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TripAdvisor.com / knowingly allows fake reviews, deceiving the visitors to the website and defrauding hotel owners

1 Newton, MA, United States Review updated:
Contact information:

The short version:

Tripadvisor has a review system which allows anyone to post anything about any hotel, regardless of whether they have even stayed there. This allows all sorts of people to abuse the system.

An example: a hotel was blackmailed and told that if they didn't give a former guest some money, the guest would write a false malicious review to harm the business. Tripadvisor would not take down the false review nor would they allow the hotel management to respond properly to the review. The result is that anyone reading the review will get a false idea of the hotel and the hotel will lose bookings as a result.

Also, their copyrighted slogan "get the truth" is a complete lie. How is it possible to get the truth from a review system which is full of holes?

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Comments

  • Hu
      7th of Feb, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Never a truer word said. The whole site is filled with fake reviews either created by the accommodation providers or by a rival accommodator. To post a fake review, all you need is a hotmail account and away you go. Just looking at most of the reviews on the site, you'll see that a lot of reviewers join, post and never return. If you write to Trip Advisor and ask them to comment about obvious fake reviews, they won't return your emails.

  • Be
      22nd of Feb, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I couldn't agree with you more. The BBB has listed them as not an accredited business and given them a grade of C+. The BBB complaint list gives a false impression since they won't take a complaint unless it involves a financial transaction which invalidates all of these type of complaints. However, the Massachusetts Attorney General will take complaints and has said she will take action against them if she gets enough complaints. Also contact Clark Howard at ClarkHoward.com and post your comments as he is always plugging them.

  • Pe
      20th of Jul, 2009
    +2 Votes

    Another article on the subject of TripAdvisor, Stephen Kaufer, fraud and defamation:
    http://www.splagg.com/story/2009/06/16/tripadvisor_forum_inviting_defamation_slander_and_fraud

  • Mo
      3rd of Aug, 2009
    +1 Votes

    A person that was NOT our Guest wrote a very bad comment about us and he wrote that he stayed with us on March (WHEN WE ARE CLOSED!!) so we answered that:

    Hello xxxxxxx...
    You wrote that you spent a weekend at our etablishment on March...well...We are closed on March ..and that's for the local regulation...so...next time...before writing something so bad about us, choose a period we are open :o) ...

    WELL...Tripadvisor sent us an el.mail (today) and they wrote us that they couldn't publish our reply cause it didn't respect their criteria!!!...:WHICH CRITERIA? :o) I think that Tripadvisor is becoming just a commercial site...they were bought by Expedia so they cannot be independent any more! Pity cause when they started they were pretty well.

  • Mr
      5th of Oct, 2009
    +3 Votes

    Tripadvisor what a nightmare, as the other post says when you post a reply to a negative review tripadvisor does not post them, we have a restaurant in a busy town with lots of restaurants, and sabotage is rife, y dont they make the site positive reviews only that way people will only put on what they like.

  • Mo
      22nd of Nov, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Hello to all...We are very tired of Fake comments cause our business is not to control them but to make our Guests happy... A question if you can give us an advice...Do you think I can take a lawyer against Tripadvisor? I mean...In Europe you cannot publish anything that offends someone or you must pay a lot of money but Tripadvisor published a very offensive comment .

    In this comment the anonymous wrote: "xxxxx treated us terribly. He lied to us, stereotyped us, screamed at us, and worst of all - threatned us. It was insane and scary.

    xxxxxx cares so much about his reputation, it's a little crazy. You can even find part of his website online where he literally finds every negative review ever written about him, and rebutts the negative points. I'm sure this one will be there soon, and I'm sure he will make up some crazy reasoning like he does with everyone else. "

    This is of course totally false and should be considered VERY OFFENSIVE in Europe and for this reason not legal you cannot publish that. In Europe we call it: DEFAMATION...especially if it's made by an ANONYMOUS person...Do you think I should take a Lawyer?

