Media Summary – UK


KwikChex mention in Daily Mail article regarding online reviews
Daily Mail, 16th October 2015: Disturbing proof the online review that made you book your holiday may be FAKE: Investigation reveals an entire industry is dedicated to generating bogus appraisals for cash
‘If you want to give a good impression or mislead consumers into trusting you, the best way to do it is to fake online reviews,’ says Chris Emmins, co-founder of reputation management company KwikChex.
‘People want to believe these online reviews come from genuine people but often they are not. In fact they enable some companies to defraud consumers — there is no question about it.’


KwikChex introduced as ‘white knight’ in Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio interview
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), 11th September 2015: Burned by Online Reviews
KwikChex participates in Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) radio programme "Burned by Online Reviews".


KwikChex quoted in Telegraph article – Can you trust online reviews?
The Telegraph, 2nd September 2015: Can you trust online reviews? Director reveals how scammers operate
KwikChex, an online investigations body, said it had identified and exposed thousands of online fake reviews, both negative and positive.
A spokesman said: "Whilst that exposure has pressured some reviews sites to invest more in fraud detection, there are still many problems on a vast scale.
"There are unquestionably fake review hotspots, particularly within the holiday sector on sites such as TripAdvisor, where there is large scale fraud taking place.
"Businesses continue to game the system to falsely boost their reputations - and many businesses also fall victim to fake and malicious bad reviews.
"Fake reviews, whether good or bad ones, are intended to deceive consumers and everything possible needs to be done to prevent this"


KwikChex and BBC expose problems with Realistix Solutions product
BBC Radio 4 You & Yours, 1st September 2015: Timeshare
As part of the Timeshare Task Force initiative, KwikChex contacted the BBC 4 Radio You & Yours programme about a product known as Realistix Solutions.


'Sell your timeshare free' website exposed over £3.5m refund claims
The Telegraph, 22nd July 2015: 'Sell your timeshare free' website exposed over £3.5m refund claims
Selltimesharetoday.co.uk continues to flout advertising rules after an investigation found its claims to be misleading. The original complaint brought forward by the Timeshare Task Force...Timeshare Task Force uses a reputation management firm known as "KwikChex" to challenge adverts for timeshare exit services that it thinks is misleading.


KwikChex warns of dangers to consumers using Gumtree in Daily Mail article
Daily Mail, 24th July 2015: Stabbed, ambushed on a travellers' campsite or robbed of their life savings: Victims of Gumtree muggings tell of their ordeal
‘Gumtree is unquestionably one of the favourite and most prolific resources used by criminals,’ says Chris Emmins, co-founder of KwikChex, an online investigations and authentication business. ‘It is inherently dangerous for consumers — both buyers and sellers — and the utmost caution is required when using it.’


KwikChex on BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast Show
BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast Show, 19th June 2015: Fake online customer reviews From 1hr 56m
Fake online customer reviews - includes interview with Chris Emmins, KwikChex.


KwikChex on BBC Radio London Breakfast Show
BBC Radio London Breakfast Show, 19th June 2015: Fake online customer reviews From 2hr 20m
Fake online customer reviews - includes interview with Chris Emmins, KwikChex.


Angus Crawford investigates fake online customer reviews
BBC Show - Victoria Derbyshire, 19th June 2015: Angus Crawford investigates fake online customer reviews From 52.40
Angus Crawford investigates fake online customer reviews - includes interview with Chris Emmins, KwikChex.


Holiday ‘fraud’ probe needs cash to bring prosecution
DailyEcho, 19th June 2015: Holiday ‘fraud’ probe needs cash to bring prosecution
Kwikchex, a Bournemouth-based firm that manages a website advising consumers regarding businesses that operate in the timeshare sector, has been providing information for the investigation.
Chris Emmins, co-founder of Kwikchex, said: “Such offers are usually revealed as false, with consumers able to purchase at similar or lower prices, particularly on the internet or teletext, without any need to pay upfront.”


Fake online customer reviews 'for sale', BBC finds
BBC News, 18th June 2015: Fake online customer reviews 'for sale', BBC finds
Fake Online Reviews - KwikChex works with BBC to expose Review Fraud


Investigators suspect fraudster still targeting elderly for scams - but, incredibly, say they can't afford to prosecute after savage cuts
Daily Mail, 24th May 2015: Investigators suspect fraudster still targeting elderly for scams - but, incredibly, say they can't afford to prosecute after savage cuts
Mail on Sunday article about serial timeshare fraud offender Frank Madden reveals problems Trading Standards face - and includes how KwikChex is cooperating with them to assist investigations and prosecutions. All consumer reports to KwikChex and the Timeshare Task Force are also made available to the relevant authorities regardless of the subject of the report to ensure correct processes take place and to increase enforcement effectiveness.


