How to Spot a Fake Hotel Review
Here at FROSCH, we know the best hotel advice comes from your travel consultant – in most cases, they have “stayed there, seen that.” But sometimes, you are just so excited about your trip, you want to read all about others’ experiences. You pull up the TripAdvisor app on your iPhone and browse through others’ opinions and advice for the hotel you just cannot wait to get to. It can sometimes be hard to parse a wide range of points of view. Did you ever wonder how many of the reviews are truthful and from actual travelers?
TripAdvisor has recently come under fire for marketing all of their reviews as “truthful.” Unfortunately, this is not the case – there is no process of verification for any reviews posted to the site and thus, fake comments to sabotage or boost business often appear. The Advertising Standards Authority conducted a four month investigation to determine whether or not it was possible for non-genuine content to be posted and the results confirmed their suspicions. Other user-review oriented sites, like Yelp (and even Amazon, surprisingly), face the same difficulties.
We’ve compiled a list of some helpful tips to ensure you are not misled by a fake review:
Discuss your hotel choice with your travel consultant extensively.
They will have the most well-informed advice for you including insider tips and information. If your travel consultant is not directly familiar with the property, there is sure to be someone in their office that is.
Take note of the writing style.
Over-use of verbs, adverbs and pronouns has been found by Cornell University researchers to be a hint of a fake review. Often, when a traveler is reviewing a hotel they have personally stayed at, they will talk about the hotel and their experience during their stay. Fake reviews often include extra information or unrelated tangents, like shopping nearby and who they “traveled” with. Also, keep in mind that extremely short reviews full of adverbs are quick ways to boost a property’s rating.
Exclamation points all over the place!!
In most cases, the reviewer is not that excited about their hotel stay. Sure, it may have been a fantastic experience, but how often do you use exclamation points in your emails? Forced enthusiasm is easy to spot in a review and is a sure sign the review is not truthful.
Lots of mentions of the hotel name.
Numerous mentions of a company, in this case, the hotel name, are thought to boost search rankings. Repeating the proper name of the hotel numerous times within a single review is another sure sign of a fake review.