Frequently Asked Questions

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Learn more about J.D. Power and JDPower.com by viewing our list of frequently asked questions.

General Questions | Autos Questions  

What is J.D. Power?

J.D. Power, a business unit of McGraw Hill Financial, is well known for our global marketing information based on independent consumer surveys of product and service quality, customer satisfaction, and buyer behavior. Each year, we interact with millions of consumers to better understand their opinions, perceptions, and expectations about a variety of products and services in more than a dozen industries.

Our services include customer satisfaction research, market research, and performance improvement programs. 

Established in 1968 and headquartered in Westlake Village, California, J.D. Power has three U.S. offices and nine international locations serving Canada, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region. On April 1, 2005, J.D. Power and Associates became a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies, which changed its name to McGraw Hill Financial in 2013.

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J.D. Power: Integrity, Independence, Impact®

  • Conducts research used by companies worldwide to improve product quality and customer satisfaction.
  • Bases its research on feedback from millions of consumers and business customers worldwide.
  • Compiles studies that serve as industry benchmarks for measuring quality and customer satisfaction.
  • Does not publish or incorporate the opinions of J.D. Power or its employees in its rankings.

How does J.D. Power conduct its research?

J.D. Power surveys consumers and business customers by mail, telephone, and e-mail. We go to great lengths to make sure that these respondents are chosen at random and that they actually have experience with the product or company they are rating. For example, ratings for the Lexus IS come from people who actually own one. As a result, J.D. Power ratings are based entirely on consumer opinions and perceptions.

What is JDPower.com?

J.D. "Dave" Power III, founder of J.D. Power, wanted to give something back to the consumers who completed the company's independent surveys. JDPower.com's free product and service ratings represent Dave's heartfelt "thank you" to the hundreds of thousands of people who responded to surveys about products and services in a variety of industries.

J.D. Power translates consumer survey responses into studies and reports that are used by companies worldwide to improve product quality, customer satisfaction, and other business metrics. JDPower.com features top-level highlights of these benchmarking studies using a Power Circle Ratings system, which conveys consumer perceptions of product quality and customer satisfaction. For example, Power Circle Ratings related to the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study measure consumer perceptions of automotive new-vehicle quality after 90 days of ownership.

What is the connection between JDPower.com and J.D. Power?

JDPower.com is owned and operated by J.D. Power. The vision for JDPower.com originated with the company's founder, J.D. Power, III, who wanted to provide consumers with highlights of the company's research to demonstrate to survey respondents that their input, via the company's questionnaires, makes a difference. At JDPower.com, consumers can view the results of the studies in which they have participated as well as all syndicated studies prepared by J.D. Power.

Why does advertising appear on JDPower.com?

Focus groups reveal that consumers find advertising helpful as long as it does not interfere with the user experience. With nearly 300 automotive models for sale in the U.S., consumers find that advertising, in appropriate places on Web sites, often presents models that they were not necessarily aware of prior to viewing the advertisement.

How is JDPower.com different from other Web sites with ratings?

JDPower.com helps consumers make more informed purchase decisions using J.D. Power's voice-of-the-customer (VOC) information generated by owners and users of products and services. JDPower.com publishes selected VOC highlights from J.D. Power industry benchmarking studies in a format that is easy to understand and which helps consumers make more informed decisions when shopping for products and services. JDPower.com Power Circle Ratings reflect the experiences of consumers and business customers and not the opinions or preferences of J.D. Power. VOC information also determines specific content created by the JDPower.com editorial team.

What are Power Circle Ratings?

Power Circle Ratings* (the Ratings) are an easy-to-use system developed by J.D. Power for JDPower.com. All Ratings are based on the opinions of consumers who have actually used or owned the product or service being rated. Since the Ratings are based on J.D. Power research studies that survey a representative sample of owners, they are indicative of what typical buyers may experience.

High ratings for a particular product/service/company do not necessarily mean that every customer will have a positive experience. It simply indicates that, on average, consumer perceptions of the product/service/company indicate that it stands out when compared with competitive products/services/companies.

*Please note that Power Circle Ratings may not include all information used to determine J.D. Power awards.

What is an index score?

