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PerfectTense is an online grammar and spelling checker that can be implemented online. It is intended for use on a business or personal website.
It uses artificial intelligence to ensure that all communications coming from a business is free of mistakes, but how easy is it to implement this product? Is the paid version worth it for a small business? Does this product provide any benefit for students or professional writers?
That’s what we intend to find out in this Perfect Tense review.
Perfect Tense Pros
1. Free Grammar Checker
While Perfect Tense is designed for business website use, that doesn’t mean it’s totally useless to students and writers looking for an online resource on which to check their work.
In fact, the company has its own free online grammar and spell checker.
I was happy with the results that I received.
All of the mistakes were marked clearly by color. When you highlight the error in question, it tells you what it thinks is wrong and how you can correct it.
Here’s the best thing. It’s a free service that doesn’t hammer you over the head with ads for a paid service. You’re able to go in there, paste your content, and make your corrections.
There’s a tiny little link in the lower right-hand corner of the text box that links to the main Perfect Tense site. Other than that, it stays out of your way and provides the service that is advertised.
Of course, it’s still a free grammar and spell check system, so you’re going to have to temper your expectations. When it comes to spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, run-on sentences, and punctuation mistakes, it does well enough. It will even help you rephrase some awkward passages. It doesn’t give you a list of your mistakes, however. You have to scroll through and find them. Also, you’re not going to get a lot in terms of contextual corrections, passive voice, verb usage, and other more advanced corrections.
It’s not going to serve as a writing tutor the way other more advanced premium services do. Grammarly software, for instance, gives you a lot of information on not only what you did wrong by why it’s wrong. That’s not something you’re going to find with Perfect Tense. You can’t expect a free tool like this to do much more than identify your grammatical mistakes and spelling errors.
However, I found it to be competent at doing precisely what it advertised. Spell check and grammar check. No more, no less.
2. Browser Compatible
The free grammar and punctuation checker mentioned above are available through the Perfect Tense website. There is no downloadable program for it.
In fact, there’s no downloadable program for the main website-based product either.
But, the main product is available on a number of browsers.
The system is supported on several plain text and rich text editors. On top of that, it’s compatible with internet browsers such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and more.
Perfect Tense Cons
1. No Plagiarism Checker
Plagiarism is a huge problem in the writing world.
Now, I’m not saying that people are sitting there, plotting to steal the work of others on a large scale and must be policed. I’m saying that most of the plagiarism we encounter is 100% accidental.
Either something is not cited correctly, or the writer got too close to the content they were using as a resource. When that happens, it’s important to be able to catch it.
That’s why we value a reliable plagiarism detector, pulling from billions of websites and highlighting problematic plagiarised passages.
Unfortunately, Perfect Tense doesn’t offer that.
It’s a shame, too, because websites that plagiarize content from other sources are often flagged by Google and suffer on search engines. A plagiarism detector could be a helpful addition to this grammar checker software.
2. Unresponsive, Form-Only Customer Service
If I’m using a service, particularly a service for my business website, I want to know that when I have a problem, I have a fast and easy road toward a solution.
That’s where customer service comes in. My favorite form of customer service is live chat. It’s a great way to communicate instantly with your company’s customer support department.
Unfortunately, Perfect Tense doesn’t have that.
My second favorite form of customer support is phone support. You might have to wait on hold for a bit, but at least there’s a direct line to the people who control the service you’re using.
They don’t have that either.
My least favorite form of customer support is a simple contact form. You fill it out, you send it along, and you have no idea when or if you’re going to hear back.
That one they do have.
I filled the form out, asking them a question about their free online checker. I also ask them about the definition of an “instance” (more on that later), which is mentioned a few times on their site.
When I finished writing out my query, I submitted the request for information and got a confirmation.
I did not get an automated confirmation email saying that my request had been received.
In fact, it took another six days to get a response.
3. Complex, Slow Installation
If you’re going to be using the website-based grammar and spelling checker, you’re going to have to install the system on your site.
I started out by clicking the Sign Up For Free button at the top of the page.
After that, I had to enter my information. At the end, they ask you for your company size. However, there is an option for “Just Me” if you’re a blogger or sole proprietor.
Now, you have to add the system’s code into your site.
Add the code?
Yes, that’s right. It’s not like a WordPress add-on that you can just activate. This is actual code that you have to install on your site.
While they call the installation “simple,” unless you have coding knowledge, you run some serious risks.
When you’re editing the code of your site, with one wrong move, you can bring down the whole thing. What’s more, if you don’t know what you’re doing, there is no “back” or “undo” button. So you could wreck your site and have no way to fix it.
I can’t say that something has a simple installation process when it involves adding code to your website.
After that, you’ll be taken to the dashboard. It is simple enough and easy to navigate. But, if you can’t install the code on your site, it won’t matter.
4. 1,000 “Instances” on Free Plan
Perfect Tense has a free plan. That plan has a limit imposed on it as almost all free plans do.
The limit is 1,000 instances.
What’s an instance?
They explain it a bit on their site.
Any time a text area with Perfect Tense is loaded, that’s an instance.
By that, do they mean any time the site is updated?
It’s a confusing term with a more complicated explanation. I asked customer support about it, but I got no response, so I’m still confused.
Perfect Tense Costs, Plans, & Payment Options
Perfect Tense has a free plan, a Business plan, and a custom priced Enterprise plan.
The free version is going to get you 1,000 instances per month.
The Business plan is a massive uptick in price. It’s $99 per month and comes with 10,000 instances per month. If you exceed that, you’re looking at another dollar per additional 1,000 instances. They say that this plan works well for small businesses.
The Enterprise plan involves contacting Perfect Tense for a custom quote. The volume is also custom and tailored to the specific needs of your company.
The Business Plan comes with a 14-day free trial. There is no credit card required for the trial.
Do I Recommend Perfect Tense?
I don’t think you should be checking your thesis on this service, but if it’s a short essay or article that you’re looking for quick and affordable feedback on grammar mistakes, it’s capable enough. That being said, for anything larger, I would recommend a service like Grammarly.
Perfect Tense isn’t the road to grammatical greatness.
It’s a capable piece of checker software that will help you improve your writing skills. Is it as advanced as the Grammarly extension? No. But it gets the job done adequately.
And it’s a helluva lot more expensive, too.
As a paid service, I’m more hesitant. That’s mostly because I was so disappointed with the customer service department and installation process.