Trustpilot purports to offer impartial reviews. We users post them with the intention of helping the customers who follow us who can learn from our experience. We like the site which seems to be well managed and trustworthy. It helps us decide who to trust.
The flaw is how they make their money. It comes from the sites which we review. Those sites are the customers, we users are the resource which Trustpilot sells to them.
This wouldn't matter (much) if Trustpilot really did stand by its word and allow free and honest appraisals by customers. But they don't. On the basis of spurious quasi-editorial guidelines, reviews can be removed at the behest of the sites which you have criticised.
In my case I put a comment about terrible security on a site. They replied to it, meaning customers could see both sides of the argument and decide for themselves. But the review was removed after a complaint (I think we can guess who from), and, to cut a long story short, stays removed at the moment because in the judgement of Trustpilot, security issues aren't of interest to their users.
It is obvious that users can only decide whether they're interested if they can see the review and the response. It's equally obvious that Trustpilot needs to retain its customers - the websites which are reviewed - far more than the far more numerous individual users, who they sell to those websites.
This being the case, the model is flawed. It self-evidently isn't trustworthy. Use it - and give your work for free into the bargain - at your peril.
UPDATE: (in response to comments from Trustpilot below)
In my particular case I was already validated as a buyer, which due to the close commercial relationship between you and the site was done before I could leave a review. I had, in other words, left a real review from a real customer. But it did contain criticism: that doesn't make it invalid. The company had exercised its right to reply via a comment on my review so everyone could see both sides of the issue. The review has then been taken down twice on clearly spurious grounds even though it is compliant with your guidelines. A whitewash, which is why your site can't be trusted.
UPDATE 2: Trustpilot were replying to my emails about my other review, but then stopped replying to me and just deleted the review. So there's one site on here which will significantly endanger your data security if you use it, but you're not allowed to know which one it is. Oh dear.
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