GUIDELINES FOR COMPANIES' USE OF THE TRUSTPILOT SERVICE (VERSION 4.0, NOVEMBER 2016)
These guidelines (the "Guidelines") apply to any use by companies and organisations ("Company") of Trustpilot's products and services, including Trustpilot's websites, for example trustpilot.com, trustpilot.co.uk and similar (our "Website").
Use of our Website by users is governed by Trustpilot's User Guidelines. Find them here: legal.trustpilot.com/user-guidelines.
1 Inviting users to submit reviews of the Company
A user ("User") is someone who:
- has purchased a product or service from the Company,
- has placed an order with the Company, or
- can otherwise document his/her use of the Company's service, including via correspondence or other interaction with the Company.
(These are collectively referred to as "Service Experience" in the following.)
When the Company sends invitations to its Users inviting them to review the Company on Trustpilot, the Company must observe the following rules. The rules apply regardless of whether review invitations are sent via the Company's own system or through our review invitation services:
1.1 The Company must ensure that Users are invited equally and identically to submit reviews about their experience with the Company.
1.2 The Company may not selectively invite Users to submit reviews; as a general rule, the Company must invite all or none of its Users. If the Company wishes to deviate from the principle of all or none, the Company must ensure that the Users who are invited to submit reviews are selected in an objective, unbiased manner. For example, this could mean inviting every third User.
1.3 The language in the review invitation must be neutral, unbiased and independent of whether the User is expected to have had a positive or negative experience with the Company. It must not include any attempts to (i) influence the User to review the Company in a positive or negative manner, (ii) attract specific types of Users, or (iii) otherwise artificially achieve an outcome desired by the Company.
1.4 If the Company has offered an incentive to Users to write reviews, this information must be shown on their company profile page on Trustpilot. The Company must inform Trustpilot about the use of incentives by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Incentives include the Company offering Users a gift, reward, discount or advantage for writing a review about the Company on our Website.
2 Replying to reviews on Trustpilot, including publishing reasons for reporting reviews
The Company has the option of replying to reviews on Trustpilot. If the Company replies to reviews, the Company warrants in every context that the replies:
- are not unlawful, offensive, deceptive, misleading, fraudulent, threatening, abusive, harassing, libelous, defamatory, tortious, obscene, pornographic or profane,
- do not have a sexist, political or racially discriminating character,
- do not violate other people's rights, including any intellectual property rights and privacy rights,
- do not in any way breach any applicable local, national or international laws or regulations,
- do not have a disloyal or unlawful purpose and/or content (or promote unlawful purposes), and
- are not technically harmful (including without limitation containing computer viruses, logic bombs, Trojan horses, worms, harmful components, corrupted data or other malicious software, harmful data or conduct).
If the Company reports a review on Trustpilot for contravening our User Guidelines, it must provide an explanation (also called a "Public Reporting Reason"). More information about the Public Reporting Reason can be found here: support.trustpilot.com/hc/en-us/articles/202194328--How-to-report-reviews-from-your-Business-Account.
The above rules about replies to reviews on Trustpilot also apply to the Company's use of the Public Reporting Reason.
If we receive notice or otherwise become aware that the replies or the Public Reporting Reasons violate these Guidelines, we may delete the replies or the Public Reporting Reasons without notice, and may inform the affected parties and/or the authorities of the violation - depending on the nature of the violation. Our right to delete is not conditional upon providing an explanation, although we will strive to inform the Company about any deletions and the reason for them.
3 Use of reference number function
The Company has the option of using Trustpilot's reference number function. This function enables the Company to require Users to input a reference number when writing a review of the Company. The Company can enable this feature in their business account. More information about the reference number function can be found here: support.trustpilot.com/hc/en-us/articles/204072268-Request-that-reviewers-submit-a-reference-number.
If the Company establishes that invalid order numbers are being submitted with reviews, the Company must inform us without undue delay by reporting the affected reviews.
4 Use of reference number verification
Reviews submitted independently of our review invitation service can be subjected to reference number verification. This function can be enabled if a Company experiences serious documented abuse on Trustpilot, which causes significant damage to the Company's reputation.
Reference number verification can only be enabled by our Compliance Team and can only be set up by emailing a request to us at email@example.com, along with evidence of the abuse. Reference number verification does not retroactively verify reviews posted prior to its activation. More information about reference number verification can be found here: support.trustpilot.com/hc/en-us/articles/204703318-Reference-number-verification.
We reserve the right to turn off the reference number verification function in cases of suspected abuse, and/or if we determine that there is no longer a need for it.
If the Company changes the way in which it numbers its orders, the Company must inform us without undue delay by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
5 Use of Trustpilot Designs
The Company will be able to see whether it is entitled to use Trustpilot logos, graphics and trademarks ("Trustpilot Designs") in the administration module on Trustpilot.
Our Trademark Guidelines, Brand Style Guide, Integration Guidelines and Marketing Guidelines detail by whom, where and how Trustpilot Designs and reviews may be used.
