What is TrustPatch?

TrustPatch is a consumer protection service which helps people find great online businesses and avoid scams.

Why was TrustPatch started?

TrustPatch’s goal is to make the internet a better place for consumers. We envision a day when consumers no longer have to deal with online scams or fraud and have all the information they need to make informed decisions about the online businesses and websites they use.

What can TrustPatch do for me?

How can I write a great review of an online business?

Check out our Review Guidelines for advice on how to write a helpful review.

How are TrustPatch business ratings calculated?

The total rating of any business is a weighted average of individual ratings, with 50% of the weighting coming from the average rating of all reviews, 25% of the weighting coming from an average of all reviews written in the last 12 months, and 25% of the weighting coming from an average of all reviews written in the last month. Should the 12-month or 1-month weighting periods be without reviews, that period is assigned an “average” rating (e.g. 3 stars) in the weighting.

This rating system was put into place to reflect the principle that more recent reviews are more valuable to consumers than older ones. The system was also created in response to consumer demand that ratings ought to reflect the most recent practices of a business, and business demand that improvements to service should be more accurately reflected in ratings.

Do reviews ever get removed?

Rarely. Users may update their own reviews of their own accord (they can do this by visiting their profile page and clicking on the "Update review" link underneath their review). Occasionally our Support Team will remove a review if it violates our Terms of Service or Review Guidelines. Additional reviews are not removed but may be filtered (see below).

A business is forcing me to remove my review. What should I do?

Consumers have the right to share their honest opinions about a business’s products, services or conduct. If a company forces you to remove your review in order to receive a refund or exchange, keep in mind that you can always republish or write another review after your issue has been resolved.

How can I update or edit my reviews?

Users may update or edit their reviews by visiting their profile page and clicking on the "Write update" or "Edit review" link underneath their review. Writing an update will preserve the original review and show the new updated review above it, which will help consumers understand why the review was updated. Editing a review will overwrite the original review and should be used primarily for correcting mistakes.

I wrote a review that’s not showing up when I’m logged out. Why not?

In an effort to show consumers only the most relevant reviews, in 2019 TrustPatch introduced a Review Filter. The filter uses an algorithm that attempts to display to users only the most relevant content by filtering certain reviews. Reasons reviews might be filtered include: suspected solicited reviews in violation of our terms of service, suspected site-promotion spam (positive reviews), suspected competitor spam (negative reviews), language use, irrelevant content, and other terms of service violations. The same filter and algorithm is applied to every review. The filter isn’t perfect, but it is dynamic and always learning. As a result, you may see reviews move in and out of the filter as the filter learns more about the trustworthiness of the reviews of a particular site. The filter pulls from a wide range of data and is intentionally difficult to decipher to avoid gaming. If your review has been filtered, don’t worry, it hasn’t been deleted. As you continue to demonstrate your trustworthiness and contribute to the community, your reviews will likely no longer be filtered.

How does TrustPatch prevent fake reviews?

TrustPatch takes fake reviews very seriously and does four important things to prevent them:

  1. We run sophisticated software that spots and removes fake reviews. The software identifies characteristics that might indicate a review is fake (e.g., evidence that more than one review has been written by the same person), and then removes those reviews. This software is always improving and gets better as time goes on.
  2. We have a Review Team that manually spot checks reviews for fakes.
  3. We seek to educate companies and consumers about the dangers of fake reviews and how to spot them.

What is review fraud?

TrustPatch takes review fraud seriously. Writing or paying for fake reviews is unethical, against TrustPatch’s terms and is illegal in many jurisdictions. TrustPatch uses software algorithms, community reporting and other methods to aggressively detect and remove fake reviews. If a company is discovered to be writing or paying for fake reviews they may lose access to their account, have their business publicly flagged as manipulating reviews and be demoted in TrustPatch search.

All TrustPatch review collection tools for businesses must be used to collect reviews from unbiased samples of customers. Businesses may not select customers that might be more likely to write positive reviews and they may not offer incentives to write reviews. Any violation of any of these terms may result in the loss of access.

Can my business pay to remove bad reviews?

No. However, if you are affiliated with a business and would like to respond to a review, you can do so by registering here.

I’m considering legal action against a reviewer and/or TrustPatch. What are the precedents?

Careful consideration should be taken if you are considering legal action against a reviewer. Defamation suits are expensive, difficult to win, and tend to draw additional attention to the issues you would prefer ignored. You will also run a risk of the Anti-SLAPP statute requiring you to pay attorneys’ fees to the other side. Rarely, there may be cases where legal action is appropriate, but in general, it is unlikely you will find what you are looking for by suing someone who gives you a bad review.