Consumers' Checkbook Terms of Use

Updated On: Thursday, March 23, 2023 3:01:13 PM EDT


The content at and its associated web pages, applications and digital tools (collectively, “Website”), are presented by Consumers' Checkbook, a division of the Center for the Study of Services (“Checkbook”), with the intent of providing public service information on consumer products and prices, service provider quality and prices, and consumer health and health-related topics.

This Agreement sets forth the terms and conditions for your use of the Website. By using the Website, you are agreeing to these terms and conditions. Please review them carefully, and please also review our Privacy Policy, which is a part of this Agreement and describes how Checkbook treats your personal information.

When you use this Website, it is important that you are fully aware of our respective legal rights and obligations. For that reason, we have created these Terms of Use as the legally binding terms to govern your use of the Consumers' Checkbook Website, as well as your rights and obligations when you provide information for the Website, your obligations as a Checkbook subscriber, and Checkbook's policies on privacy, security, and other matters. Please read these Terms of Use carefully.

By registering on, subscribing to, or using this Website, you warrant that you have the legal capacity to enter into the Agreement set out in these Terms of Use, that you agree to these Terms of Use, and accept the obligations of a Checkbook user.

If you do not agree with any of these Terms of Use, please do not use this Website.

Please note that these Terms of Use may be revised and reissued without notice at any time by updating this posting. You should visit this page regularly to review the current Terms of Use, since your continued use of the Website will be deemed as acceptance of any revisions.

The Checkbook Website

The Checkbook Website contains many products, sections, and areas that may appear under different product names and domain names. For example, the Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees, Consumerpedia, and others are all part of Consumers' Checkbook and contained within the domain regardless of their referring domain. These Terms of Use apply to all content contained within the domain regardless of referring domain or URL and the term Checkbook may be used to refer to any product or information offering provided through the Website.

Each area of Checkbook may have unique considerations and expectations regarding Terms of Use. We will attempt to describe these areas below to make it easy for the user to find areas relevant to their activities on the Checkbook Website.

Use of Website and Service

To access or use the Website and/or any of the products, surveys and other services provided by Consumers’ Checkbook (collectively “Service”), you must be 18 years or older and have the requisite power and authority to enter into these Terms. Children under the age of 18 are prohibited from using the Website or Service without supervision by an adult over the age of 18.

We make no representation or warranty that the information provided on the Website (“Content”), regardless of its source, is accurate, complete, reliable, current, or error-free. We disclaim all liability for any inaccuracy, error, or incompleteness in the Content, and do not guarantee any particular result will be achieved from the Content or use of the Service.

You may use the Website and Service for lawful purposes only and consistent with the provisions provided by these Terms of Use. You agree to be financially responsible for all purchases made by you or someone acting on your behalf through the Website. You agree to use the Website and to purchase products or services through the Website for legitimate, non-commercial purposes only.

No-Commercial Use

You agree to use the Website, tools and products and services you purchase through our Website, only in a noncommercial manner. You specifically agree not to post, transmit or otherwise distribute to or through the Website any material containing any solicitation of funds, advertising or solicitation for goods or services. We encourage you to report any apparent violation to us using the contact information provided in this Terms of Use.

Your Rights

Consumers’ Checkbook grants you a non-exclusive, non-transferable, limited right to access, use and display the Website and the services and materials provided thereon, and to download or print content displayed on our Website provided that you comply fully with these Terms of Use. The contents of the Website are only for your personal, non-commercial use. You agree not to interrupt, or attempt to interrupt, the operation of the Website or any part of them in any way.

Healthcare Information

Healthcare Information This Website may contain educational information concerning health and safety, diet and nutrition advice, exercise and fitness, and information about treatments and drugs, including alternative medicines. This information is intended for you to use in discussions with your physician or other qualified healthcare provider. Healthcare information and advice are not intended nor are they implied to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard, avoid or delay in obtaining medical advice from your doctor or other healthcare professional.

Checkbook follows a rigorous editorial process to ensure that health-related information available via our Website is accurate and describes generally accepted clinical practices. If Checkbook finds, or is alerted to an error, we will correct it as quickly as possible. If you notice what you believe to be an error contained in any health-related content, please notify us by sending an e-mail to [email protected].

Checkbook Website Security

Registration & Password Security

To access all available products and services offered by the Website, you may be required to create an account and register for a Checkbook subscription. Security checkpoints are set up as part of your subscription/registration process. In addition to providing certain personal information such as your name, email address, and other relevant contact information, you will be asked to establish a UserName and create a Password that only you know.

