Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

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BogleMelon
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Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by BogleMelon » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:37 am

Hi,
Recently I booked a resort (outside US) for me and my extended family (wife, parents and in-laws). The reviews on Tripadvisors looked very promising and it shows the resort ranking 5th out of around 230 resorts and hotels in the area. However, our stay was horrible, the hotel was super dirty, and the manager was rude and so many other issues was really bad there.
I came back after taking punch of pictures on blood stains all over the curtains and sheets, molded bathroom curtain...etc and posted a negative review on tripadvisor. To my surprise only one dark unclear photo was posted under my review, though I am sure I had uploaded no less than 9 clear other photos! It is impossible anyways to add more photos or edit a review after it is posted. I thought it could be some kind of a glitch in their system to not upload all my other photos, so I deleted the review and re posted again with the same pictures except this very dark one. This morning, again, I found the review was approved, but they picked the relatively darker picture and posted it as the only picture! At this point it is very clear to me that they are trying to hide the truth.

Also I have tried to reach them through the feedback form on their site to tell them to inspect the fake other reviews, but their form has a glitch (on purpose?!) and after hitting the send button, nothing happen and my message never arrived them.
I tried to find a working email from them that receive messages, but all their emails are no-reply ones.
Just wanted to spread the word out, so those of you who trust their reviews may reconsider.

In the old days, it wasn't possible to book through tripadvisor, now that it has a conflict of interest and became a travel agent, I think they want their hotel partners to always look nicer than they are in reality. I think I would consider booking.com or google maps reviews as a more reliable sources "through they still act like a travel agent" in the future.
"One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

tylerherman
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by tylerherman » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:04 am

Not sure when people will realize this but most reviews online are fake. It’s a huge business, especially on Amazon.

Go look at a site like Trustpilot, businesses pay them to contact their “customers” to solicit positive reviews. Companies end up competing in ranking wars just like SEO wars. Whatever it takes to get people’s attention.

BogleMelon
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by BogleMelon » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:06 am

tylerherman wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:04 am
Not sure when people will realize this but most reviews online are fake. It’s a huge business, especially on Amazon.

Go look at a site like Trustpilot, businesses pay them to contact their “customers” to solicit positive reviews. Companies end up competing in ranking wars just like SEO wars. Whatever it takes to get people’s attention.
I agree, but how then we know which hotel to go to, or which product to buy? Any reliable source on this planet?
"One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

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jharkin
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by jharkin » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:18 am

tylerherman wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:04 am
Not sure when people will realize this but most reviews online are fake. It’s a huge business, especially on Amazon.

Go look at a site like Trustpilot, businesses pay them to contact their “customers” to solicit positive reviews. Companies end up competing in ranking wars just like SEO wars. Whatever it takes to get people’s attention.
Yep.. And the paid for fake positive reviews are not the only problem... some of the negative reviews are placed deliberately by people with a personal grudge against the business or other various reasons... Boston Globe Magazine did an in-depth on this a while back...
https://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/20 ... story.html


Its so bad that there are even business built around quality checking reviews - one example is http://www.fakespot.com but how do we even know we can trust that?

michaeljc70
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:23 am

BogleMelon wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:06 am
tylerherman wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:04 am
Not sure when people will realize this but most reviews online are fake. It’s a huge business, especially on Amazon.

Go look at a site like Trustpilot, businesses pay them to contact their “customers” to solicit positive reviews. Companies end up competing in ranking wars just like SEO wars. Whatever it takes to get people’s attention.
I agree, but how then we know which hotel to go to, or which product to buy? Any reliable source on this planet?
I try to look at the reviews that give 1-3 stars as those are more likely to be real. I also read the 5 star reviews, but look consistencies that might indicate it is a planted review. I try to find logical reasons (too small, too big, too whatever) in the reviews and ignore reviews that just say a product is great. I try to find reviews on other sites. This varies based on what I am buying but could be BestBuy, Newegg, Home Depot, or whatever. Of course, the reviews elsewhere need to be taken with a grain of salt too. Watch for Amazon as sometimes the reviews for several "related" products are all combined.

