Trustpilot for sure has a serious problem with its business model. The review platform is systematically abused by scammers to fabricate a serious image for potential client-victims via fake reviews. Trustpilot accepts operators of obvious scams like Capital Way as paying customers and removes critical reviews on their request. By doing this, Trustpilot facilitates scams and/or unauthorized businesses and their illicit activities.
A questionable business model
Trustpilot‘s business model is to make money from companies that use their services. We don’t have any specific figures but we can say with certainty that a significant proportion of these business customers are scam operators and/or illicit businesses. Following the maxim “the paying customer rules the game” Trustpilot removes critical reviews when a paying scam customer complains about alleged policy violations or defamation. Apparently, no one at Trustpilot checks whether the complaint is even justified.
Because we believe in the power of the community, we’ve created a whistleblower function that lets people who use Trustpilot notify us about any problems.Trustpilot Support Center (link)
Don’t trust Trustpilot
Trustpilot claims to have a whistleblower function to uncover illegal business practices (see Support Center post here). Instead of an easy-to-use button, to blow the whistle one has to find the contact form to contact the Content Integrity Team.
In the case of Capital Way, our journalist as a registered Capital Way user correctly pointed out in a review that the UK FCA has issued a scam warning against the offshore operator Eastridge Capital Ltd, and apparently poses as a clone of an FCA registered entity. This is a fact and not an opinion, isn’t it? It was enough for Trustpilot to remove the review following a complaint from Capital Way. This approach means that Capital Way still has an excellent 4.5-star rating despite warnings from regulators (i.e. authorities). Unbelievable, isn’t it?
In our cyberfinance and home office era, many consumers trust the quality and seriousness of Trustpilot. It is therefore highly problematic if Trustpilot abuses this trust by taking money from scammers to let boiler room agents fabricate positive ratings.