Dominica

Published on Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hotel PR admits to posting over 100 anonymous reviews on TripAdvisor




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

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

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

A listing for the Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra, for example, 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 the Telegraph 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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  • No Action taken?

    I am surprised that TA have not suspended all Accor hotels from TA until it has reviewed that it's reviews a genuine. You can't tell me that this is an isolated incident! Credability lost....

    By David Boomer, Tuesday, June 25, 2013

  • Real vs Fraudulent

    I'm always suspicious when I see so much conformity in the writing, as if everyone who reviews has perfect grammar and writing skills. I try to pick out the real reviews from "real people". I don't know if I'm successful but I try.

    By Carol Strauchler, Friday, June 7, 2013

  • That's why I don't use Tripadvisor

    Tripadvisor is good for some things, but accomodation wise it's best to go through a website like Hostelworld that can guarantee the reviewer has stayed at a place. It's annoying if you've stayed at a place and haven't booked through that website though, that's the only time I'd go to Tripadvisor (and that would only be if somewhere was exceptionally good or bad).

    By Lara Jakob, Wednesday, June 5, 2013

  • Not Guilty As Charged

    Surely the PR person who wrote this wasn't doing it of his own accord. Why point the finger at him when it may have been his employer who asked him to do it. The PR Director in question has an impeccable reputation in the travel industry in Australia and is loved by everyone. He tells it how it is and I am sure you will find that the reviews he has written are honest. His only 'crime' is he hasn't acknowledged his position.

    By nicole lenoir-jourdan, Monday, June 3, 2013

  • Treat reviews like Olympic figure skating

    I always throw out the highs and the lows and look at the rest. Consistent, over time, high or low reviews are probably a sign. Some people will always have something to bitch about, and some people will be pleased by just about anything (my favorite "the coffee at the buffet breakfast was the perfect temperature"). For me any single comment isn't worth ****. But this guy, regardless of the actual validity of his reviews, lied by just giving them. For instance, "Austin Adventure Travel is a great agency that got me exactly what I was looking for at a great price." Of course, you might be tempted to toss that out when you find out that I own the agency. Regardless of the veracity.

    By Dillon Pyron, Friday, May 31, 2013

  • Sacking these frauds, just treats the symptoms

    You need to treat the disease and expose the frauds then make them answerable in law. What amazes me is the shock when a false review is exposed. Remember the original concept of Trip advisor was to drive business towards its owner's own business, if this was to be achieved then how many reviews in the early days were solicited or plain faked? What is more they still are! I was asked only the other day in Argostoli for a review on trip advisor. Whilst there was nothing wrong with the service or food, and if I had not been asked it is possible (but unlikely) I may have given a positive review. However I declined, I value my integrity and credibility. Which is more than we can say about Mr Hook. We need to get the message across about review sites. It is also worrying about the new Google review system. It is as wide open to abuse as Trip Advisor

    By Paul Davis, Thursday, May 30, 2013

  • Why not sack him?

    This is an admission of fraud..We need to be seen to crack down on this practice and not just whinge about it. If it is found to be totally false and misrepresented then a case of libel is legally feasible. Lets see some high profile court cases soon!!

    By Peter Reeve, Thursday, May 30, 2013

  • This is news?

    The whole leisure industry knows Tripadvisor totally lacks credibility, it is populated by cheats and low achievers who look for an advantage of some description or they offer a bad review. It boosts their own sense of importance. The problem is the message is not getting out fast enough to the great unwashed.

    By Paul Davis, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

  • We knew it all along

    Having been a hotelier before being a hotel consolidator, we have seen how easy it is to abuse the platform.

    By Biswanath Chatterjee, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

  • AMATEUR HOUR !!!

    anyone who knows what they are doing won't get caught out, meaning traveladvisor is dodgier than ever now that companies will post as many comments as you like, for a fee & nothing will catch them out.

    By Michael Anderson, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

  • Problems with malicious reviews on 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 also 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, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

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