    Tripadvisor accepts this kind of ANONYMOUS comments made by anonymous persons that cannot prove they really stayed in the places (that has a name and an adress...so no anonymous) they reviewed.This is bad I think and not really legal

    Tripadvisor publishes without investigating these type of comments and anytime a hotel or a Guesthouse want to reply...we have a lot of problems cause "we don't follow their Criterias"!!!..WHICH Criterias if they accept this type of offensive comments made by some Anonymous?...We also received some Fake comments by persons that were supposed to be with us in the period of our Seasonal Clousure!!!...We wrote that to Tripadvisor and Tripadvisor didn't want to move away the comment!!!...We needed 1 month to demostrate that we were closed!!!...But I mean...they consider more comments made by ANONYMOUS than reply made by HOTELS with NAME and ADRESS!..This is terrible!

    What's your advise?
    Thanks a lot to all
    Giorgio's House Palermo
    If you want I can also give you the link of this comment

  • Mo
      23rd of Nov, 2009
    +1 Votes

    This is the Reply made by tripadvisor !!! What "Criteria do they have? They publish anonymous defamation and they don't accept our reply (NOT Anonymous!)

    Dear Giloc,

    Thank you for taking the time to write a management response on TripAdvisor.

    Unfortunately, we cannot publish your response because it does not meet our posting criteria. We look forward to receiving your edited and resubmitted response through our management response form.

    Please see the management response guidelines posted on our site at:

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/userrev_mgmt_rsp_rules.html

    We do not post management responses that contain quotations from reviews "Anonymous Traveler .you wrote that Hotel Facilities are fine (free pick up, good breakfast, place, free Palermo tours, Free trekking tours and Free day trips we add) but "it was the worst experience you had"Pity you didnt write your name so we could check if you really stayed at xxxxx or you just looked at our website.
    Anyway we have a huge photo guestbook that shows the happiness of our Guests :o)".

    Please let us know if you have further concerns.

    Best regards,
    Dan
    TripAdvisor Hotel Relations Team

  • Et
      17th of Dec, 2009
    +1 Votes

    The whole TripAdvisor experience is such a double edged sword for we travel business owners. The site is such a huge and powerful resource for attracting guests we crave the attention it brings us, but we have no power to help influence the integrity of its processes. Despite adding many millions in revenue through commissions paid to its parent company by offering rooms on its reservation system, we are utterly at its mercy on having to bear the brunt of any impossible to please or ax grinding customer. Especially those who know about its process and total lack of accountability for the customer side of things.

    A guest or customer can basically write nearly anything in a review true or not and the only option for the owner is to craft a management response that will fit through the eye of a needle, criteria wise in order to be posted.

    It is highly doubtful to me that most or even many of its users are aware of how the site works, its guidelines, biases towards the reviewer side of things, its manipulation by owners, competitors, etc. Even if 100% of its users were savvy enough to reject what are the reviews of lying, mean spirited, punitive, vindictive type people, that doesn't vindicate the flaws in the system that allows untrue or fraudulent reviews to be posted in the first place.

  • Co
      2nd of Jan, 2010
    +2 Votes

    At this very moment I am in an emailing back and forth with Tripadvisor because our "Rival" is posting their OWN reviews! While we know that the site is looked at by some with the same understanding that we have, and that it that it is not as honest as it boasts, we value the fact that some people read it as truth. In going there we saw that 90% of the rival business reviews were all posted by people with the company. Another tell tale sign is that the reviewers that claim to have had such a great stay, have also reviewed the same exact properties as one another.

    So you mean to tell me 5 people from all over the world all stayed at the exact same 4 properties, and wrote the exact same reviews for each one?! I have emailed them and they have not responded even after I sent proof of the abuse. How is this fair to anyone? Not just to the businesses but also the travelers. Its very disappointing to not have a better way to fight this.

