Trustpilot is far from trustworthy, and the name questionably fraudulent
Quite simply, it's naive to believe that any company would pay to advertise on a website that allowed an excessive number of negative reviews to be posted about their paying customer, which is why so many Optical Express victims have had their honest reviews removed.
Trustpilot responded to the BBC, claiming 'We have specialist software that screens reviews against 100's of data points around the clock to automatically identify and remove fakes.'
The SEVEN reviews shown in this video were ALL bought by the UK clinics reviewed - and ALL reviews posted on 3 March 2012 by ‘Hazel Tyhop’, whose bio shows her resident in the United States!
Yet according to her 7 reviews, she's had surgery at least 5 times in the UK (within the last 12 months according to Trustpilot rules), the other 2 reviews more vague.
Even worse, Laser Vision, London Vision Clinic, and Focus Clinics, have each thanked 'Hazel Tyhop’ for her reviews!
This would be hilarious, if we weren’t discussing fraud by refractive eye surgeons, nine of whom also employed by the NHS!
Google ‘Buy Trustpilot reviews’ and you’ll find plenty of companies ready to help!
'You can offset your unwarranted negative reviews by purchasing positive Trustpilot reviews that match your actual performance level. We at GoldStar Marketing have a network of more than 40,000 testers waiting to help you... You need 10 positive reviews in order to trace a negative rating back to a total average of 4.6 stars.'
'Although businesses owners found guilty of review fraud could face a prison term of up to 10 years or a fine; prosecutions and convictions are rare and seldom policed.
Review Gating is the process of filtering customers before asking them to leave a review for your business. The aim is to encourage reviews from only customers you believe had a positive experience with your company and ask for private feedback (or none at all) from those with a negative experience…
Most of the major review publishing platforms, including Trustpilot and Google, warn against this illegal practice in their guidelines but take little or no action against those companies found to be in breach.'
These are the companies reviewed and the names of the refractive surgeon owners, but go to the starred websites for details of their colleagues complicit in this outrageous scam!
These are the companies reviewed by 'Hazel Tyhop', and the refractive surgeon owners, but go to the starred websites for details of their colleagues complicit in this outrageous scam, and note that all advertise their fraudulent (bought) Trustpilot reviews!
And Miss Gilmore shows her level of professionalism having also plagiarised the article on laser eye surgery from Which? magazine's December publication (equally unreliable, as I published at the time) without even acknowledging its source!
And the following paragraph warrants a complaint to the ASA, because its owner (Brian aka Zeus) sold the Lasik-Eyes website in 2013, crowing that I had inadvertently added to its sale value because of my input on the forum which increased views (this was before OERML and the only forum available to us)!
I have lost count of the number of times I have attempted to post a review of Optimax with Trustpilot. Any time I do, my review is removed the next morning. I have repeatedly reworded them to make them less hard-hitting but that doesn't stop them being taken off the site.
People look to review sites like Trustpilot to draw conclusions and make decisions about these procedures. I find it disgusting that it appears to be virtually impossible to post a review of Optimax that is less than favourable.
Below is the latest response from Trustpilot in e-mail form, followed by my reply. I take it others have had the same issue.
Dear G ******,
As part of Trustpilot’s efforts to ensure that reviews always reflect genuine buying or service experiences, we use advanced, customized software to detect unusual review patterns.
Your review of
has been flagged by our software or our Compliance Team because we’ve been unable to verify the authenticity of it. That means we’ve removed your review from our platform. Note that it’s not deleted, but it’s no longer visible online and won’t count towards the rating of
If you believe that there has been a misunderstanding, you’re welcome to contact our Compliance Team by replying to this email. We’re always happy to help.
If you have any questions, please see the information available in our Support Center.
Dear Trustpilot Compliance
I can assure you that my review reflected genuine experience. I find it disgraceful the way I have been continually blocked from posting an honest review of Optimax. It appears unless one posts a favourable review of the company, the review is removed. Laser eye surgery, I have found is a dangerous procedure and therefore to not allow bad reviews of a company carrying out such a procedure is in my opinion, reprehensible behaviour.
To say that you have "used advanced customized software" to detect unusual review patterns is obviously to allow you to remove such reviews, and clear recognition on your behalf that your review process is biased. At least you acknowledge it.
You say that my review "has been flagged by our software or our Compliance Team because we've been unable to verify the authenticity of it." I am therefore authentifying it with this e-mail. It is ridiculous that I am expected to jump through hoops, continually rewording my reviews, yet still having them repeatedly removed and then have to e-mail you simply in order to post a bad review about this company. If I had posted a favourable review, would I be required to go to such lengths? I doubt it very much.
You point out that the review is not deleted but is not visible online and won't count towards Optimax's rating. In that case, it might as well have been deleted. The whole point is that it can be visible online and count towards their rating.
And bearing in mind that my life has been ruined by the actions of Optimax, to include an advert for them in your e-mail was a real kick in the teeth and another indication of clear bias.
Llewelyn1 was kind enough to give OERML a 5 star review this morning - but I didn’t invite him to post, and he’s not a verified reviewer because he has not used OERML services, nor did Trustpilot ask me to verify him!
Marketing info I received from Trustpilot included details about how they can repetitively bombard your customers with emails to post a review - these can be sent hourly until the customer gives in!
And, as Optical Express pay to use Trustpilot's automated invitation system, I find it hard to believe that Llewelyn1 mistakenly posted on OERML.
His post won’t be up for long however, as I have done what OE frequently do when they receive a seriously negative post - claim they have no record of the person (true in this instance)!
I'd love to speak to Llewelyn1 as he says that OE gave him back his eyesite [sic], so he was presumably blind…
OE are missing out on a serious advertising opportunity here - they perform miracles too!
Meanwhile, if you’d like to post a review on OERML Trustpilot page, please do
And, if you're unhappy with the results of your treatment at Optical Express, Trustpilot claim they've changed things - so try posting a negative review and see (i) if it stays and (ii) how many positive reviews quickly follow to bury it!
If 'Brotherwal Frid' saw ‘Sara Rodney’ (spot the deliberate spelling mistake!) videos about Optimax (posted by other people) then he can’t have missed the OE videos!
However, I can't think of anyone still with OE smart enough to have written this, so I wonder if Brotherwald Frid may not be a Scotsman at all, but in fact OE's previous 'troubleshooter', who took on many different alter egos in days gone by, incl 'Anon' and 'RWI':
I doubt that anyone left with problems is invited to leave a 'Verified' review. Proving why Trustpilot reviews should not be trusted!
Please leave a review, and remember you’re reviewing OERML not OE, so please leave 5 stars!
Of course, if you leave a negative review and I didn't send you a direct invitation to post then you're not 'Verified' and I can claim that I don’t know who you are and Trustpilot will remove your post...
That’s the way to play this game and how Optical Express keep a 9.1 average!
OE will now be aware that OERML has joined Trustpilot so it’ll be interesting to see how long before they find an excuse for Trustpilot to remove it tomorrow!
Meanwhile, please get posting, because I want to see 5 stars on my very own Trustpilot review page before they do!