FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Consumer Raters, LLC, announces the launch of a new web site,, that allows consumers to share experiences about businesses throughout the state of Florida. It also provides businesses with the opportunity to collect and share testimonials with prospective clients.

“My mission is to help people find quality, local businesses based on the experiences of their neighbors,” Jacob Mays, creator of, said.

Mays first came up with the idea for Consumer Raters after relocating to South Florida for a new job. Being in a new city provided a challenge when seeking a place for a good haircut, a skilled chiropractor, a quality dry cleaner, and more.

Consumer Raters LLC “I thought it would be great to log onto a regional web site, search for a type of business and see what the locals were saying about it,” Mays explained.

During the research phase, Mays discovered several studies that revealed that consumers relied heavily on word of mouth (WOM) when choosing a business. One study reported that 93 percent of its respondents said they were moved to take some sort of action by WOM influence.

Another study performed in July of 2006 showed that 63 percent of U.S. Internet users (approximately 109 million people) performed a local search online, a 43 percent increase from July 2005.

So, what do consumers do with this information? According to comScore, Inc., a global Internet information provider, consumers take action. Forty-seven percent of local searchers (approximately 51 million people) visited a local merchant as a result of their search behavior.

“It’s safe to conclude that consumers trust other consumers,” Mays said.

Businesses can also benefit from services at Full-page business listings are offered and businesses will receive rating notifications via e-mail to keep them on top of how their business compares to others in the area.

“It’s a great marketing tool,” Mays explained.

Currently, over 20,000 businesses are listed. New ones are being added regularly and market expansion is planned.

To encourage consumers to log on, will send a $20 check to the first 200 consumers who rate three businesses. All reviews are subject to random verification through the “Proof of Patronage Program.”

[tags]rate Florida businesses, Consumer Raters LLC, Jacob Mays, ConsumerRaters web portal[/tags]