As to Trip Advisor, if the OP gave it one star and indicated in the review all those negative things, I would think the pictures are probably not necessary though it is annoying they would drop them.

grok87
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by grok87 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:28 am

I knew TripAdvisor was going bad once they started showing reviews that were not posted on TripAdvisor but were pulled in from hotels own websites. You can imagine how objective the latter must be. /s
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goodlifer
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by goodlifer » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:30 am

Off the top of my head, I have between 80 to 100 reviews there and I haven't had that problem. I have at least a few 1 and 2 star reviews. I do know that they remove things that they think others would find offensive, so they may have decided that no one wants to see blood stains. I have posted pics of mold, dust, and dirty sheets before but not blood stains. I did have one review where I said something like, "I'm surprised this place didn't have bed bugs." and they sent me a message asking if I really wanted to submit a review regarding bed bugs. I don't remember the exact wording, but bed bugs could be very damaging to a hotel's reputation and the review will receive further scrutiny or something. They didn't say that they wouldn't post it, they just asked if I was sure I wanted to post it. Try asking about your problems in a forum post. I know they moderate the forums and might respond to you. There is a link somewhere on your dashboard, I think under the part that shows your badges.

Every website with reviews has at least some fake reviews, whether they are positive or negative. I read the worst of the most recent reviews first and then work my way up to the glowing reviews. I read between the lines and try to suss out the people who like to complain and the people who always think that everything is wonderful.

BogleMelon
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by BogleMelon » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:31 am

michaeljc70 wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:23 am

As to Trip Advisor, if the OP gave it one star and indicated in the review all those negative things, I would think the pictures are probably not necessary though it is annoying they would drop them.
I actually gave it 2 stars as I was trying to be fair. Their food was good, and that is the reason for the second star as I explained in my review.
I usually avoid giving 1 star rating to anything.
"One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

BogleMelon
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by BogleMelon » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:33 am

goodlifer wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:30 am
Off the top of my head, I have between 80 to 100 reviews there and I haven't had that problem. I have at least a few 1 and 2 star reviews. I do know that they remove things that they think others would find offensive, so they may have decided that no one wants to see blood stains. I have posted pics of mold, dust, and dirty sheets before but not blood stains. I did have one review where I said something like, "I'm surprised this place didn't have bed bugs." and they sent me a message asking if I really wanted to submit a review regarding bed bugs. I don't remember the exact wording, but bed bugs could be very damaging to a hotel's reputation and the review will receive further scrutiny or something. They didn't say that they wouldn't post it, they just asked if I was sure I wanted to post it. Try asking about your problems in a forum post. I know they moderate the forums and might respond to you. There is a link somewhere on your dashboard, I think under the part that shows your badges.

Every website with reviews has at least some fake reviews, whether they are positive or negative. I read the worst of the most recent reviews first and then work my way up to the glowing reviews. I read between the lines and try to suss out the people who like to complain and the people who always think that everything is wonderful.
They actually deleted an initial review of mine because I warned the people from the fake reviews. They said it is against their rules and I had to modify and remove the wording "fake reviews"
"One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

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Sandtrap
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:37 am

BogleMelon wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:06 am
tylerherman wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:04 am
Not sure when people will realize this but most reviews online are fake. It’s a huge business, especially on Amazon.

Go look at a site like Trustpilot, businesses pay them to contact their “customers” to solicit positive reviews. Companies end up competing in ranking wars just like SEO wars. Whatever it takes to get people’s attention.
I agree, but how then we know which hotel to go to, or which product to buy? Any reliable source on this planet?
Good question.
Would like to know as well.
It seems, even with Amazon, searching for the negative reviews and going through them is far better than reading the endless positives.
j

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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:38 am

Perhaps delete it again. Include only one, clear picture.
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WWJBDo
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by WWJBDo » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:40 am

I use Tripadvisor a lot to choose lodging for a motorcycle trips. Faked reviewers usually have a small number of reviews and are located locally. I trust far more, reviewers who have more than 30 reviews under their belt and if a review seems too good, I check their other reviews to make sure they are not all 5 stars.
Most of my reviews are also 4 or 5 stars, with a smattering of lower scores. One star reviews are limited to those who are unethical or otherwise dangerous or scamming their customers.
I still find it more useful than Yelp though with Tripadvisor's move into booking, it's true their incentives have changed.
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by sunny_socal » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:48 am

tylerherman wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:04 am
Not sure when people will realize this but most reviews online are fake. It’s a huge business, especially on Amazon.

