Monday, October 25, 2010

On the TripAdvisor Review Lawsuits

Oh no. I suppose it was inevitable that a service or property would try and sue TripAdvisor for defamation of character. But according to MSNBC, 700 hoteliers and vacation agencies are threatening to sue!

I always read the TripAdvisor reviews when considering a property. I took the review with a grain of salt if one was negative and the rest were glowing. I found the information helpful and felt it was honest. In these days of marketing hype, it's nice to get the lowdown from someone like me who has been there.

So what will happen now? According to the article there may be a solution.

KwikChex, which calls itself an “Online Reputation Solution provider,” said it has presented TripAdvisor with multiple cases of what it claims are “false and malicious” reviews posted on They include wrongful accusations of “criminal or seriously negligent behavior” at some hotels. One example: A TripAdvisor user wrote last month that during his stay at a British cottage, “the owner ... stared at our children for extended periods.”

KwikChex is asking TripAdvisor to meet three demands: remove erroneous accusations, “in some cases issue an apology” to hotels, and “take steps to ensure that such allegations are not repeated,” said KwikChex co-founder Chris Emmins. “If ethical and media pressure do not bring results, then litigation would be the only course left.”

Perhaps the person writing and posting the review should be the one liable. Perhaps TripAdvisor could screen the reviews (but then it would cost money and we'd probably have to subscribe to the service).

I say leave things as they are. Hotels and services are welcomed, I believe, to post a rebuttal to the comments. Some of them even seed the comments with paid positive reviews.

So I hope the lawsuits do not go through. I enjoy reading these openly critical, as well as raving, reviews. After all, that's what I write... rants and raves. Ouch! Maybe I'd better watch MY back!

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