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Sarah Beeny's Tepilo defiant after accusation it 'hides' bad reviews

Tepilo, the online agency set up by Sarah Beeny, has come out fighting after The Times newspaper accused it of ‘hiding’ bad reviews it received on Trustpilot.

Andrew Ellson, consumer affairs correspondent of the paper, wrote yesterday that Tepilo featured “20 glowing reviews from previous customers chosen from the independent website Trustpilot.com” with each review giving the online agency a maximum five stars.

However, looking at Trustpilot directly, Ellson claimed a quarter of the most recent 20 reviews of Tepilo gave it only one star with many citing a lack of communications and poor customer service.


Trustpilot gave Tepilo an overall score of 7.2 out of 10 based on 191 reviews up to the time of the newspaper’s analysis.

Now a spokeswoman from Tepilo has told Estate Agent Today that it is not unfair to cherry-pick the best reviews.

"Our five-star reviews are displayed on a web page clearly labelled as testimonials. As is the nature of testimonials, these reviews represent the strongest positive comments about the business that we've had in the course of selling hundreds of houses already this year, saving each of our customers thousands of pounds in fees. We also clearly link to the full set of reviews on Trustpilot for anyone to see. Three-quarters of our reviews are four star and above.

“Whilst Trustpilot give our site a rating of ‘great’ we would love it to be better, and are working hard in our rapidly growing business to continue to improve our customer experience which we have every confidence will be reflected in future reviews. We value all of our reviews and respond to all, investigating and resolving anywhere our customers tell us we have fallen short of our own high expectations."

However, The Times story itself may well be guilty of one inaccuracy at least - it says at the end that almost one in five properties is now sold by online estate agencies. 

The most recent estimate seen by Estate Agent Today is around five per cent.

  • Terence Dicks

    Just like Purple Bricks. Trustpilot should also be investigated for allowing this to happen, as it does not appear to live up to its name.

  • icon

    Ask a conveyancer would they recommend Tepilo. That's the best review. Always ask your conveyancer for the best estate agents in fact. We see the best and worst.

  • icon

    A recent example of the ease of placing many fake reviews was on 'LovePad.co.uk' which claimed that they were simply 'testing the system' after a News story exposed the issue. Trust Pilot reviews can seemingly be easily breached and cannot be 'trusted' as a result.

  • icon

    In what way have trust pilot have anything to answer - their reviews are accurate and the article makes no case that there is any misrepresentation on their part. The article simply accuses Telipo of misrepresenting the reviews. To a certain extent this is a non story - unless there is a live feedback widget on the telipo website how many companies would put negative reviews on their own site?

    Rob  Davies

    It's a massive non-story. The idea that Tepilo - or any agency - would put one-star reviews on their website is nonsense. You're not going to put bad reviews on your testimonials page, are you? That entirely defeats the object.

    And, as Tepilo pointed out, they linked directly to Trustpilot's website anyway. I don't think they have been misleading or dishonest, they have just done what any company worth their salt does - promote themselves with glowing reviews.

    It's like with books or films. You don't read a load of bad reviews on the inside cover of a book, do you? There aren't reviews saying "this film is awful/atrocious - one-star" on film trailers.

    I don't think either Tepilo or Trustpilot have done anything wrong here, it's just the Times making a mountain out of a molehill on a slow news day. If Tepilo had asked Trustpilot to take down or hide negative views on their website, they might have a point. But the idea that Tepilo would promote bad reviews on their own website is quite frankly ludicrous.

  • Terence Dicks

    Trust Pilot allow Purple Bricks to remove bad reviews because they are purported to be "outside the Trust Pilot guidelines". Once they have received the next lot of good reviews (although how can you honestly write a review when you have only just had your property listed by them?) they then ensure the bad ones are swamped by the good ones. Also, why are they publishing obviously solicited reviews?? Tell me one high street agent that has every one of their clients post a review, whether solicited or unsolicited. The online agents manipulate such sites to make an at best average service appear to be better.

  • icon

    I completely disagree with cherry picking the best reviews. How can this give accurate information to the consumer/customer. I am a Partner in a small independent agency with 5 offices. We are linked with a review site and believe that it is only fair to show both positive and negative, i.e. complete transparency. This gives the potential client the information so they can make an informed decision. Sadly this is typical of many agencies. I also agree with Tim Higham above, "ASK THE LOCAL INDEPENDANT CONVEYANCERS" they will give you a real answer.

    Rob  Davies

    Do you show bad reviews on your own website? Because that's the point of the story - that Tepilo don't highlight bad reviews on their own site, not that they've tried to block Trustpilot from doing so.

    Fair play to you if you do - and I respect your honesty and transparency - but most agencies won't do the same. And I think they're right not to. One bad review can have more of an impact than ten good ones, in my view.

  • Rob  Davies

    Shock horror - a firm doesn't put bad reviews on their own website. Whatever next?

  • Fake Agent

    "However, The Times story itself may well be guilty of one inaccuracy at least - it says at the end that almost one in five properties is now sold by online estate agencies.

    The most recent estimate seen by Estate Agent Today is around five per cent."

    The Times and accuracy are not exactly natural bedfellows. Just ask Boris.


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