Founded in 2000 by Stephen Kaufer and Langley Steinert, Boston based Trip Advisor is a travel website providing reviews and other useful information about travel destinations around the world. With more than 65 million unique visitors each month, using this site for reviews of hotels, restaurants and sites around the globe; this site has grown massively.
Instead of brochures and guide book reviews, travelers suddenly had access to real people giving reviews of the experience they had. Hoteliers no longer just had to impress the undercover columnist, AA inspector or health and safety officer, but their main job was to satisfy and impress the everyday visitors.
Recent lawsuits and mind disturbing turn of events has raised a wide spreading question – how liable and trustworthy the reviews given in this site are. Let us discuss.
As the website grew in its business, the problems grew too. Should the traveler really trust the reviews that were given on the site? On what basis should they trust the reviewers? Allegations are growing in number that some hotels were manipulating the system by posting positive reviews without being true. In addition to it, some hotels were using their power of posting reviews to post negative reviews of their competitive counterparts.
Example: Tripadvisor.com recently named a hotel in Singapore the worst hotel. This hotel was also enlisted in the Top 10 list of the dirtiest hotel of Asia. Later, the manager of Goldkist Beach Resort wrote a letter to TripAdvisor, inviting them to inspect the resort themselves and remove the bad reviews. The management has alleged the site of not posting the positive reviews many of their customers had submitted to the site. Further, they accuse of receiving an email from the site to sign up for their annual subscription. The TripAdvisor would remove all the negative comments if they do so.
Although TripAdvisor denies it, more than 1000 hoteliers have threatened to take legal action against TripAdvisor.
A bad review can seriously affect the business of a hotel. Many of the hotels are manipulating the reviews in a bad way. A report by the travel website, Travolution says that hoteliers are posting positive reviews through unrelated companies even from different locations of the world. Bad reviews of some hotels are being posted just for the sake of money. The report even claims that one hotel received a number of reviews before it had even opened.
Although TripAdvisor claims that they have some set of rules regulating the review posting process and say that they have a certain mechanism to detect fake reviews, people of these kinds are always one step ahead of those trying to catch them.
More reports to prove that TripAdvisor reviews are full of lies
A recent survey published in The New Daily of Australia claims that out of all the restaurants facing extortion, 50 percent got threats from their customers,for publishing a poor review on the site, if they do not get some amount of discounts, and 12 percent were threatened to pay (with a refund or discount) in order to get a positive review. In case of customers, 56 percent of the guests were reported to be lying in their reviews and 34 percent say that they had been the victim of completely fake reviews and ratings.
If this is the case then who can you really trust? Are some hotels and motels being wrongly maligned or even going out of business due to few of those bad and fake reviews? Well it’s a complicated job to find out which reviews are the lies and which ones are true. Proper research and reviews are a good way of finding out about things, but what you read, hear or see is not always true. Visit the place yourself and compare the differences.
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