London-listed review site Trustpilot has won two lawsuits against companies accused of posting fake reviews to its platform.
Trustpilot, which was listed on the London Stock Exchange in its 2021 IPO, has faced criticism for fake company reviews since its foundation. Now, for the first time, the consumer feedback service was able to combat this issue directly through the court system.
First reported by The Times, the firms that faced the legal challenge – property business Euro Resales and The Dental Experts – have been slapped with warning disclaimers on their Trustpilot pages.
Between the two of them, the companies had posted at least 2,360 false reviews which praised the businesses in testimonies from fictional customers.
Euro Resales was ordered to pay damages of £1,600, which Trustpilot said would be donated to Citizens Advice.
Trustpilot’s chief trust officer, Carolyn Jameson, said: “We welcome these court orders. Manipulation of reviews doesn’t just undermine the efforts of those businesses who do seek to improve for their customers — it also has the potential to mislead consumers, leave them shortchanged and even impact their mental health.”
The company will continue its efforts to tackle fake reviews, with another seven cases being worked on. Trustpilot has said it uses a specialised software process to detect fake reviews on its platform.
Last week, the long-serving CEO of Trustpilot, Peter Holten Mühlmann stepped down from his position after 16 years in charge. Mühlmann moved away from his role as an executive into a more general position as a non-executive director.