The Danish review community Trustpilot has over the last few years entered new markets and become one of the largest review communities for online shoppers. In May last year the company announced it had closed an investment round of $73 million, and that the money would be used for ensuring global growth.
- Every day more than 10,000 consumers sign up for a Trustpilot account, demonstrating the growing global trend that a brand is no longer what the company says it is; it’s what the customers say it is, said Trustpilot Founder and CEO Peter Holten Mühlmann at the time.
Reviews Mystically Gone
But not everyone is satisfied with the company’s services.
- Trustpilot is a distasteful business that way too many people put up with. The company’s methods remind of the ones carried out by the Italian mafia. We are determined on changing Trustpilot’s bullying into making their existence a nightmare, said Morten Zachariason, sales manager of Phonetrade, to Businessdanmark.dk.
The e-retailer Phonetrade, which also has its origin in Denmark, said their problems with Trustpilot started when Phonetrade declined a deal with the community site. The deal included Trustpilot removing unfounded Phonetrade reviews from the community, as well as offering support and send emails to customers, a service Phonetrade considered too expensive.
After the deal was declined, however, all positive Phonetrade reviews on Trustpilot’s site mystically disappeared, according to Morten Zachariason.
- My impression is not that Trustpilot wants to create a valid guide or a fair picture of the web shops. They solely want to give small businesses as bad ratings as possible, so that they will see the need of buying "friendship" with Trustpilot, he said.
Considering Taking Legal Action
But Trustpilot denies being guilty of such behaviour. According to the review site at least one of Phonetrade’s positive reviews came from the company itself, which is against the Trustpilot rules.
- Trustpilot obviously does not remove reviews just because a business does not want to become a client. Such methods would work against Trustpilot’s right to exist and what we believe in and fight for each day, said Mathilde Lykke Bülow, Communications Director at Trustpilot.
According to Business Danmark Phonetrade is now considering taking legal action against Trustpilot.