Dangerous TripAdvisor Reviewers to be Tagged
In a bold move to aid hotels, restaurants and bed and breakfast owners to avoid some of the worst of its members, TripAdvisor is trying to tag its most dangerous reviewers.
It is hoped that in time all of the most pompous and prolific reviewers with the most grossly exaggerated view of their own self-importance will be tagged in this way.
The scheme works by attaching a large “TripAdvisor” logo to the luggage of the unwanted guest, enabling canny owners to put up a “Fully Booked” sign as they see the offender approaching their business.
The trap is set by TripAdvisor sending out emails to its reviewers inviting them to apply for the luggage tags as a “gift” – much as police have used prize draws etc. to trap criminals in the United States. As the scheme is entirely voluntary, it is legal for TripAdvisor to tag its members in this way.
TripAdvisor also takes the gullible reviewer’s email address and home address enabling them to further punish them with spam.
Yesterday Kevin May and Tnooz published an article revealing a scam whereby properties have been contacted by someone claiming to be the new “director of traveler reviews at TripAdvisor”, whose email says the company is launching a programme known as “TripAdvisor Select”.
The mailer says that TripAdvisor is looking into ways of giving some hotels on the site with the best reviews an official badge of approval, to say that the property has been audited for high quality by TripAdvisor itself following a visit.
Hotels getting the official thumbs-up from TripAdvisor would be rewarded with a “TripAdvisor Select” logo on their listing and, most importantly, having this official approval would prevent users from leaving negative reviews about a property!
Naturally it’s a scam and the mailer has nothing to do with TripAdvisor, despite the mailer signing off with the address of the company Massachusetts headquarters in the USA.