Trustpilot Prevents Subscribers from Cancelling Class Action

Trustpilot.com is a website that originated in Denmark allows consumers to review businesses. Companies buy “pricey” subscriptions, but the complaint alleges Trustpilot uses unfair means to ensure that they are automatically re-enrolled at the end of their terms, by making it difficult for them to receive their renewal notices and cancel before they are charged.

The class for this action is all persons or entities living in the US to whom Trustpilot sent an auto-enroll e-mail, between January 18, 2015 and January 18, 2021. A New York Subclass has also been defined, for people from the above class that live in or are located in New York.

The benefits that subscribers can access, the complaint says, include “(1) consumer-insight data generated by the Website’s activity, and (2) limited means of controlling how consumer reviews about them are displayed online.”

According to the complaint, the subscriptions were not of much use to most subscribers, which were small businesses. The people who benefitted were “a handful of wealthy subscribers” who could control the displays of their reviews in ways others could not. The complaint claims, “Negative reviews about the select subscribers were either removed from the Website or buried…” and “[c]learly fake positive reviews that inflated prized subscribers’ Trustpilot ‘score’ remained…”

The complaint alleges that subscribers suffered “often-fake negative reviews,” and that “Trustpilot’s integrity scandals caused Google to block Trustpilot rating from appearing as embedded images in most search results from businesses reviewed by Trustpilot…” Since appearing in a Google search was a positive benefit of a subscription, the complaint says, this made the subscriptions worth even less.

Many subscribers cancelled between 2018 and 2020, the complaint claims. How to stop subscribers from canceling? The complaint says, “Trustpilot designed its notice-of-renewal emails so that the email would go straight to customers’ junk folders, preventing them from being seen until subscribers were already auto-enrolled for the new year. Once re-enrolled, the customer could not cancel until the following year.”

How did they do this? When e-mail programs see messages from an unrecognized domain name, they may send it to the junk folder. This is meant to “prevent[] criminals from using a domain slightly similar to a well-known company’s domain” to aid in a phishing attack. While trustpilot.com is an authentic domain, Trustpilot also bought another, similar domain, Trustpilot.net.

This second domain name was used to send renewal notices, which the complaint says were then sent to junk folders that the subscribers might never look at, missing their yearly chance to unsubscribe.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Trustpilot Prevention of Subscriber Cancellations Complaint

January 18, 2021

Trustpilot.com is a website that originated in Denmark allows consumers to review businesses. Companies buy “pricey” subscriptions, but the complaint alleges Trustpilot uses unfair means to ensure that they are automatically re-enrolled at the end of their terms, by making it difficult for them to receive their renewal notices and cancel before they are charged.

Trustpilot Prevention of Subscriber Cancellations Complaint

Case Event History

Trustpilot Prevention of Subscriber Cancellations Complaint

January 18, 2021

Trustpilot.com is a website that originated in Denmark allows consumers to review businesses. Companies buy “pricey” subscriptions, but the complaint alleges Trustpilot uses unfair means to ensure that they are automatically re-enrolled at the end of their terms, by making it difficult for them to receive their renewal notices and cancel before they are charged.

Trustpilot Prevention of Subscriber Cancellations Complaint
Tags: Unlawful Subscription Renewal