Hey, there! Thanks for visiting our site.
Whether you’re trying to save on your monthly bills or settling into a new locale, we’re here to empower you with knowledge—not just information—so you can choose a service that meets your needs. We hope you leave our site feeling more confident and in control of your choices, both now and in the future.
Switchful is part of the Helpful family of brands: a new effort dedicated to making the consumer shopping experience genuinely helpful. As you browse content across our website, we hope you’ll feel our commitment to this ethos.
To be helpful: our reason for existing
Many of the team members at Switchful have spent years in the consumer services space. We’ve worked on a range of publications, we know the ins and outs of how review sites work and where they fall short, and we want to do things a better way.
Online research habits have evolved over time. Before buying anything, consumers visit multiple websites, gathering different types of data to help them make informed decisions. They’re also increasingly skeptical of online reviews, and with good reason. There are so many review websites out there, and they’re often spammy, ad-filled, or stuffed with keywords to make Google happy.
What makes us different? When we say we’re helpful, it means we put readers first, period.
We want to give you all the info you need, in one place. To demonstrate what being helpful looks like to us, we’ll shine a light on our rating criteria and methods, our research and sourcing practices, our qualifications, and how we make money.
How we approach research and ratings
Editorial quality matters to us, and we’re committed to getting it right. Our writers and editors put each article on Switchful through an extensive research and review process; this helps us weed out fluff, plagiarism, and ideas or contributions that aren’t useful or unique. Here’s what that process looks like.
Way before we write a single word, our team does exhaustive consumer research, including both quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews with people who switched services in the last 12 months. We ask about their decision-making process, the pain points they experience along the way, and what matters most to them. Rather than making assumptions and teaching consumers what we think they should know, they teach us what’s most important to them—a subtle, but important, detail that differentiates our editorial approach.
Insights from this consumer research forms the backbone of our ratings and reviews. While you’ll see some similar rating factors across categories (turns out, most people want to save money, regardless of what they’re buying), each service type has its own methodology based on what has the biggest impact on your day-to-day experience.
We welcome you to dig into the rating criteria for all our review categories:
Research and sourcing
Researching services raises some unique challenges. When you review a physical product, you can hands-on test every element to see how it works out in the real world. But services are another beast. Location determines availability for TV and internet in particular, which makes it impossible for our researchers to get their hands on every service we review without moving to a new ZIP code every week.
If we can test something ourselves, we will. But when we can’t, we evaluate those services based on measurable facts like cost, plan offerings, equipment, installation, and customer service options. We dig into contract details, extra fees, and all of the fine print. We’ll contact customer service. We’ll go through the online shopping cart experience. Whatever it takes to get us closer to the lived experience of our readers.
When we cite third-party sources, we do so carefully. We prefer independent research groups like the American Customer Satisfaction Index or government reports like those from the US Federal Communications Commission. We go directly to the service providers themselves for up-to-date pricing, plans, and fees, but we’re skeptical of their marketing materials.
In addition to our expert research, we help you connect with a community of people who have used the same services you’re considering.
Unfortunately, user reviews often fall into two buckets: vague, yet glowingly positive praise that was almost definitely written by a company bot, or ALL-CAPS RAGE from a disgruntled customer seeking an outlet for their fury.
Neither one gives you a great idea of what to expect in the day-to-day, so we take a different approach. We source reviews from a broad range of current customers, many of whom have used their provider for years. These reviewers have zero incentive to kiss up to a bad company or put a normally good service on blast.
We hope that by reading candid user reviews alongside our staff reviews, you’ll get a well-rounded picture of what service best matches your individual needs.
Consistency and quality checks
After all of the research and writing, we check for consistency across articles. Our internal team reviews all provider ratings and norms them to ensure fairness across the board. Our editors check content not only for grammar, mechanics, and style (we do, admittedly, love our Oxford commas), but also for clarity, accuracy, and reader experience. When you see one of our “best of” lists, at least 5–6 experts have contributed provider ratings or insights to make sure we get it right.
And even then, we know we won’t always get it perfect the first time around. As services change or we learn more about what our readers need, we’ll update articles (and sometimes our ratings) to keep them relevant and useful.
The people behind our research
We see our bylines as a stamp of approval on every article we publish. Meet the experts on our team.
- Vilja Johnson, VP of Content and Creative
- Bri Field, Assigning Editor
- Rebecca Palmer, Senior Staff Writer
- Kathryn Casna, Senior Staff Writer
- Dave Schafer, Contributing Writer
- Cara Haynes, Contributing Writer
- Brittany McGhee, Contributing Writer
How we make money
We believe in the integrity of our research and recommendations, but we know that reader trust has to start with transparency. So how do we make money? Simply put, we have affiliate relationships with a broad range of product and service providers. If you click a link or call a phone number on our site, we might make a commission if you choose to buy. Having affiliate relationships with multiple competing companies means that we might make money no matter which option you choose—we’re incentivized to help you find the right fit for you.
We get if that makes you skeptical—many review publishers let payouts override editorial integrity. But we feel confident that when you peel back the layers on what we recommend and why, you’ll find solid research and data, not dollars.
Our expert writers don’t know which providers do and don’t pay commissions as they score companies. We don’t limit coverage to providers that have partnerships, and companies can’t buy favorable rankings or sponsored listings.
See our full Terms and Conditions for more details.
Let us know how we’re doing
At the end of the day, our content is successful only if it’s helpful to you. If you have questions or feedback about our editorial approach or see something that needs an update, please contact me (Vilja Johnson) directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For partnership, employment, and other inquiries, please contact us.
– Vilja Johnson, VP of Content and Creative