Expedia.com: We will verify our hotel reviews

Expedia promises “real hotel reviews by real customers”

Just days after completing its spin-off of TripAdvisor, Expedia has announced plans to expand its own online hotel reviews.  The big difference is that Expedia says all its reviews will be verified, to the extent that they will all be written by people who have stayed at the place they review.

At the same time, Stephen Kaufer TripAdvisor’s chief exec dismissed public concern over fake reviews, saying, “Based on the scale at which we operate questions of planted reviews is more of a theoretical concern than a practical concern. The scale totally dominates the equation.”  Kaufer was not able to offer a percentage of how many reviews are fake.

From Barbara De Lollis at USA Today’s Hotel Check-in

If you go to Expedia.com today, you’ll find an overhauled review database that contains some 4 million reviews written by people who Expedia says paid for and stayed in the hotel they wrote about.

“We like to call it the new source of truth, internally,” says John Kim, Expedia’s senior vice president of global products.

The strategy plays off recent stories about fake reviews posted on TripAdvisor, Yelp and other sites that don’t confirm whether an author has actually stayed at a particular property – or if they had some other agenda in writing a review.

“(Customers) have been asking for a source of reviews they can trust,” Kim says, citing stories of a “black market” of fake reviews on other review sites. How widely held a belief that is, however, isn’t clear.

“This has tested off the charts in our internal testing,” he told me. “People love the idea that our reviews are verified so you can’t randomly leave a review.”

How do you write a review on Expedia.com? After you’ve booked a hotel on Expedia and stayed there, Expedia sends you an e-mail that contains a link where you sign into your account. At that point, you’ll be given the option of writing a review for that specific hotel.

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11 responses to “Expedia.com: We will verify our hotel reviews

  1. I work in a hotel, and we received a bad review on Expedia. The person posted photos of a disabled shower with no shower head This IS NOT our hotel! How do I get a fraudulent review (verified, my a**) removed?

  2. Expedia is no help at all. I booked a flight and got confused with the wrong date. Well I called to ask if I can change my flight and I even bought there insurance just incasr I had to cancel. Well once talking to a lot of representatives and call center and hour and hours of wait. They said they could not help me at all and they even wanted me to but another flight. I told them I would never buy anything from them again avoid Expedia.

  3. Bent Prop Inn and Hostel in Anchorage, Alaska
    This hostel has no access to internet and computer facilities as described.
    They have very strict rules due to their guests because during my stay (12 nights) there were only 3, 4 workaway volunteers and i was the only one outsider.
    All other guests (90%) are locals who are homeless, on probation, guys who are just out of prison.

    I had a problem with one of the local guys after a night out and returning intoxicated, the hostel kicked us out. They do not care about finding the reason, they are like everyone who came drunk and caused a problem be kicked out.
    I had paid another 5 nights but there was no refund. I was the one who got hurt for no reason but kicked out with no refund in cold winter that I have no where else to go but to the airport. They do not care about their guests at all.

    I did not report that guy to the police because I did not want him to go to prison again just because he punched me in the eye all bruised and terrible.
    So be careful all the travelers!

  4. I rented a 9 person car from Expedia and they gave me a 7 instead after I complained about it before arriving and contacted them via phone a hundred times this calling from the Netherlands to USA which cost me a few hundred euros they agreed it was a error made by them and that I had to book a 9 person car again and what ever was the difference they would pay. Well let me tell you I hate my life for ever agreeing to that as until today they haven’t refunded me a cent and every time I call them they keep me on hold for hours and not to forget I had to explain my story to all the staff that work there as by now I must of had all of them on the phone. Expedia is a very bad company and I would advice you not to book any thing with them.

  5. Some friends of ours got together and threw my fiancé and I a pre-wedding party. We booked our hotel suite with Expedia. Well that was a disaster. On a hunch, we called the hotel the morning that we were supposed to leave just to verify our reservation had went through. The hotel had no reservation for us. So I called Expedia and explained what had happened. They were not apologetic at all it was like they did not even care. Luckily the hotel had a suite available. This could have royally screwed our trip. It’s a very good thing my fiancé asked me to call the hotel just to check otherwise our group would’ve been out of town with nowhere to sleep. I feel Expedia should’ve covered the cost for that suite. But of course they didn’t. When we arrived at the hotel we spoke with a woman there and she said she had just had the same problem with this company. If Expedia cannot do any better than this, they should just shut the business down. I do not recommend this company at all! It was the worst experience ever!

  6. You are so wrong, I stayed at a hotel that should be shutdown for filth and fraud

  7. Do not book with Expedia/Trivago!!!!!!(same company). I am still owed a refund from August because of a fault on their part. This is my experience with them:

    I searched for accommodation for 7th-8th August 2015 on Trivago, checking several times that I had searched the correct dates. Chose to book Eden house in Key West.

    After having driven the 4 hour drive to key west from Miami we went to check in to the hotel. We then were told that we were booked in for the 28th August 2015!

    The lady who worked at the hotel said that this has happened before and that if the hotel is not available sites such as trivago change the date to one that is available.

    Eden house were fully booked and so we were unable to stay at the hotel. The lady checked for other hotels for us but there were none available under 350 dollars as it was a special festival weekend and the ones that were available were at the other side of the island.

