Online reviews – genuine or fake?
March 15th, 2012 by elisa

Do you believe online travel reviews for when you book to go on holiday? Despite an investigation by an advertising watchdog which told travel review site TripAdvisor that it could no longer claim to offer “trusted and honest reviews”, holidaymakers are still persuaded by online reviews.

TripAdvisor was told by the watchdog that it could not guarantee that customer feedback was genuine, and that although reviewers were asked to sign a declaration to state their views were real and they had no incentive or competitive interest to put a review on the site, “none-genuine” reviews could still appear.

The Advertising Standards Agency acknowledged that TripAdvisor uses “advanced and highly effective fraud systems”, but as this is not completely effective it also raises questions about other review sites which may not have so many systems in place. Despite all of this, according to the eTravel Benchmark study, 75% of consumers still think that the majority of travel reviews are ‘mostly genuine’, whilst 61% would be more likely to make a booking after reading a positive review.

The eTravel Benchmark study, carried out by eDigitalResearch, found the highest level of customer satisfaction in over two years.

Derek Eccleston, research director at eDigitalResearch said that sites that “support customers with a responsive and helpful telephone and email customer service repeatedly perform better than their rivals”.

What do you think? Do you book according to reviews? Do you regularly make sure to write a review after you have been away to help other holidaymakers?

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