Go look at a site like Trustpilot, businesses pay them to contact their “customers” to solicit positive reviews. Companies end up competing in ranking wars just like SEO wars. Whatever it takes to get people’s attention.
Quite right.

RudyS
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by RudyS » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:27 am

FWIW, I use Tripadvisor a lot, and have never had a disappointing experience based on the reviews I read. Sure, some reviews are misleading, but I read a whole bunch for each place. Sometimes the benefit is learning there is no free breakfast, or it's a two story place with no elevator, or the best views are from certain rooms. On the other hand, I do see "bad" reviews that are not justified by my experience. I do write reviews on some, not all of my experiences.

Mr.BB
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by Mr.BB » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:33 am

"Not sure when people will realize this but most reviews online are fake. It’s a huge business, especially on Amazon. "
I don't think most reviews are fake, (obviously they are there) but most are the opinions of people's experience at that moment.
I usually take a trip in Dec and I would usually stay at the same hotel every year. One year I was checking in and this girl that was in front of me was very upset ( I heard the whole conversation between her and the desk person) that her reservation had been moved to another hotel. I believe that she had gotten her reservation through priceline and that is one of the options the hotel can use when they get filled up or other situations. Well I saw her review of the hotel a few days later, (not very nice), I read some embellishments of her conversation of the "way she thought she was treated" when she checked in as well as other complaints she had, simply because she had not done her homework and read all the guidelines for her price discount.

When I read reviews I look for intelligent well written reviews as well as any "trending" good or bad reviews. I also look at how a company responds to the negative reviews. When I see constant cut and paste replies to negative reviews then I know that company do not take complaints seriously.
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THE SHED AT DULWICH

Post by Jeff Albertson » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:44 am

"I Made My Shed the Top Rated Restaurant On TripAdvisor"
https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/434g ... ripadvisor
... I worked other jobs. There was one in particular that really had an impact on me: writing fake reviews on TripAdvisor. Restaurant owners would pay me £10 and I'd write a positive review of their place, despite never eating there. Over time, I became obsessed with monitoring the ratings of these businesses. Their fortunes would genuinely turn, and I was the catalyst.
...
And then, one day, sitting in the shed I live in, I had a revelation: within the current climate of misinformation, and society's willingness to believe absolute bull****, maybe a fake restaurant is possible? Maybe it's exactly the kind of place that could be a hit?

Katietsu
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by Katietsu » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:51 am

I have never had an issue with a hotel selected based on TripAdvisor. I usually put more weight into my assessment of the reviews than I do the absolute rating. This is especially true when the number of reviewers is small and could have been skewed by just a few fake reviews.

I would not find 9 photos including some showing blood stains to be appropriate for a TripAdvisor review. The review is not there to settle a disputes about whether conditions warrant a refund. A couple of pictures showing the worst of the poor conditions would be more to the point IMO.

I am sorry the OP had a bad experience. I hope it does not indicate a trend where yet another source of information will become unusable.

And no, this is not a fake response from a TripAdvisor employee. :happy

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HueyLD
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by HueyLD » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:57 am

I used to write online reviews, but I quit doing it after an episode with Amazon’s censor team.

I bought a power pack for a notebook and the seller claimed that his power packs were 100% identical to the OEM. Well, not quite. The original was eight-foot long and the new one was six-foot long. And the two feet difference made it too short to have the notebook plugged in and be in use at the same time.

