Author: Cheng Zhao |

Is Trustpilot.com Legit?
Can You Trust Trustpilot?

Is Trustpilot.com Legit?
Can You Trust
Trustpilot?

5 min read

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Understanding Trustpilot.com

At first glance, Trustpilot serves as a valuable feedback aggregation platform catering to various online businesses. However, the platform’s continued existence and success are intrinsically tied to a sustained revenue stream. While user reviews are freely posted, a critical inquiry arises: where does the platform’s funding originate? A closer examination of its operational dynamics sheds light on its credibility.

Ownership of Trustpilot.com

Trustpilot originated as a side project initiated by a university student, Peter Holten Mühlmann, with the intention of facilitating honest online shopping for his parents through authentic reviews. In 2007, Mühlmann established Trustpilot in Denmark. Subsequently, he secured seed capital, orchestrated the company’s expansion, established US offices, and propelled the platform to become a prominent online entity listed on the London Stock Exchange. With a staggering influx of one million new reviews every month, Trustpilot stands as one of the foremost platforms for aggregating user feedback across the digital landscape.


How It Operates:

When you become a user, you sign up for a no-cost account and are able to submit a review on Trustpilot whenever you desire. The process is uncomplicated, swift, and doesn’t come with any charges. Prior to appearing on the company’s Trustpilot page and influencing its overall rating, the reviews are subjected to moderation. Occasionally, you might receive replies from representatives of the company being reviewed.

Businesses have the option to either disregard their profiles or take ownership of them at no cost. However, Trustpilot also provides a premium alternative, which introduces an intriguing dynamic for us, the consumers. By paying for this service, companies gain the privilege to flag any review they wish, causing it to instantly vanish from their profile and cease impacting their rating. To illustrate, if a business is displeased with a 1-star review, a simple report can eliminate it. This mechanism might explain how certain companies manage to maintain an impeccable track record with a seemingly impossible 5.0-star rating.

Pricing Structure of Trustpilot.com:

The question arises, what is the cost for businesses to obtain complete control over their Trustpilot reviews? The entry-level option begins at $225 monthly, under the condition of an annual subscription. This translates to a yearly total of $2,700. While this might not amount to a substantial sum, it’s worth noting that these expenses are ultimately passed on to consumers, integrated into the prices of the products or services we purchase online. Essentially, we end up paying for manipulated reviews that we encounter on the platform.

Interesting tidbit: In February 2021, a collection of small and medium-sized businesses collectively initiated a lawsuit against Trustpilot, asserting that the company misled business proprietors into subscribing to payment plans. These businesses alleged that they weren’t receiving renewal notices and were unable to opt out of their subscriptions once the payment had been processed. Although the lawsuit was dismissed in October 2021, a search for ‘Trustpilot scam’ on Google reveals numerous discontented posts from business owners. This highlights that it’s not solely us, the consumers, who should exercise caution while engaging with the platform.


Is Trustpilot.com Credible?

The authenticity of Trustpilot reviews is a mixed bag. While some are indeed authentic, it’s important to recognize that you might not gain a comprehensive understanding if negative reviews are omitted. Furthermore, certain positive reviews might be manipulated or fabricated. Despite this, completely disregarding the platform might not be the best approach. It serves as a valuable resource for gauging the online reputation of businesses. However, it’s crucial to avoid solely relying on Trustpilot for reviews; diversifying your sources will provide a safer evaluation.

Additionally, setting up a Trustpilot account can be advantageous if you wish to express your satisfaction or dissatisfaction with a product or service and contribute to the sharing of experiences. Nonetheless, it’s imperative to ensure that your review is entirely accurate, especially when discussing matters involving legal firms.

Trustpilot.com and Defamation Allegations

Another controversy emerged in 2021 when a London-based company named Summerfield Browne took legal action against a Trustpilot reviewer who had posted a negative review. The company alleged defamation against the reviewer. Although the Trustpilot administration publicly criticized the legal action directed at the reviewer, they took no further action. Instead, the platform simply displayed a banner stating, “Please be aware that this business has taken legal action against a consumer for a review left on this profile.”