Reviews website Trustpilot has clarified its policy on postings amid concern by agents over the validity of posts about Purplebricks, stating that the online agent hasn’t breached any guidelines.
Agents have taken to Twitter in recent months to question why certain Purplebricks reviews have been removed and how genuine some are.
Trustpilot said its investigations haven’t identified any behaviour that contravenes its guidelines.
The online agent says all reviews, positive and negative, are validated to ensure they are genuine, and Trustpilot says the firm has reported more four- or five-star reviews than one-star ratings.
In an attempt to appease “a small handful of individuals” who raise regular queries on Purplebricks’ posts and Trustpilot’s policies, the reviews website has issued an open letter detailing guidelines for how posts are monitored.
The open letter says the Trustpilot platform is “open to all” and reviews aren’t pre-moderated, while incentives to leave positive reviews are forbidden. Additionally, it says companies can’t pay for reviews to be removed.
Any company or individual can report a review it believes to be incorrect or libellous.
The letter said: “When reviews are reported by companies they are temporarily taken offline and investigated carefully.
“When those reviews are found to be authentic and compliant they are reinstated. Reviews only remain offline when the consumer does not provide the further information requested after a week.
“Should a consumer’s review not meet our guidelines then they have the opportunity to edit their review to ensure compliance (for example, by removing foul language).”
The letter says fake reviews are treated seriously and consumers can be banned for persistent violations, while businesses can have notices added to their profile or be suspended.