TripAdvisor Evades “Cheating Owners” Question
I recently posted concerning a property on TripAdvisor that had received a flurry of very suspicious reviews (see One More Reason Not to Trust TripAdvisor Reviews, November 22nd 2010) and asked why TripAdvisor failed to penalise this example of cheating.
Around the same time I asked on TripAdvisor Owners Forum why properties were allowed to get away with seeding their own listings with obvious fake reviews.
TripAdvisor failed to give any response to the question on the forum, but several of the fake reviews cited in the example were removed within a few days of being reported to TA.
Subsequently the question was removed entirely from the Owners Forum, the reason given to me off-forum being that
the open forum is not the appropriate avenue by which to report a review you feel is suspicious or inappropriate.
It was also suggested that my question could be a smear campaign against a particular property. I pointed out that reflected neither the content nor the purpose of the question I posed; my argument had required me to give an example of fake reviews (but I had not named the property) and TripAdvisor must have thought the reviews were suspicious as 3 were removed when they were reported through proper channels. They replied:
it is our policy not to disclose information about our investigations or actions taken regarding other members’ accounts or other properties’ listings. Keep in mind, though, that it sometimes happens that a review will be removed for reasons other than those for which it was originally reported, so the removal of a review should not be interpreted as an acknowledgment of anything except that the review either did not meet our guidelines or the author requested its removal.
Pull the other one, please! To suggest that reviews purporting to be from the USA, that said:
“My wife and myself were royally baffled by this unexpected eclipse of hospitality. Rare for French hosts, English is spoken very well.”
“The place is the fusion of high class and style – you can find yourself in the room with bed from Bali (put some colonial fumes in your evening) and the same time you can observe Mac book as a decoration over your head during the breakfast time. If you are still deciding where to stay visiting Pxxxx – don’t hesitate, Cxxxxx is the place to go !”
that were reported as fakes and were removed immediately, to suggest they were removed for any reason other than that they are obvious fakes, strikes me as disingenuous.
Further coincidence, the property in the example has not received a single review since the beginning of October when the fakes were reported. However, due to TripAdvisor’s failure to penalise the property, it remains the best rated in its area!
The TA system has proved its inadequacy once again.