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I got a service from TaskRunner AB (Part of BuddyCompany) via their mobile application, which is claiming to be "super transparent app" and promising customer satisfaction guarantee. This statement is from their website: “It is only when you approve the assignment and are satisfied with the result that we send the payment to the Runner you hired.”

I was not satisfied the service I got for many many reasons, and since the Taskrunner customer service was aware of this, they closed my tasks on their platform without my approval. When the tasks were closed, my payments for the tasks were transferred to the person who carried out the tasks without my consent, and I got deprived from my right of giving feedback.

I was in contact with the TaskRunner customer service, and tried to resolve this with them. They first offered a resolution of posting my feedbacks, but after seeing my feedbacks, they refused to publish them by stating that they want to avoid negative feedbacks, and they stopped replying my emails. I requested my invoices/receipts, and they even haven’t provided them.

Since they silence me on their platform as an unhappy customer, I have an impression of this happening for other customers as well, which will mean online review fraud or manipulation. Flooding 5 star reviews and blocking negative reviews on any Runner’s (handyman) profile definitely mislead the customers (as it happened to me) and even create an unfair competition for the people who want to work through their platform.

The question here is, are the companies audited for online review fraud and manipulation? How can they be so brave that they don't keep their promises, silence and ignore a customer, not even providing the invoices/receipts? It should not be so easy to cheat public in developed countries like Sweden.

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You can file a complaint with Allmänna reklamationsnämnden, after you have filed a complaint with the business and they rejected it (at least in part). After registering, you can file the complaint here. If the company does not accept their recommendation, then you sue the company in court.

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  • Thank you, I did this already. Do you have any prior experience about how long does this take to get a conclusion?
    – Sergen
    Dec 18, 2023 at 12:19
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The question here is, are the companies audited for online review fraud and manipulation?

No, but they must inform you whether they secure that the reviews are from real users/customers. If they claim so they must tell you how they secure it. 12 c §

From a product/service information perspective the reviews won't make a difference in court, you can't require more from product/service with 5 star reviews than from product/service with 1 star reviews.

If they only show the best reviews when choosing a runner, that's exactly what a movie poster does, so we can assume that is legal based on how long the movie industry has used that trick.

So what's left is an incorrect average number of stars, based on that bad reviews are refused. That could reported as deceptive advertising. You can report that to Konsumentverket

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  • Thanks a lot for an excellent answer! A follow up question: Doesn’t the company have to provide me invoices/receipts, that are ROT deducted tasks, and I see they are submitted to Skatteverket. But I haven’t received any invoices/receipts although I requested from the company.
    – Sergen
    Dec 18, 2023 at 12:13
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Misleading and deceptive conduct is illegal

Misleading or deceptive conduct may occur when:

  • they are not independent,
  • they do not reflect the genuine opinion of the person who posted them (e.g. if they were paid for the review - then it needs to be disclosed as an advertisement, not a review),
  • they are created by a person who has not actually used the product or service,
  • they are edited or changed by someone other than the reviewer,
  • the business suppresses or edits negative reviews,
  • the business removes genuine negative reviews,
  • incentives are offered only for positive reviews. Incentivising reviews is OK if they are disclosed, but they must be independent of the content of the review,
  • there are undisclosed commercial relationships with the review platforms,
  • the context in which reviews are displayed is misleading.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is the regulator responsible for policing this and they do take businesses to court on a regular basis.

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