You agree that any registration information you give to Checkbook is accurate, correct, and up to date, and that you will be responsible for updating such information as necessary. You must not impersonate someone else or provide account information or an email address other than your own. Your account must not be used for any illegal or unauthorized purpose. In the use of the Website and/or Service, you must not violate any laws in your jurisdiction.

You agree to promptly update your Registration Information and payment information in your "Account Settings" page if you know of or suspect unauthorized use of the Website or other product or service, or in the event of any known or suspected breach of security, including loss, theft, or unauthorized disclosure of your credit or debit card or other payment method information. In the event of a breach of security on your part, you will remain liable for any unauthorized use of your paid subscription or other product or service until you update your Registration Information. If your credit or debit card expires, is canceled, is lost or is subject to use without your authorization, or if your paid subscription or other Website service is subject to use without your authorization, go to your "Account Settings" page to update your Registration Information or call 888-596-0729.

To enhance your security, our subscriber services support personnel will not be able to know your password. Should you forget your password, you will be provided with a link to create a new one to your registered email address.

Encryption & Credit Card Information Policy

The credit card number you use when subscribing to Checkbook, or a Checkbook product, is protected by encryption, so it cannot be read as it is transmitted over the Internet. The encrypted data are transmitted using Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol, the successor to Secure Socket Layer (SSL). When attempting to determine if information is being processed through a TLS/SSL connection on a Checkbook web page, look for the Website's address to change to one that begins with "https" (check for the "s"). Checkbook uses industry leading third-party payment gateway services to process your payment, and we do not keep credit card numbers in-house. Checkbook’s vendor will maintain your credit card information pursuant to its privacy policy. Checkbook’s Website ( is scanned quarterly by an independent external monitoring service to verify the Payment Card Industry (PCI) requirements.

SSL Certification

Consumers' Checkbook is certified by Thawte SSL certification. The Thawte Secure Site Program allows you to verify that the information registered for a particular website is consistent with the Website you are visiting and promises a very strong level of encryption. However, while we engage in reasonable methods to protect your personal information, Checkbook cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us, and you do so at your own risk.

Checkbook Subscription Terms, Fees, Billing, & Renewals

Consumers' Checkbook will charge you a subscription fee to provide our subscription services. You acknowledge that Consumers' Checkbook reserves the right to modify its subscription fees and billing methods at any time. Subscription fees are paid in advance through our website billing mechanism.

A subscription to Consumers’ Checkbook is assigned to one of 7 metropolitan areas at the time of purchase—Boston, Chicago, Delaware Valley, Puget Sound, San Francisco, Twin Cities, and Washington D.C. If you need access to the ratings and advice from another region, you’ll need to purchase an additional subscription to that region.

A subscription to Consumers’ Checkbook is intended for the personal use of an individual and does not grant online access for multiple individuals. For libraries, associations, and other groups that are interested in institutional access for multiple individuals, please send an email to [email protected].

Automatic Renewal

Automatic renewal is required to start or renew a subscription at Consumers' Checkbook will automatically renew your subscription at the subscription rate (such rate may be modified as stated above) using the credit card number on file with Checkbook’s vendor that was last used on this account. If the renewal of your subscription fails, Checkbook will make additional attempts to try and complete the transaction.

  • Yearly Subscriptions: If you select a yearly or multi-year subscription, Checkbook will provide you with notice of an upcoming renewal charge attempt through an email sent to your registered subscription email address on file 30 days before expiration.
  • Monthly Subscriptions: If you select a monthly subscription, each month Consumers' Checkbook will automatically renew your Monthly Subscription at the Monthly Subscription rate (such rate may be modified as stated herein) using the credit card information on file with Checkbook’s vendor. If the renewal of your monthly subscription fails, Checkbook will make additional attempts to try and complete the transaction. You acknowledge that Consumers' Checkbook will not provide you with any notice prior to each monthly renewal payment. Monthly subscriptions may be cancelled at any time through a link on your My Account page at or by calling 888-596-0729. No partial month refunds will be made.
  • The user agrees to accept any charges to credit card accounts whose information you provide to Consumers' Checkbook for the purchase of products or services. Failure to provide payment following Consumers’ Checkbooks attempt to complete the transaction may result in the cancellation of your subscription.
  • Cancellations: Auto-renewal can be stopped any time through a link on your My Account page at If you stop auto-renewal for a year or multi-year subscription, your access to Checkbook will remain for the duration of your subscription. If you decide to cancel and not receive the time left on your subscription, Checkbook will refund the remainder of your Paid Service fees on a pro-rata basis that will cover the unused months of your Paid Service. Partial months will not be refunded. To request a refund please email [email protected] or call 888-596-0729.
  • Payment Information: You are solely responsible for keeping your payment information current, complete, and accurate. You may update your payment information through a link on your My Account page at or by calling 888-596-0729.

