TripAdvisor, the leading online travel reviews site in the world, is now under investigation by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over concerns reviews from travelers may be illegitimate. A formal investigation has reportedly been launched on the heels of complaints TripAdvisor’s reviews problems have reached monumental levels.

Some 45 million visitors rely on TripAdvisor each month for travel information, reliable reviews of venues for travelers, not to mention those businesses that rely upon TripAdvisor for what can be a veritable gold mine of bookings. For some time the website has been questioned as to the validity and origins of many of their 50 + million user reviews. Most agree there is too much room for tampering with the reviews by hotel and other business owners who might create false identities and pump up their own review stats. According to Kevin May over at Tnooz, this current investigation came about because of complaints by Kwikchex, a reputation management consultancy.

The allegations by many are that, hotels were paying “agents” to “boost” their reviews – and to make their competition look bad. The Christian Science Monitor goes so far as to say the “problem” with fake reviews and endorsements if even greater than TripAdvisor’s suggested 10 million fake endorsements, CSM says we are “awash in a sea” of fake reviews. The problem is not limited to hotel beds, and flies in the restaurant soup they say.

Read More at Argophilia

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