June 20, 2018
Fake hotels becoming a massive issue for OTAs
The rise of fake hotels is a phenomenon that has left both consumers and OTAs frustrated and out of pocket.Read more
December 02, 2011
On the back of recent troubles for TripAdvisor regarding the trustworthiness of its hotel reviews, HolidayCheck - on of Europe's leading travel review site - sheds some light on its review process.
At HolidayCheck, submitted reviews run through a complex algorithm which checks the review based on 16 criteria. Criteria include: tourist language, bad language and IP addresses just to mention a few. Reviews caught by the filter are then checked by a specially trained fraud detection department with around 60 people. HolidayCheck does not hide their staff, go and see for yourself! Nobody‟s perfect, but this department tries very hard.
If a review is suspected of being a fake then a confirmation of booking is requested. In this way fakes are deleted and genuine reviews which for example were written using the hotel‟s IP address are not automatically deleted. This stops hotels from being red flagged unfairly.
HolidayCheck takes fakes seriously. If there is proof that reviews have been faked, HolidayCheck takes legal action against manipulators. Thus HolidayCheck has filed charges against a counterfeiter in Cologne who offered his services to manipulate the reviews. The consequences will be decided by the prosecuting authorities.
“We are sending a clear signal against unfair practices and for a genuine commitment to deliver authentic reviews.” Says HolidayCheck CQA department manager Tobias Hammer.
Being fair to customers and hotels
At HolidayCheck each hotel owner is given free access to a HotelManager account. This allows hotel owners to communicate directly with HolidayCheck and their guests. If a hotel or member of the HolidayCheck community has reason to believe that a review is faked, it will be checked again and if there is indeed justified suspicion it will be taken offline and only be put back online should it transpire that it was genuine.
This is also the case with blackmail threats. If the hotel warns HolidayCheck‟s HotelCommunication team in advance that they have been blackmailed, all reviews will go under extra scrutiny before being released online. Thus HolidayCheck helps to protect the hotel‟s reputation and counters fakes.
The main advice for the hotels to improve their ratings is: communicate with your customers and concentrate on improving your service. HolidayCheck‟s HotelManager tools help identify key areas for improvement.
Related Link: HolidayCheck
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