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Should You Trust Tripadvisor?

I admit it, I rely on the reviews on TripAdvisor when choosing a hotel.

But now, I’m not so sure if what I read is legit.

Peter Cook, the PR guy for the Asia-Pacific region of Accor Hotels, has admitted to posting over 100 reviews on TripAdvisor most of which are positive for Accor Hotels and negative towards the competition. He claims these were his personal observations and have nothing to do with his job—especially since they were posted under an assumed screen name.

Cook only admitted to posting the reviews after a firm working for TripAdvisor found the connection between him and the alias he was using online. (It seems this PR expert, or Director of Propoganda as he likes to call himself,  wasn’t clever enough NOT to link his Trip Advisor alias to his personal Facebook account.)

Accor Hotels isn’t laughing. They’ve placed Cook on a leave of absence saying he abused their social networking policy.

I’m still going to use Trip Advisor only a little more carefully in the future.

What about you? Still trust them?


Reader Comments (5)

I am a contributor on TA, I've also written a few hotel / apartment reviews.
One-off posts that give over the top glowing reviews are to be viewed with suspicion, someone who registers to only do one review and nothing else is usually an employee.......or if the review is slating the place......perhaps a disgruntled employee, or the competition.
I read reviews carefully, note the number of contributions the poster made before. I also take some reviews with a pinch of salt, some people are horribly picky, i.e. dated decor / furniture, does not put me off.
TA started out just fine but the more popular it became, the more liable it became for fakes.
May 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaula Bag Lass
I haven't stopped using Amazon even though there have been documented cases of fake reviews. I won't stop using TripAdvisor until something better comes along. The general honesty and capabilities of the site far outweigh these cases of dishonesty. I'm sure many of your readers remember a day when you had to trust a travel agent you barely knew to make these decisions on your behalf, or the luck of calling around to a known chain and booking sight unseen. :)
May 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAaron
I often use booking.com to make hotel bookings, but even if I don't I will read the reviews. You have to have booked the hotel thru booking.com before you can leave a review -- that makes it harder for people to game things.
May 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFredW
I find TA useful when looking for a hotel and things to do in a particular city, and I have contributed reviews as well. As Paula pointed out, you just have to read the reviews with some skepticism. I find it easy to tell which are spam, and discount them, along with those who think every Ramada should be a five-star resort property.
May 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMags
The site is a good starting point, it weeds out the places with no reviews at all or consistently bad ones.

Other major travel websites are also a great source of information.

But to make my final decision, I use other sources such as blogs and posts in forums by people I trust. :)
June 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFun Travel

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