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Webbed Feet UK, web developers in Salisbury, Wiltshire

Why you can’t trust Trustpilot reviews

A recent purchase from MyMemory left me feeling that I’d received bad customer service, and so when I received an email from them asking to make a Trustpilot review I took the opportunity with a smile.

Although the original service I received from MyMemory certainly wouldn’t be worth a blog article, what followed after my review most certainly is as, in my opinion; it undermines the whole purpose of an independent review service.

My review wasn’t a good one, and was focussed around delivery (order not arriving) and refunds. After submitting it I noticed that there were lots of other people leaving low reviews about the same thing, so from this you could assume there is an issue.

Shortly after posting the review MyMemory had reported it to Trustpilot, asking it to be taken down with the reason that I didn’t provide an order number (although there is no prerequisite to do so). So, my review was taken offline and, to my surprise, so were all the others that had the same grievance. It seems to me that MyMemory periodically go to Trustpilot and report any reviews that aren’t positive.

Of course then Trustpilot gave me the opportunity to prove that I had in fact been a customer, and I did this by providing an invoice and copies of my PayPal statement.

My review, sometime later, has been put back online, but from what I can see many of the others haven’t.

So, it seems to me that if a business gets multiple poor reviews (as from my experience MyMemory do), all they need to do is report them all, and Trustpilot will ask all reviewers to prove that they made a purchase. With today’s busy lifestyle it will follow that only a small proportion of people will follow up on this, meaning that the overall rating for the company would be very much skewed towards the good reviews.

Looking at MyMemory’s first page of reviews, from a sample of 21; 16 are positive, 2 are only 1*, and 3 have been reported and removed because of “No order number or details to verify purchase”. As my review is on there, that means that at least (from the small sample I’ve taken) 80% negative reviews have been reported, and 60% have, to date, not been reinstated.

I believe that Trustpilot need to sort this out, as it is making a mockery of their system.

It’s appalling that MyMemory, and I assume other companies, can skew their reviews so much, and it seems for little effort get over half of their negative review removed.

Perhaps Trustpilot need to flag up vendors who report a high proportion of their negative reviews, especially those who are proven genuine time after time. I appreciate that they can’t have false reviews, by companies reporting  them all is ridiculous, unless of course they do the same with the positive ones.

So, don’t trust Trustpilot, and take their results with a pinch of salt.

I invite Trustpilot to comment and I’ll post their reply.  In the meantime you can see their guidelines, specifically point 6, here http://uk.legal.trustpilot.com/user-guidelines

Update

After a Twitter exchange with MyMemory (who seem to miss the point) and Trustpilot (who seem to be looking in to it), this is a reply I received from Trustpilot.

"Thank you once again for helping us improve the quality of the reviews on Trustpilot. We really appreciate your help!

Although I am unable to comment on the specific investigation, I can assure you, that we will look into mymemory.co.uk.

I would like to stress once again that companies cannot demand that a review is removed, and that if a company only reports negative reviews, the company will be warned and if the behavior persists, we will take further action.

Thank you again for using Trustpilot and for actively helping us keep the site updated.

If you have any further questions, comments or information regarding this please let me know."

If I get any further updates I'll keep people informed, but at least Trustpilot seem to be investigating this.

I'd be interested to know if anyone else is having similar issues with other companies.

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