TrustPilot crowdsources customer satisfaction stats, just in time for Chrimbo

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Danish start-up TrustPilot has launched a UK version of its consumer watchdog portal which claims to use algorithms to crowdsource an idea of what to expect from a particular retailer – in the same way that you might poll your friends or family to get their recommendations based on their good and bad shopping experiences.

The company’s software aggregates and analyses reviews and comments from sources all across the web to create what are essentially user-generated company rankings. It also provides also a Firefox extension that accesses ratings as you surf vendor sites and displays a traffic-light icon in the browser navigation bar if that company appears in the TrustPilot database, giving you an idea – for what it’s worth – of whether or not they’re to be “trusted”.

The rankings are based on what the company calls the TrustScore, weighted for relevance so  for example, older ratings count for less, while ratings from trusted sources count for more. The rating is calculated on a scale from 0 to 100. The higher the score, the happier consumers are about the company being rated.

The viability of TrustPilot’s offering is based on the fact that customer service levels across the board are pretty inconsistent. Online purchases especially are influenced in part by appearances, with many e-shoppers still determining the trustworthiness of a company based on design and branding, or who appears first in Google.

TrustPilot is still ironing out a few known bugs – excerpts from reviews don’t currently display properly, and I had to uninstall the Firefox extension double quick, after it appeared to disable my browser address bar. But on the whole it strikes me as a great way for consumers to save themselves some time and peace of mind – and to find new and interesting places to spend money.

For companies, it’s an opportunity to either show off their already excellent customer service, or to make the terrifying realisation that no amount of marketing spend can sweep their shoddy customer service under this particular carpet.

Its 26-year old founder, Peter Mühlmann, about to complete a degree in business studies and statistical measurement of customer satisfaction, says the company chose the UK as its first international rollout because… his French isn’t that good – and because it represents a stepping stone to the wider English-speaking market. The company has a German launch planned for the near future.

TrustPilot is backed by SeedCapital, the largest early stage venture capital firm in Denmark to the tune of somewhere up to £5m (Mühlmann won’t be drawn on the specifics). The company’s revenue stream will rely on a blend of affiliate marketing, enhanced profiles a la Yell.com and blind benchmarking data sold directly to businesses. The first B2B services will be launched in January 2009.

Interestingly, UK entrepreneur Paul Walsh proposed something similar (Firefox Extension, trusted sites etc) and set up Contentlabel.org and SearchThresher a while back, but both initiatives seems dead in the water (e.g last blog update Nov 2007).

  • http://makkale.blogcu.com makkale.blogcu.com

    For companies, it’s an opportunity to either show off their already excellent customer service, or to make the terrifying realisation that no amount of marketing spend can sweep their shoddy customer service under this particular carpet. http://www.makkale.blogcu.com

  • TRUST PILOT Revieuw

    Trustpilot does not look at the posts on there site s , only want to make money on webshops , owner use to have webshop and found out not eassy to delete bad coments , nowe wants to rip of webshops , by paying the men you can adjust the revieuws on the webshops , so becarefull to joint this club , for comstomrs i will advice do not trust the reports on there site they can be changed , no reactions on emails or telefoon will be cut off , Truspilot is not to be trusted !!!!

  • TRUST PILOT Revieuw

    quote wekipedia :

    Trustpilot has been criticized in the Danish media for spamming several Danish companies. E-Commerce Fund, which carries the Danish quality label E-Mark, reported Trustpilot.dk to the Danish Consumer Ombudsman. Basis herefor was the charges that Trustpilot sends out spam mails and takes advantage of the E-Mark.

  • TRUST PILOT Revieuw

    “Trust”pilot rip much of their data off from other websites. They have no way of verifying the reviews stolen from other websites so the whole site is meaningless and potentially very damaging. They will also take a review you’ve written on another website for themselves (while you have no idea at all) and display it here with personal details that you didn’t choose to display with the original review. They invade privacy and they don’t care. They provide unreliable data which is stolen from other websites and this is their whole business model. Don’ttrustPilot are horrendous, unhelpful and dishonest – I would never use them for anything.

  • TRUST PILOT Revieuw

    quote wekipedia :

    Trustpilot has been criticized in the Danish media for spamming several Danish companies. E-Commerce Fund, which carries the Danish quality label E-Mark, reported Trustpilot.dk to the Danish Consumer Ombudsman. Basis herefor was the charges that Trustpilot sends out spam mails and takes advantage of the E-Mark.

  • Haggard One

    I tried to rate a camerabox.co.uk on Trustpilot. The Trustpilot website asked for an order-id to ‘validate’ responses. The order-id entry check did not accept a valid order number and rejected entries so quickly it was clearly not checking real order numbers anyway. Looking at the (overwhelmingly positive) ‘reviews’ for camerabox.co.uk on Trustpilot, most appear to be marketing spin. Certainly Trustpilot are the only site with positive feedback for the company I was interested in.

    On this experience Trustpilot.com seems to be more a shady marketing exercise than a genuine review site.

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