Companies offering fake review service to hotels

22 January 2010

If you're needing some pocket money in these cash-strapped times, why not form a covert business that offers to post positive reviews on travel websites? Industry know-it-alls Travolution report that hotel chains and managers are receiving constant offers to have fake reviews posted on TripAdvisor and other sites in return for a monthly fee. The companies claim that the content will be posted from around the world to ensure it doesn't appear suspicious.

Senior management at TripAdvisor said the integrity of its reviews was protected through a screening process, in-house technology and the community reporting suspicious activity. The website also pointed out its staff are aware of several companies engaged in posting false reviews and has already penalised the hotels involved.

That said, one hotel owner quoted mentions a particular hotel he knew of received several reviews before it had even opened to the public. And it seems the TripAdvisor members can spot an alleged fake even if the management can't - one recent commenter in the forums points to this hotel review, noting that nearly all the five star ratings have been the result of a first review by newly registered individuals. The fiends.

[Travolution]

TOPICS:   Travel   Consumer Advice

2 comments

  • Brian
    Hi, my name is Brian. I would like to say BitterWallet is the equivalent of a Five Star Hotel, that is to say, it's a top notch blog staffed by very intelligent netizens. (Please post my £50 recorded delivery, it got robbed by Postman Pat last time)
  • Dirty B.
    [...] are passing by both their automated and manuals checks and balances – not only are some companies offering a paid service to to post fake reviews, but TripAdivisor has flagged the issue [...]

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