Clare Inn Hotel & Suites, one of the Lynch Hotel Group, has been given a “red badge” warning by TripAdvisor for reviews posted about it.
A TripAdvisor spokesperson said : “We have reasonable cause to believe the Clare Inn has engaged in suspect fake reviews on TripAdvisor. Subsequently, a red badge has been applied to the Clare Inn pages on the site, warning all potential guests of the suspected activity. We have completed a thorough investigation and removed the reviews.
“The Clare Inn is the only Lynch Hotel Group property to have received a red badge, although reviews have been removed from other hotels within the group.”
RTE Four Live broadcast details of the story yesterday, claiming a hotel employee emailed seven colleagues telling them to fake good customer reviews.
The email, dated October 4, said there was a need for good reviews as renovation work had just begun:
We have come up with a plan for everyone on this email only to post a review about their stay at the Clare Inn.
You must do this from your HOME PC or internet cafe, do not use a Lynch PC or the IP address will be picked up.
I’d rather you didn’t discuss this with your team. This is not something we would normally endorse but the reviews of the Clare Inn at the moment leave us with no choice.
Please do not use hotel language or else our plan will backfire.
The email also told staff to “praise value for money” at the hotel and that different TripAdvisor accounts had already been set up for the staff involved.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg – the problem of fake reviews on TripAdvisor goes way beyond this one hotel and its crass attempt at deception. We’ll have news soon on how many other properties have been “red flagged” in this way.
Blackpool Hotel Owner Ejects Guests over TripAdvisor Review
A couple claim to have been thrown out of an hotel after being accused of writing a bad TripAdvisor travel review.
Adrian Healey from Surrey had booked in to the Golden Beach Hotel in Blackpool. But Mr Healey and his partner, Sherrie Andrews, say they were asked to leave two days into their three night stay when the manager confronted them and accused them of them of writing a bad review on the TripAdvisor website and called the police.
Mr Healey said: “I couldn’t believe it when we were asked to leave.
“We had been there a day when they said we couldn’t get back in our rooms because they were recarpeting, and we didn’t complain – all we asked was if we could have an extra towel.
“Then, on our second evening, he banged on the door and told us to get out, accusing us of writing a review on Trip Advisor, and said he would call the police.”
Here is the review that appears to be at the heart of the dispute
Blackpool Police confirmed they had been called to the hotel to remove a man who had not committed an offence. A spokesman said: “Police officers were called to the Golden Beach Hotel just before 8pm on Thursday.
“No offence had been committed by the couple, but the manager had requested them to leave the property. We advised the couple how to go about getting a refund. This is a civil matter.”
The couple left of their own volition. Mr Healey said: “I was shocked when the police arrived, and we just agreed to leave. We asked for a refund but the hotel refused. I think it is shocking and people need to know about this.”
On TripAdvisor 59% of reviewers give the Golden Beach hotel a thumbs down. The hotel is listed with hotel.com (motto “Wake Up Happy”) and booking.com, TripAdvisor affiliates.