The estate agency review site allAgents claims some of Trustpilot’s reviews “could be dubious.”
A statement from allAgents repeats an allegation made last year by Wired magazine which suggested Purplebricks may have been gaming Trustpilot’s reviews system - prompting Purplebricks to deny the claim and Trustpilot to pledge an investigation.
Little had been heard from allAgents since a long-running dispute it had with Purplebricks fizzled out a year ago.
Now allAgents’ Martin McKenzie says: “Independent reviews have become an essential part of consumers’ research, whether they’re looking to sell their house, make an investment or even to have cosmetic surgery. Yet based on our own experience it’s possible that 70 per cent of the reviews on Trustpilot could be dubious.”
This 70 per cent figure appears to be based on a dispute in which AllAgents says it queried 42 Trustpilot reviews of allAgents itself.
Some 31 were apparently removed and allAgents appears to have interpreted that as suggesting 70 per cent of reviews across the entire Trustpilot service may be suspect.
allAgents also claims to have been approached by Trustpilot regarding a possible partnership but McKenzie says: “We declined as we simply could not trust the authenticity of their reviews.”
Today a spokesman for Trustpilot told Estate Agent Today: “These are unfounded and incorrect allegations by another review site, that we are currently in litigation with. We do not want to be drawn into a public discussion about that at this time, but we would like to provide more understanding of how our platform works.
“Trustpilot has not removed 70 per cent of the reviews of allAgents for being ‘dubious’ or fake and the suggestion that 70 per cent of reviews across our whole platform are likely to be false is simply wrong.”
The spokesman says that any business can flag a review on Trustpilot if it thinks it breaches the review service’s guidelines - for example, if it contains coarse unacceptable language.
“All flagging behaviour of companies can now be seen on every Trustpilot company profile. You can see here, that of the 42 reviews reported by allAgents 11 have been put back online and 31 have currently been removed from the platform. You can also see that reviewers have not come back with a response, or updated their review to bring them in line with our guidelines” says the spokesman.
But he insists that, contrary to allAgents’ assertions, this does not mean that those reviews are ‘dubious’ or fake.
“If a reviewer were to come back to us at a later stage and ensure the review complies with our guidelines their review would be placed back online” he adds.
He says Trustpilot is committed to being the most transparent reviews platform; it has recently launched a new feature called Transparent Inviting, which shows how businesses are inviting and receiving their reviews.