Trustpilot recently removed our Aztech Smoke Shop business profile with almost 300 customer reviews from their review platform. With the reason being they have decided that legal Cannabis seeds and legal Mushroom spore sales are against Trustpilot’s code of ethics, despite there currently being no mention of this fact anywhere in their code of ethics. https://uk.legal.trustpilot.com/for-everyone/code-of-ethics
However due to Part 8 of Trustpilot’s code they are allowed to amend the code and it’s policies for any reason and at any time so there is very little that can be done to get our old Trustpilot account back despite appealing the decision.
Unfairly Trustpilot still show our Aztech Smoke Shop profile up in their website only we are now labelled as a “Bad Fit” business and our old profile is not accessible as a result.
The reason this is unfair as they have added a link that takes you to a description detailing the possible reasons companies may be considered a bad fit by Trustpilot. Nowhere on the list is the actual reason that our profile was removed which is simply that legal cannabis seeds and legal mushroom spore sales go against Trustpilot’s code of ethics.
By leaving this Information off their list this is unfair to sellers of these legal products who may use Trustpilot and have read and checked the companies policies and been falsely given the impression that they are ok to use the Trustpilot platform. It is also unfair as it gives the false impression to any potential customers who may check our Trustpilot profile before purchasing from us that our business has incorrectly been involved in one of the other activities listed as the possible reasons why companies may have been considered a bad fit by Trustpilot.
The Trustpilot employee we were trying to appeal Trustpilot’s decision with also openly invited us to report any other competitors who may also use the Trustpilot review service for them to investigate too. This offer was politely declined while also pointing out we had much better things to with our time during a cost of living crisis then reporting other legally operating businesses just so they find themselves in the same situation as us.
Hopefully though this blog might help other sellers avoid using Trustpilot to begin with and avoid the situation that way instead.
We have now started using a new review provider on the site and are continuing to provide the same reliable service as always that got us our 5 star rating so it shouldn’t take us too long to get a similar review rating back up again on the website.
Situations like this are unfortunately very common within the cannabis seeds and mushroom spores industry and have happened frequently to us over the years since the business has been running. Just in case anyone is considering getting into this legal industry themselves and additionally to answer a few frequently asked customer questions here is a list of some of these hurdles.
Situations like this are unfortunately very common within the cannabis seeds and mushroom spores industry
Over the years platforms like Facebook and Instagram have gradually made it much harder to run business accounts on these platforms. We originally had a Facebook advertising account which was removed after just a few days of being active by the platform. Then as new community standards software has gradually been introduced on both Facebook and Instagram platforms (both owned by Meta) Our reach has gradually got less and less on both platforms. We have lost several Instagram accounts, at one point 2 accounts a year were being pulled despite the sale of cannabis seeds and mushroom spores being legal in the UK.
Facebook has let us keep our business profile all this time but with it’s reach being heavily restricted and it being a complete gamble which post Facebook is going to decide is in breach of it’s code it’s simply not worth the effort posting frequently anymore.
We’ve had duplicate posts from Facebook removed and when separate appeals have been put in we’ve Facebook’s team decide one post was fine to post and the other wasn’t despite being identical duplicate posts. We’ve had many 30 day bans over the years too, one 30 day ban recently was for the crime of posting a photo of one of the free stickers we give away with orders featuring a photo of a cannabis plant on it.
“Google Ads Account...”
Our Google account was active for all of 3 days before they decided we were not welcome to use Google Ads services despite our products all being legal to sell in the UK. Google Ads did the common trick we have encountered with several companies You can argue your case with the team and even be given the impression you are actually making some progress sometimes with your appeal.
Eventually though you will get told you go against the companies polices, get sent a long list of these policies and even if you point out that these policies are not applicable to your legal business you will soon find out that you have to begin a new appeal and that you soon end up just going round in circles.
“Payment Gateways, Paypal, Mastercard and Visa”
We often get asked why we don’t have the same payment options you would see on other legally operating online retailers and this is pretty simple, they do not support this Industry at all. We had Paypal as a payment option on the website several years without any problems until one day they decided to close our account and withhold all the funds for 6 months before eventually returning it to us.
Mastercard and Visa also are very unsupportive to the industry and make it as difficult as possible for card payment service providers to accept businesses in this industry so they can access the same services other legal businesses are privileged to use.
In the past we’ve had to look overseas to find card payment merchants willing to work with us however the dealing with overseas companies, especially if something goes wrong added with the waiting time to actually be credited any funds has resulted in us deciding it better to remove these options.