Some people rely on TripAdvisor reviews when choosing hotels that is problematic because the platform is plagued with fake reviews (paid positive), while hotels try to suppress critical ones.
Whine Wednesdays this week revisits W Bogota that was featured on our recent currency scam piece that they used to inflate hotel rates by 10%+.
Here’s what transpired at the hotel:
Here’s an email that I received from TripAdvisor:
Someone at the hotel (social media manager/associate) had probably flagged the review, and TripAdvisor would then remove it if I don’t take any action.
I emailed the hotel’s General Manager EDUARDO F. YOSHIMOTO that I found this practice distasteful and didn’t receive a reply.
Here video review of the suite I had at the W Bogota:
Here’s our previous piece about hotels scamming their Tripadvisor Reviews:
Australian court fines hotel $3M for “managing” their reviews:
Another case from Doha:
A reader had trouble publishing critical reviews on TripAdvisor:
Sheraton management was hostile to readers comment:
There is even a scientific study done from hotel reviews:
The hotel solicits reviews by putting the card with a reminder of TripAdvisor inside the envelope with your folio.
They then don’t automatically post the stay so that you don’t get the Marriott’s post-stay survey (smart action if they know that you were unhappy), of which results are often tied to GMs bonuses.
They then try to get critical reviews removed that expose the scam that the hotel is running, warning other guests to pay attention to the charges.
Unfortunately, Mr. Eduardo Yashimoto feels that this otherwise good to great hotel needs to take these actions, which I consider unethical and possibly illegal (the currency scam).
These hotels will eventually all fail. The guests should have a realistic view of what they can expect at the property rather than only ravingly positive ones.
TripAdvisor also has an issue. They collect most of their revenue from the fees they charge from hotels (you are the product). It is not in their best interest to have critical reviews of their partners that could suppress bookings on the platform.