The following information takes into account the changes of law in effect from May 28th, 2022.
Information obligations with respect to reviews
Due to the implementation of Directive (EU) 2019/2161 into national law, entrepreneurs who provide access to reviews must provide information whether and how it was ensured that the published reviews come from consumers who have actually used or purchased the products or services. The measures taken in this regard must be specfied in concrete terms.
Verified reviews at Trusted Shops
Trusted Shops can collect reviews in various ways. In most cases, Trusted Shops uses technical measures to ensure that reviews only come from consumers who have actually used or purchased the products or services. These reviews are labelled as "Verified Reviews", and only these reviews are included in the overall rating.
Trusted Shops' Measures
Trusted Shops has established various measures to ensure that the Verified Reviews only come from consumers who have actually used or purchased the products or services. A detailed description of the measures can be found here.
Other types of reviews
In addition to these Verified Reviews, there are other types of reviews that are, however, treated differently. Most notably, these other reviews are labelled in a specific manner and are not included in the overall rating.
For example, customers can import reviews collected via other systems into the Trusted Shops system. In the case of these imported reviews, Trusted Shops cannot ensure that they only come from consumers who have actually used or purchased the products or services. These reviews are therefore labelled as "Imported Reviews" and are not included in the overall rating.
It is therefore ensured that the rating score which helps you as a user of the review system (hereinafter also referred to as "trader") to advertise on your domain always consists exclusively of verified (authentic) reviews. Likewise, only such reviews are shown in the Trusted Shops widgets for displaying reviews.
Mandatory information concerning reviews
On each profile page, Trusted Shops will, on its own, provide the information required by law with regard to the reviews.
A separate info page can also be found here. On this info page, Trusted Shops will outline all the measures used to verify the reviews. Any trader can use this information for the reviews collected via the Trusted Shops system in case the trader is themselves responsible for complying with the obligation to provide information. In addition, every time Trusted Shops displays reviews, there is also a link to this page.
As a business owner, do I have to provide information myself?
Yes. By using our services, you provide access to reviews in your shop. You must therefore ensure that you provide the respective necessary information on your shop. We are happy to support you in this with the following instructions.
How can I provide the necessary information in my shop?
In order to provide the information required by the new law, only a few steps are necessary.
- Firstly, check the fashion in which you provide access to reviews within your shop. Some possibilities are for instance:
- the Trustbadge
- the widgets
- the Shop Review Sticker
- the Product Review Sticker
- the Product Review Stars
- your own display formats, which you have developed on your own using our APIs.
Within the Trustbadge and our widgets, Trusted Shops will provide direct links to the information page.
Through this, your shop will already be very well prepared for the new statutory requirements insofar as you only use the above-listed display formats. Nevertheless, we recommend that you also carry out the steps that follow.
If you use the Shop Review Sticker, the Product Review Sticker, the Product Review Stars or your own display format for reviews, the following step must also be implemented.
- Please insert the information prescribed by the new law near the reviews, e.g., by using the following sample text: We use Trusted Shops as an independent service provider for collecting reviews. Trusted Shops has taken reasonable and proportionate steps to ensure that these are genuine reviews. More information
Please integrate the following link to the information page provided by Trusted Shops within the sample text: https://help.etrusted.com/hc/en/articles/4419944605341
To ensure that the new information is always available, it is advisable to integrate a hyperlink entitled "About review authenticity", for example, in the footer of the domain leading to the aforementioned page in the eTrusted Helpcenter.
Information Obligations with Respect to the Use of the Reputation Manager
If you use the Reputation Manager to invite your customers to provide reviews to other service providers such as Trustpilot and Google My Business, the terms and conditions of use of the respective providers apply. They are responsible for providing the new mandatory information on their respective portals.
If you also advertise by using reviews on your own websites, please contact the respective providers in order to obtain the necessary information. And make sure that the information you provide clearly distinguishes between the different reviews you use for your advertising purposes.
Misleading Consumers about the Authenticity of Consumer Reviews:
The new legal regulations also stipulate that it is always prohibited to state that reviews of a product come from consumers who have actually used or purchased the product without taking reasonable and proportionate steps to check that they indeed come from such consumers.
Advertising by Use of "Authentic" Reviews
With regard to the reviews collected via the Trusted Shops system, it must be differentiated whether they are "Verified Reviews" or not.
The reviews labelled as "verified" refer to authentic reviews. Technical and manual measures have been taken for these reviews to verify that they actually originate from consumers who have purchased or used the products or services.
Moreover, according to the new regulations, the transmission or commissioning of fake consumer reviews as well as the misrepresentation of reviews or recommendations by consumers on social media for the purposes of sales promotion is also prohibited per se. Fake reviews are, for example, reviews in which the person who provided a review has received a compensation for submitting a positive review.
Pursuant to the Trusted Shops' Membership Terms the reviewed companies also have an obligation not to provide any compensation for the submission of reviews and to equally request all customers to submit a review, regardless of whether a positive or negative review is to be expected. Violations of the Membership Terms give Trusted Shops the right to terminate the user contract and/or delete the reviews. If you advertise by using reviews on other systems than our own, you must always ensure that they are displayed correctly.
Indication of "Imported Reviews”
In the case of "Imported Reviews", Trusted Shops cannot ensure or verify that such reviews only come from consumers who have actually used or purchased the products or services, therefore these reviews are always treated and indicated as unverified reviews at Trusted Shops. Therefore, these reviews (labelled as "Imported Reviews") are not included in the calculation of the overall rating, and are labelled as Imported Reviews.