I described the problem and the Amazon censoring team asked me to take out my comment about the misleading claim. So, I refuse to waste my effort writing any more comment for Amazon.

theplayer11
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by theplayer11 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:58 am

I like trip advisor and haven't been "scammed" yet. When you read 50+ reviews you can get a pretty good take on a place.

flyingaway
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by flyingaway » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:59 am

I think many reviews are consistent with the relative prices of the hotels.
An expensive hotel usually have satisfactory reviews, because the things there are usually better than the less expensive hotels, and the one who choose to stay there can afford it.
A cheap hotel usually have lousy reviews. Sometimes this does not work, that is not perfect. If everything were perfect, they would charge more.

I do not read reviews on Tripadvisor, but do read their forums, I read reviews on the places that I book my hotels, but make compromise about the prices and the reviews. I most cases, I care more about the locations and availability of public transportation of the hotels. Such information is more reliable from the reviews than the hotel posts.

BogleMelon
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Re: THE SHED AT DULWICH

Post by BogleMelon » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:03 am

Jeff Albertson wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:44 am
"I Made My Shed the Top Rated Restaurant On TripAdvisor"
https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/434g ... ripadvisor
... I worked other jobs. There was one in particular that really had an impact on me: writing fake reviews on TripAdvisor. Restaurant owners would pay me £10 and I'd write a positive review of their place, despite never eating there. Over time, I became obsessed with monitoring the ratings of these businesses. Their fortunes would genuinely turn, and I was the catalyst.
...
And then, one day, sitting in the shed I live in, I had a revelation: within the current climate of misinformation, and society's willingness to believe absolute bull****, maybe a fake restaurant is possible? Maybe it's exactly the kind of place that could be a hit?
That was hilarious and shocking at the same time! Thanks for sharing!
"One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

Random Poster
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by Random Poster » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:17 am

BogleMelon wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:37 am
Recently I booked a resort (outside US) for me and my extended family (wife, parents and in-laws). The reviews on Tripadvisors looked very promising and it shows the resort ranking 5th out of around 230 resorts and hotels in the area. However, our stay was horrible, the hotel was super dirty, and the manager was rude and so many other issues was really bad there.
Are you going to tell us what the name of the resort is?

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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by c.coyle » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:26 am

I start with 2 and 3 star reviews and look for a common complaint. I figure anybody who posts a 2 or 3 star review has given it a little thought, is going to be specific, and isn't likely to be a shill or someone with an irrational axe to grind.
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tylerherman
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by tylerherman » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:41 am

BogleMelon wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:06 am
tylerherman wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:04 am
Not sure when people will realize this but most reviews online are fake. It’s a huge business, especially on Amazon.

Go look at a site like Trustpilot, businesses pay them to contact their “customers” to solicit positive reviews. Companies end up competing in ranking wars just like SEO wars. Whatever it takes to get people’s attention.
I agree, but how then we know which hotel to go to, or which product to buy? Any reliable source on this planet?
It depends on the site. I don’t think Trip Advisor is that bad. There is still enough actual users pretty active there.

Trust nothing on Amazon. Nothing on Apple or Android App stores. Don’t trust the rating that show up in Google search results, those are paid for for sure.

Most restaurant reviews, if there are a large volume tend to be sort of right, if you can trust the public has good taste in food. Anything with tons of volume tends to be safer ... but not always.

JoeRetire
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by JoeRetire » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:47 am

BogleMelon wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:37 am
Just wanted to spread the word out, so those of you who trust their reviews may reconsider.
You are saying that you can't trust reviews done by anonymous internet individuals?

I'm shocked and chagrined! Mortified and stupefied!

:shock:

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praxis
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by praxis » Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:14 pm

I wouldn't choose a place based on one review any more than choosing it based on one person's opinion. I've stayed in places I like that have some terrible reviews from others. There are so many resources and reviews I can read. When I do research for a trip and I know little about the lodging and dining options, I read many sources like guidebook sites and tour operators' choices. Lonely Planet and Frommers and Rick Steves and many blogs try to be trusted sources. Moving into the reservations business puts a shadow on TripAdvisor's credibility for me. Hotels throughout the world proudly display their TripAdvisor quality plaques. I wonder how that system works. It's good advertising for TripAdvisor too. I am curious about truth in AirB&B and VRBO reviews. I try to read enough reviews from any source to get a consensus.

