We’ve heard you loud and clear about a particular aspect of the Feedback Ratings and Reviews and are doing something about it now, not later!
This decision was made based upon your emails, phone calls and live chats and we’re going to deliver a swift solution to the ratings, specifically, the removal of the Top Rated list, and replace it with something new.
Want to know what it is?


The Top Rated list has always been an area of great publicity for many, yet recently, it has become a battle ground for what some voice actors are likening to popularity contests.
We had a meeting on Wednesday afternoon to discuss how we could deliver on our promise to make ratings more qualified, meaning limiting the ratings to only clients who work with voice actors through the Voices.com website.
We’re transitioning even faster now away from the ratings system toward limiting feedback to only those people who have completed a financial transaction through Voices.com.
In plain English, only those people who’ve hired you can rate you.
It makes absolute sense and it is the manifestation of what you have been asking for.
What are the benefits of a feedback system based solely upon financial transactions?
• All ratings and reviews are associated with a business transaction between a voice actor and a client who worked together at Voices.com
• Recognizes people who work professionally and consistently
• Quickly identifies voice actors who are hired frequently for their talent and abilities
• Acknowledges that work is procured and completed at Voices.com
• Signifies the professionalism of a voice actor and dedication to pursuing their craft online
Other websites like Guru.com, eLance.com, Freelance.com and eBay are all transactional based. This helps them to maintain the quality of their service and be accountable to their customers.
I’d like to answer a few questions up front, if I may, the first being why we are going in this direction.
Simply put, it’s what you asked for. No more ratings based upon non-existent relationships with clients or talent “gaming” the system. No room for abuse or manipulation.
Sounds great, but somethings gotta give right?
In order for the new system to be fully implemented we’ll need to start fresh and remove all existing feedback ratings.
We will only be including transactions processed through SurePay in this metric because those are truly the only transactions that we can track and espouse as work that we have concrete proof of that has been completed at Voices.com.
Thank you for your understanding and patience.
We welcome any positive feedback that you may have confirming that we’ve made the right decision.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Stephanie and the Voices.com Team

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Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Voices.com. Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and musical theatre, as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, her blog serves an audience what wants to grow in their careers as professional voice users, and more specifically, voice actors. Stephanie was recently listed on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.

26 COMMENTS

  1. Good job Voices!
    I like this idea- it’s consistent and fair from what I can tell.
    What I love about this site is you always work to make the talent and the clients happy. Plus, you listen which is rare nowadays.
    Thanks for another job well done! On a side note- I’m enjoying the new templates and entire set-up of the website. It’s easy to use!
    Kudos!
    Kara

  2. I like this re-vamped feedback system much more.
    Thank you Voices.com for listening to all of the feedback and responding so quickly! Will the remainders of the Rating systems (i.e.: new talent, and favorites) remain the same?

  3. Sounds like a great plan. I am impressed with the attention given to this issue. Thank you for your efforts Voices staff!
    Ben

  4. Excellent Stephanie!
    Thanks for jumping on this so quickly. I think you guys are doing a great job of quickly addressing concerns. It is a rarity in a service industry.

  5. Stephanie,
    Thank you for your swift and decisive response. I like what I’m reading and I’m confident I’ll like what I see going forward.
    Be well,
    Bob

  6. Hi Greg and Jorge,
    Thank you for your comments and questions!
    Greg, Voices.com will act as arbitrator should the need arise for either party during the course of the transaction. Ratings and reviews could be reevaluated on a per transaction basis should it be necessary.
    Jorge, what I would suggest is that you direct people to click on your “Make A Job Offer” link on your Voices.com website. That way it there will be an opportunity for you to use SurePay to earn ratings and reviews from a client who hires you without posting a Public Lead.
    Have I answered your questions satisfactorily?
    Glad you all are pleased with the changes!
    Best,
    Stephanie

  7. I just wanted to give Kudos to the whole team at Voices.com. I think the new rating system is fair and unbiased and very well thought out. I’m really glad I joined this group of talented professionals.
    Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to advancing not just the business aspect of Voices.com, but the people and potential behind the voices (dot com).
    Here’s to your (and our) continued success!
    Elisa

  8. I was one who was very vocal about this change. I appreciate the response, however I’m still not certain I’m happy about having to wipe out all the legitimate positive feedback those of us who have been with Voices.com since it’s inception have legitimately earned!
    Also, it sounds as if now, the only feedback even our clients will be able to leave is if they use the SurePay System – which is also new and we aren’t exactly sure how clients will respond to that.
    Make no mistake – I am happy you have heard us and are responding! I’m just not sure the approach has to be so drastic.

