How to Remove Fake Reviews from Trip Advisor
If you google ‘fake reviews on tripadvisor’ there are around 15 million search results returned.
One of the top results is a BBC investigation into fake reviews on the site and there are numerous websites offering to actually write fake reviews for you for a small fee.
It’s amazing but true that there is a whole industry based on writing fake reviews on Trip Advisor!
The unfortunate truth is that anyone can write a review on trip advisor including your competitors, internet trolls and real customers.
If you go to trip advisors home page at http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk and type ‘Isle of Wight’ into the search bar it tells you they have over 1500 locations from hotels to restaurants to attractions with over 90,000 reviews combined. (make sure you are looking at The Isle of Wight in the UK, there is also an Isle of Wight in Virginia USA)
Anyone can leave a review on trip advisor whether they have really been to your property / restaurant / attraction or not.
As an example go to this page which is the trip advisor review page for The Riviera B&B in Ventnor, then click on the “Write a Review” button, this opens the review page that you or any of your visitors can then complete. Once the form is completed the person filling in the form has to either sign in or sign up but it’s just a simple user name and email process, no real checks to see if you are a real genuine reviewer or not.
When you get to the end of the review there is a disclaimer to tick which states:
“I certify that this review is based on my own experience and is my genuine opinion of this hotel, and that I have no personal or business relationship with this establishment, and have not been offered any incentive or payment originating from the establishment to write this review. I understand that TripAdvisor has a zero-tolerance policy on fake reviews”.
This also has an info button that you can click which gives the following further info:
“TripAdvisor wishes to ensure that reviewers are not affiliated in any way with the establishment they are reviewing. By checking this box, you certify that you are not employed by the establishment, are not related to anyone employed there, and do not otherwise have a business or personal relationship with the owners or managers of this establishment or a competitor that might bias your review. In addition to being a violation of our terms of service and an unethical practice, committing fraud on reviews is also prohibited by the law and regulations in many jurisdictions [see (UCP 2005/29/EC) and (FTC 16CFR Part 255)]. Please see our Content Integrity Policy for more information.”
It is not beyond imagination to assume that based on the fact that anyone can leave a review on trip advisor that potentially anyone with a grudge could write a fake or negative review causing damage to your reputation.
So What Can You Do About It?
Trip Advisor have a policy for reporting fake reviews.
On each review there is a tiny little picture of a flag, a very very tiny picture of a flag, if you click on that flag it opens up a pop up that you use to report the review with options such as:
Review Violates Guidelines
Review is Suspicious
Then more options when you click on one of the above such as:
Review Written By Competitor
Property Offering Incentives etc
Then once you have selected the appropriate option there is a short info form to fill in. You only get 500 characters so you need to be quite specific and precise with the info you put in.
Trip Advisor have a help page with links to various reporting questions here http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/pages/fraud.html
It is also possible to contact Trip Advisor directly by going to http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/GeneralSupport
If you or someone you know has had their reputation damaged by what may be fake or bogus reviews on Tripadvisor please share this info.
Written by Blogger Jamie Penn – November 23rd 2014