Lawyers 'are using threats to stop negative client reviews'
Independent, 5th March 2015: Lawyers 'are using threats to stop negative client reviews'
"Chris Emmins, co-founder of the online reputation management firm KwikChex, said customers who received legal letters should try not to panic. “For consumers that have genuine cause for complaint, they should not be intimidated by such threats,” he said."


Is this TripAdvisor's funniest ever review?
Telegraph Travel, 27th February 2015: Is this TripAdvisor's funniest ever review?
"A spokesman for Kwikchex, the online reputation management company, suggested that, while the review "will at least raise a smile or two with the general public," it was evidence that TripAdvisor's authentification systems should be improved. "I suspect that businesses with fake negative reviews will not be quite so amused," he added."


TripAdvisor: a history of complaints
The Guardian, 19th November 2014: TripAdvisor: a history of complaints
"TripAdvisor’s fraught relationship with the travel industry.
Mention of KwikChex's group action against TripAdvisor over reviews believed unfair and damaging to businesses. Also investigation launched by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in 2011 into TripAdvisor after KwikChex filed a complaint on behalf of business owners upset at what they described as fake or defamatory reviews."


KwikChex mention in a consumer warning article
Energy Assessor Magazine, 26th September 2014: KwikChex mention in a consumer warning article
"KwikChex also named EPC Local as a site on the dedicated server rented by Mr Whatcott."


Timeshare con victims given £80m refund as Task Force tries to clean up industry’s tarnished reputation
Mail on Sunday, 14th September 2014: Timeshare con victims given £80m refund as Task Force tries to clean up industry’s tarnished reputation
Another great report about KwikChex in the Sunday Mail. The Mail did make something of a slip with the figure though - whilst we are certainly roaring towards being able to lay claim to refunds and resolutions to consumers in the millions, the actual figure in just the timeshare sector was Euros 100,000!


Mail On Sunday reports on KwikChex role in Timeshare Task Force
Mail on Sunday, 9th August 2014: Fears of bigger bills for timeshare owners stall EU's war on rogue firms
"Chris Emmins works at investigation bureau KwikChex. This runs the industry-backed Timeshare Taskforce, which tries to weed out timeshare fraud.
He told The Mail on Sunday that the industry had already improved the rules governing timeshares, such as offering ten-year deals rather than contracts over several decades – or lifetimes.
Kwikchex is now working with owners to bring private criminal prosecutions as well as writing to the EU to ask for more direct action against fraudsters."


KwikChex on BBC consumer programme You & Yours - Right to be Forgotten laws
BBC You & Yours, 23rd June 2014: KwikChex on BBC consumer programme You & Yours - Right to be Forgotten laws
KwikChex discusses the laws concerning outdated and irrelevant online reviews on BBC Radio 4 programme You & Yours. KwikChex is taking a number of new actions following recent rulings and changes in the laws, including applications under the Right to be Forgotten principles and defamation. We are also pursuing an international ethical campaign to improve accuracy on reviews sites in order to better inform consumers and protect them and businesses from fake reviews.


TripAdvisor under fire for ‘fake’ reviews on China site
Travel Mole , 19th March 2014: TripAdvisor under fire for ‘fake’ reviews on China site
"TripAdvisor has removed at least 10,000 reviews from its Chinese website daodao following complaints that they were fake. Online reputation management company KwikChex is now calling for the site to be suspended until a "very thorough audit" can take place and new systems installed to better detect fraud."


TripAdvisor holds investigation after China site accused of suspicious activity
Tnooz , 17th March 2014: TripAdvisor holds investigation after China site accused of suspicious activity
"Daodao, the local imprint of TripAdvisor in China, is the subject of an investigation after a damning report into the validity of its reviews. The report by KwikChex, the UK-based online reputation management company which has been a ongoing thorn in the side of the user review service for years, carried out the study into a number of online review services and activity in emerging markets."


TripAdvisor’s China website comes under fire
The Telegraph , 14th March 2014: TripAdvisor’s China website comes under fire
"The authenticity of TripAdvisor reviews is under the spotlight again after new research revealed thousands of suspect postings on the Chinese version of the website.
The study, carried out by Kwikchex, an “online reputation management” company that has been a regular critic of TripAdvisor, uncovered what it called “alarming patterns” on daodao, the site’s Chinese domain."


