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Accor Hotels Caught Posting 100 Fake Hotel Reviews

Posted: Thu May 30, 2013 8:00 pm
by OA260
Someone has been a naughty boy. I dont blame Trip Advisor as Im sure they reply on people being honest about their experiences. The manager of Accor should be fired without question. It is not very professional of one of their higher end employees to behave like this.


Accor Hotels manager caught posting over 100 fake TripAdvisor reviews

TripAdvisor's reliability has been called into question again after Accor's general manager of communications in Sydney admitted to anonymously posting more than 100 hotel reviews on TripAdvisor.

Peter Hook published glowing reviews about the hotels owned by his employer, Accor and Sofitel, and critical reviews about the hotel group's rivals.

"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," Hook wrote about the Sofitel in Phnom Penh.

http://www.smartcompany.com.au/adver...-100-fake-tripadvisor-reviews.html

RE: Accor Hotels Caught Posting 100 Fake Hotel Reviews

Posted: Thu May 30, 2013 11:06 pm
by AeroWesty
One more reason to reject the Facebook.

RE: Accor Hotels Caught Posting 100 Fake Hotel Reviews

Posted: Fri May 31, 2013 12:22 am
by Okie
Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 1):
One more reason to reject the Facebook

Exactly, I was at one of my customers in the last few weeks and there was a note on the employee bulletin board about any employee posting good reviews about the company would receive compensation.



Okie

RE: Accor Hotels Caught Posting 100 Fake Hotel Reviews

Posted: Fri May 31, 2013 12:30 am
by AeroWesty
Quoting okie (Reply 2):
any employee posting good reviews about the company would receive compensation.

Good way to compile a list of which employees could be compromised. Ingenious.

RE: Accor Hotels Caught Posting 100 Fake Hotel Reviews

Posted: Fri May 31, 2013 12:31 am
by rfields5421
And fake reviews surprise who?

One big problem with the Internet is the idea that reviews posted on-line are in any way objective.

Nor are complaint forums objective either.

We get a lot more information today, but in the end it is always the old guessing game of deciding who to trust.

RE: Accor Hotels Caught Posting 100 Fake Hotel Reviews

Posted: Fri May 31, 2013 1:24 am
by kiwiinoz
I am a bit of a Tripadvisor expert, being in the luxury hotel business

I can tell yuo there isnt anything particularly new about this, however in the last few years, Tripadvisor has become very very good at identifying the fakes.

There are actually companies now that charge a fee to manipulate tripadvisor rankings independantly. I myself have received a pitch from one of these companies and they were charging US$50K for the service, (we didnt go ahead.....seemed pretty flaky to me)

The most common way that hotels manipulate the result: If they receive a complaint from a guest, they will handle it directly. If they receive a compliment, they will incentivise the guest to post it on TA

For consumers, it is a useful tool but should never be used as the sole resource in researching hotels. There are some hotels at #1 that are up there for very odd reasons. eg there is 1 destination where a crappy place gets #1 ahead of some beautiful hotels just because it is a Christian camp and all of the guests go away with an evangelical glow. A friend checked in there, (after reviewing TA), and they lasted about 4 hours before fleeing!

RE: Accor Hotels Caught Posting 100 Fake Hotel Reviews

Posted: Fri May 31, 2013 7:31 am
by bwest
I tend to trust booking.com's reviews a bit more than tripadvisor ones. With booking you can in theory only post a review if you actually booked and stayed there. I guess there are still ways around it probably, but it's an extra safety.

RE: Accor Hotels Caught Posting 100 Fake Hotel Reviews

Posted: Fri May 31, 2013 4:38 pm
by Flighty
Tripadvisor should just scale the ratings down 0.5 point for any property that is under the management of this guy's boss. For 1-2 years. That should cost tens of millions and teach them a lesson. The only way to teach them is make this guy's financial performance so poor he quits or is fired.

Huge harm to his company.

RE: Accor Hotels Caught Posting 100 Fake Hotel Reviews

Posted: Fri May 31, 2013 9:37 pm
by Dano1977
I like posting on Trip Advisor.

I try to be honest and truthful as possible.

My good reviews far outweigh the bad ones. But as a result of a bad Trip Advisor report, I did get a nice reply from the head of widgets or whatnot at Crowne Plaza Hotels.

They took my concerns seriously, and i got some points on my Priority Club rewards.

Some reports are ludicrous. People expecting Gordon Ramsey/Michelin 3* quality food at a £11.99 all you can buffet style restaurant or "Too many Children" at a family pub and so on.

RE: Accor Hotels Caught Posting 100 Fake Hotel Reviews

Posted: Fri May 31, 2013 9:49 pm
by SpaceshipDC10
Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 4):
We get a lot more information today, but in the end it is always the old guessing game of deciding who to trust.

I'd rather say we get a lot more data today, not information. In the end we have to guess what's information and what's rubbish.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 1):
One more reason to reject the Facebook.

What is Facebook ?  

RE: Accor Hotels Caught Posting 100 Fake Hotel Reviews

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:05 am
by OA260
Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 8):
I like posting on Trip Advisor.

I try to be honest and truthful as possible.

