Real Estate

Trustpilot issues legal proceedings against property firm


Trustpilot has issued legal proceedings against two companies, including a property firm, after finding evidence of trying to mislead consumers through fake reviews.

The reviews site, which announced earlier this year that it is stepping up enforcement against companies, including property firms who repeatedly break the rules by soliciting fake and misleading online reviews, is taking action against SO Cameras and European property company Euro Resales.  

These are the latest firms to be subject to legal action, following Global Migrate in February 2022,

Carolyn Jameson, Trustpilot’s chief trust officer, said: “Our research has found that consumers are concerned about misinformation online – and Trustpilot remains committed to tackling that problem.

“As the growth of online shopping shows no signs of slowing, we know that both customers and businesses rely on reviews more than ever, but the way these reviews are collected, displayed and managed varies greatly across the internet. That’s why it’s so important for us to set the standard in trust online – trust and transparency is at the heart of everything we do.”

Trustpilot has released new data through its annual Transparency Report which reveals a significant increase in the number of reviews left on the platform – up 21% year-on-year to 46.7 million – as advances in its technology has ensured the removal of 2.7 million fakes from the platform (equivalent to 5.8% of the total reviews submitted during 2021).

The global review platform says that data from the report reveals that continued investment in fraud and anomaly detection software has enabled Trustpilot to confidently scale enforcement measures against those abusing the platform through multiple channels.

Of the 2.7m fake reviews identified and removed in 2021, 1.8 million were detected by Trustpilot’s technology – shooting up 19% in comparison to 2020. Technology improvements also meant that Trustpilot issued 121,048 warnings last year, an almost threefold year on year increase.

The platform has also stepped up its efforts to protect against misuse. The number of public warning banners (2,637) placed at the top of businesses’ profiles pages – alerting consumers when misuse has been identified on the page – increased fourfold in 2021, whilst 1,425 formal ‘cease and desist’ letters were also issued to businesses breaching Trustpilot’s guidelines – an increase of 38% year-on-year.

The findings are part of the company’s second annual Transparency Report which gives insight into the approach Trustpilot is taking to safeguard its platform as it continues to grow globally.

Reasons businesses were subject to such enforcement action include incentivising consumers to leave reviews, ‘cherry picking’ by selectively inviting only happy customers to share feedback, abusing the reporting tool by repeatedly only flagging negative reviews to Trustpilot, or soliciting fake reviews – all of which undermine trust in reviews and breach Trustpilot’s Guidelines for Businesses.

Peter Muhlmann, founder and CEO of Trustpilot, commented: “It’s clear that consumers value open platforms like Trustpilot to share their experiences and this is demonstrated by the 46.7 million reviews submitted over the last year alone.

“Trust in reviews remains absolutely crucial in order to ensure consumers can make more informed decisions, and businesses can demonstrate their commitment to providing a good customer experience.

“This is the second time we have published our Transparency Report and over the last year we have continued to make significant investments and progress in our detection technologies – helping us to increasingly take more confident action against those who seek to use reviews to mislead consumers.  As our report shows, we’re committed to protecting the integrity of our platform.”

 





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