  • Ma
      12th of Jan, 2010
    +2 Votes

    The trip advisor is the most abusive review site. The business being reviewed have no say at all. There is no way to verify who is writing the reviews. I am in the hotel industry and whenever I had written a response to a review, it has always been rejected saying "it does not meet our posting criteria". Their word is final.The reviews never get dropped no matter what. Their attitude is stubborn and authoritative. They are ruining the reputation and livelihood of most of the small business owners who have no resources to fight back. It is hard to believe that in a country like USA, there is someone out there destroying your business and you can not do anything about it.

  • Bl
      3rd of May, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I am at a loss for words. After fighting with Tripadvisor about a review posted about our hotel by an abusive guest who threatened our staff and was asked to leave the property because he would not abide by the Muslim laws of his own country and produce marriage papers in order to share a room of the opposite sex, this was the response:

    "We have looked at the review in question and determined that it does meet TripAdvisor's listing criteria. Therefore, it will not be removed. Please understand that TripAdvisor is not an arbitrator of disputes between guests and hoteliers, but is merely an open forum for guests to express their experiences. In order for us to maintain our integrity as an open forum, we must allow our members to freely express their opinions as long as they meet our listing criteria. Our decision to allow this review to remain on the site is not an indictment of your hotel or the situation in question in any way; we are simply staying consistent with our policy."

    They then go on to say:

    "Bear in mind that members are encouraged to take the whole of a property's reviews into account when judging a property. If the majority of the other reviews are positive, they are likely to see a negative as a mere aberration. We encourage you to submit a management response and allow our members to draw their own conclusions."

    How are these said "members" supposed to know that TripAdvisor allows fake, biased, rude, defaming, backstabbing lies to this site as all over the site it goes on about "30 million trusted traveller reviews & opinions"

    I have since then had another couple try stay in the hotel under the same circumstances and when told they had to have seperate rooms (this is not our rule but the law in this country) they too went to this "trusted" site and posted another pack of lies about our business. Again - I was forwarded the standard reply to any review dispute = see above...

    In other words - even when the guest has abused the staff of the hotel, named names of the hotel staff, lied about circumstances which led to events at the hotel and tried to break the law in a religious country they may still go ahead and harm the reputation of this business. I find this preposterous and absolutely against the rights of the hard working, rule abiding hoteliers.

    I would now like to remove my hotel from their site (as I never even put it there in the first place) AND apparently I am not even able to do this?????? I am stunned and beg any other business owner who may in any way be able to help me fight this ridiculous scandalous site to help!!!

  • Du
      12th of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    I hate tripadvisor now

  • Na
      31st of Jul, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I know for a fact that Trip Advisor does not verify the validity of reviews on their website, this is what they wrote me when I complained about a fake review few years back:

    “We determined that the review does meet our review criteria and will remain posted on the site. Since reviews are posted by our members on our open forum, and we do not verify the information posted in them, we are unable to provide you with proof that this member ‘reserved, stayed or actually visited ideal hotel’.”

    here is a summery of that incident:
    http://www.elliott.org/blog/we-are-not-crooks/

    Regards,
    Nawar
    ex-hotel manager

  • Ca
      17th of Aug, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Absolutely agree. I do not think that tripadvisor.com should allow posting of any personal names and personal attacks. Unfortunately even if they claim this to be their policy names are there. I recently posted a very negative experience about scam by Victoria Group, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria with involved Hotels4U, Med Hotels, HolodayHotels.com and the hotels Chaika Beach and Victoria Palace, Sunny Beach Bulgaria. I was directed by support to post on the forums. We booked with Hotels4U and our credit card was charged and booking confirmed. We asked disability accomodations. On arrival the Bulgarian hotel Guest Manger said we have no booking, we asked our money back and he said to get the money from UK. The merchant was unreachable and we were placed in a flooded moldy room where the AC did not work.