Copyright, Intellectual Property Rights

Use and Limitations

This Website and the information available through it are the property of Consumers' Checkbook, a division of the Center for the Study of Services, and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. All materials available on the Website, including without limitation text, data, images, software and downloadable software applications, audio and video clips, databases, and ratings, (collectively, the "Content") are owned or controlled by Checkbook or the party credited as the provider of the Content. The respective owner retains all right, title, and interest in and to its Content. Consumers' Checkbook and the Center for the Study of Services reserves the right to limit, restrict, or terminate access to this Website at our discretion, without notice.

All information presented in this Website is intended for your personal, non-commercial use. By using this Website, you agree not to reproduce, retransmit, distribute, disseminate, sell, publish, broadcast, print, or circulate any of the information received through this Website to anyone without the express prior written consent of Consumers' Checkbook.

This Website, and any of its data, listings, or other constituent elements may not be downloaded, republished, resold, or duplicated, in whole or in part, for commercial purposes or for purposes of compiling mailing lists or any other lists. Scraping of information from this Website by automated or manual agents is prohibited. The use of this Website to establish independent data files or compendiums of statistical information is prohibited.

Notice of Copyright Infringement

We intend that all content provided on our Website respects the copyright and other proprietary rights of third parties. When Website visitors post content on our Website, we are unable to monitor the copyright ownership of all posted content. If at any time you believe that any content on our Website infringes your copyrighted material, then you may request the content be removed from the Website in accordance with the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 512(c)(3), and procedures described below

You must send a notice that complies with the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §512(c)(3) ("Notice") to the following Designated Agent

Attn: Privacy Officer

Consumers’ Checkbook
1625 K Street NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20006

[email protected]

Please note: the email address of our Designated Agent is intended specifically for the receipt of notices of claimed infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, 17 U.S.C. §512. It is not intended for the general inquiries and permission requests concerning the use of our content. If you wish to request permission to reproduce any of our content, please contact [email protected].

  • A physical or electronic signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed;
  • Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works;
  • Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit us to locate the material;
  • Information reasonably sufficient to permit us to contact you, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address at which you may be contacted;
  • A statement that you have a good-faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and
  • A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that you are authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

When we receive a Notice that complies with the Copyright Act, we will remove the identified material promptly. We will promptly take reasonable steps to inform the user who posted the allegedly infringing material (the "alleged infringer") of the Notice and subsequent removal.

Communicating on or through the Website


By transmitting any Communication to the Website, you grant Checkbook an irrevocable, non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, unrestricted, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, reproduce, distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, modify, edit, create derivative works from, incorporate into one or more compilations and reproduce and distribute such compilations, and otherwise exploit such Communications, together with any personal information transmitted with your Communications (such as name, user name and photograph), in all formats and in all media now known or later developed.

You acknowledge and agree that any Communications made to or by means of any Website Tool are public and you have no expectation of privacy in any such Communication. No confidential, fiduciary, contractually implied or other relationship is created between you and Checkbook by reason of your transmitting a Communication to any Website Tool.

Checkbook reserves the right, but has no obligation, to monitor the Website and edit, modify or delete any Communications (or portions thereof) which Checkbook in its sole discretion deems inappropriate, offensive, or contrary to any Checkbook policy, or that violates these Terms of Use.

With respect to your conduct while publicly posting a rating of a business or healthcare provider, you agree not to:

  • provide comments or ratings or other information, directly or by links to other sources, that is defamatory, known by you to be false or inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, exploitative, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or in violation of any law.
  • attempt to disguise the origin of any content transmitted;
  • act in any manner that could negatively affect other users' ability to use the Website, including, but not limited to, malicious code and software viruses;
  • impersonate any person or entity, including, without limitation, a moderator, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity; or
  • upload, post or otherwise transmit any content that:
    • is not relevant to the , service, person or entity being reviewed or rated;
    • you do not have a right to transmit under any law or under contractual or fiduciary relationships (such as, but not limited to, inside information, copyrighted material, proprietary and confidential information learned or disclosed as part of employment relationships or under nondisclosure agreements); or
    • is unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional material, "junk mail," "spam," "chain letters," "pyramid schemes," or any other form of solicitation.