    I tried to ring trivago and was put on hold and then when I thought the phone was being answered it hung up on me (that’s 8 minutes of call to an American number from a UK phone charging over £1 a minute) I then rang the complaints line and got through to someone after a few minutes but was told I had come through to the wrong number so then got put on hold again. When the phone was finally answered the lady clearly didn’t understand what had happened and to my frustration as she just said let me see if I can cancel this for you oh yes I can cancel it without a fee because you are not booked in until the 28th!!!!!! She didn’t understand (as she couldn’t speak very good English) that it was their fault not mine! I asked to speak to her manager and I was put on hold again and I chose to put the phone down after 20 minutes as it was costing me a fortune.

    We then decided to drive back up the keys and try to find a hotel on one of the other islands and at 10.30pm and after trying about 15 hotels we finally found a motel with a vacancy!

    I gave up trying to get a refund while in the states but my mum kindly rang from home and managed to arrange for someone from Expedia to contact the hotel.

    Several weeks later I received an email from Expedia advising me that they had contacted the hotel and that I needed to call them so that they could process the refund. I explained that it would cost me a fortune and that I would like to be put through to a manager.

    Instead of dealing with one person, I had emails coming through from several different people one explaining that they needed to contact the hotel before being able to promise a refund. I was so frustrated because they had already contacted the hotel!!!!! They had clearly not looked at the string of emails prior to this one. It was clear that no one understood what I was saying and that they were clearly filling in a template of standard phrases.

    I felt hopeless and worried that if I did ring this number it would not only cost me a fortune but I would be put through to someone who would tell me something different and that it would never get sorted. So finally I plucked up the courage to ring them..

    The guy was very helpful, however, he said he needed to contact the hotel! What a surprise. He said that if he call was terminated for any reason then he would ring me back. I asked if he could call me any way as it was costing me such a lot of money to which he replied that calls to Expedia are free….

    He contacted the hotel, put me on hold several times and eventually he managed to arrange a refund.

    I then asked if there was anyone I could contact to complain as I felt I deserved compensation for the cost of my phone calls and for the hassle it had caused me. He put me through to his supervisor who was useless. By this time I had been on the phone over an hour.

    I managed to find an address on the Internet which I am currently in the process of writing to.

    I received my phone bill and the phone call (that was “free”) cost me over £60. Oh and to top it off – it’s been two and a half weeks and the refund still has not come into my account!

    So now I am short of $265 dollars for the hotel and about £90 through phone calls. If I do not get a response from them after I write I will take court action.

    I have looked on the Internet and so many people have had problems with them!

    One simple message NEVER EVER BOOK WITH EXPEDIA/TRIVAGO.

  8. Worst service ever! My hotel reservation got cancelled and Expedia did not inform. I lost a day of a 5 day vacation waiting to be relocated. For the trouble, I was given a ”$75″ credit which now I cannot use towards reserving a hotel. Expedia…never ever! The phone service is also the worse!

  9. Expedia has partnered with hotels to rip you off. Lets explain this. I called expedia to book a reservation because I couldn’t get online. The gentleman asked me how much i wanted to spend and I told him. He told me that he had found a nice hotel with flights and all in my range at Celuisma Maya Caribe Cancun. Great no problem their I paid for it. the next day I looked at the internet and it seemed okay. So we arrived in cancun an we can find the hotel??? But wait its nestled in between a large hotel. but to our disbelief its a nightmare . Their cats , chickens running around the pace is dirty and thats just the lobby. But wait I over looked that and was taken to my room at Celuisma Maya Caribe. it got worse the room was dirty smelled like piss and looked nothing like the internet not even the hotel. So i went to the front office and complained to them that me and my two kids would not stay their. One because of the condition of the hotel and to it was not safe the doors in the rooms did not lock well plus next door on the other side no more then 40 feet away is the public beach so crowed that they take over their beach it was just bad.
    They told me to call expedia that they would refund me. In the mean time i had to find anther hotel then this piss hole they called Celuisma Maya i that was charging me 1,103.34 for 5 nights. I ended up at the Intercontinental for 5 night for 896.17 in a first class Hotel.

    That night i spent 2 hours on the phone with expidia and to no availe they just didn’t care that i was straned somewhere with kids. If i didn’t have the money to go somewhere else we would be in trouble. expedia said they would call me back they never did and i already had spent 75 dollar on prepaid phone cards from Mexico. The next day i spend another 75. dollar on the phone with expidia. They said they would refund me once they spoke to the hotel but that no one was available to process the a refund from the hotel. Well before i left Cancun i went back to the hotel and no one was their to process the refund still 5 days later.
    Well forks 2 weeks later no refund and no call from expidia. So I called them they got a refund from the hotel – a day the hotel CALUISMA MAYA CARIBE CANCUN ALSO IS USING OTHER NAMES AND NOT THE PICTURES ON THE INTERNET kept 190.34 dollars for a reservation never used in this piss hole of a place and expedia does nothing about it no help or refund from them. S o i’m out of pocket 340.33 dollars with phone tab and EXPEDIA DOESN’T GIVE A CRAP THEY PROTECT PISS HOLES LIKE THIS! And i go out of the country 6 to 7 times a year and never seen a crap hole like this. You Go EXPEDIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Truly Yours

    O.Jon Soto

  10. There is no avoiding fake reviews online. Anyone can book one of their own hotel rooms and then just write-off the small Expedia booking fee as a marketing expense. It is totally impossible to make it a fraud-free system at this point.

    Eventually Google will be the ones to circumvent this situation by getting people ratings dished up by people in their circles and extended circles, as well as by reputable authors. Until then, buyer beware, and always read between the lines.

    • Perhaps – but at the moment, Google reviews are even more open to abuse than TripAdvisor and the rest. The problem with peer group reviews like cicles is that they’re unlikely to have wide experience.

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