TripAdvisor Evades “Cheating Owners” Question

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.

TripAdvisor Owners Forum

TripAdvisor Owners Forum

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.”

and

“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.

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5 responses to “TripAdvisor Evades “Cheating Owners” Question

  1. I was browsing last night and came across a property listed as No. 2 in our area. Curious because the property is out of the way, difficult to get to, up a hill. I looked at the TA reviews. There were 20. 19 out of 20 reviews from allegedly “real people” had the same theme. “Bill and Jane, the managers were really friendly….Bill and Jane really looked after us….Bill and Jane were great hosts….Bill and Jane…you get the drift. I’m no rocket scientist, but if they aren’t self publicised, I’m a TA lover and that’s not ever going to happen

  2. Pingback: World Spinner

  3. I suspect that my IP address is already marked.
    Cheers and thanks for the good wishes 🙂

  4. If your posts on the Owners Forum have been deleted, then beware that you are now a marked IP address / person in TA, and if like me you continue to ‘abuse the TA system’ or continue to post ‘off topic’ or ask questions that TA don’t want others to see, then you will be barred from posting anything. I now have no access to TA whatsoever as an Owner as my ‘punishment’ for asking questions on both the Owners Forum and the jokingly named ‘Help Us Make TA Better’ forum. Big Brother does have a delete button, but only uses it to divide and rule. Beware and Good luck.

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