  9. Hi Melanie,
    Thank you for commenting. I’m glad that your suggestions helped to bring such wonderful changes so quickly.
    It is necessary to do this and I have some awesome news to share with you and everyone else…
    There have already been several successful SurePay transactions that have been completed and a dozen or so in the works as I type.
    Pretty good for a couple of days, don’t you think?!
    Clients are extremely happy with this option, so I want you to rest assured that SurePay is being embraced and I might add, well loved 🙂
    Cheers,
    Stephanie

  10. I suppose this is for the best, certainly from the potential clients perspective; however, if the same people keep getting the lion’s share of the work-not that I know that to be the case- it really doesn’t matter how you rank them, does it?

  11. As the new guy on the block, I think this is a good idea too. It seems fair to me. Great going Voices.com Staff!

  12. Hi Stephanie,
    I sort of share some similar concerns as Melanie and Darryl. It’s a concern to see my legitimate positive feedbacks wiped out (I was at 4 stars). I have only received two jobs and am trying to build my reputation. It seemed that my ratings may have made clients feel that I was worth listening to and therefore worth hiring. I am still relatively unknown and am trying to build my reputation so I’ll get noticed and hired. For someone like me, it feels like this might be a set back as we may not be able to compete with those who are already well established and already have a large client base.

  13. I too was very vocal about this and happy to see changes. Like Melanie however, I’m not thrilled to see actual clients’ feedback be wiped out. Most of my jobs from here come from private leads – so we’ll see where that puts us all.
    Maggie

  14. Hi Sara Beth,
    Thank you for your comment.
    The new SurePay system will be great for you. If you’ve already won two jobs, you will surely receive more 🙂
    Be sure to have your clients work with you using SurePay. I’ve written a detailed post about it on VOX Daily (May 23, 2007) and we have also just released the Official Voices.com User Guide that will help you to use Voices.com to your full advantage.
    Check it out the SurePay post here:
    SurePay Updates
    Best,
    Stephanie

  15. Hi Maggie,
    Thank you for your comments.
    This decision was one made over time and prayer and will be for the better in the long term.
    You mentioned that most of your client ratings were from Private Leads. I firmly believe that if you were hired before that way and given feedback, the same opportunities will come your way. Your talent speaks for itself 🙂
    Everyone is in the same boat. Some people are using SurePay already and building up their new feedback ratings. I included a link in my comment addressing Sara Beth that I think you may wish to visit.
    There are a lot of good things happening and I want you to have a share in that.
    Thank you again Maggie for your continued correspondence.
    Best,
    Stephanie

  16. Hi Joe,
    Thank you for commenting and asking for clarification.
    To answer your question, you as a voice actor are NOT charged a fee to use SurePay.
    Clients who work with voice actors using the SurePay Escrow Service are aware and pleased to pay a service charge above what they are already paying you in order to use this service, a service which guarantees their satisfaction and protects both voice actor and client.
    The client makes a deposit which includes 10% escrow fee on top of what you have quoted in order to provide this service to them.
    Let’s say you were quoting $200 for a job. A client paying you with SurePay would indeed pay you the $200 you quoted. They will also pay another $20 in escrow fees (bringing the total to $220) to make sure that all goes well.
    As Laurynda mentioned several comments ago, it is a choice that both a buyer or seller can request of one another to ensure that the relationship goes smoothly from the start and that their satisfaction with the work procured is guaranteed.
    Once a client has deposited the funds at Voices.com into the secure SurePay Escrow account, those funds are held for you (imagine that – the security of knowing you will be paid in advance) and released by the client once they have approved your uploaded work.
    It is through this process that we are able to confirm that a client was satisfied with your work. After we are notified that the client has accepted the files, we release the funds to you.
    It’s really in everyone’s best interest on the Internet to use an escrow service especially if they have not worked together before.
    Once the client has approved your work, they are able to give you feedback. Again, this could only be tracked if it goes through the SurePay service. How else could the communications and payment be documented as proof of a business relationship being completed at Voices.com unless we had a protocol in place to do so?
    I hope I have addressed your questions to your satisfaction Joe.
    To sum up:
    1. Talent are not charged to use SurePay nor is there a cut taken from your professional fee.
    2. Feedback ratings for work completed at Voices.com can only be acquired through the SurePay service.
    Thank you!
    Stephanie

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