As with any online business from time to time we get notifications from one 3rd party business review site or another that a user has posted a review of our ‘customer service’. The most notable being Trustpilot.
We have a strict policy when it comes to reviewing services of this nature – we will not engage with nor respond to reviews posted on these services.
Why we will not respond on Trustpilot?
Seems a bit hypocritical right? We offer an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service that requires gambling operators to respond to complaints to receive a favourable review, but we will not respond to complaints posted about our own service? On the surface this understandably may seems like a double standard.
The problem with responding to reviews on Trustpilot and other similar services is the nature of our service. We manage complaints from players against gambling operators on behalf of a number of regulatory agencies. As an ADR service we are intended to serve as a more easily accessed alternative to the small claims courts. Our role necessitates passing a judgement on a dispute between two parties, the consequences of which being that one party will – in a large number of cases – walk away unhappy. This is not an accident. It is not an indication of failing to perform our remit appropriately. It is a natural and expected consequence of the role we perform. Our function is not intended to leave every customer* happy.
In a significant proportion of the claims we receive from customers that result in a ruling favourable for the operator, our hands are tied regarding what information we can legally share with the customer. In the first instance there is the GDPR and data protection generally. We do not have the necessary consent to share information either publicly or with Trustpilot privately. This could be overcome if Trustpilot were to put in place appropriate data protection policies (and BOTH parties were willing to provide consent), but that still would not overcome the barriers in many cases.
Where we have concerns that the complainant in question may be engaged in legally questionable activities, the operator in question may already have filed a report with the relevant legal authorities (preventing us from saying anything that may indicate that action may have been taken) and even where that is not the case, it would be entirely unprofessional of us to provide these parties with information that could educate them as to how they were detected due to the potential to facilitate future criminality.
While we understand and respect the role that Trustpilot and their counterparts occupy within the marketplace, their systems provide a platform for disgruntled parties who did not receive the ruling that they were looking for to engage in effort to either strong-arm a change in verdict from us (has never and will never work) or vindictively attempt to damage the credibility of the body that did not support their claim.
These 3rd party complaint services posting reviews of other 3rd party complaint services will by their very nature attract the negative reviews from the customers we do not support. This creates a selection bias and one that will always naturally reflect negatively on a service like ThePOGG.com.
The basic truth is that you do not see the courts expected to respond to reviews from the people they give judgements to. The consequence of forcing that interaction is obvious. If they did the vast majority of their reviews would come from the parties that ‘lost’ their cases and the courts would then have to invest huge resources reiterating the grounds for each ruling on each review site and the potential to ‘win’ would be highly questionable. In this respect ThePOGG.com functions in the same role as a court.
3rd party dispute mediation of a 3rd party dispute mediation system fundamentally does not work. Setting everything else aside, at what point does the chain stop? If the player is unhappy with the operator’s management of their claim they complaint to ThePOGG.com. If they are then unhappy with ThePOGG.com’s management of the claim they complain to Trustpilot. What then happens if they are unhappy with Trustpilot’s response? Do they escalate it to another business review service that rates Trustpilot? Ad infinitum.
For this reason we will not engage with Trustpilot or other similar services. Doing so would be nothing but detrimental to the integrity of the service we provide.
[*It should be noted that it is extremely unusual for us to manage a complaint from a person who actually signed-up to the operator via links advertised by our service – the vast vast majority of complainants have never spent any money with, through or because of information on our site. Defining them as “customers” fails to meet the Oxford Dictionary definition of the term.]
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