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Sep 2, 2011 05:29 AM

Tripadvisor being investigated [moved from NAF]

if their reviews are genuine.

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  1. Wow! That's too bad. I have some reviews on that site and I can tell you.this: They are real and they are spectacular!

    11 Replies
    1. re: jarona

      I have reviews there, too, but there are a ton of bogus ones, including two lying management responses to me, which I documented, including photos. Tripadvisor doesn't care, as long as there's traffic. I even recall a member documenting a b and b owner writing reviews while she watched, countering the bad reviews for the b and b, keeping it number 1 in the rankings. Same thing occurred on the list for the one I documented so well that I got all my money back from Amex and AAA... Same thing on, which they actually discovered, but have not controlled... "medical justice" exists to act like "reputation defender."

      I stopped relying on TA for any reviews years ago, and even recommended that they check out CH for how to run a trustworthy site... and others. They're not interested in anything but numbers. The fact that they left up proven fraudulent info in my case and welcome attacks on truthful, honest users who provide documentation of fraud is all I need to know.

      1. re: mcf

        Thanks for the heads up mcf. I feel really bad now. I always trusted Trip Advisor.

        1. re: jarona

          I think

          I think Trip Advisor is a useful tool as are Yelp and other review type sites. Read the reviews for a concensus of opinions. Add a grain of salt.

          1. re: Plano Rose

            I don't trust yelp, either, without considerable verification from other sources.

            1. re: Plano Rose

              I agree. If there are a lot of review, average them out and it's generally pretty accurate. If there are only a handful it may not be. I've based my hotel choices on tripadvisor for almost ten years and only once have I regretted it.

              1. re: ravchaz

                I do the same thing, and it has worked very well for me so far.

              2. re: Plano Rose

                exactly. You can usually tell the real reviews. Those are the ones that give both plausible pros and cons, and sound like the person was actually there. I use tripadvisor a lot (mainly for hotels, though sometimes restaurants) and it's been quite helpful.

                1. re: DGresh

                  I'm also able to discern fakes from real, but TA can't or won't, nor are they apparently the least bit concerned. They are not reliable for anyone without an enormous dose of suspicion. Sheer numbers and averaging won't work, you need more information than that, like pros/cons... owners tend to ONLY list positive things. The owner who I got all my money back from has gadzillion fake posts keeping his slum at the top of the list for that town, and so does the one in another state that a TA user visiting the dump saw writing argumentative reviews... which is another tipoff to fakery that TA chooses to ignore.

          2. re: jarona

            "They are real and they are spectacular!"

            Har har! Husband says I will be the only one to get that.

            During my last hotel stay, a staff membr helped me, then told me to go on trip advisor and mention her name. I did.

              1. re: racer x

                LOL--I was wondering if anyone would get my reference to Seinfeld! (but my reviews on TA are real and spectacular!)

          3. Wow, I've always trusted Tripadvisor for hotel reviews. I mean, I knew there were some fake reviews that were obviously written by hotel staff (you know, when they seem to know just a little too much about the place) but I didn't suspect that it was a serious amount.

            Guess it should have been obvious though. To take a few liberties with a well known saying - on the internet, nobody knows you're a lying scumbag.

            1. Interesting. While I do use TripAdvisor, it is about 4 down the food chain, with CH being near the top. I find TA to have some heavy polarization, where half of the reviewers seem to absolutely love a location, while half hate it with a passion. Still, I see much the same on CH. Often, there is not middle-ground.

              I have only investigated a couple of posters, and those were ones, who lambasted a certain restaurant, or resort, where most enjoyed it. In each of those particular cases, the poster did the same on other sites, and these were oddly against any restaurant, or resort, that was above the middle of the road. If it had, say 3 Michelin stars, it was horrible, and to be avoided at all costs. There was one 5-star resort, that was raked over the coals and in a big-time way. That poster, however, did tout several local, small resorts, near to their place of residence. Why they would harpoon a resort in Rome, when they lived in Southern California, is beyond me.

              Still, I try to factor out the highs, and the lows, and look for the trends in between.

              If TA is doing something fishy, then I hope they are forced to police things better.


              1 Reply
              1. re: Bill Hunt

                Yeah, half are replies refuting the negatives, written by owners or reputation defending companies that have sprung up!

              2. Good luck in trying to differentiate the valid from the invalid. We live in an anonymous, virtual world. Even if a lot of the reviews are "honorable", I believe you'd find that tastes differ so vastly, that one man's Shangri-La will be another man's hourly rate with a broken vending machine.

                I try to look at the language and the OP's other reviews of places I've been to.If it jives with my opinion I will semi-trust it and most likely give it a go. I do find that a ton of reviewers have Augustus Disease. In the Robert Graves' novel I, Claudius, Claudius describes the emperor August as having such a simplified palate, he wasn't able to discern between the first pressing of the perfect olive and the last ranking of pressed boughs. Just my opinion.