As a survey participant on this Website, you agree that:

  • Your comments or ratings provided to Checkbook in response to surveys or polls will only report on your actual first-hand experiences with service providers.
  • You will report only on a service experience that you have had within about a year of the job completion (or a longer period if Checkbook specifically asks about a longer period).
  • You confirm that you do not work for, are not in competition with, and are not in any way related to the service providers for which you submit comments or ratings.
  • You will hold harmless Checkbook and Checkbook's employees and agents with respect to any claim based upon transmission of your ratings or comments.

Checkbook reserves the right to (i) screen Communications for errors, profanity, indecency, mistakes, relevancy, and potential violation of third-party personal or proprietary rights (such as infringement of intellectual property rights, defamation, etc.); (ii) edit, modify, remove or disable access to any Content that violates these provisions or that Checkbook deems objectionable; and (iii) investigate any misuse of any Review Tool, or its systems, equipment or network. Without limitation of the foregoing, Checkbook reserves the right to report any activity or persons (including the disclosure of appropriate user information) to appropriate law enforcement officials, regulators, or other appropriate third parties that Checkbook suspects has violated any law or regulation. Checkbook also may cooperate with appropriate law enforcement agencies to assist in the investigation and prosecution of any illegal conduct.

Responses by Firms or Service Providers to Reviews

If a firm or provider would like to respond to a review posted on Checkbook’s Website, the procedure is as follows:

Send an email to [email protected] with a copy of the comment to which you are responding, along with the text of your response. Identify your firm and your position with the firm. The response will be reviewed by Checkbook and will be posted beneath the original comment that prompted the response.

Links to Other Sites

This Website may contain links and pointers to other sites on the Internet which may be maintained by third parties. Such links do not constitute an endorsement by Checkbook or its Affiliates of any third party site or any materials contained therein. Checkbook and its Affiliates do not control, and are not responsible for, the availability, accuracy, privacy policy, or currency of such third-party sites or any information, content, products or services accessible from such third-party sites.


Accessibility. Consumers’ Checkbook/Center for the Study of Services is committed to presenting our ratings and advice in a user-friendly manner that is accessible to all users. If you experience any difficulty using any of our websites we encourage you to contact us so that we may assist you with your problem.

Accuracy of Website Content. Consumers' Checkbook/Center for the Study of Services cannot and does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, correctness, non-infringement, merchantability, or fitness for a particular purpose of the information or views available through this Website, or the Website itself.

Indemnification.You hereby agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless Checkbook and its Affiliates from and against any and all liability and costs incurred by Checkbook or the Affiliates in connection with any claim arising out of any breach or alleged breach of any of your representations, warranties or obligations set forth in these Terms of Use. You shall cooperate as fully as reasonably required in the defense of any claim. Checkbook reserves the right, at its own expense, to assume the exclusive defense and control of any matter otherwise subject to indemnification by you and you shall not in any event settle any matter without the written consent of Checkbook.

Limitation of Liability. Consumers' Checkbook/Center for the Study of Services shall not be liable to you or anyone else for any loss or injury caused in whole or in part by its negligence or contingencies beyond its control in procuring, compiling, interpreting, reporting or delivering this Website and any information through this Website. In no event will Consumers' Checkbook/Center for the Study of Services be liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken by you in reliance on such information or views or for any incidental, consequential, special, or similar damages even if advised of the possibility of such damages. You agree that the liability of the Consumers' Checkbook/Center for the Study of Services, if any, arising out of any kind of legal claim (whether in contract, tort, or otherwise) in any way connected with the Website or the information in the Website shall not exceed the amount you paid to Consumers' Checkbook/Center for the Study of Services for use of the Website or subscription or purchase of Consumers' Checkbook/Center for the Study of Services publications. Some states do not allow the limitation or exclusion of liability for incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitations or exclusions may not apply to you. The above warranties are the only warranties of any kind either expressed or implied including warranties of merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose.

Waiver. Failure by Consumers’ Checkbook to enforce any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right.

Governing Law.Interpretation and enforcement of this Agreement shall be governed by the laws of theDistrict of Columbia. All claims arising out of or relating to this Agreement will be litigated exclusively in the federal or state courts of District of Columbia and you consent to personal jurisdiction in those courts. If any portion of this Agreement is held unenforceable, the unenforceable portion shall be construed in accordance with applicable law as nearly as possible to reflect the original intentions of the parties, and the remainder of the provisions shall remain in full force and effect.

How you can contact us

If you have any questions or concerns about these Terms of Use, you may contact us at:

Privacy Office
1625 K Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20006

[email protected]