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So I report a problem with a review - what happens next?

London, United...
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So I report a problem with a review - what happens next?

I and others have complained in this forum about reporting problems with reviews on TripAdvisor - we send the report through the official channel, and we don't even get an automated response from TripAdvisor.

Could I make the suggestion that it would be better treatment of your users (especially ones who have taken the time to contribute to the site) to do the following:

- send an automatic response back detailing what happens next, how long the investigation will take, and what we are likely to hear back.

- have some pre-prepared responses for sending after the investigation.

I understand that it is costly for Tripadvisor to employ people to do the investigation and reply appropriately. Most likely all the responses will fall into the following categories:

- We investigated and didn't find any wrongdoing

- We investigated and accept that there is anomalous activity, and will monitor closely

- We investigated and have removed the reviews in question.

No reply at all seems a bit insensitive of the hard work that your users put into their contributions on the site.

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary
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25,576 posts
86 reviews
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1. Re: So I report a problem with a review - what happens next?

Before I respond to your question, I want to point out that I don't work for TripAdvisor. As with all Destination Experts, I'm a TA member just like you who volunteers to help answer fellow members' questions.

If you are the registered owner/manager of a property, and you dispute one of the reviews of your property, TA will inform you of the decision once it is made. However, for TA members other than the reviewer and the reviewed business, it is considered a privacy issue and you will not be informed of any action by TA staff.

This is not unusual on TripAdvisor. I participate in an online game and sometimes I report rule infractions by players. However, I'm never told what steps - if any - were taken against that player.

An acknowledgement of a report would be nice, I agree; I get an acknowledgement from the gaming website. But the only way to know if the reviews were removed is to make a note of them and check to see if they are still there later on.

Edited: 14 November 2011, 09:51
London, United...
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4 posts
23 reviews
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2. Re: So I report a problem with a review - what happens next?

Country_Wife, thanks for the explanation. I do think it would be common courtesy to respond with an automated email explaining this. I've sent numerous emails and wondered what had happened and it seems that quite a few others have in the forums, but rather than respond openly, messages get deleted and topics closed (I can understand why one of my posts was deleted, the others that I and others made, I have no idea)

The issue I raised recently was with very suspicious review activity artificially boosting a hotel's rating. To be honest I'm so disillusioned with Tripadvisor that I've just spent 15 minutes copying the review texts I spent a lot of time submitting over the past 6 years and am about to delete them (if I even can) and leave the site. I no longer have faith that Tripadvisor care about the accuracy of reviews, and if you don't think it's the place to come for independent reviews, what is it for any more?

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary
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25,576 posts
86 reviews
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3. Re: So I report a problem with a review - what happens next?

You're welcome, Milhouse.

You mentioned topics getting closed when you raised these concerns in the forums. You're fairly new to the forums, so you may not have noticed this section of the (admittedly lengthy) forum guidelines ( tripadvisor.ca/help/what_are_the_guidelines_… ):

"Please keep in mind that the TripAdvisor forums are not the place to make allegations of fraud regarding a specific person or property on TripAdvisor. Nor are the forums a place to complain about decisions made by TripAdvisor's editors and moderators. To let us know your feedback on these issues, you'll need to contact us directly."

I should point out that the rule against discussing moderators' decisions in forum postings is not unique to TA. It is part of the guidelines for many other forums that I have used.

Although TA moderators have the final say, TA members like you and I can cause forum posts to be removed by using the "report as inappropriate" link on the bottom of each post. Several people must click the link in order to have the post removed; the exact number is kept secret to keep it from being abused. A post removed in this fashion is replaced by a message saying that it has been removed by "the community". If you think the community was wrong, you can ask moderators to reinstate the post. The instructions for doing that are here;

tripadvisor.ca/help/is_there_anyone_i_can_e_…

Edited: 14 November 2011, 12:49
4. Re: So I report a problem with a review - what happens next?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post has been removed at the author's request. The author may post again if desired.

Posts on the TripAdvisor forums may be edited for a short period of time. Once the edit period has expired, authors may update their posts by removing and reposting them.

To read more about editing your posts, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/help/how_to_edit_your_posts

Removed on: 14 November 2011, 16:31
Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
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64 reviews
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5. Re: So I report a problem with a review - what happens next?

I think the underlying issue that the OP is talking about is service. When businesses such as hotels and restaurants don't provide good service, we read about that in the reviews. In real life, so to speak, people vote with their feet and the business can fail. Good service is a huge part of what keeps a company in business. There are some spots on TA where updates has been requested for months. Millh0use is currently referring to one of those services. I am perplexed why TA continues to ignore improving the services that would impress and keep users and ensure that they keep coming back for more. It would be so easy to do.

Calgary, Canada
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for Calgary
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6. Re: So I report a problem with a review - what happens next?

MM&M - We're singing from the same songbook there. Maybe we need to revive "the list".

South Pacific
Destination Expert
for Hobart, Tasmania
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26,511 posts
75 reviews
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7. Re: So I report a problem with a review - what happens next?

The demise of "the list" would seem to be an indicator of the problem Mufti mentions.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
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57,736 posts
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8. Re: So I report a problem with a review - what happens next?

It does become really difficult to support this forum and Support as a volunteer when TA does so little to effectively support and inform the users from the get go. It is harder to keep in mind the progress that TA has made over the years when the users consistently trip over substandard service issues and come here for the same old, same old mop up.

To try to lighten the mood a bit, it's like going out to a restaurant, probably for the first time, and ordering a meal. Very good so far. Seems to go through. Oh, there's now a problem, no cutlery. So you ask for cutlery, no response. You ask the people at the host/ess table who kindly step up to talk to you about cutlery. You try to talk to the chef, no response. Your meal sits around on hold, getting cold. You didn't think to save it in an insulated Meal Document while it's fresh from the oven. You begin to think, just a minute, cutlery is pretty basic when doing this eating at a restaurant. You begin to think if the restaurant is not going to take care of the cutlery issue at the source, before I arrive, maybe the restaurant down the street will. As you leave the restaurant you run into five or six people who say, "Oh that happened to me ... and me... and me... me too. The host/ess table people, a special shout out to Triage, were REAAAAALLLLLY nice and very knowledgeable, had lots of suggestions, but couldn't get us any cutlery."

(Thank you for your indulgence with my metaphor.)

Edited: 15 November 2011, 11:57
London, United...
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9. Re: So I report a problem with a review - what happens next?

MuftiMixandmatch, the Facebook "like" button has become so pervasive that I keep looking for the "like" button on posts like the one you just made and am disappointed when I can't!

I really am worried that Tripadvisor aren't doing enough to stop people gaming the reviews. I did a statistical analysis of an export of the top ten reviews of the top 30 hotels in one city (yes, I care about and love Tripadvisor THAT much) and suspicious review profiles stick out like a sore thumb. I'd be happy to discuss this further with someone at TA. I can't post more here because I know my post will be deleted. A system of weighting of scores to reach the final rank of the hotel would ensure that gaming the system was much more difficult, and shouldn't substantially change the rankings where hotels are honest.

West Grey, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto
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89 reviews
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10. Re: So I report a problem with a review - what happens next?

Hi outpaddling;

"Helpful" votes are subjective. There is no way to report "fraudulent votes".

Best Regards