Hotels Are Now Paying Cash For Positive TripAdvisor Reviews

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sobore, Dec 17, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.hotelchatter.com/story/2..._Paying_Cash_For_Positive_TripAdvisor_Reviews
    [​IMG]

    A recent guest spotted and photographed the above sign, which was mounted at the check-in desk of the Grand Dallas Hotel. In plain letters, the sign offers to compensate guests (in cash,instantly!) for writing positive reviews of the hotel on sites like TripAdvisor, Expedia, Hotels.com, Priceline and Travelocity.

    Shame, shame.

    The hotel, which, incidentally, only scores three stars on TripAdvisor (based on nine reviews), reacted promptly to an article posted on The Consumerist, who was tipped off about the sign by a reader who was actually staying at the hotel. Within hours, management had taken down the sign, explaining:

    "This sign was posted by one of our front desk staff members while I was out of town for a few days. The team member was trying to go above and and beyond based on a staff meeting we had a couple of weeks ago where I asked the team to try and come up with some creative ways to encourage and get more user reviews for the hotel. "

    Eye-catching? Yes. Creative? Not so much.

    Read More;
    http://www.hotelchatter.com/story/2..._Paying_Cash_For_Positive_TripAdvisor_Reviews
     
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  2. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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  3. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    This is a conflict of interest situation.
     
  4. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Hopefully these properties are being reported to TripAdvisor. This type of thing would ultimately render their site worthless. :(
     
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  5. DealsRock

    DealsRock Silver Member

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    I was actually handed a professional looking business card with the tripadvisor link by a hotel in the Tampa area two weeks ago when checking out AFTER I said my stay was excellent.

    Prior to staying there I had wondered why the hotel has higher tripadvisor ratings than higher end properties in the area.
     
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  6. HiIslands
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    HiIslands Silver Member

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    I have also encountered this practice at other U.S. mainland hotels.
     
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  7. FlyingBear
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    FlyingBear Silver Member

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    Isn't this against TripAdvisor policies?
     
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  8. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    I would think so. That's why TA needs to have a process to report this and take action, even if that means a disclaimer on their site.
     
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  9. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    What some one needs to do is post a review on Trip Advisor saying some people have been compensated for posting reviews about this facility.

    BTW, I've posted some where I indicate I'd never stay at certain facilities again.

    Bob H
     
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  10. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    I like http://www.oyster.com/ been pretty good as far as rating in my experience.


    Only issue they have is their scope, they don't have as much coverage as TA
     
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  11. guberif

    guberif Silver Member

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    Three whole dollars!!! :-O
     
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  12. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I see no problem with asking someone to review a hotel, whether it's a small sign in the elevator (I see it lots of times) or a card provided at check-out. Sure, it would be great if they didn't wait for you to compliment them first, but no one says "What, you hated our hotel? Review us on TripAdvisor!"

    The only time it crosses the line is when they outright pay for reviews, or if they ask you to review them before you've even made it to your room.
     
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  13. DealsRock

    DealsRock Silver Member

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    It's the active solicitation of favorable reviews introducing bias into TripAdvisor ratings that concerns me. I agree paying steps over the line. But soliciting only favorable reviews is a problem, also. I assure you that my stay at the Intercontinental was much nicer than the higher-rated (on TripAdvisor) HIE.
     
  14. lisamcgu
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    lisamcgu Gold Member

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    I just take it with a grain of salt that some of the reviews I read are fake. They stand out usually with glowing reviews, but in a generalized way that shows they didn't even use the product. I am fairly persnickity and give DETAILED reviews, good and bad, and notice when others do the same, and I know I am not paid or faking, so I read those kind and believe them.
     
  15. Espan

    Espan Silver Member

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    Everyone I talk to says something to the effect of "I know there are shills and fake reviews and competitors trashing reviews, but I know how to sift through them"

    It's nice in theory, but as Yogi Berra (I think) once said, "in practice, theory and practice are completely different..."

    The shills, paid reviews, and conversely false trashings have a huge effect on overall rankings. Hotels and restaurants that I know have no business being near the top of their field in their location are very often ranked ridiculously high... and damned good properties w/ little social media savvy and no PR budget are often lost in the ranking sauce. (yes, I know it's my subjective opinion, but...)

    It's good when, as Lisa, points out, you actually take the time to check out who these reviewers are, how many reviews they've posted, how broad a range of destinations they've written about, etc. But most users simply look to the top of the rankings and little more... and this really affects hotels/restaurants/etc
     
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  16. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Agree. I think it's great that hotels want to be reviewed. Steering the review is the problem, paid or not.
     
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  17. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Maybe I'm the only one who does this, but I actually pay attention mostly to negative TA reviews when looking at a property. You can rarely trust a positive review because of this type of behavior, and people that are generally happy with a stay can easily forget to go through the process, but someone that has a problem will always, always say something.

    Nowadays whenever I consider a stay in a new hotel, the first thing I do is check out bad/terrible TA reviews, sorted by date. I've read some minor gripes that don't warrant a second thought (like room service putting mustard on your sandwich or not getting the newspaper) but others are serious (mold, bad area, terrible views, etc) and definitely help me make a decision.
     
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  18. nacho

    nacho Silver Member

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    I do that very much as well. I like to check the negative reviews to see what those reviewers said. When a hotel is rated 3 out of 5 then I know that I have to think twice and read more reviews before deciding to stay there or not.
     
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  19. pilotb757

    pilotb757 Silver Member

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    I never make my decision based on hotel reviews on trip advisor and other hotel review sites . Other than many posters being fake or paid , the few times in the past i chose trip advisor top rated hotels i was really disappointed.
     
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  20. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    When I bother with TA at all I only peruse the negative listings for exactly the reasons you mention.
     
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  21. LAM

    LAM Silver Member

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    I find I sort of ignore the most glowing and the worst reviews (nothing at all is right). I do look at how active a poster is on Trip Advisor. Last trip to Europe we picked our hotels based on Trip Advisor reviews and I think we got what we expected.
     
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  22. bobolo

    bobolo Member

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    This is outrageous. I have posted honest reviews on tripadvisor several times and look at the reviews before I book a hotel.
     
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  23. davythefatboy

    davythefatboy Silver Member

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    There is quite a trend of competitors trashing sites on TripAdvisor, so I'm not sure the negative reviews are any more trustworthy than the positive ones.
     
  24. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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  25. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    As far as the negative reviews go some of them are stupid people expecting more than what is SOP, some are competitors. I use TA as info not really a decision maker as far as reviews go.
     
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