TrustPilot presents itself as a way for people to research whether a company is good enough to be worth their business.

Here are some reasons why it is not a reliable tool for judging a company:

Companies can selectively decide which reviews to show.

This means a company can choose to highlight positive reviews, while hiding negative ones.

Aside from spam prevention, companies should not have any say in control reviews are shown.

Companies are allowed to refer customers however they want.

This means a company can artifically inflate their rating by only instructing happy customers to review them. For example, by only prompting for review after a satisfied customer returns for their second or third purchase.

TrustPilot should either prohibit solicitation by the company, or require it in a neutral place, such as the company’s home page.

In either case, they need to provide a mechanism for customers to report such abuse.

They lie about soliciation

If TrustPilot has not detected that you are soliciting reviews, they display a tag that says “Not inviting”.

There are countless ways to link to trustpilot in a way that is not detectable. In fact, as long as you are linked over HTTPS (which you almost invariably are), or out-of-band (e.g. from an email or SMS) than they cannot detect where you were referred from.

There are very few scenarios where they could actually detect a company was referring to them (e.g. plain HTTP links).

Thus, the “Not inviting” tag should be removed. Or perhaps changed to something clearer, like “This company might be artificially inflating their rating by only asking happy customers to review, but we have no good way to detect that, sorry!”