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How do we handle misuse of our reporting function by companies? Follow

What is Trustpilot’s reporting function?

Companies that have claimed their domains on Trustpilot can log into their Business Account to report or “flag” reviews that they believe violate our User Guidelines. All companies can use this function, regardless of whether they subscribe to our free or paid services.

Reviews that are reported are temporarily hidden, pending investigation by our Compliance Team. They can later be deleted or reinstated on Trustpilot’s platform, depending on the outcome of the investigation.

Who monitors the reporting function?

Trustpilot’s 35-person Compliance Team is entrusted with safeguarding our online review community and vouching for the quality of the services we offer. An essential part of this is making sure that companies do not misuse our reporting function.

We take all reports of misuse of our services seriously. We appreciate assistance from all members of our online review community in monitoring the use of our platform, and our Compliance Team investigates each and every report of non-compliance. However, companies should note that while we are investigating a case, we can’t provide details or comment on its specifics.

What is misuse of the reporting function?

Activities that we consider misuse include, but are not limited to:

Reporting genuine reviews that comply with our guidelines in order to have these reviews removed

Example: The director of Company A logs into her company’s Business Account on Trustpilot and flags the worst reviews about her company so that they are made temporarily unavailable on the Trustpilot platform, pending investigation. None of the reviews actually contravene Trustpilot’s User Guidelines, so the director makes up a reason for reporting them.

Mass-reporting only negative reviews from the company’s domain

Example: The PR Manager for Company B logs into its Business Account and flags all the 1-star reviews of Company B that contain names of people or email addresses because these reviews contravene Trustpilot’s User Guidelines. However, the PR Manager does NOT flag 4 or 5-star reviews that also contravene the guidelines in exactly the same way.

Re-reporting the same review, when it has already been assessed as meeting our User Guidelines

Example: Company A’s director re-reports some of the negative 1-star reviews she flagged last month so that they are taken offline again. There is no valid reason for reporting these reviews again - it’s just that the director doesn’t want her customers and potential customers to see them.

Flagging a competitor’s positive reviews

Example: An employee of Company C finds his main competitor business’s domain on Trustpilot and flags positive reviews of that business so that these are investigated. Company C’s employee simply wants to damage the rival business’s reputation and lower its TrustScore.

How do we detect misuse of the reporting functionality?

We have advanced, proprietary software that systematically scans our platform for abuse of our reporting function. We also investigate any reports of misuse sent directly to our Compliance Team via email at compliance@trustpilot.com.

What do we do when we detect misuse of the reporting functionality?

We consider the behavior outlined above as damaging to our online review community. We also deem it a material breach of the Terms & Conditions that companies must accept in order to receive access to our services (see Trustpilot’s Company Guidelines).

If we detect such behavior, and have gathered enough documentation to prove systematic misuse of our services, our process is to send a warning to the company in question informing them of the problem(s) and requesting them to stop.

If the company continues their behavior, we will initiate a Cease & Desist procedure that may result in a Consumer Alert being placed on the company’s Trustpilot profile. A Consumer Alert informs Trustpilot users about the company’s deliberate attempts to mislead consumers. It will usually be visible on the company’s profile for six months, after which time we will re-assess the company’s behavior and the need for the Consumer Alert. We may also block the company from logging into their Trustpilot Business Account and, if necessary, take disciplinary action including terminating any contract they have with us.

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