Freefun
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by Freefun » Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:53 pm

Agree with others in that I always look for reviews from multiple sources.
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We regularly use and post on TripAdvisor; "here's how" --- Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:51 pm

goodlifer wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:30 am
Off the top of my head, I have between 80 to 100 reviews there and I haven't had that problem. I have at least a few 1 and 2 star reviews. I do know that they remove things that they think others would find offensive, so they may have decided that no one wants to see blood stains. I have posted pics of mold, dust, and dirty sheets before but not blood stains. I did have one review where I said something like, "I'm surprised this place didn't have bed bugs." and they sent me a message asking if I really wanted to submit a review regarding bed bugs. I don't remember the exact wording, but bed bugs could be very damaging to a hotel's reputation and the review will receive further scrutiny or something. They didn't say that they wouldn't post it, they just asked if I was sure I wanted to post it. Try asking about your problems in a forum post. I know they moderate the forums and might respond to you. There is a link somewhere on your dashboard, I think under the part that shows your badges.

Every website with reviews has at least some fake reviews, whether they are positive or negative. I read the worst of the most recent reviews first and then work my way up to the glowing reviews. I read between the lines and try to suss out the people who like to complain and the people who always think that everything is wonderful.
I've got almost that many reveiws on TripAdvisor.

But first, "how we use TripAdvisor"...
I look at the distribution of scores for the property (or tour, etc.), assuming there are a goodly number. If they are heavily weighted to the bottom, we move along to another. If they are mostly 5's, I make a point of looking at a couple of the recent reviewers... do they ONLY have 5's? I'd rather see some ability to discriminate among properties.
And then I *read* some of the recent bad reviews. Are they problems that are likely to generalize? Some just aren't. Some are just a grumpy reviewer. Several recent negative reviews with meaningful problems - the same problems - and we are elsewhere.
Sometimes, there just aren't many choices (or not many good ones) in a place we sort of have to be, so we try to choose a "least/less bad" property. Or one with "horrible food" but "nice rooms". We can eat elsewhere. We can't "fix" dirty rooms, etc.

As for reviews I write, I've had one remarkably "HORRIBLE, THE WORST EVER" type of review, and it was posted. It's also gotten the most "helpful" votes (whatever they call those), so it was accepted, and it stayed up.
The hotel added a comment asking me to call. I did, and blasted them again. They were VERY apologetic, and offered us a discount of 50% next time. I told them we would not stay there again if it were free with all meals comped.
This was a Waldorf property, a supposed 5 start resort. It was truly horrid, in so many different ways... from cleanliness ("NOT!") to service (also "not!"), to guaranteed room choice, which was the most bizarro of all.
I described most of it in detail on TripAdvisor.

And I blasted a local restaurant, a national chain with very high reputation. We'd rather have been at McDonald's (which we don't like).

But most of our reviews are 5's, with some 4's, mostly because we do take a lot of care in choosing, and not just TripAdvisor.
If we are going to spend several nights (or even longer), we both try really hard to make it a good choice.
So IF anyone looks "us" up, they'll see lots of good or even truly "great" reviews, a few mediocre, and a few real negatives. Hopefully, that gives one a sense that the reviews are "real", and also that they aren't always perfect or always horrid.

But we still have some surprises occasionally, in either direction.
And we make note of that, too, in a review.

Only once did we stay at a newly opened property. I read those reviews (the few that existed) VERY carefully, and also emailed mgmt about a few concerns listed. I was willing to allow for some startup snafus in an otherwise seemingly special place.

RM
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heyyou
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by heyyou » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:01 pm

Looking for certainty in investing, sure doesn't work. Now I'm wondering if that applies everywhere in life.

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Steelersfan
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by Steelersfan » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:04 pm

So it has always been. So it will always be.

I just disregard the worst reviews, the ones that are too glowing, and learn something useful from the rest.

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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by bob60014 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:06 pm

Like most things, the truth is somewhere in the middle. I've found that on TA, once you find a couple of properties you are interested in, go to the forums and ask what others think. For the most part the people there dont have a agenda and you'll get the straight info and many times better info. Yes there will be those that will say nothing but negative things or over the top glowing recommendations, but those are easily recognizable, for the most part.