    All critical comments on tripadvisor Sunny Beach forum are heavily bullied. I complained and support did not take any action. On asking the users to stop with the personal attacks and adhere to terms of service, thripadvisor.com CSR did bully me . I feel this is done to manipulate social media. The users making personal attacks and excuses for the hotel never been guests of the hotel. I add a picture of the moldy room we had to stay - this is a 5 star hotel. A picture says 1000 words. Any critical to the resourt comment on the Sunny Beach, Bulgaria forum was received with strong attacks. Further the Distination Advisors who were very loud on the attack do not even master Bulgarian language, which is like redicule.

  • Mo
      25th of Aug, 2010
    0 Votes

    I can not trust triadvisor at all. There are many fake reviews and unreasonable reviews in it. How can I prove that the review is true and really sincere?

  • Ma
      29th of Sep, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I am an English hotelier in Spain, I had a guest try to blackmail me using Tripadvisor as a weapon, I caught the whole thing on CCTV, I refused to give in to these demands and within a couple of days the bad feedback was left on Tripadvisor, I then complained to Tripadvisor and was asked to send a copy of the CCTV, Tripadvisor refused to remove the review even though they could see what was going on.
    I am now in the process with the police and Guardia Civil in Spain of taking this couple to court for blackmail, the couple have now offered me money to stop the court case which I cannot do as it is criminal not civil, I am going to take this to the end and then let as many media know as possible how easy it is for a guest to manipulate Tripadvisor who allow anonymous reviews from anonymous people without any verification whatsoever.

    tripadvisor is owned my Expedia, Expedia deal with hotel groups so Tripadvisor do their best to ruin the reputations of as many small hotels as possible.

    400 hotels are getting together to take out a class action against Tripadvisor, Tripadvisor are heading for a fall and I can't wait.

    This week alone they have refused good reviews for my hotel because it keeps the bad review at the top of the pile.

    I am very vocal on the web about my distaste for Tripadvisor and because of that they are now targeting me.

  • Ye
      30th of Sep, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Don't get mad, get even! At www.yeqqo.com we are fighting back against these reviews sites!

    Get the good comments out of your guestbook and put them on the review sites, where they belong with Yeqqo!

    Simple to use, give it a go.

  • Ma
      4th of Nov, 2010
    0 Votes

    "Reviews you CAN NOT trust' this is their slogan that suits to tripadvisor best!
    They are dishonest, they cover bad hotels that paid them. Hate tripadvisor and hotel Alle Guglie that real scam!

  • La
      19th of Nov, 2010
    0 Votes

    I totally agree that Trip Advisor is an appalling site that is so unfair. It is unbelievable that they can get away with it. When I owned a hotel a guest reported a gold and diamon necklace had been stolen. They were abusive aggressive and out of control. It was eventually found in a vacum cleaner and it was the cheapest piece of tat you can imagine. The horrible things they said on Trip Advisor is still there 5 years later and the new owner cannot get rid of it. And has since her some nasty and completely untrue comments on her site. This is so wrong.

  • Al
      18th of Dec, 2010
    0 Votes

    Expedia owns Tripadvisor.
    Tripadvisor it's an ILLEGITIMATE web-site already reported to the court in EUROPE ( waiting for the judgement on next 2011 ).
    USA, after 11th Setmber 2001 has paid great attention to terrorism and ANONIMOUS behaviours.
    It's unbelivable that nobody in the USA has already reported Tripadvisor as an ILLEGAL EDITOR which protect anonimous reviwers who most of the time, being protected by this unlowful system, they produce libellious contents.
    It's unbelivable that the AMERICAN JURIDICAL system is NOT protecting turism enterprises from this UNFAIR competition system created, owned and managed by EXPEDIA!
    Expedia-Tripadvisor don't reveal the true identity of the writer, if they are asked, in ored to protect the on-line reputation.
    REVIEWS are a good value to protect travelers from being cheated and to promote the hotels and B&B which DESERVE, but...ONLY WHEN TRUE, RELIABLE, linked to a real traveller and to a real paid booking and generated by someone who is responsible for what it's written in the review!
    EXPEDIA-TRIPADVISOR are abusing the real value of the reviews and are damaging the free and fair market.

    Alla Dolce Vita

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