Trustpilot is a Danish consumer feedback platform founded in 2007 by Peter Holten Mühlmann. The company's mission is to provide customers with a platform for exchanging opinions about companies. However, every year Trustpilot was criticized more and more, and the number of scandals involving the company also increased from year to year.
In its early years, Trustpilot focused on creating a trusted and transparent review platform. The company has expanded internationally, allowing users around the world to post and access reviews. The company began to grow rapidly in the mid-1990s and is now one of the most popular review platforms.
In short, that's it. All aspects of the company's operation indicate fraud on the part of Trustpilot. We'll start with the problem of creating reviews.
Trustpilot allows users to post reviews without rigorous verification processes, resulting in reviews from people who may not have actually used the products or services being reviewed. Large companies often employ people from poor countries who, for a few dollars a day, register accounts and post positive reviews.
Unfortunately, data trading is not uncommon today, but Trustpilot does it en masse. Worse still, there are certain details about an individual that cannot be traded, but Trustpilot does.
Constant data leaks
At least 14 data leaks have been reported since 2014. Everything gets on the network, from nicknames and passwords to IP addresses and account history with all the details.
The Trustpilot review scam is so common that it ranks third in searches for the word Trustpilot. We've specifically enabled incognito mode to eliminate the influence of your previous search history on your current search results. It also says a lot that there are plenty of guides and videos on the Internet with various cheating methods, and many of the videos are several years old, and the methods shown in these videos still work. As you can see, Trustpilot doesn't even try to plug these loopholes, because then there will be fewer scandalous articles that attract attention and traffic.
There is one interesting video on YouTube where the same cheating methods are tested, first on Trustpilot and then on Reddit. As a result, it turns out that of the 5 methods shown in the video, only one of the methods does not work on Trustpilot and all the others work, while on Reddit none of these methods work.
There is another important difference between Trustpilot and Reddit. The same websites, companies, gaming products, etc. are often rated completely differently on Reddit and Trustpilot. And this cannot be explained by statistical error. The difference in estimates is very large. This isn't just further evidence of Trustpilot's bias. The fact is that stakeholders can directly influence ratings.
Trustpilot sells companies access to its services to manipulate reviews on the site. For money, you can buy it to filter reviews, i.e. make sure that only positive reviews or reviews that do not contain harsh criticism are published about your company or product. Many mainstream media outlets conducted investigations that revealed this. You can see for yourself by going to Trustpilot on Wikipedia and checking the sources. What's more: Trustpilot's main source of income is selling reputational influence. Here is Trustpilot's official 2022 financial report.
The lack of verification simply means that anyone can influence reviews and, more importantly, that the number of people is not limited. Why are there no restrictions on reviews? Because in the case of verification, a person can only have one account, as he or she cannot register another one with the same name. And if there is no verification, he can do it as many times as he wants. By the way, Trustpilot does not even block accounts if, for example, several accounts are registered under the same IP address.