Trustpilot is a company founded by Dane Holten Mühlmann in 2007. The company says that their mission is to provide the most unbiased picture of the reputation of companies, products, etc. Does Trustpilot really strive for objectivity, or are these empty words? Let's take a look at the facts.
A lot of facts and aspects of the company speak to its fraudulent nature. The first problem is the problem of creating reviews. Trustpilot doesn't put any restrictions on posting reviews. That is, this means that anyone can leave a review and at the same time the reviews will not be seriously checked. It turns out that anyone can leave a review, even if they have never used the products and services of the company for which they wrote a review. It has long been a practice for companies to hire people from poor countries and they manually write positive reviews.
Admittedly, trading customer data is very common today. Still, not all companies do this, but Trustpilot is not among those that do not trade customer data.
Falsification of reviews on Trustpilot is so widespread that it ranks third in terms of frequency for search queries that concern Trustpilot. In order to eliminate the impact of Google's personalization of search results, we have enabled incognito mode. The fact that there are a lot of articles and videos about cheating methods all over the Internet is also very telling. The video can be filmed in 2017 and at the end of 2023, the cheating method shown in the video is still working. Obviously, Trustpilot does not make serious efforts to combat cheat reviews, although their moderators can at least file complaints about videos and articles with methods of buying reviews to be blocked by Google or the site administration. Apparently, Trustpilot is benefiting from it all. Scandalous and negative reviews attract much more attention.
There is one funny and at the same time frightening video on the Internet, in which the author checks the methods of cheating on Reddit and Trustpilot. As a result, it turned out that out of 5 methods that are used in videos on Trustpilot, only one does not work. On Reddit, out of these 5 methods, only one works. At the same time, Reddit is more of a forum than a platform for reviews.
By the way, there is another interesting difference between these two sites. If you take a look at the overall rating of the same company on Reddit and Trustpilot, you'll notice that the ratings are always very different. Those companies that are generally believed to have a negative reputation on Reddit will have a much better reputation than is commonly believed. This fact is
another confirmation that Trustpilot's management is not interested in showing site visitors an objective picture. They are only interested in making a profit, including by selling the possibility of directly influencing reviews.
One of Trustpilot's services for several years now has been the ability to manipulate reviews about your business on Trustpilot. For a certain amount, which is individual in each case, you can buy the negative review filtering feature on your platform. That is, to make sure that your business has only positive reviews. Or, at least, reviews that are not harshly criticized. This fact has been revealed by many media outlets. If you're interested, go to the English-language Wikipedia page of Trustpilot and read for yourself, there are direct sources there. Since 2022, the situation has deteriorated even more because the sale of this service has become Trustpilot's main source of income.
The fact that anyone can sign up and start writing reviews without a prior verification procedure also tells us that Trustpilot is not interested in having objectivity on their platform. The lack of verification means that the same person can create an unlimited number of accounts and reviews. If there is mandatory verification on Trustpilot, it will mean that one person will be able to have only one account and will not be able to register several accounts in the same name and leave reviews from them.
Verification, along with moderation, is the best way to deal with fake reviews, but you can also simply block accounts if, for example, two have the same IP addresses, and make an exception only for accounts of members of the same family.
Thanks to journalist Ryan Badger, the fraudulent schemes used by Trustpilot have been fully exposed and proven. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, European regulators, Google, lawyers for individual companies, and independent journalists are currently conducting an additional investigation.
Back in 2015, less than a year after its inception, Trustpilot began making money on a scheme in which it first fabricates negative reviews for a company, and then sends an offer to the marketing department to remove negative reviews and replace them with positive ones for a certain amount of money.
Well-known comedian Joe Lysett showed an experiment on the British Channel Four in which he created a fictional company and began to use various schemes to cheat reviews. He registered a company producing "magical" water purifiers in the form of ordinary colanders (British humor) in a mailbox called "Literally Someone". At first, Joe asked his friends to leave positive reviews on the shell company. All reviews have received the "Verified" status. That is, this means that Trustpilot has checked this comment for falsification. That is, it turns out that the moderators were not embarrassed by the positive feedback on the colander used for water purification.
Next, Joe went to the mall and started giving away chupa chups in exchange for people leaving positive reviews for his "innovative" company. In one of those reviews, a man wrote that Joe's colander saved his marriage. By the way, this review has also received the "Verified" status.
Next, Joe starts testing various sites that offer cheat reviews. Joe bought 160 reviews for $2 apiece, and Trustpilot again didn't do anything, didn't block Joe's page, and didn't even issue any warning. As a result, Joe's shell company became the first in the city in a number of categories: including the best water treatment company in the city, the best cutlery cleaning company, the best mineral water company in the UK!
Write a company review and tell us about your experience