If the Company is entitled to display the TrustScore, category ranking, Trustpilot Stars and other Trustpilot data in its marketing materials, on its website, etc., and does so, the Company must ensure that it does not display these in a misleading, biased or otherwise deceptive way. The Company must make sure that the displayed TrustScore, category ranking, Trustpilot Stars and other Trustpilot data are always accurate and reflect the Company's actual TrustScore, ranking and the awarded number of Trustpilot Stars on Trustpilot. The Company's responsibility to accurately display Trustpilot information extends to its use of widgets and similar services.
If the Company is entitled to display reviews, the Company agrees that it must remove and delete any displayed reviews if so requested by the Users who wrote the reviews in question, or by us e.g. if the reviews violate these Guidelines.
6 Company profile page
In the administration module on Trustpilot, the Company may have the ability to include information about the Company and add the Company's logos, trademarks and designs. This will be shown on the Company's profile page on Trustpilot. The Company must not include information that can be misleading, deceptive, defamatory or otherwise in violation of applicable laws. In addition, the Company warrants that - if the Company includes logos, trademarks and designs - it has all rights to do so and that these logos, designs and trademarks do not violate any third party rights.
7 Fabricated reviews
Trustpilot's purpose is to provide an online review community where Users can freely share their Service Experiences with the Company and thereby provide an informative view of the Company's service.
Trust is crucial to us, and we do not under any circumstances accept fabricated reviews. Fabricated reviews are those that do not reflect a genuine Service Experience, because, for example, they are created by or on behalf of the Company itself.
We consider the direct and indirect creation of fabricated reviews a material breach of the agreement between the Company and us. It is irrelevant how the fabricated reviews are created, including whether they are created by employees of the Company or by external consultants.
We use specially developed software to detect fabricated reviews. Reviews that we deem fabricated, fake or similar will be deleted, moved or highlighted, and we are entitled to publish information about this in connection with the Company's profile on Trustpilot.
8 Reviews written by the Company's employees
The Company is not permitted to invite or otherwise encourage its employees, former employees, owners or directors, or their family members to write reviews about the Company.
9 Collection of reviews on the Company's premises or via the Company's equipment
The Company may not provide equipment for Users to review the Company. Our specially developed software for detecting fabricated reviews will detect and remove reviews that originate from the same IP address.
We can grant permission to the Company to collect reviews on its own premises - but never through the Company's equipment - if the Company contacts us prior to collection by email at email@example.com and:
- Informs us about how review collection will take place
- Provides us with the Company's IP addresses and locations, and
- Guarantees that these Guidelines will be respected, including the requirements set out in section 1.
However, we reserve the right to reject such requests and to withdraw our permission at any time, without prior notice or justification.
10 Removal of reviews
We host reviews as user-generated content. The removal of reviews is exclusively a matter between the Users and us, and our User Guidelines regulate if and when we remove reviews. For the avoidance of doubt, we do not remove reviews, when for example:
- The Company and the User disagree on the course of events. It is practically impossible to prove who is right, and in these cases, we suggest that the Company replies to the review so that other users can see the Company's version of what happened,
- The User's review and the number of awarded stars seem inconsistent, e.g. if the User awarded the Company only one star, but wrote a very positive review of the Company, or
- The Company thinks the review is "unfair", e.g. because the dissatisfaction is a result of a mistake made by a supplier. Whether a User feels satisfied or dissatisfied is exclusively the User's subjective opinion, and whether or not the User's dissatisfaction is appropriate is not a matter for us to decide. Such issues are left to be resolved between the involved parties, i.e. the Company and the User.
11 Misuse of the reporting and notification functions
It is possible for the Company to report reviews that the Company believes violate our User Guidelines. The Company must not misuse this reporting functionality.
Examples of misuse include, but are not limited to:
- Carrying out unfounded or incorrect reporting of many or all negative reviews,
- Carrying out unfounded or incorrect notification of competitors' positive reviews, or
- Reporting the same review multiple times when that review has already been assessed in accordance with our internal quality process, unless exceptional circumstances apply.
We consider such behaviour a material breach of the agreement between the Company and us.
12 Threats against Users and Trustpilot employees
Companies may not threaten, abuse or blackmail Users. Threats include making unjustified claims for damages in order to have specific reviews (typically negative) removed.
Further, we do not tolerate threats against Trustpilot employees. Under no circumstances will we accept such behaviour.
We consider threatening or abusive behaviour a material breach of the agreement between the Company and us, which can lead to us immediately blocking the Company's account and filing a report with the relevant authorities.
13 Suspending or blocking the Company's business account
We may at any time, without notice and without prejudice, suspend or block the Company's access to their business account or/and specific features in the business account if we believe or suspect that the Company is carrying out behaviour that is inappropriate or in violation of the Guidelines or applicable laws or regulations. When the Company's business account or/and specific features are suspended or blocked, the Company will not have access to services which require the Company's registration and/or login, such as reporting or responding to reviews.
We reserve the right to enforce these Guidelines if we observe violations of them or of applicable laws or regulations. The same applies if we observe behaviour that we believe or suspect to be inappropriate.