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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by seychellois_lib » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:18 pm

bob60014 wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:06 pm
Like most things, the truth is somewhere in the middle. I've found that on TA, once you find a couple of properties you are interested in, go to the forums and ask what others think. For the most part the people there dont have a agenda and you'll get the straight info and many times better info. Yes there will be those that will say nothing but negative things or over the top glowing recommendations, but those are easily recognizable, for the most part.
I usually start my search for hotels on google maps, take a look at reviews there and go on to TA etc. Basically a review of reviews. Sooner or later someone will monetize an automated way to do this.

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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by PatrickA5 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:57 pm

Use Trip Advisor for all of my hotel decisions. I give more weight to the users that have a lot of reviews on a bunch of different hotels. I don't think I can recall ever finding a hotel completely opposite of the majority of the reviews. They are usually right on. Normally, if the reviews say it's a dump than it really is. Also, if the reviews (assuming there are enough of them) say it's a quality hotel I normally find that to be the case.

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Artful Dodger
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by Artful Dodger » Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:14 pm

I've used Trip Advisor for years with no issues. I know there are some fake reviews, and you can usually scope those out. Often someone with just one or two posts, and sometimes it's just obvious. There are a lot of frequent travellers who have lots of reviews from all over, and have both hotel and restaurant reviews. They're real, and will vary based on their experience. But, even then, you need to drill down some. Some people are real easy with five stars, and don't seem to be very particular. Some people will give a low rating if a place is more expensive than they're used to, even when the food and service is good. I see it all the time. And, sometimes a place is having a bad night, cook just quit, poorly trained server, etc. I find, when looking at the totality of reviews, you can get a fair picture of the place.

Regarding the OPs report. I've seen many reviews with multiple pictures showing worn rooms,broken tile, mold in showers, etc. I can't fathom why yours were not included.

The forums are moderated mostly by the community of posters. I know TA doesn't have the staff to read every post, but each post has a report drop down box, and forum members can report advertising, malicious posts, non-travel posts, etc. I've dinged a few posts myself for various reasons, and they've been removed.

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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by White Coat Investor » Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:41 pm

I wrote a fake review for Tripadvisor.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserRev ... oming.html
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by OnTrack » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:04 pm

Maybe use ratings from travel guides such as AAA or Forbes which use profession inspectors.

For example AAA says "In-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. All hotels must meet the same basic requirements for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality to be AAA Approved. A rating of one to five AAA Diamonds tells members what type of experience to expect, from no-frills to highly personalized."
https://www.aaa.com/travelguides/hotels

Forbes says "Our incognito inspectors visit every property we rate, evaluating based on up to 900 objective standards."
https://www.forbestravelguide.com

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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by Irisheyes » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:29 pm

As others have said, I always pay more attention to the negative reviews. Tripadvisor has rarely steered me wrong when I have chosen properties with very few or no 1 star reviews. And it's easy to see when the 1 star reviewers have a grudge rather than a genuine complaint.

On the other side of the equation, one time I left a quite negative review for a London hotel. I think I gave it 3 stars, so not terrible by any means.

I was quite surprised to get an email from the hotel manager asking me to remove my review in exchange for a refund of one nights' stay.

I declined. But it did make me even more leery of TA going forward, knowing how very hard some property owners try to game the system.

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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:33 pm

Irisheyes wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:29 pm
As others have said, I always pay more attention to the negative reviews. Tripadvisor has rarely steered me wrong when I have chosen properties with very few or no 1 star reviews. And it's easy to see when the 1 star reviewers have a grudge rather than a genuine complaint.

On the other side of the equation, one time I left a quite negative review for a London hotel. I think I gave it 3 stars, so not terrible by any means.

I was quite surprised to get an email from the hotel manager asking me to remove my review in exchange for a refund of one nights' stay.

I declined. But it did make me even more leery of TA going forward, knowing how very hard some property owners try to game the system.
You should have reported that to TripAdvisor.
My understanding (might be outdated?) is that they seriously frown on such "offers".

