Why It's Harder to Game Positive Online Reviews
CNBC, 25th October 2012: Why It's Harder to Game Positive Online Reviews
But with business risk comes opportunity. Gartner forecasts the emergence of companies specializing in the creation and management of online business reputations. One example is U.K. based KwikChex."
Hotel worker: TripAdvisor review cost me my job
NCB News, October 2012: Hotel worker: TripAdvisor review cost me my job
Keeler then sought help from KwikChex, which used TripAdvisor’s private message system to contact the review author, said co-founder Chris Emmins. After warning of impending legal action, the review was removed in August, he added.”
Further coverage of reliability issues for review sites. Article cites ASA and FTC cases referred by KwikChex
abc, 5th August 2012: Further coverage of reliability issues for review sites. Article cites ASA and FTC cases referred by KwikChex
Travel websites are scrambling to crackdown on fake reviews before the summer vacation season after a new study alluded that some hotel owners and staff were writing false reviews under the pseudonyms of tourists. In February, the United Kingdom’s ‘Advertising Standards Authority’ said the claims on TripAdvisor.co.uk , including "reviews you can trust" and "more than 50 million honest travel reviews and opinions from real travelers", were misleading."
TripAdvisor critic launches rating system for hotel reviews
USATODAY, 1st May 2012: TripAdvisor critic launches rating system for hotel reviews
In the latest round of an ongoing debate over the reliability of hotel reviews on TripAdvisor and other travel review sites, U.K.-based reputation management company KwikChex is launching a ratings system that ranks the sites on sliding scale. According to Tnooz.com, KwikChex will award as many as five stars for sites where reviewers are identified and the purchase of a product or service is verified, and as little as one star for those that have little means to authenticate their content.
Checking in to TripAdvisor's Hotel Popularity Index
USATODAY, 16th March 2012: Checking in to TripAdvisor's Hotel Popularity Index
While TripAdvisor "does a good job for a lot of people, its popularity index can be easily and significantly manipulated," claims Chris Emmins of Kwikchex, a British reputation management firm. Earlier this year, Britain's Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint from Kwikchex and two hotels which argued that wording on TripAdvisor's U.K. website was misleading because the company couldn't prove reviews were genuine or from real travelers.”
TripAdvisor scolded by UK ad regulator for 'trust' claims
CNN, 1st February 2012: TripAdvisor scolded by UK ad regulator for 'trust' claims
Chris Emmins, co-founder of KwikChex, the reputation management company that filed the complaint, said it receives regular inquiries and complaints from hoteliers who say that false TripAdvisor reviews are hurting their business.
Unsubstantiated claims of bed bugs or food poisoning follow properties in online search results, and negative reviews are particularly damaging to small businesses since they don't receive a high volume of reviews and negative accounts tend to linger longer near the top of a company's listing, Emmins said. TripAdvisor's claims of trustworthiness are misleading, he said.
"Patently, that just can't be true when you don't verify the fact that it's even a customer making the comments," he said.'
The Vancouver Sun November 4, 2011 The new caveat emptor
"In this age of user-generated reviews - where one click can deliver dozens of critiques - we need not only be wary of what we're buying, but of what's being said about it and by whom"
BBC Brasil 30th September 2011 Fake Reviews affecting online retailers - authorities concerned
"Chris Emmins, of consultancy KwikChex told BBC Brasil that Of the nearly 50 million reviews on the site, "about 10% to 20% may be false, and the number is rising," KwikChex assist with saving the reputation of hotels that are harmed by reviews written in bad faith on TripAdvisor.
New York Times 21st September 2011 Selling Travel with Words, not Images
"While Web sites like TripAdvisor, which is owned by Expedia, amass consumer reviews, Oyster relies instead on 45 full-time reviewers who stay in hotels incognito and post their reviews and photographs."
The TripAdvisor local newspaper covers fake reviews issues:
The Boston Globe, 7th September 2011: TripAdvisor called into question over ‘fake’ reviews
NBC News 25th October 2010 Legal action threatened over TripAdvisor reviews
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.”
New York Times 25th October 2010 Hoteliers Look to Shield Themselves From Dishonest Online Reviews
“The world of the Internet and particularly social media has pretty much outstripped ethical guidelines, and some legal ones as well,” said Chris Emmins, a founder of KwikChex, a British reputation management company that is seeking to organize a lawsuit against TripAdvisor on behalf of its clients.