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Too many fake reviews

Tel Aviv, Israel
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30 posts
58 reviews
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Too many fake reviews

In my past SE Asia trips I've always relied on the recommendations of the Tripadvisor community and discovered great places like that.

However, this year, as I'm visiting Cambodia, I've found Tripadvisor absolutely useless as almost any 4-5 star restaurant's reviews are >90% obviously fake (reviewers have only 1 post).

Also many hotels seem to partake in this behavior, though a bit less extreme.

How do you cope with it?

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4,621 posts
205 reviews
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11. Re: Too many fake reviews

It's a chronic problem on the Vietnam review pages, but I hadn't really noticed it much for Cambodia. Also the one post forum wonders who post unsolicited reviews in the forum pages. Usually they're pretty easy to pick, but I get mighty sick of the "has anyone used abc company?" or "best tuk tuk driver ever" posts.

It's not confined to the SE Asia forums either. There's a fairly major US based group travel company that appears to solicit reviews of their tours from their customers. Once again usually by one hit wonders, following a standard format that always has the company name and tour in the title. These generally last a day or so until the mods delete them for the advertising that they are.

You can report any review as suspicious, and surprisingly enough they do get removed more often than not. It's even easier with forum posts. BTW, this thread itself is likely to be deleted as it's against TA rules.

"Allegations of fraudulent reviews or forum posts directed toward, or regarding, a specific person or property on TripAdvisor."

Perhaps because no specific property is mentioned it may be spared. But it's certainly a timely reminder not to trust everything you read on these pages.

Destination Expert
for Cambodia
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18,174 posts
81 reviews
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12. Re: Too many fake reviews

My favourites are the travel agents who post advising people to 'use a good tour company'

not so mny of them here but the Vietnam forum is infected with them.

Greater Adelaide...
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1,097 posts
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13. Re: Too many fake reviews

In general, just about any hotel / restaurant / etc will get reviewers across the spectrum ... whereas the ones with all fake reviews will have only 5 star reviews (fakes) and 1 star reviews (real).

Personally, I would be more impressed by a place with a bunch of 3-4 star reviews, than somewhere with a whole bunch of 5-stars, 1-2 1-stars, and nothing else in between.

But then again, I dont usually pay much attention to reviews when deciding on a place, ie. Whether or not to go. I would be more inclined to get a local opinion on the place, or just decide based on how the place looks, and if in doubt, always have a backup plan.

Happy travels,

~ Andrew.

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Philippines, Kuala Lumpur
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23,401 posts
1,661 reviews
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14. Re: Too many fake reviews

I actually use TA a lot in the planning of my trips and so far it works out well. Providing you weed out the 1 posters and see where the majority of reviewers have ranked a place it works quite well.


Antipolo City...
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7 posts
50 reviews
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15. Re: Too many fake reviews

Personally, I take everything with a grain of salt. Different people will have difference expectations and standards anyways, so what is great for some might only be acceptable to others.I do research outside of TA and read travel blogs and ask people I personally know (or know someone I know) who've been to a particular place too while planning a trip. After a trip, I might post reviews (when I remember), but I don't really post in the forums (my one single forum post consisted of asking about transport from the airport in HCMC since I was traveling with 10 other people instead of just a couple of persons) since I get the information I need by back reading anyways, so I don't see the need to post indiscriminately.

I had one very encouraging guest house owner pester me to write about their place here, and insisted I do it before leaving, and I just said no and left it at that. The rankings can also be manipulated, as I've found out from another guesthouse owner whose place isn't ranked too high and who emphatically told me he didn't like TA. He even showed me the email from TA asking him to pay a certain fee to boost his guesthouse's ranking.

For the most part though, he reviews I've seen here on TA have been in sync with what I've experienced.

Edited: 04 February 2014, 03:46
Sydney, Australia
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13,141 posts
7 reviews
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16. Re: Too many fake reviews

I like this bit ;)

I'm also skeptical about some of these one-off reviews, especially when they supposedly come from Australia or the uk and their spelling and grammar is atrocious...

Couldn't help but thinking that if ...their spelling and grammar is atrocious... they are probably authentic!

Probably written by the very same people who think and post that speaking English is a sufficient qualification to be an English language instructor.

Best regards. Ian

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590 posts
13 reviews
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17. Re: Too many fake reviews

If they ask for a review I just look at them blankly and ask what TA is.


Perth, Australia
Destination Expert
for Cambodia
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18,402 posts
177 reviews
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18. Re: Too many fake reviews

To be honest I never look at restaurant reviews as I think that a wander up the street, have a look at what's on offer, see how busy the place is, see if there are any locals eating there and follow your nose seems to work much better than worrying about what other people thing of a particular place.

I usually research hotels, however and am mainly interested in location and cleanliness. Have a read of a few reviews, but take into consideration the nationality of the poster as I've found that people from different countries have different expectations.

19. Re: Too many fake reviews

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