J.D. Power uses a customer satisfaction "Index" as a means to determine most of its ratings and awards. To determine this Index, J.D. Power asks survey respondents to rate various aspects of their service or product experience. These vary by industry, but include such areas as customer service, billing, ease of use, etc. Based on these consumer responses, we then determine the importance of each of these areas and how each contributes to overall satisfaction. The consumer ratings on each of these areas, and their relative importance, are combined to create an overall numerical Index score--and this score determines which companies or brands receive a J.D. Power award.

What makes JDPower.com Power Circle Ratings different?

Power Circle Ratings are one of the only sources of consumer ratings based on independent and unbiased feedback from a representative sample of verified product and service owners. Representative means that the study results represent the general population of buyers/owners of that particular product or service, and verified means that the respondent actually owns, has owned, or used the product or service being rated.

Although many Web sites provide consumer ratings and feedback, in most cases product or service ownership is not verified. Verification of ownership is important because ratings on other sites may be based on information collected from online surveys, discussion forums, or chat rooms. In many cases, this type of consumer feedback lacks sufficient rigor. In some instances, a respondent is providing feedback on a product or service that they do not own.

What is the difference between Voice of the Customer feedback and expert opinion?

J.D. Power provides "Voice of the Customer" research based on actual survey responses from real consumers. J.D. Power represents the Voice of the Customer by translating survey responses from consumers and businesses into studies and reports that are used by companies worldwide to improve quality and customer satisfaction. These studies, reports, and Power Circle Ratings are based solely on Voice of the Customer feedback*.

J.D. Power researchers who conduct the surveys and prepare study results do not conduct product testing activities. J.D. Power does, however, leverages its expertise within the industries it serves to help companies improve their quality and customer satisfaction performance. Associates at J.D. Power also provide content on JDPower.com that showcases their expertise.

Other companies may provide their own experts to test products and services and generate ratings based on such expert opinions. But, this is not how J.D. Power operates. Our study results, reports, and Power Circle Ratings are solely based on the Voice of the Customer.

I had a negative experience with a product or service provider that ranked highly in a J.D. Power study. How can this be?

Even top performers occasionally receive poor ratings. However, when the responses from thousands of consumers are combined, industry leaders have higher overall ratings than their competitors. The expectation is that you are more likely to be satisfied with an industry leader than with those that receive lower overall ratings.

How do companies receive approval to use J.D. Power awards?

J.D. Power has strict guidelines for advertising claims, and every advertising claim related to a study is reviewed prior to publication to ensure accuracy. Only highest-ranked performers in pre-defined categories are allowed to license the use of J.D. Power awards in advertising.

Results are based on measures of customer satisfaction and quality by consumers that are proprietary to J.D. Power. Awards and performance ranking are based on numerical scores, and not necessarily on statistical significance. Our experience indicates that even when small differences occur in the scores of those being measured, these small perceived differences help drive competition in the marketplace, thereby improving product and service quality and driving increases in overall customer satisfaction.

How can J.D. Power information be unbiased when manufacturers pay for the studies?

J.D. Power industry benchmarking studies generally are not funded by the companies that are measured. Our syndicated studies are funded and owned by the company and based on the aggregated responses of consumer perceptions of product quality and customer satisfaction--not the opinions of J.D. Power. After the study results are published, manufacturers, retailers, suppliers, and other industry participants can choose whether or not to purchase the study. Ownership of study data is key to the company's independence and unbiased position. This third-party perspective enables us to provide clients and consumers with credible and clear feedback. Although J.D. Power does conduct custom research for many clients to help drive quality and customer satisfaction improvement, results of this type of proprietary research are owned by the clients that commission the research and the results are not made available to the public.

I received a J.D. Power questionnaire but I've misplaced it. How can I request another survey?

At any one time, there are more than 400 projects in various stages of the survey/data collection process. Therefore, it is not feasible to provide another survey for a particular study and be assured that it can be included before the study closing deadline. We appreciate your interest in participating in our surveys; hopefully, there will be another opportunity in the future for you to complete one.

If you have additional questions about a J.D. Power Survey you have received, visit our Survey Helpdesk >

Why am I no longer receiving email communications from J.D. Power?

Due to firewall restrictions at the recipient level, some previous email subscribers may have been removed from the distribution list. If you are a previous subscriber but have not received any of our recent emails, please contact your IT department and have them designate the following domains as “safe” to receive email from:

  • Mail01.info.jdpa.com
  • Mail02.info.jdpa.com
  • Mail03.info.jdpa.com