|1/ You e-mail the publisher with your request or contact a specific writer on staff. In the second case, the writer has to get prior approval from the publisher before pursuing the request. No shipments should be initiated before such approval has been granted to formalize the assignment.
2/ If a writer volunteers or accepts an assignment -- none of our writers are coerced to write up anything they have no interest in -- the manufacturer dispatches the product in the promised time frame. (Should the manufacturer be unduly delayed in fulfilling his delivery promise, the review slot might fill with another assignment. In that case, our usual turnaround times are suspended.) If shipments involve international border crossings, the sender is responsible for customs clearance, VAT and related charges. Preferably, those should bill directly to the shipper's account so that no monies are collected upon delivery. Otherwise, any such fees incurred by the recipient are reimbursable upon e-mail notification of amount. Product will not be returned until such bills are settled.
3/ After receipt of product, the sender will receive an e-mail confirmation or be notified of shipping damage or operational malfunctioning. In the first case, the review commences. In the second, the sender is expected to remedy the circumstance and get the writer either a replacement or repair the original loaner. All additional ship charges are on the manufacturer.
4/ At the conclusion of the review -- usually no later than three months after receipt of product unless a writer informs the manufacturer that personal health, work or related reasons require a loan extension -- the manufacturer receives an e-mail requesting a call tag or shipper account number to return the goods. Our writers are always keen to get product out of their homes and make room for their next assignments. Call tags should thus be expedited promptly after notification.
5/ We try our best to accommodate all review request. However, because our writers are free to accept or refuse assignments based on personal interests and schedules, we cannot guarantee that every review solicitation will be met. This in particular holds true for cables and accessories.
6/ Review equipment is expected to be current production and to not be scheduled for revisions, improvements or other changes during the short review period. If manufacturers know that upgrades are coming, they should delay loan submissions until such upgrades have been implemented. We look unkindly indeed on scuttling ongoing review efforts because a product suddenly gets superseded by a newer version that renders our findings obsolete before the review has even published.
7/ If a reviewer is interested in purchasing a review loaner, this will be communicated after publication of the review and in lieu of the usual call-tag request. Any such purchases will always be for personal use and be kept for a minimum of one year (or longer if the manufacturer stipulates it). Should the reviewer wish to part with the product thereafter to upgrade the system, no financial profit may result from its sale. Violation of this rule leads to immediate dismissal from our staff.
8/ Should a manufacturer prefer that a reviewer keep the reviewed product -- because return shipping would accrue ship charges in excess of the product's worth which may happen with overseas shipments and affordable but heavy goods -- the writer may accept the gift for personal use. Otherwise, the gift will be passed on to someone else. It is important, however, that a manufacturer not express such intentions to the writer until after the review has published. This maintains proper protocol and is mandatory. The appropriate time to raise this issue is after the call tag request has been received.
9/ Should a manufacturer feel inclined to offer a writer an extended loan to benefit from future comparisons and exposure in our pages, the writer may accept only after notifying the publisher. In these cases, the manufacturer may recall extended loans at any time. Such equipment will be listed in the reviewer's associated equipment listing as "[on long-term loan]" and the equipment remains the property of the manufacturer. Our writers, however, are not at liberty to request that a short-term review loan be changed in status once a review has concluded. Such a change must always be initiated by the manufacturer if it is desired. If a writer requires or desires a long-term loan to conduct a specific series of experiments that will exceed the usual review turnaround, this must be communicated to the manufacturer before any product gets dispatched.
10/ Though the above points should make it abundantly clear, there is nothing else to it to be reviewed in these pages. We believe in simplicity. Call or e-mail us to get the ball rolling. The rest depends on interest and availability of our writers. It certainly does not depend on secret handshakes, public relations intermediaries or taking out ads.