TripAdvisor under fire over fraud detection

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by rwoman, Mar 22, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    The Telegraph: TripAdvisor under fire over fraud detection

    Wow...I guess business owners realize there's some impact with TripAdvisor reviews...

     
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  2. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Sad!:(

    TA is actually a great idea in theory, I consult it rather often, but take it with a grain of salt and try to read " between the lines ".;) Look out for consistency in reviews, I found this helps somewhat!:)

    Would we live in a " perfect " world, the TA review process would function as intended, people share their experiences from hotels, restaurants or any other stuff they might want to review during their travels, but, and here comes the big " BUT ", abuse is rife of this system and it influences people who really look for real advice on TA. In the end, this abuse of the system creates a big " Bamboozle " and helps no one, not even someone like me, who looks for real advice and tries to contemplate what's real and what isn't.:oops:
     
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  3. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    at least TA has started to list reviews by Senior Contributors which can help one negate the one off shills.

    TA has its place, for me personally I really only use TA when traveling to out of the way areas where I'm looking for lodging.

    I never use TA for dining, Ma & Pa Kettle do NOT know good food (high or low end). For instance the current #1 restaurant in Chicago is Polo Cafe & Catering in Bridgeport, are you frickin' kidding me!!???:rolleyes:
     
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  4. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    In such situations, I'm glad we have MP!:)
     
  5. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    agreed but as you know there are plenty of holes in useable info, especially in the Destination forum. Folks really need to help out and post info re: the hotel (if non-chain), unique transportation (ferry, rail, etc), restaurants &/or activities they did.
     
  6. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    I can imagine that these holes will be filled over time as people share their infos on MP about what they really feel worth sharing about any unique destination they visit or have to visit incl. places, hotels, transportation, culture and art plus where to eat and what to avoid!:) TA could help with this too, but overall, the more sources and diversity, the better in the long term success rates in getting the "real" information anyone needs who partakes in travel the world!:)
     
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  7. Espan

    Espan Silver Member

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    Problem is, it's pretty easy for a paid shill to quickly earn "senior contributor" status
    they need some serious work on the algorithms to weed out the shills
     
  8. FlyingBear
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    FlyingBear Silver Member

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    Or go Yelp way and "adjust" everything for money themselves :)
     
  9. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    One of my favorites was seeing 2 reviews with 2 sentences that were word for word the same and the rest of the review followed the same general template. I stayed away from that restaurant.
     
  10. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    no doubt but most shills are lazy, one time posters with a specific shill in mind, who do not spend the time to develop an online persona.
     
  11. Espan

    Espan Silver Member

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    actually, the problem here are the paid shills (and property owners), who are motivated, and aren't lazy... and they are more in numbers than you imagine...
     
  12. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    I'm granting you that, what I'm not granting is a shill for a property having numerous or varied posts of properties/restaurants elsewhere than the shilled property. TA allows one to view the other contributions of a member.
     
  13. al613
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    al613 Silver Member

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    "two Telegraph Travel readers have been offered £180 to delete a negative view they posted of a hotel in Gloucestershire."
    Which hotel is it? I've already started to write my negative review ;)
     
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  14. Espan

    Espan Silver Member

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    well, this was touched on in 60 Minutes a few months or year or so ago. I, in fact, know one of the guys they interviewed, and, manager of a restaurant, he wrote many, many positive and negative reviews covering restaurants and hotels in a variety of tourist destinations around a small popular Central American country. I never broached the subject of who was paying, but it's my sense that this singular "shill" had numerous revenue streams, and did in fact write scores and scores of reviews across tourism property categories (hotels, restaurants, tour companies), both positive and negative "shilling" for specific clients, but making himself seem a well-rounded "expert" and "senior contributor" I sincerely doubt that his is an isolated case...
     
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  15. jmrich1432
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    jmrich1432 Silver Member

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    I'm certainly not surprised by the fraud on TA, but Espan's account surprises me some! That's an awful lot of effort to go to! Makes me kind of sad since I like TA, especially when looking for activities. I don't take them as gospel, but if something has enough reviews to put it as one of the "best" things to do somewhere, I look into it further. I've been happy so far with a lot of the recommendations I've gotten from TA (some paid, some free).
     
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  16. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    TA is just like any other IBB..... you need to take a lot of whats posted with a pinch of salt.....
     
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  17. LizzyDragon84
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    LizzyDragon84 Gold Member

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    I use TA as a way to get a snapshot of what activities are available in an area. If I'm interested in one particular thing, I'll do more research on other sites as well.
     
  18. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    I think TA is a great tool for getting ideas about where to go and a sense of hotels. Like anything, solely relying on one place for information can be misguided.

    :)
     
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  19. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    One useful measure on TA is replies by the hotel. It is often clear from the reply if the management cares about customers. It has certainly steered me away from some places due to the arrogant and unresponsive replies, and toward some when it is clear the management wants to make things right.
     
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  20. jmrich1432
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    This is very useful, more than once I have been turned off by some of the management responses. Not just by hotels, either! :eek:
     
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  21. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Or when it's more critical review and their response is more of a "Thank you" than a "we're sorry...";)
     
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  22. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    I had a Thailand property that tried to pull the DCC scam on me. I called them out on this in a TA review, and got a semi-nasty private message, and then a public response saying it was an accident. My other concerns with my stay were never addressed. Yet, the property is rated #1.
     
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  23. anabolism
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    anabolism Gold Member

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    Wow!

    I've always been frustrated the poor quality of Trip Advisor reviews. As an example, I know a number of hotels where the rooms vary tremendously, from interior broom closets to spacious street view rooms with high ceilings. It's no help at all to read reviews that say "Rooms here are the best I've ever had!" or "This hotel is a joke! Rooms are shabby and nasty!" without knowing what sort of room was booked and what sort of room was stayed in. Early on, I tried using Trip Advisor's suggestions forum to request a few simple standard fields in hotel reviews asking for room category (using a drop-down including standard, superior, deluxe, and suite) and number of hotel stays per year. It was laughed at.

    Now, reading Espan's account, I wonder if there's any redeeming value left in such sites. We always knew we couldn't trust the "one trip a year to the Bug Tussle Motel 6" crowd, but now if we can't trust the seasoned reviewer type either, what's left?
     
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  24. Espan

    Espan Silver Member

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    whether or not there's redeeming value left in such sites is almost irrelevant as more and more travel planning is being done by crowd sourcing, and TA is top dog in that category right now... I just wish, as top dog, TA took their responsibility to weed out fraud and shills more seriously. From talking to many hotel and restaurant owners, and knowing the players pretty well, from what I've seen so far, they just shrug and shirk any responsibility. People's businesses are seriously hurt (or benefitted), and travelers are poorly informed...
     
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  25. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    The problem, I think is that Trip Advisor is unlike other sites in that it attracts the organized of shill reviewers who, because of the way ratings are calculated, can have a very meaningful effect on the ratings. Sure, other sites (like Milepoint) have biased and / or irrational posts but not in such an organized fashion.
     
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