All external review sites have now been closed or are in the process of being shut down. All reviews are now being aggregated by Which? under their Trusted Trader scheme.

Last month I announced my departure from Google's Maps platform following vandalism against my business by an individual who persisted in leaving fake feedback. The idiot involved, Dunston for want of a better monicker, is neither a customer or even someone in the local area, but he was persistent in his jealousy of my online presence and liked to spend his unemployment penning nonsense at my expense.

Since binning the Big G in September, Dunston has set his sights on my other main review sites, Freeindex, TrustPilot and Yell. While Freeindex have been great at both removing his trash as it comes in and blocking the IP addresses he hides behind, I feel it's not fair on their support staff to have to police my account, especially as I'm on their free listing service. It's the same with Yell whose staff also have better things to do than respond to requests to take out the trash from my page.

Trustpilot on the other hand are useless, despite review aggregation being their one actual job. So, rather than close my presence there, I've disassociated my business from them by pointing my page to a fake penis cleaning product linked to a domain I bought for just this purpose:


Immature? Oh sure, 100 percent. But to hell with TrustPilot, purveyor of fake positives for scammers (as shown on BBC TV Watchdog, 17/10/19) and tool of trolls out to attack legitimate small businesses for mischief or maliciousness. TrustPilot are too big to care, too big to police and they don't line their pockets from me so aren't minded to change their ways.

Well, why Which? Unlike the others, I do pay to be on their Trusted Trader programme, and as part of that they manually moderate all reviews, so to get past them Dunston and his ilk will have to take the time to author what sounds like a legitimate review and provide a contact telephone number, address of supposed work and an email address for it all to be verified. It's not foolproof, but it'll take a lot more effort.

In a way, I'd like to thank Dunston for showing me how vulnerable these external review sites all are, and I'm glad I've managed to shutter them while each had only a small number of genuine posts. It would have been a lot worse had there been significant numbers of customer feedback to be lost in the process, but I've never been proactive in seeking reviews. I know my clients are happy as my bills get paid and the repeat business is high.


A video of this experience is now on YouTube (foul language alert).