Published on Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hotel PR exec admits to posting 100 anonymous reviews on TripAdvisor

Just how reliable are those online hotel reviews?

Accor's general manager of communications has put TripAdvisor reviews into question again by acknowledging that he anonymously posted more than 100 hotel reviews on the site.

Peter Hook, an Accor general manager of communications based in Sydney, has been posting generally good reviews of Accor properties and generally critical reviews of its competitors for the past few years.

He was identified as Hook by Kwikchex, a company that sells online reputation management software.

A listing for the Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra, for example (noting this is his 137th review on the site), includes his comments, "As a first time visitor to Phnom Penh I didn't know much about the hotel scene so booked a brand I knew well. It turned out to be a good choice."

He gave five stars to the Sea Temple Surfers Paradise, saying, "I took advantage of a good price and really loved it from start to finish."

Hook acknowledged that he wrote the reviews under the name Tavare, and told a number of British newspapers that "every review I have written has resulted from personally experiencing the product."

Noting that he regularly reviews destinations, attractions, restaurants, and other non-hotel products, he said that "because I cover such a wide range of travel experiences, it would not be appropriate to review them as a company representative, hence the pseudonym. However, it is a fair to say that my professional position should have been mentioned in any reviews of hotels."

Hook said he will desist from writing any more hotel reviews.

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  • er hello, been going on for years

    there are companies out there who will post as many 1000's +ve or -ve comments as you want for a fee. So u give your own property +ve comments & the opposition -ve comments. No way of preventing this. When hackers can get into CIA, they have no problem getting into Tripadvisor website !!!

    By Michael Anderson, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

  • Shows why you cannot trust TripAdvisor

    This proves how easy it is to manipulate reviews on TripAdvisor. We know that we are getting attacked maliciously by someone that went so far as to do a mock version of the Telegraph website stating that Porters English Restaurant had been closed by the EHO because so many people had food poisoning, we have attracted some very non-specific, critical reviews on TripAdvisor, and the users have blocked responses, so we are unable to find out when, or if, they dined at the restaurant; we suspect that they emanate from the same person that went to so much trouble over the Telegraph website, it is so much easier to put up a false review on TripAdvisor. We caught him out once last year when he posted almost exactly the same review under two different names, as Candoguy and RicardoZZ about six months apart; on that occasion, though it had slipped through their net, I spotted it and then they had the grace to remove both reviews, though one from him as Anders L is still live on Yelp. This is proof that malicious reviews get through, and if it were not for my vigilance, nothing would have been done about it.

    By Richard Earl of Bradford, Tuesday, May 28, 2013

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