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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by GoldenFinch » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:39 pm

White Coat Investor wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:41 pm
I wrote a fake review for Tripadvisor.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserRev ... oming.html
Clearly creative writing is one of your other hobbies! :beer

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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by BeneIRA » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:40 pm

There are fake reviews everywhere, it's a fact of life. TripAdvisor is now on the razor's edge because they would love you to book a hotel from clicking one of their links to get a commission. A lot of the fake reviews are five stars where it is beyond obviously glowing. On the other hand, I have found a bunch of the 1-stars are from people I would never ask for an opinion on something anyway, but I like to read those to see what the worst case scenario could be. If it is a hotel chain, there is usually a small range of how well or poorly it could go. A Hyatt Place is going to be a Hyatt Place is a Hyatt Place. Same with a Holiday Inn Express. It is what it is.

Keep in mind that with reviews, everything is relative. A Comfort Inn getting a 4.6 is not the same as a Mandarin Oriental getting a 4.6 out of 5. This took me a while to understand. The Comfort Inn is getting a rating that high for being good at what it is supposed to be, a place to sleep and nothing more. A Mandarin Oriental/Intercontinental, etc are getting high reviews for being very good at being a 5-star hotel.

Finally, I immediately toss out the reviews that don't apply to me. 1 star because the breakfast buffet was terrible, but the breakfast buffet costs $25 and I would never get it anyway? Disregard the review. Five stars because the pool I will never use is awesome? Don't care.

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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by NoHeat » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:57 pm

I write a lot of reviews on Tripadvisor.

I suggest clicking on a reviewer’s name to see how many ‘helpful’ votes they’ve received — that’s a decent indicator of whether to disregard the reviewer. I would disregard a new reviewer that has few helpful votes.

I have not experienced any whitewashing of my negative reviews, as suggested by the OP. Example: for a hotel I happened to book through Tripadvisor, I gave it a one-star rating and slammed it as unsafe, and I backed my claims with several photos. My entire review, with all photos, was posted exactly as I intended.

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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by sfchris » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:02 am

For what it is worth, I have been using Tripadvisor for almost 15 years and it has been an amazingly reliable way to find quality hotels at my price point. I trust it more than any other hotel review site particularly when I am travelling overseas and aren't using big brand hotels. I put in my dates and price range and then sort by "traveller rank". In particular, the traveler rank is a very good way to find clean and quality hotels at the lower price points. The good value hotels cluster at the higher ranks, and the dirty and poor service hotels fall to the bottom.

I also look at "traveller photos" as a more accurate way to see the rooms and grounds than hotel supplied photos.

Tripadvisor even took some of my feedback seriously and added some cool features, one of the best ones is you can search all reviews for a particular hotel for keywords.. so if you are interested in "fitness" center, or "breakfast" it is easy to find detailed reviews that contain those keywords. Sometimes info about quality of free breakfast can be buried so the search feature is really powerful.
Last edited by sfchris on Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by randomizer » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:05 am

Ditto for Amazon reviews.
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by rich126 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:06 am

Sadly there is usually a conflict of interest between posting honest reviews and receiving advertising funds. Although magazines are largely out of vogue, you'd have stereo, car, etc. but you'd rarely see strongly negative reviews because how do those magazines make money? From stereo, car, etc. companies. Except for Consumer Reports who has refused advertising most of the rest are pretty questionable.

I wrote a few reviews on Tripadvisor years ago and had no issues but I also never had a horrible experience. The main reason I avoid that site now is the horrible, intrusion design of the site. Pop up/pop under windows everywhere, etc. Even with a bunch of tools blocking things, it is a site I largely avoid. Its unfortunately since I think many reviews are honest and people should be able to share experiences but that's life.

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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by gd » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:49 am

JoeRetire wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:47 am
BogleMelon wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:37 am
Just wanted to spread the word out, so those of you who trust their reviews may reconsider.
You are saying that you can't trust reviews done by anonymous internet individuals?

I'm shocked and chagrined! Mortified and stupefied!