I rarely look at it as a lot of my friends have travelled extensively around the world as have I so I rarely need to look for something and always know the best places with good recommendations. I do feel its a good resource for those less well travelled but I would advise them to take it with a pinch of salt too. If someone has a bad time they usually come back and bitch about it online etc... if someone has a good time they may not take to TA to say they had a good time. You can also look through the complaints and see whats just stupid and what was actually a valid complaint.

Quoting SpaceshipDC10 (Reply 9):
What is Facebook ?  

Well if people know how to use it properly and lock their private info and don't friend everyone on the plant and don't like every company then it can be decent enough. People just don't know how to control their profiles properly I find.

RE: Accor Hotels Caught Posting 100 Fake Hotel Reviews

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 8:00 pm
by Dano1977
Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):

I suppose its easier for me to pick out the stupid reports having spent most of my professional career in the catering and hospitality industry.

The bad time to write any report is straight after a bad experience. It's very easy to become vindictive and over egg the pudding so to speak.

I also, never check reviews of places to stay or eat, because its very easy to form an opinion based on other peoples experiences. I prefer to form my own opinions, without the other peoples reviews swirling around in the head.

I've traveled pretty extensively too, never needed to read a report for the places I was staying overseas as it was written into the contract for 5* accommodation and business class as a minimum travel.

RE: Accor Hotels Caught Posting 100 Fake Hotel Reviews

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:40 pm
by srbmod
This is an issue that won't be going away anytime soon either. Companies will plant positive reviews on their properties and some will plant scathing reviews of competitors. But if you take the time to read several pages of reviews, you can get a pretty clear picture about a hotel. A glowing review in a sea of average or less than average reviews is a likely sign of a planted review and the same goes for a bad review in a sea of good reviews. If there is a consistent rating for a place over a long period of time, then you really do have a good idea about the place.

I've got some friends that run some travel-related sites and you'd be surprised how often the IP addresses from visitors trace back to the offices of one of the hotel chains. There have been cases in which an employee of one of those companies placed planted reviews on their site.

One twist on the planted reviews is there are cases in which the hotel itself didn't place the planted review, the public relations firm that they use to run their social media outlets did so.

Facebook is making it interesting as well, as some folks will use a hotel's Facebook page as a platform in which to lodge a complaint that should have been addressed privately and in some cases, these are false reports made in attempt to scam the hotel or get folks to stay elsewhere.

RE: Accor Hotels Caught Posting 100 Fake Hotel Reviews

Posted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:06 pm
by babybus
It is the nature of forums that you have to take information as maybe possible but not definitive.

I agree that Tripadvisor is manipulated and you have to choose a hotel very carefully. Business based on deceit is not a good business.

RE: Accor Hotels Caught Posting 100 Fake Hotel Reviews

Posted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 5:35 pm
by Mir
Quoting Flighty (Reply 7):
Tripadvisor should just scale the ratings down 0.5 point for any property that is under the management of this guy's boss. For 1-2 years. That should cost tens of millions and teach them a lesson. The only way to teach them is make this guy's financial performance so poor he quits or is fired.

Thus putting them at an unfair disadvantage against all the other companies that are doing the same thing yet are fortunate enough not to get caught. Yes, in a perfect world nobody would do this, but it's so widespread at this point that trying to fight that sort of battle just isn't worth it anymore. Besides, it's not really hurting the public - anyone who chooses a hotel or restaurant based on public reviews without reading through many of them in order to get an aggregate picture is being foolish.

-Mir

RE: Accor Hotels Caught Posting 100 Fake Hotel Reviews

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:30 am
by blueflyer
I was glad to read Accor fired mr. Hook. I am surprised he felt it necessary to post fake reviews about Sofitel properties. I regularly stay at about half a dozen of them on four different continents and find them to be among the best hotels in their categories. I've even written a few glowing reviews, especially for the quality of the service.

I think the biggest issue with TripAdvisor is that the ranking is based on reviewers' experience without accounting for their expectations. Perhaps if the methodology could somehow include the average nightly price in its calculation might we see better results. I'm sure I am not the only one who is harder to satisfy over a $500 night in a Four Seasons compared to a $90 stay at a Hampton Inn.

For now, I find the overall TripAdvisor ranking somewhat meaningless, but it is a useful tool nevertheless to see where competing brands stand in comparison with each other. Reviewer comments play a bigger role if one property stands out, positively or negatively, from its peers.

Incidentally, I do agree with mr Hook that InterContinental, as a brand at least, is a bit behind... Too bad, it used to be my favorite.

RE: Accor Hotels Caught Posting 100 Fake Hotel Reviews

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:23 am
by cmf
Quoting Mir (Reply 14):
but it's so widespread at this point that trying to fight that sort of battle just isn't worth it anymore

Why such a defeatist attitude? Do you apply it to other things too? If someone here breaks the forum rules often enough should they moderators stop taking actions? What about if people break into your home with regularity should they then be allowed to do it?

RE: Accor Hotels Caught Posting 100 Fake Hotel Reviews

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:49 pm
by 4holer
I just look at tripadvisor to see if there are bedbug reports. Other than that, I don't pay much attention to the reviews...