To Trust or Not to Trust: Is Trustpilot Legit?

What Is

At first glance, Trustpilot is a helpful feedback aggregator for all sorts of online businesses. But the platform could not have survived as long or been as successful without a steady revenue stream. So if posting reviews is free, as it should be, where does the money come from? Let’s take a closer look at the inner workings and learn if we can trust this platform.

Who Owns

The website started as a university student’s side project to help his parents shop online using honest reviews. Peter Holten Mühlmann created Trustpilot in 2007 in Denmark and later raised seed capital, expanded the company, opened US offices, and turned the platform into an online powerhouse listed on the London Stock Exchange. With a million new reviews posted monthly, it’s one of the biggest feedback aggregators online.

How Does It Work?

As a customer, you sign up for a free account and post a Trustpilot review whenever the mood strikes you. It’s easy, fast, and free. The reviews supposedly go through moderators before appearing on the company’s Trustpilot page and affect its rating. You may also sometimes receive responses from the company representatives.

Businesses may ignore their profiles or claim them for free. But Trustpilot has a premium option, too. And that’s where things get interesting for us, the clients. Paying companies have the right to report any review, which immediately disappears from their profile and stops affecting the rating. Say, if a business doesn’t like a 1-star post, it only takes a report to get rid of it. I’m guessing that’s how some companies keep a perfect track record with a rating of 5.0 stars, which seems impossible to me. Pricing

So how much do businesses have to pay to get complete control over Trustpilot reviews? The cheapest option is $225 per month for an annual plan. That adds up to $2,700 per year. While that’s not a huge sum of money, remember these expenses are added to the price of the products or services you purchase from companies online. In the end, we pay for reading doctored reviews online.

Fun fact: in February 2021, a bunch of small and medium businesses filed a class action Trustpilot lawsuit, claiming the company deceived business owners into paying for subscription plans. Companies did not receive renewal notes and could not opt out of a subscription after the payment was transferred. The lawsuit was dismissed in October 2021. Still, if you Google ‘Trustpilot scam’, you’ll find plenty of disgruntled posts by business owners. So it’s not just us, consumers, who should be careful with the platform.

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Is Reliable?

So are Trustpilot reviews real? Some are genuine, but you may not get the full picture without all the negative posts. And some positive reviews can be doctored. Still, I don’t think we should dismiss the platform altogether. It’s a valuable tool for researching online reputation. As long as it’s not the only place you search for reviews, you should be safe enough. Popular Essay Writing Services Reviews

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Besides, creating a Trustpilot login account can be useful to leave feedback whenever you’re happy or disappointed with the product or service and wish to share your experience. Just make sure your review is 100% accurate, especially if you’re writing about a law firm. Defamation Charges

Another scandal hit the platform in 2021 when a London-based Summerfield Browne filed a lawsuit against a client who posted a negative review on Trustpilot. The company accused the reviewer of defamation. The Trustpilot administration condemned the legal action against a reviewer but did nothing else. The platform merely added a banner reading, “Please be aware that this business has taken legal action against a consumer for a review left on this profile.”


Is it possible to buy reviews?

The platform does not ‘sell’ positive reviews, but there have been some allegations about fake or doctored feedback. In most cases, businesses seem to pay freelancers to post positive reviews.

Are Trustpilot’s reviews fake?

No, I believe most of the reviews are genuine. Still, considering the company’s business model, you must read reviews carefully before you trust any of them.

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