It’s no secret that TrustPilot and the likes charge an outrageous amount for their monthly premium plans. They appear to be in line with what could best be called pay-to-play tactics. At worst, their tactics resemble those of mafia thugs. The truth is, TrustPilot won’t remove fake negative reviews from your company profile unless you pay their exorbitant fees. How do we know? We experienced it first hand.
You’re Not Getting What You Pay For
So what exactly are you paying for? Unscrupulous merchants that want to remain unaccountable for their poor customer service and their poor quality products love TrustPilot Premium and subscription plans from other companies. If you receive negative reviews from sites like TrustPilot, SiteJabber, RipoffReport, PissedConsumer and others, these companies will approach you with a subscription service that allows you to remove these negative reviews. This unethical form of reputation management has two negative effects:
- It allows merchants to remain unaccountable to their customers.
- It provides these companies with a new revenue stream when you receive negative reviews.
The first point harms consumer confidence. Potential customers deserve to know something about the quality of products and services that a merchant offers. This is, after all, the entire idea behind online review services. Allowing merchants to remove reviews they don’t like in the name “reputation management” allows the worst merchants to deceive potential customers through an act of online omission.
The Dark Side of TrustPilot and Similar Companies
There is a darker side to these online review sites. Anytime someone leaves a review about a company on TrustPilot and other review sites, these reviews provide TrustPilot with greater exposure in search engine results, and it creates advertising space on their website. They have every incentive to leave these reviews in place, and by looking at the price of the premium plans, you can tell this is highly profitable.
Unfortunately, TrustPilot can also use these negative reviews to gouge a merchant. This is tantamount to extortion. The narrative goes like this: “pay us money, and we’ll protect you from these negative reviews.” It’s like the mafia trying to force you to buy protection. This is why TrustPilot and other review sites allow anyone to leave a review about any company they want, regardless of whether the reviewer is an actual customer.
By allowing anyone to post a fake review, TrustPilot is allowing competitors, disgruntled employees, and internet trolls the ability to destroy your reputation by posting fake online reviews about your company. As long as these reviews are decently written, a fake review checker tool won’t be able to tell the difference between what’s real and fake. Most potential customers will simply err on the side of safety and will buy something from a different company. This cuts into your revenue and damages your reputation. Clearly, TrustPilot’s incentive is not to protect your reputation; it’s to create a platform that facilitates extortion.
Only Real Customers Should Post Reviews
This was yet another example of why we created Trustalyze. This gives honorable merchants a chance to level the playing field; merchants that use Trustalyze will have a branded profile page that displays reviews from real customers. If you’re a legitimate company that prides itself on customer service and quality products, don’t let sites like TrustPilot destroy your reputation. Join Trustalyze and place the Trustalyze Badge on your site. This shows your customers reviews from actual customers, which helps you build trust with new customers.