TripAdvisor faces ASA investigation after review complaints

2 September 2011

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor? FibAdvisor more like. See, thousands of hotels are claiming that the travel website isn't checking its reviews, leaving up articles that are misleading or defamatory.

As such, they're being investigated by advertising watchdog ASA after receiving a complaint from KwikChex.com on behalf of thousands of hotels that is essentially saying that reviews aren't above board.

KwikChex.com - a company that helps companies manage their online reputations - has been gunning for TripAdvisor for a while over fake reviews, and now the ASA have launched a formal investigation into the very thing that underpins its business.

The company claims that, with them, "you'll find real hotel reviews you can trust". If this transpires to not be the case, they're in trouble.

Kwikchex's complaint is that TripAdvisor are not verify any of the 50m reviews, and the travel company will have to somehow prove that the reviews are the real deal to the ASA. No easy task.

As a consumer, you have to take customer reviews with a pinch of salt anyway, so could this be the first in a line of companies suing sites for the reviews of non-paid customers?

[Guardian]

TOPICS:   Travel   Advertising   Consumer Advice

8 comments

  • james D.
    Surely the key here as you have stated yourself is the false advertising of "you’ll find real hotel reviews you can trust" Simply providing a review site does not mean that you make an assertion that they are real or fair but that statement does and therefore can be interpreted as false advertising. But as we know, ASA never fine anyone they will just order them to change the sentence on their website.
  • Alexis
    Nobody sues ebay for people leaving negative feedback.
  • Boris
    Not sure if you can trust tripadvisor.com? Why not visit tripadvisoradvisor.com for trustworthy reviews of the website. Tripadvisoradvisor.com for tripadvisor reviews that you can trust!
  • Dick
    I had an ASS invessigator due to my dislexia.
  • diana
    definitely a problem but almost impossible to police. Have to say that I do hate going to amazon or wherever and seeing 10s of 5-star reviews - really? nothing an issue?
  • Kevin
    If hotels actually bothered responding to reviews in a decent manner it might help. Also you are often really tell when someone has made something up. The fact that that is the only review they've made is a good clue too. If you read most real 'bad' reviews there is often some good points there. Just because hotels don't like it doesn't mean they are right.
  • dvdj10
    @Alexis - The reason being that in order to leave negative feedback on ebay you have to have bought something from that person. The problem with tripadvisor is that there's no verification that the person who's written the review has even been in the same country as the hotel let alone stayed there!
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