European Timeshare Leaders Create a New Task Force
Pr Web , 16th December 2013: European Timeshare Leaders Create a New Task Force
"Those responsible for the new initiatives include the Resort Development Organisation (RDO), who, together with their members have taken the lead and are financing it, TATOC, the timeshare owners association, and the European Consumers Centre. Law enforcement agencies and politicians across Europe will also be a key part of the strategy. The Timeshare Task Force is being managed by KwikChex, the renowned online investigation, verification and resolutions service."


Tarnished timeshare industry acts at last and sets up own regulator as fraudsters’ new twist hits victims TWICE
This is Money , 15th December 2013: Tarnished timeshare industry acts at last and sets up own regulator as fraudsters’ new twist hits victims TWICE
"Chris Emmins, co-founder of KwikChex, said: ‘These fraudulent businesses come in many guises. They use the internet and telephone cold-calling to trap the unwary and they are clever, using misinformation, impressive looking websites and useless guarantees to lure their victims in.’"


What a difference a year makes………
RDO (Resort Development Organisation) , 18th October 2013: What a difference a year makes………
"With apologies to Jamie Cullum who wrote the lyrics for the song “What a difference a day makes”. This song title came into my head after Chris Emmins (Kwikchex) and I had made a presentation to the staff of the UK and Scandinavian European Consumer Centres Network[i] (ECC-Net) on who RDO represented (the best in timeshare in Europe) and what we were doing to combat the fraudsters in Europe (through RDO Enforcement and the Timeshare Task Force)."


TripAdvisor queried over erasing of hotel reviews
The Telegraph , 6th September 2013: TripAdvisor queried over erasing of hotel reviews
'Reservations have been raised regarding TripAdvisor’s policy of erasing old reviews following a hotel’s renovation.'
'Reviews are only helpful if they have been written recently anyway, online investigation authentication service KwikChex argued this week.'
"KwikChex firmly believes that reviews over two years old on the TripAdvisor site serve no real consumer purpose," a spokesman told Telegraph Travel. "A change of ownership should automatically wipe the slate clean."
"In terms of extensive renovations, while not necessarily reflecting a change of management such a large investment does indicate that a considerable commitment is being made to quality - so it is fair to provide a fresh start in terms of reputation."


Does this look like a Michelin-star restaurant to you? Diners fall for phantom eatery
Yahoo News UK , 29th July 2013: Does this look like a Michelin-star restaurant to you? Diners fall for phantom eatery
'But diners were left scratching their heads when they visited the address of 'Oscar's' - as detailed on the website TripAdvisor - because there was absolutely no sign of this new culinary sensation, only an underwhelming backstreet full of dustbins.
Chris Emmins, co-founder of the online reputation management firm KwikChex, said the hoax cast doubt on the company’s ability to spot fraudulent reviews.'


Floating restaurant where divers catch your supper? It all sounds a little fishy
The Telegraph , 29th July 2013: Floating restaurant where divers catch your supper? It all sounds a little fishy
'A disgruntled businessman created the bogus listing, and a string of glowing reviews, in a bid to expose the apparent failings of TripAdvisor.
Chris Emmins, co-founder of the online reputation management firm KwikChex, said the hoax cast doubt on the company’s ability to spot fraudulent reviews.'


Five-star fake! TripAdvisor prankster fools the foodies: Disgruntled user posts spoof reviews in anger at site not being policed properly
Mail Online , 29th July 2013: Five-star fake! TripAdvisor prankster fools the foodies: Disgruntled user posts spoof reviews in anger at site not being policed properly
'The restaurant had never existed. Instead, the would-be diners had fallen victim to an online prank designed to expose the failings of the review website.
But Chris Emmins, co-founder of the online reputation management firm KwikChex, said the hoax cast doubt on TripAdvisor’s ability to spot fraudulent reviews.'


TripAdvisor fails to spot fake restaurant
Telegraph Travel , 25th July 2013: TripAdvisor fails to spot fake restaurant
'TripAdvisor has come under fire after its fraud detection systems failed to prevent a non-existent business becoming one of the most highly-rated restaurants in a popular seaside town.'
'Chris Emmins, co-founder of the online reputation management firm KwikChex, said the listing cast doubt on TripAdvisor’s ability to spot fraudulent reviews.'


Halifax restaurant crashes from number one to 122 after TripAdvisor removes 'fake' reviews
Caterer and Hotelkeeper , 25th July 2013: Halifax restaurant crashes from number one to 122 after TripAdvisor removes 'fake' reviews
'TripAdvisor has removed hundreds of positive reviews for a Halifax restaurant, causing it to crash from being the number one business in the area to near bottom, amid suspicion that many of the reviews were fake.'
'KwikChex has now asked TripAdvisor to allow an independent IT expert to examine the evidence they have and assess whether the actions are justified, under a Non-Disclosure Agreement if necessary.'


