Malaysia-based automotive marketplace MyTukar has published an open letter to Carsome CEO and co-founder Eric Cheng, accusing his company of “eroding trust and reliability” and engendering an “environment of mistrust” in the sector by incentivizing five-star reviews of Carsome on Google.

MyTukar is a subsidiary of Singapore-based Carro.

In the letter, MyTukar wrote: “We have noticed Carsome’s long practice of rewarding and incentivising reviews as part of marketing campaigns, with prizes for five-star reviews and most-liked five-star reviews.”

“Five-star reviews spur us to keep up the good work, and any negative reviews help us pinpoint any blind spots in our processes in services, allowing us to further improve.”

“Rewarding and incentivising five-star reviews will not only erode trust and reliability in the long run but also create an environment of mistrust across the used car industry in Malaysia. We have long tolerated this and strongly urge Carsome to cease such activities.”

“… we strongly urge you to set the playing field right again, and to support our commitment in creating a transparent, honest environment for all used car buyers and sellers.”

MyTukar later added that “Offering discounts, prizes or monetary rewards in exchange for good reviews violates Google’s policies. Google also says that this is unethical and fraudulent, and that’s why we’re calling this out.”

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