A Glimpse of TripAdvisor’s Owners’ Forum

Did you know there is a special forum on TripAdvisor which is hidden from the general public?

To access this forum you need to be registered as an owner of a property listed on TripAdvisor.   There are plenty of properties on TripAdvisor that aren’t claimed yet by their owners – I wonder if just anyone could claim one and so get access to the forum?

You would probably imagine that this forum is very useful for TripAdvisor to get valuable feedback from owners.

Here’s a small glimpse into this hidden world – the exchange of views is fascinating.

Dialogue between Owners and TripAdvisor

Dialogue between Owners and TripAdvisor

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13 responses to “A Glimpse of TripAdvisor’s Owners’ Forum

  1. Trip Advisor is without a doubt censoring negative reviews which brings into question the legitimacy of their web-site.

    Case in point. I wrote a less than stellar review of a resort that I visited in Mexico. The review was honest, factual and detailed and I did make a point of mentioning the bright spots as well as the bad and it met all their submission guidelines.

    Well wouldn’t you know it about three months later my review magically disappeared from the website with no notification from them. Not only that but it also disappeared from my list of ‘contributions’. I immediately attempted to re-post my review which did not appear on the site. I emailed Trip Advisor with my concerns and got no reply from them.

    I opened another account and attempted to post another review and that review was also removed within months.

    To make matters worse I was ridiculed in their forums for my review and received threatening private messages from various users in badly written English (Mexican authors perhaps?) stating the same things like I had ‘better watch what I say’ and that I ‘should think twice about writing a bad review’. I emailed Trip Advisor again about the threats and once more I was ignored.

    I have been monitoring the reviews of the resort in question and it seems that a few other negative reviews have vanished as well.

    Avoid Trip Advisor at all costs. Many of their reviews are obvious fakes and they are obviously on the take from many of the larger resort chains.

    I can safely say that Trip Advisor reviews are biased and should be taken with a grain of salt or simply ignored.

    • It may be that your review violated one or more of the “guidelines” for content, but assuming it didn’t it is not uncommon for reviews (both positive and negative) to disappear without explanation as you describe.

  2. In answer to your second question above (Phil’s edit: Referring to: “There are plenty of properties on TripAdvisor that aren’t claimed yet by their owners – I wonder if just anyone could claim one and so get access to the forum?”) is: yes, easily, and it partly solves my post below. I did it in the time it took between these two posts, so how secure is the system of checks at TA? A: Absolutely bloomin’ useless – but we know that already!

    • As an update, my Owners account is disabled, so I can’t even log in to the Owner’s Forum etc; I can only see what the public can see. My second membership has been rumbled, but this one still allows me to log into the Owner’s Forum etc, but has been barred from any postings or PMs.
      Thus, as an Owner I cannot, through my Owner’s Membership of TA ,access anything to do with my business, nor can I communicate with TA staff (if what I had before could be categorised as ‘communication’ ?)
      It is hard to see how this can be construed by TA as a level playing field; one where Owners are gagged by TA and unable to even post the magical Management Response, or attempt to dispute a review.

  3. Phil,
    Being unable to opt out is one problem. Here is another: I have now had my account deleted by TripAdvisor, so as an Owner I now have no access to the Trip Advisor site, except to see what anyone can see on the internet.
    I cannot log into my own business to post any response, even if I wanted to.
    I plan on visiting ther offices in London. Anyone want to come along?

    • I had no idea they could block an owner – I have never heard anything like that. They make a big play about how owners should respond to reviews (though only about 4% of reviews do get a management response. If they don’t like an owner’s response then they already have power of veto or can ask the owner to reword it.

      • They have ‘disabled’ my account so that I cannot access anything that requires me to log in to TA, so I can’t post a management response or even post a review under the username and email address they have disabled.
        I can only assume they have taken a dislike to my insistence that anonymity should no longer be allowed, as this has been the main subject of much of the Owner’s forum postings I have been doing recently.

  4. Hi Phil,

    After your note on the last page I wondered if you would be interested in our story with regards to TA.

    We accepted a booking from a couple who arrived, ate, slept and left. They left very nice comments in our visitors book and at the time they were our only guests so were offered a choice of rooms.

    A week or so later the review on TA arrived, its not good and stands out a mile from all our other reviews. As you know yourself a small business cannot cope with this. My wife was extremely upset, especially of the cleanliness comments.

    The worst references were to cat pee and flat pack furniture, neither of which were true. We wondered initially if they had mixed us up with somewhere else.

    I did write to them and ask them this and ask if they would remove the review but as they didn’t reply and the review is still there I can only assume that something here upset them that they wanted revenge when they got home.

    I posted a management response but didn’t do any thing else as my wife was still very upset and I tried to put it out of our minds.

    I have now asked TA to remove the review as it false and obviously not for us, I don’t hold out much hope but at least I can try to do something.

    We have not had an enquiry from the UK since the review was posted, this maybe a coincidence or it may not.

    At least thank you for listening/reading

    Peter

    • That’s awful, Peter. Having had the same sort of experience I know how distressing this sort of thing is. Like you I knew the review wasn’t true, you know that there’s either been a mistake or someone’s telling lies out of malice, but as owners we feel almost powerless to do anything about it and no-one at TripAdvisor seems to care – just one automated email after another. When you take a pride in what you do it’s like a kick in the teeth when something like that happens. Especially if you think you know who they were and the stay went off perfectly well, as far as you could tell.

      I presume you’ve used your Owner’s Centre to dispute the review? One of the problems with the so-called dispute procedure is that you have to tick a box giving the exact reason for the dispute – yet you can’t be sure whether they’ve mixed you up with someone else or simply have lied for reasons unknown.

      The lack of communication means there’s no way of telling what, if anything, anyone is doing about it at TA, the whole sorry process being secretive, opaque and slow with no guarantee of a fair outcome and no reasons given for retaining or dismissing the review.

      It may not be much comfort, but you at least have our support.

      • yes, did so this morning but then you get 200 letters to explain ! thats about the size of a twitter comment!

        Still waiting for the automated reply.

        Peter

  5. Any hotel that gets a disgruntled guest – which happens to the best of them – should stay away from Tripadvisor! To engage them in anyway is to boost their value to themselves.

    • Only problem is, no-one has a choice over whether to be listed on TripAdvisor – you can’t opt out. It’s like a vampire octopus.

  6. Pingback: Tweets that mention A Glimpse of TripAdvisor’s Owners’ Forum « TripAdvisorWatch: Travel Review Sites in Focus -- Topsy.com

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