Accor suspends exec who posted fake reviews
TravelWeekly , 4th June 2013: Accor suspends exec who posted fake reviews
Paris-based hotelier Accor said it had placed one of its executives on a leave of absence after learning that he had posted more than 100 reviews of both Accor-operated hotels and competing properties on TripAdvisor under an assumed alias.'
'The U.K.-based online reputation-management firm KwikChex identified Peter Hook, Accor’s Australia-based director of communications for its Asia-Pacific region, as the employee who was caught writing fake reviews on TripAdvisor. KwikChex said Hook wrote the reviews under the pseudonym “Tavare.”


Hotel Executive Busted For Posting TripAdvisor Reviews
TravelersToday , 24th May 2013: Hotel Executive Busted For Posting TripAdvisor Reviews
"Do you always trust travel reviews on sites such as TripAdvisor? You might want to be more careful. A hotel executive was recently busted for posting reviews about his hotels and rivals.
According to Telegraph Travel, Peter Hook, a communications manager for Accord hotels in Asia and the Pacific was busted by the online reputation management firm Kwikchex following the introduction of TripAdvisor's new Facebook app. The app identifies users by a name, photographg and location because it is connected to Facebook, while the TripAdvisor site only identifies review posters by a username."


TripAdvisor reviewer exposed as hotel executive
Telegraph , 24th May 2013: TripAdvisor reviewer exposed as hotel executive
"The communications manager was caught out by the online reputation management firm Kwikchex following the introduction of TripAdvisor’s new Facebook app. Unlike the TripAdvisor website, where reviewers are identified only by their username, the app displays a name, photograph and location, taken from each user's Facebook account."


TripAdvisor pledges change on opening hours information amid accuracy concerns
Caterer , 19th March 2013: TripAdvisor pledges change on opening hours information amid accuracy concerns
"Chris Emmins, from online reputation management company Kwikchex, which has also helped Mallams to highlight the problems it has suffered, said: "The issue here is not whether errors occur because of glitches in systems - we all know that can happen. The real issue is that it is an important matter which can easily lead to loss of income and the owner has reported it to TripAdvisor and they have failed to resolve it. If they are taking in third party data which may be inaccurate and potentially damaging to a business, they must have a system of correcting errors quickly when notified. If this is not the case, then they could and should be held liable for any losses incurred. Like the old saying goes - with great power comes great responsibility."


B&B owners suffer abuse after TV appearance
Travelmole , 27th February 2013: B&B owners suffer abuse after TV appearance
"Chris Emmins, founder of online reputation management company Kwikchex, is now calling on the programme's producers to make sure that participants understand the risks involved in taking part in the programme. "


Victims learn how to beat cyberbullies
BBCNews, 25th November 2012: Victims learn how to beat cyberbullies
Cyberbullying is a growing problem with attacks often having a lasting effect on the victims.
Inside Out looks at two victims of internet bullying who have decided to find a solution to the problem.
Seventeen-year-old Conor, a student and musician from Shropshire, was bullied on a website where people could vote on whether or not he was a 'jerk'.
Geonelle Martin from north-west England was subjected to personal attacks from a man she met on holiday including racist comments and death threats.
Former boxer Richie Woodhall finds out how victims can fight back against the vitriol posted by cyberbullies with Chris Emmins, an expert in 'online reputation management'.


Leading travel review site exposed by advertising watchdogs
Travelmole, 7th November 2012: Leading travel review site exposed by advertising watchdogs
The ASA, which launched an investigation into Skytrax following concerns raised by online reputation management business KwikChex, said that because Skytrax did not have the ability to track a review back to its source after the first 24 hours, and therefore could not demonstrate the verification process to which any one particular review on the site had been subjected, it did not hold sufficient evidence to substantiate the claims "Checked and trusted airline review" and "REAL travellers with REAL opinions!".


BBC Radio 4 You&Yours featuring KwikChex
BBC Radio 4, October 2012: BBC Radio 4 You&Yours featuring KwikChex
The staff sacked following uncomplimentary reviews on Trip Advisor.
Featuring Chris Emmins from KwikChex. "


TripAdvisor to be sued in Britain
SundayTimes, 14th October 2012: TripAdvisor to be sued in Britain
'...however, TripAdvisor successfully argued that the case was beyond the remit of a small-claims court and should be heard in a higher court. It’s a tactic the firm has used in Europe, says Chris Emmins, of the online watchdog KwikChex: “In effect, it’s a denial of the right to redress, exposing small businesses to a two-year process involving huge legal costs and unlimited expenses.”'

