Adam French, Consumer Rights Expert at Which?, said:
“We recently uncovered widespread evidence of suspicious reviews on TripAdvisor and we believe the website should be doing more to tackle fake reviews and ensure users are not being misled – but it is far from the worst offender.
“Many of the world’s biggest websites are failing to take sufficient action against a flood of fake reviews – potentially exposing consumers to poor quality or unsafe products and even fraud. With billions of pounds of UK consumer spending now influenced by online reviews, it is vital that the competition regulator takes strong action against firms failing to stamp out fake reviews.”
Notes to editors
Which?’s previous investigation regarding fake and suspicious reviews on TripAdvisor: https://press.which.co.uk/whichpressreleases/tripadvisor-fails-to-stop-highest-ranked-hotels-being-boosted-by-fake-reviews-which-finds/
Which?’s top tips on how to spot fake reviews
Look out for phrases being used repeatedly by reviewers. If you see ‘wonderful Stu’ mentioned dozens of times using similar language, it might be that Stu is personally coordinating reviews or, just as likely, fakers are using the template they’ve been given.
Check when the reviews were posted. A flood of five-star reviews after some bad reviews could indicate that a concerted ‘push’ for positive reviews has been coordinated. A one-off? Are the majority of reviews from people who’ve never written anything else on the site? A great hotel will have many five-star reviews from frequent contributors.
Use Fakespot.com – although TripAdvisor disputes its methods, it correctly gave its lowest reliability rating of ‘F’ to the hotel that subsequently had 730 reviews removed.
Low scores elsewhere
Check reviews on other sites. The hotels where Which? has found strong evidence of fake reviews tended to have lower scores on Yelp and Expedia.