:shock:
Gosh, what's next? Financial advice? :shock:

Most burned I ever got using reviews was using a contractor who was by far the top-rated Angie's List business in my area. I eventually figured out that cultivating a good Angie's List rating was basically his business plan. He had started believing his own reviews and was way over his head.

OTOH, amazon reviews of gallon containers of Tuscan Dairy Milk are excellent. Honorable mention to banana slicers.

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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by White Coat Investor » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:24 am

gd wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:49 am
JoeRetire wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:47 am
BogleMelon wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:37 am
Just wanted to spread the word out, so those of you who trust their reviews may reconsider.
You are saying that you can't trust reviews done by anonymous internet individuals?

I'm shocked and chagrined! Mortified and stupefied!

:shock:
Gosh, what's next? Financial advice? :shock:

Most burned I ever got using reviews was using a contractor who was by far the top-rated Angie's List business in my area. I eventually figured out that cultivating a good Angie's List rating was basically his business plan. He had started believing his own reviews and was way over his head.

OTOH, amazon reviews of gallon containers of Tuscan Dairy Milk are excellent. Honorable mention to banana slicers.
What about the three wolf moon shirt?

https://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Three-W ... ll_reviews
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:51 am

jharkin wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:18 am
tylerherman wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:04 am
Not sure when people will realize this but most reviews online are fake. It’s a huge business, especially on Amazon.

Go look at a site like Trustpilot, businesses pay them to contact their “customers” to solicit positive reviews. Companies end up competing in ranking wars just like SEO wars. Whatever it takes to get people’s attention.
Yep.. And the paid for fake positive reviews are not the only problem... some of the negative reviews are placed deliberately by people with a personal grudge against the business or other various reasons... Boston Globe Magazine did an in-depth on this a while back...
https://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/20 ... story.html


Its so bad that there are even business built around quality checking reviews - one example is http://www.fakespot.com but how do we even know we can trust that?
in addition to fakespot.com, you can use www.reviewmeta.com to determine the probability of fake reviews specifically on Amazon. Heard about this and fakespot on planet money podcast:

https://www.npr.org/templates/transcrip ... =623988370
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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by gotester2000 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:10 am

tylerherman wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:04 am
Not sure when people will realize this but most reviews online are fake. It’s a huge business, especially on Amazon.

Go look at a site like Trustpilot, businesses pay them to contact their “customers” to solicit positive reviews. Companies end up competing in ranking wars just like SEO wars. Whatever it takes to get people’s attention.
+1

I do not make any selection based on reviews.

If you are into writing side gigs you will find there are many assignments that pay to write fake reviews. Same for social media likes etc.

I have come to the conclusion that almost everything in the virtual world is fake...and the real world as well :D ...everything is commercialized :sharebeer

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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by jabberwockOG » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:25 am

I am pretty certain many reviews on TA are fake. A few years ago we stayed in a b&b in Santa Fe and it as truly awful. Rooms were dated and beat up, unusually dirty, and bed,linens, shades were completely worn out. The breakfast was a horrible joke - motel 6 quality at best.

I should have known when we were asked to pay in full before being shown our room. This place had 300+ reviews, and a majority of 5 star reviews on TA, but close examination after the fact showed the high score reviews to be 100% from reviewers with 1-2 reviews total. Most likely fake accounts created by the b&b owners. Also the reviews had about 10% 1-2 star reviews and most of those were multiple review reviewers and described the terrible conditions of this place. Looking today this terrible b&b still shows up in the top 10 for reviews scores.

So my suggestion is to ignore 1-2 review reviewers especially if they are 4-5 star reviews and always check out the low reviews and give them extra weight.

In general a great hotel will always have a few bad reviews but they will be rare and usually involving billing, or room overbooking, cancels, etc.

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Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Post by dual » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:53 am

I usually read the low rated reviews for reasons. If they are subjective like rude staff or ugly drapes I dismiss them. I am looking for physical verifiable reasons: a multi-story place with no elevators or a major train line running a block from the place. You can also use google maps street view to see pictures of the hotel and the surrounding neighborhood.

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