find more information on securing your online presence on our Protecting Yourself Online page and on the websites of the Australian Cyber Security Centre and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch.
Report the incident, change your passwords, consider getting a copy of your credit report and continue to monitor and be vigilant. More information can be found at the websites of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, the Australian Cyber Security Centre and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow the steps set out on the Protecting Yourself Online page.
Scammers are increasingly sophisticated and it can be hard to spot a scam, but there are a few things that you should look out for:
- Spelling or grammatical mistakes in written communications
- Communications not addressed to you personally
- The sender’s email address not matching the company name
- A request for personal information
- A sense of urgency
- A destination link that doesn’t include the company name
- The inclusion of attachments you weren’t expecting
- Correspondence, messages or calls from an overseas location
- Communications telling you that you have won a prize.
We will never send an email or call you to ask you to share financial information. For more information, check out information on our Scams and Fraud Warning page.