• Report: #618517

Complaint Review: Tripadvisor.com Trip Advisor

  • Submitted: Mon, June 28, 2010
  • Updated: Thu, December 09, 2010

  • Reported By: marty — United States of America
Tripadvisor.com Trip Advisor
Internet United States of America

Tripadvisor.com Trip Advisor Expedia, Hotwire, Hotels.com Think about it! Internet

*Consumer Comment: At least Tripadvisor is publishing the negative reports

*Consumer Comment: So true !!!

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: The Royal Cancun & The Royal Playa del Carmen ...

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I have done some investigation here about Tripadvisor. I have worked with hotels for many years and this is what I can say for sure.
Hotel owners, mostly independent hotels, have lost control of their industry. Third parties have taken over while having little or no investment. These third parties, i.e. Tripadvisor, Hotels.com, Expedia and Hotwire, all of which are owned by Barry Diller have turned the independent owner into a pawn by having the ability to manipulate the reviews in such a way that they can actually redirect customers without them even knowing it.
How so? O.K. Go to Tripadvisor pick a city and see what you find. A list of hotels in a rating system from one to whatever number. If we believe the reviews some might have 15 reviews and are rated # 1, 2 or 3 (often these hotels have only recently signed up with these third parties). Then one will have 100 reviews and be rated somewhere in the so so area. [continued below]....
..... Yet the 100 reviews have 75 very good ratings. The highest rated one could very well be an old hotel under new management and it might have been a dump in its previous listing life. The new hotel owner swiftly loads his fake reviews by having his family and associates post fake 5 star reviews. Tripadvisor can not stop these fakes if they are loaded in by different  computers with different IP addresses. Think Kinko's, UPS stores, etc. or even office depot while appearing to be looking to purchasing a new laptop.
This also applies to the other side of the picture. Someone loads  bad reviews of their competitor. Or a crazy customer that did not get a discount and just creates new email accounts and looks like 30 different people. This all happens on tripadvisor every day. Because they do not require proof of you even having stayed at the hotel.
Now lets look at how Tripadvisor makes money. They make a % of every unit booked on Hotels.com, Expedia, Hotwire or an affiliate. No you say tripadvisor does not get a commission. Well kind of? They get a pay per click fee from most of their links. So the more they keep you going in circles the better. More clicks.
However Expedia, Hotwire and Hotels.com are owned by the same person that owns Tripadvisor. 25-35% of the hotel rate is what they get. Some hotels have contracts that are better for Expedia, etc. so you are now very cleverly directed to these hotels. How? By manipulating the reviews that is how. They remove negative reviews or hold back positive ones. Do they write them? No they just maneuver them. Which is the same thing in my book.
Also most of the time there is no discount at all. You just think you got one. Just check the room rate or call the hotel before booking and you will see that.
Now in the beginning these third parties were great for independent hotels because it got them in with the big boys on the web. Where can a small independent advertize. They could not take ads in every city in the world. So that was good in the start. However when Barry Diller saw the manipulation that was possible he began to purchase these companies and here we sit today all arguing with one another while he rakes in the cash.
The last thing that no one gets is this. Third parties have raised the price of rooms over the years. Hoteliers have adjusted prices to include their third parties commissions. Just a fact of doing business. As usual the angels become the devil and that what third party bookers have become.
Always call the hotel before booking. Because third party bookings get the worst rooms in a hotel because your booking is classified as a bargain hunter. If you book direct you get treated better and you have a direct relationship with the hotel not some third party that holds the hotel, less commission, funds for up to 30 days or more. Many times if there is a problem the hotel will tell Expedia to refund a guest payment. In that event what sometimes happens is the guest is told that the hotel would not refund the money. Then the hotel does not get the funds and Expedia keeps it all. No you say! They would not do that! Well let me show you how far they will go. Lets say you book a $100.00 + tax and the Hotel is paid $70.00 + tax. Where do you think the tax on $30.00 goes. Nowhere Expedia keeps it. Now if a company will cheat every city in the world out of sales taxes what do you think they will do to you. "BARRY DILLER" you are a piece of work!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/28/2010 04:10 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Tripadvisorcom-Trip-Advisor/internet/Tripadvisorcom-Trip-Advisor-Expedia-Hotwire-Hotelscom-Think-about-it-Internet-618517. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

At least Tripadvisor is publishing the negative reports

AUTHOR: Steve - (USA)

I  never saw  the negative reports for the hotels that I booked on Hotels.com and these scammers would  never  answer my  emails in regards to the question why  they would not  publish them.

Tripadvisor  published them and  I  saw  similar  reports  about  the  same  place  from other travellers.  I  agree  that  it  is possible  to  publish a  "five  star report"  on  Tripadvisor  using family members or  employees but  if  I  read  reports  about cockroaches,  plugged up toilets  and  mold in the bathroom  and  see  other reports  that describe the same place  as  next  to  heaven with  5  stars in each  category  then I  am getting  the picture.

What  is important for me is  that I am able  to read  those  negative reports  and  I  found  that  even  those  travelers  who were  completely disappointed  were  still fair in certain  aspects,  showing  that  the  ratings  they  were  giving were  not  completely  retaliatory.

The  real  scam is  when  Hotels.com  eliminates  negative  reports systematically  even if  they  comply  with their  rules and guidelines.  this  is consumer fraud  and I hope that  the  Federal Trade Commission will investigate this.
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#2 Consumer Comment

So true !!!

AUTHOR: Thesadreality - (U.S.A.)

You named it all, maestro. I've always thought of it this way, I knew the hotel bookers manipulated the public but wasn't sure until I read your report. Now I can freely say that hotel booking is indeed a corrupt industry where the travelers and equally the hotels are the victims. in fact all the ratings, all the reviews and the reservation made through these third parties are a scam. If the public stops using their services they will go bankrupt. I almost always book directly on the hotel's own website. But a number of times I had to book through the smart guys because the hotel's published rates were significantly higher. When the hotels learn to post their room rates on their sites competitively the public will go to them directly. So far travelocity and orbitz for example give better rates which means we are hooked. it's the reality.
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#3 REBUTTAL Individual responds

The Royal Cancun & The Royal Playa del Carmen ...

AUTHOR: Silkmeadow - (Canada)

The Royal Cancun and the Royal Playa del Carmen are very good examples of a big scam going on.  The Royal Cancun is only 3 years old and has over 1000 excellent reviews whereas the number 1 resort in Cancun has only 650 excellent reviews.  If you compare the number 1 and number 2 resorts and the amount of their reviews compared to the two Royals you'll see something very fishy is going and that fishiness is the fact that these resorts are high pressure timeshare sales.

We booked at the Royal Cancun because of the great ratings but it was not great at all.  It was managed and run more like a 3 star, so I dug around the internet and sure enough found this and many websites that confirm what we thought... one big scam.

From now on we are going to trust professional guidebooks or websites that have professional travellers.  One that is starting up is (((Redacted))) but unfortunately they are just starting out and do not yet cover Mexico but they are planning on it.


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