Home Insights & Advice Can you rely on Trustpilot reviews?

Can you rely on Trustpilot reviews?

by John Saunders
14th Dec 20 4:36 pm

When any person, website, or organisation claims to be a source of truth, there will be skeptics. And when a platform like Trustpilot gathers around 2.5 million reviews every month, of course some people will question them, asking if Trustpilot reviews are written by fake accounts, for example.

The critics are easily answered, though. Trustpilot has multiple teams and AI bots guarding against fake reviews and fraud. It is a real company, registered in the UK, with real employees. Out of all the websites in the world, Trustpilot is among the top 1% most used.

Trustpilot provides uncensored, transparent reviews of organisations, products, and services written by the public. Before you buy clothing, eat at a restaurant, shop on an ecommerce website, or donate to a cause, you can read others’ experiences on Trustpilot to help you make your decision.

Commitment to an open platform

What is an open platform? Why should you care about it? In this case, it means you can create a new Trustpilot account and write a review of your latest purchase within minutes. Then, their system will immediately post your review, whether it’s positive or negative—and whether or not that company has a business relationship with Trustpilot.

No one has to approve your reviews. No one can edit or censor your reviews. Your voice can be heard on Trustpilot. You can shout the praises of a company or warn others away – as long as it’s within Trustpilot’s guidelines.

On an open platform, you can see the best, the worst, and everything in between. Some shoppers are polite and constructive. Some are very disappointed and not afraid to show it. You’ll be able to see all of it.

It’s also true that any business can encourage their customers to go to Trustpilot and leave a review for them. But Trustpilot tells companies very seriously that they can’t pay for reviews or bother customers about them. And if any company is mistreating customers or visitors, people will write negative Trustpilot reviews about it—and no amount of money will compel the platform to censor them.

Fake reviews get flagged

Let’s imagine that a reviewer who never even shopped at a company creates an account under a fake name and writes a mean review of that company just to damage them. Unfortunately, this is a reality that many businesses have to deal with.

What can companies do about this? They can flag a review for it to be checked out. Let’s say the business has no record that the reviewer was their customer. They can flag the review and the reviewer may have to show a receipt to Trustpilot’s Content Integrity team to prove their status as a real shopper.

This will allow companies to manage and remove potentially fake reviews from their profile, but will also limit users feeling censored.

Trustpilot strongly warns companies on their platform not to flag reviews just because they’re negative. They must have a reason that is in line with the platform’s stated policies. Otherwise, Trustpilot can discipline a company or even kick them off the platform.

This won’t stop reviews—whether positive or negative—from being posted, but can prevent the banned company from responding to or flagging reviews, as well as accessing features that can make it easier for businesses to share their Trustpilot ratings with potential customers. It’s in their best interest to play by the rules.

Four prongs of protection

For several years, Trustpilot has improved their resources for making Trustpilot reviews more and more trustworthy. These systems include:

  1. Employee Teams: Trustpilot employs experts who come to work every day to check that the company applies the same standards and policies to every review.
  2. Artificial Intelligence: Dozens of separate software robots continually scan reviews, searching for common fraud tactics discovered over the years.
  3. Technology Experts: Programmers constantly add new features to keep Trustpilot ahead of scammers. In addition to being tech experts, team members also come from other fields, including police investigation, psychology, linguistics, and physics.
  4. Community Members: Helpful, concerned spotters also contact Trustpilot about possible fake reviews.

Plus, when you read about an organisation on Trustpilot, you can navigate to that organisation’s profile page. There are now more stats there, telling you how each organisation gathers reviews and how often they answer and flag reviews. That gives you an idea of how much any company respects their customers and values an open platform.

Consumers need genuine reviews and answers fast. That’s why Trustpilot’s Content Integrity, Tech, and Enforcement teams are committed to sharing real reviews and stamping out fake ones. You can use Trustpilot reviews as an integral part of your research process. This open platform democratises reviews and makes the internet safer for all of us.

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