Guesthouse owner goes to war with £3bn TripAdvisor: From one of the UK's loneliest spots, a challenge over bogus guest reviews
Mail Online, 15th September 2012: Guesthouse owner goes to war with £3bn TripAdvisor: From one of the UK's loneliest spots, a challenge over bogus guest reviews
Chris Emmins of KwikChex, which investigates online reviews, believes there could be up to ten million fake postings among the 75million TripAdvisor boasts, and millions more that are ‘hopelessly out of date’.


Insurance scammers target TripAdvisor
The Sunday Times, 9th September 2012: Insurance scammers target TripAdvisor
'Chris Emmins, of the online reputation management company KwikChex, says: “We’ve had more than 40 requests from hoteliers in this situation. It’s fairly frequent, and it’s hard to nail. I suspect the motivation is getting two or three reports like this online about one property, then going to the insurance company and saying, ‘Look, this happens all the time there.’

Our latest YouTube video of BBC Coverage


Tripadvisor reviews can't be trusted. Website fails to vet comments says watchdog
MailOnLine, 11th August 2012: Tripadvisor reviews can't be trusted. Website fails to vet comments says watchdog
"Some of the biggest names in the restaurant business are being bombarded with unfounded accusations of giving customers food poisoning on unregulated review sites. Chris Emmins, founder of KwikChex, which investigates potentially damaging internet reviews, said businesses were falling foul of fake reports, often posted by disgruntled employees."


ASA to investigate Skytrax over airline reviews
TTG Digital, 14th June 2012: ASA to investigate Skytrax over airline reviews
"The ASA has launched a formal investigation which will ask Skytrax to prove that some of its reviews, from which it gives airlines a star rating, are genuine."

BBC Fake Britain investigates fake reviews on TripAdvisor
BBC Fake Britain, 23rd May 2012. : BBC Fake Britain investigates fake reviews on TripAdvisor
BBC Fake Britain investigates the damage caused by fake Trip Advisor reviews to KwikChex Members Howarth House and Medieval Lodge.


KwikChex and BBC force Google to remove online defamation
BBC News, Claire Marshall BBC News Midlands correspondent, 4th November 2011: Google removes 'paedophile' claim on review website
"A business owner accused in a Google review of being a paedophile and a thief has said he is delighted that the search giant has removed the entry." "Freedom of speech is a fantastically valuable thing," Mr Emmins (of KwikChex) said, "but at the moment it's being corrupted entirely... through lack of diligence and possibly lack of ethics."


Pinsent Masons, Out-Law.com, 7th September 2011: TripAdvisor reviews under advertising watchdog’s scrutiny
"KwikChex believes that claims made by TripAdvisor are misleading and cannot be substantiated. Under the UK Code of non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP Code), which sets out the rules on online advertising, it is prohibited for advertisers to make misleading claims and for those claims not to be supported by evidence."


Travel Trade Gazette, 7th September 2011: Trade joins in legal attack on TripAdvisor
"The boss of a tour operator is urging the trade to come forward and join his crusade against TripAdvisor"


HotelNewsNow.com, 25th August 2011: Hotels call on third-party ORM firms
"It’s a relatively new phenomenon—customers actually shaping a brand by commenting and sharing experiences. Yet travelers rely so heavily on peer experiences that to not manage it, to not stay on top of guest comments, is to ignore one of the most important parts of your brand."

The Times, September 2nd 2011 TripAdvisor faces probe over ‘10 million fake hotel reviews’
"The travel review website TripAdvisor is being investigated by the advertising watchdog over allegations that its claims to provide trustworthy and genuine reviews from real travellers are false."

The Times, July 24th 2011 Glowing TripAdvisor write-ups – from just £3
"The site comes under attack again as it is revealed several writers for hire post positive comments for cash."

The Times, June 2nd 2011 Yours for a price — a better reputation online
"Mr Yates turned to KwikChex, a reputation management company. Unlike many other agencies in the field, KwikChex says that it does not post bogus positive reviews to balance the negative ones. It gathered evidence to demonstrate to TripAdvisor that the reviews were fraudulent."

The Telegraph Sept 2nd 2011 TripAdvisor investigated by Advertising Standards Authority after complaints
"KwikChex.com, which helps companies manage their online reputations, approached the advertising watchdog and demanded that it looked into the complaints."

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