It has been revealed that estate agents who use Trustpilot to promote their businesses can ‘game’ the platform because the reviews company gives newer customer reviews greater weight when awarding an overall ‘out of five’ score.
The policy has been revealed by the Advertising Standards Authority during its investigation into the new eMoov, which has been using links to its Trustpilot page to promote the business.
Out of the 2,179 reviews on its Trustpilot page, only 80 have come from clients dealt with by the new incarnation of the online agent, while the rest were generated while it was operated by eMoov Ltd, which is currently in administration.
The ASA has told a complainant about the use of old reviews that it has held ‘detailed talks’ with both Trustpilot and the agency.
During these talks over the past six weeks, the ASA was told that the overall aggregate score award by Trustpilot was influenced unduly by the most recent reviews, rather than older ones.
”We are therefore satisfied that there is not a source of concern here at the moment and so we are not investigating this further,” the ASA has said.
But the complainant, Andrew Stanton, has claimed that the promotion of older Trustpilot reviews on eMoov’s recently-redesigned website could be misleading, and says he is not satisfied by the ASA’s reply.
Stanton has told The Negotiator that he considers the ASA to have backtracked on its original ruling, and that he will be taking the matter further with the organisation.