30 jobs for Scotland
Mixed views for Trustpilot as hub heads to capital
Steve Garland and Carolyn Jameson
A Danish company setting up an Edinburgh branch of its website review platform aiming to improve trust in business has received mixed reviews on its own performance.
Trustpilot is creating 30 jobs at a digital hub in Scotland – its eighth around the world – with £1.8 million of grant support from Scottish Enterprise.
“Our mission is to bring people and businesses closer together to create ever-improving experiences for everyone,” says the company whose reviews are seen more than four billion times each month by consumers worldwide. It has offices in Copenhagen, London, New York, Denver, Berlin, Melbourne and Vilnius, employing 720 staff.
Peter Holten Muhlmann, founder and CEO of Trustpilot, said: “The crisis of trust in society, driven to a great degree by mistrust in information online, has become a defining issue of our times.
“With the assistance of Scottish Enterprise, our new global R&D Hub will become the epi-centre for accelerating our already leading efforts to tackle abuse and fraud related to consumer information, particularly consumer reviews.
“It’s especially important as reviews have replaced company marketing as the most trusted source of information for consumers. We’re investing in even better fake detection to stimulate meaningful change.
“The technology scene in Edinburgh is thriving, with exceptional talent and an enviable network that will help us to meet our ambitions. We’re delighted to bring our global efforts to Scotland.”
However, its own website includes mixed reviews of its own performance. One said: “Good job” and another: “Solid system”, while a third said: “I often use TrustPilot before I buy something”.
Others criticised the service for being too slow and unresponsive.
One user said: “It strikes me that Trustpilot would like every business to neatly fit into their view of the world (never going to happen) and common sense is sadly lacking.
“I value their independence and integrity around the review process, but dealing with them is often a nightmare.”
Another wrote: “Garbage. Your site doesn’t work properly.”
A Trustpilot spokesman said: “We pride ourselves on being both open to all and transparent and allow both consumers and businesses to review their experience about Trustpilot.
“All reviews are published for everyone to see: here. Our overall TrustScore currently stands at 4.2 out of 5. People generally have a more positive experience when using Trustpilot.
“Like any business, we do not claim to be completely perfect, but we do listen and respond to the reviews people leave.”
One initiative being rolled out in the coming months will be the introduction of new ‘Fraud Fingerprinting’ technology.
We take the responsibility to protect both consumers and businesses from fraudulent behaviour very seriously– Carolyn Jameson, TrustPilot
Trustpilot’s new office will be spearheaded by two of the company’s executive team, Carolyn Jameson, chief legal and policy officer, and Steve Garland, chief technology and information officer.
Ms Jameson said: “We take the responsibility to protect both consumers and businesses from fraudulent behaviour very seriously, and believe strong detection and enforcement measures are fundamental to our open review platform.”
Mark Hallan, director of global investment at Scottish Enterprise, added: “Attracting global companies to invest and locate in Scotland will be critical to our efforts to resetting and restarting our economy following the impact of COVID-19.
“Over the past few months, we have seen exponential growth in digital consumer activity and e-commerce, so it’s vital that customers can trust information that is available online, including online reviews.
Trustpilot’s R&D project aims to improve the integrity of this data, providing increased confidence for e-consumers.”
Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation Ivan McKee said, “Over the coming months and years, as we recover from the economic impact of the global coronavirus pandemic, it is important that we look to the future and encourage new and innovative businesses to establish bases in Scotland.”