                1 Reply
                1. re: David11238

                  I do agree - "tastes differ vastly."

                  Still, with some research, and a bit of reading, one can often find the "shill," though not always.

                  As for "personal tastes," I try to offer reviews, that reflect what I encountered - good, or bad, and then just face the masses, when a "sacred cow" gets gored. That happens.

                  Still, CH ranks near the top, at least for me - with a bit of research on the poster.


                2. This is why I mostly start by reading the most negative reviews on a site - this one, or any other (like amazon). Those are the honest ones.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: rockandroller1

                    That would be nice if it were true, but I can think of a number of reasons it wouldn't be true: an ex-employee feels they were wrongfully fired from a business; a competitor who wants to knock another business down in the rankings so they can rise higher; a bitchy ex hell-bent on destroying anything connected with their ex... there are a lot of reasons why negative reviews aren't any more reliable than positive reviews.

                    1. re: Chris VR

                      >>> a bitchy ex hell-bent on destroying anything connected with their ex

                      Good one and something that has never crossed my mind.

                      1. re: Chris VR

                        As an example of the opposite of what Rockandooroller1 espouses, I was recently looking for reviews of a couple of restaurants in a new area for an upcoming trip. I pulled up many reviews, and most were good to great, but there was one, that was horribly negative. I looked at another restaurant, and that person had a scathing lambast of it too. Same for a third potential spot. This caught my attention, so I did my due diligence, and found a pattern. That poster hated all higher-end restaurants, and with a passion. The only good reviews were for a Coco's in that region. Anything above about US$ 8 / main, and everything was horrible. Below that price-point, and it was questionable.

                        As I was looking for recs. on high-end spots, I realized that this prolific poster was not someone, who I wished to be concerned with. As it turned out, I went with one of the spots, that he panned horribly, and it was excellent. Had I ascribed to his reviews, I would never have gone there.

                        Who was this person, and why did he hate all restaurants, that had fare above a lower price-point? I never found out, but learned that his tastes did not match mine, in any way.


                      2. re: rockandroller1

                        I actually feel just the opposite. People come to the internet to complain, loudly and aggressively, and their emotion tends to drive them to exaggeration. I pay attention to consensus, not the oddball rants.

                        1. re: Cachetes

                          I completely ignore any long rantish complaints. It's always enraged people unloading, with an agenda. Take more seriously terser complaints from people who aren't just there to complain.

                          The same applies here, as well, though Chowhound's vastly more honest than most of these other sites IMO.

                          1. re: Jim Leff

                            Exactly. I'll give more credence to a post that lists both good and less good points, and from those whose priorities (cleanliness of rooms!) are more like mine.

                            1. re: mcf

                              I don't believe that's a helpful test. People who genuinely love things often fail to cite negatives. And one hallmark of shills is the minor negative quickly retracted/explained ("The only thing wrong with this FABULOUS meal was the air conditioning, which was broken. It was pretty warm in the restaurant, but I understand they fixed it the next day.")

                              1. re: Jim Leff

                                I didn't say that's *all* I read and trust, but compared to a raging rant, I will.

                        2. re: rockandroller1

                          Perhaps I am reading things wrong, or maybe my monitor needs cleaning, but are you saying that the "negative comments" are the ONLY true ones, and, by inference, positive reviews are lies?

                          That does not make any sense to me, but I hope that you will point out where I am missing an important point.



                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                            I'm late to respond here. Let me clarify. When I read a product review or a restaurant or hotel review, I usually start with the lowest first. If i see the same thing repeated over and over as being a problem of some kind, I will probably stop reading and not buy the thing or plan to go to the place. I can pretty well tell when someone "has it out" for the establishment or product or company or are just bitching about everything vs. someone spelling out real and credible complaints, and scroll up from there. If there are 3 negatives and 98 positives, i won't even bother reading the positives. But if there are a high number of negatives, I want to know why, so I start there first. Positives don't tell me anythign I don't alraedy know that brought me to the point of considering the property/product/restaurant.

                            Another example. If I buy something on eBay and the seller has a 100% positive rating, ok no problem. If they have a 96% rating, I will read the very lowest rating's comments first to find out what the complaints were. Most of the time, they are stupid or negligible things that shoudln't have warranted a negative, like they didn't like the product once they got it or it took 2 weeks to ship or something. If they have an 87% positive, I would be concerned and start at the bottom and read through quite a few to find out what the problem is. If there are repeated instances of the seller not shipping the item, I'm going to move on to another seller.

                            I wouldn't say that I "exclusively" read the negative comments, but I rely more on reviews that are 3 star or lower to get the real info of what's wrong with a place/product. It doesn't mean I won't go there, or that I don't take into consideration the tone or what's written in those complaints, but I do rely on them more heavily. I don't see the point of reading 100 5 star reviews and then going to a place to discover you had bedbugs because you didn't read the reviews that mentioned it.