OTM accused of manipulating Trustpilot reviews, but no supporting evidence

KwikChex has accused OnTheMarket of trying to skew Trustpilot reviews in favour of positive feedback, despite no supporting evidence being presented by the reviews website.

KwikChex, a website that claims to tackle online distortion, says it has identified activity on the Trustpilot that could suggest potential gaming of the system, although no concrete evidence has been presented to support the claim.

According to KwikChex, there was an ‘exceptional spike’ in positive reviews on the Trustpilot site for OnTheMarket.com that occurred primarily over a very short period in December 2021, which the platform describes as possible ‘review manipulation’ or ‘review fraud’.

The reviews platform reports that there had been low review activity on Trustpilot for OnTheMarket.com from April 2019 to December 2021 with just 49 reviews posted. The rating during this time was low, caused by there being 44 negative reviews and only five positive ones.

However, between 9 December and 17 December 2021, the company says that this pattern changed dramatically, with 48 five-star reviews posted in an eight-day period.

Chris Emmins
Chris Emmins

Chris Emmins, co-founder of KwikChex, said: “Between 9th December and 17th December 2021, this pattern changed dramatically. In just an eight-day period, forty-eight five-star reviews were posted. In most instances when we see a sudden and intense spike of positive reviews following previous low volume majority-negative review posting it is a sign of either an intensive ‘service and review’ collection campaign or a sign that the ratings are being manipulated.

It is possible that OnTheMarket.com or an appointed representative sought to correct their previously very poor profile on the Trustpilot platform to coincide with the relaunch of their website. This may be conducted in a number of ways including those connected with the company asking people they know to write good reviews during December 2021.”

But importantly, Emmins is keen to stress that the accusation against OnTheMarket cannot be confirmed by KwikChex, despite the allegation being made by the reviews platform. 

This [fake Trustpilot reviews claim] cannot be confirmed by KwikChex and is an opinion based on the available evidence including the fact that, following the spike, the reviews submissions reverted to predominantly negative comments once again. It is likely though that consumers may assume that there is a probability of dishonesty here,” added Emmins.

Both OnTheMarket and Trustpilot have been approached for comment.



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  1. TopBanana

    If this is found to be true…just wow. As the old saying goes no smoke without fire!

  2. Toddy

    If they are going to start investigating suspicious TP reviews then there will be one company that should be absolutely bricking it….

  3. Stevie Baillie

    I only have 2 Points to make here on reading that story:
    1. To make this claim on the back of “despite no supporting evidence being presented by the reviews website” is an absolute embarrassment for KwikChex and Mr Eminns.
    You really need to ask yourself, why would anyone write such a piece, whilst using terms like “no concrete evidence has been presented to support the claim“.
    Trying to draw attention to themselves or trying to make themselves relevant would be my only guess for making such claims, or maybe they are in the pocket of other competitors – who knows?
    2. For what it’s worth – I was formerly a OTM disbeliever for several years, but since attending two of Jason Tebbs’ “Town Hall” online meetings, I have been very impressed with not only Mr Tebbs, but also the effective listening to and doing something about it proactive strides forward that OTM have made in their quest.

    I personally, have left glowing reports and reviews of OTM on several occasions in various areas. It may be possible that it is one of my own personal reviews that KwikChex ridiculously claim may be fake?
    If so, I can be contacted anytime on 07852 147147 where I will be more than happy to verify my review and also to substantiate and educate anyone that claims (or thinks) differently.
    Peace to All.
    Stevie Baillie
    Baillie & Baillie Estate Agents & Letting Agents

  4. PeeBee

    Strange that this company rears its’ head regarding what they see to be “…possible ‘review manipulation’ or ‘review fraud’…” by or on behalf of OTM – an accusation which which they say that they can not confirm – yet they have never, it would seem, let out a single squeak in relation to multitudinous blatant cases of “review fraud” (I like that phrase – I’ll use it from now) from other companies.

    Am I the only one here detecting the aroma of a member of the rodent family?

  5. Woodentop

    Put up or shut up …. slanderous accusation!

  6. Malcolm Egerton

    What is weird is that 43% of all the 117 reviews on Trustpilot rate OTM as ‘Bad’ yet Trustpilot awards them 4 stars (out of 5) and rate them ‘Great’.

    I’d love to hear Trustpilot’s answer to that.

  7. Andy Halstead

    This is a disgraceful article and should be taken down.

  8. PeeBee

    It actually states on the OTM Trustpilot page that they ask for reviews.  As do any number of companies.

    Unlike many (that don’t need naming), they do not ‘flag’ large percentages of bad reviews in an attempt to either get them #NUKED altogether, or hidden until they drop off the current page into obscurity.

    Of the 19 reviews posted AFTER the alleged “manipulation”, eleven are 5-star, the other eight 1-star.  Of those, three were moaning about online valuation figures (no s**t, Sherlock…); two whingeing because Agents hadn’t contacted them (hardly OTM’s fault…), and the other three had issues with various relating to the search filters.

    The older poor reviews were similar in nature.  I would suggest that there are some in there that would, in my opinion, be seen at best as ‘suspect’ and at worst as totally fake.

    Jeez – the odour of Rattus Norvegicus in the room is overpowering…

  9. ARC

    I wish to assert that the editorial standards of PIE have gone to the wall since Ros left “although no concrete evidence has been presented to support the claim”. 

    Or is there?

    1. PeeBee


      You and I don’t usually agree on a lot of things – but in this instance with your first sentence you are bang on the money.  Frau Renshaw would have shredded this lame duck of an ‘article’ and served it up with pancakes and hoisin sauce.  But unfortunately time has moved on and we are no longer able to enjoy the luxury of travelling First Class, being wined and dined as we pass through breathtaking scenery on our journey through the property industry.  Instead we are all riding cattle class, being force-fed whatever swill is available, and only allowed to look at what we are wanted to see.

      In respect of your closing question – one thing that is definitely evident with this article is there is an agenda being played out.

      And I would suggest that it doesn’t take a PhD, an MBA or an FU2 to suss out whose agenda…


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