ASA dispute TripAdvisor's claim that its reviews can be trusted

1 February 2012

Bitterwallet - my room at the Ascot Hyde Park Hotel

Love it or hate it, you simply can’t ignore it. Unless you, erm ignore it. We speak, of course, of TripAdvisor, the website that is filled to the brim with holiday reviews by keen-eyed amateurs and the pathologically disgruntled.

But the site has ran into problems over its marketing, after the Advertising Standards Authority took issue with TripAdvisor’s claims that its reviews could be ‘trusted’. As the majority of the site’s content is user-generated, and isn’t verified, the ASA came to the conclusion that ‘trusted’ is a powerful word that had been misused by the site’s operators.

Two hotels and and an ‘online reputation firm’ called Kwikchex complained about the manner of TrustAdvisor, sorry TripAdvisor’s marketing spiel, which is probably fair enough when a hotel’s reputation and profitability can be hampered by the online witterings of some keyboard warrior who had a dripping tap in his room.

We’re not sure how the site is supposed to pimp its services from now on. Might we suggest: ‘TripAdvisor: You DO realise that most of this stuff is written by headcases don’t you?’


  • Sicknote
    Even taking into account the pathologically disgruntled customer reviews on trip advisor you can still usually see enough of a review sample rate to get a balanced view. I use trip advisor and haven't been disappointed yet
  • Mike H.
    "Nice 60" flat screen on the wall, and never had to leave my bed to cook or wash my clothes. 5 stars."
  • DragonChris
    What Sicknote said. Users should generally apply common sense to reviews when looking at a hotel.
  • Nick T.
    +1 to Sicknote's comment. If you don't do your research you deserve what you get, and the same applies if you believe everything without employing a bit of common sense.
  • 1 l.
    I like tripadvisor, but as you've said you do have to read the reviews, if the people sound like whiney idiots, they probably are, so ignore them. Also 1 review reviews = complete rubbish made up by the place or one of its competitors. I don't like that TA do very little about obvious bumping by hoteliers (even when notified) or take action when something contravenes their own T's & C's. In summary Trip advisor - a good tool, but a lazy company.

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