JD Hancock

Robocall Scammer Faces $120M Fine For Impersonating TripAdvisor, Marriott, Expedia

A Florida man accused of blasting out 100 million illegal robocalls where he falsely claimed to represent companies like TripAdvisor, Marriott, Expedia, or Hilton may finally have to pay for annoying the ever-living heck out of people. The Federal Communications Commission has proposed slapping a $120 million penalty on this obnoxious operation. [More]


TripAdvisor No Longer Selling Tickets To Hundreds Of Animal Attractions

While experiencing wildlife up close may be a huge draw for some travelers, one of the world’s largest travel websites won’t be selling tickets to hundreds of attractions where humans come into contact with wild animals: TripAdvisor, and its booking service Viator, says it’s done selling tickets to those kinds of experiences. [More]

Great Beyond

Yelp, TripAdvisor Not Happy With Google’s New Critics’ Review Search Results

TripAdvisor and Yelp, two of the biggest names in crowdsourced reviews, say that Google is using its position as the dominant online search engine to push Google-backed reviews ahead of links to review sites. [More]


TripAdvisor Now Lets Travelers Bemoan, Praise Airlines Through Ratings & Reviews

For years, travelers have been able to review, book, and rate most aspects of their trips on TripAdvisor – everything but their flight. That’s about to change, now that the company has opened the floodgates of praise and ridicule by allowing passengers to rate their carrier of choice.  [More]

Jennifer Moo

Things Are Looking Up For Federal Law Banning “Gag Clauses” That Prevent Customers From Writing Honest Reviews

While most companies understand that honest negative feedback is, at worst, an inevitability of doing business, and maybe even a chance to improve, some companies try to use non-disparagement, or “gag,” clauses that use threats of legal action or financial penalties to prevent customers from writing or saying anything negative about that business — even if what’s being said is 100% true. We’ve seen these in everything from cheapo cellphone accessories, to wedding contractors, to hotels, to dentists, to weight-loss products, to apartment complexes. California recently enacted a law banning this sort of behavior, and some courts have deemed these clauses unenforceable, but there is still no nationwide consensus on their legality. Previous attempts to create a federal ban on gag clauses have been dead on arrival at Capitol Hill, but the latest effort appears to have some life to it. [More]

(Alan Sheffield)

Does Booking Direct With The Airline Actually Offer You The Lowest Price?

It’s no secret that some airlines have little love for online travel-booking sites. Southwest only lets travelers book fares directly through the airline and Delta has cut ties with a number of booking/listing sites, including TripAdvisor. The airline industry claims that booking directly will get consumers the lowest prices on airfare, but is that true? [More]


Group Of Travel Sites Claim Delta Air Lines Has Cut Them Off From Using Its Data

Travelers often turn to travel websites to search for the cheapest fares and quickest flights out there, but a group of more than a dozen sites now says Delta Air Lines has shut them out, and is keeping its data to itself. [More]

TripAdvisor Fined $612K In Italy For Not Doing Enough To Block Fake Reviews

TripAdvisor Fined $612K In Italy For Not Doing Enough To Block Fake Reviews

Many consumers look at crowdsourced reviews on TripAdvisor or Yelp and understand there is a possibility that a review could be bogus. Sites like these generally have methods for detecting and blocking fake write-ups, but regulators in Italy say that TripAdvisor isn’t doing enough to stop the faux reviews and has to pay up or enact stricter policies. [More]

Hotel To Refund $157 Fine To Couple Who Posted Negative Review

Hotel To Refund $157 Fine To Couple Who Posted Negative Review

A couple visiting the English seaside town of Blackpool only paid about $57 for their one-night hotel stay, but when they slammed the place with a TripAdvisor review that called it a “rotten, stinking hovel,” the hotel hit back with a $157 fine. [More]


How Should Business Owners Respond To A Negative Online Review?

We know that the proper response of a business to a bad online review shouldn’t be to post their own fake positive ones, or to fine wedding hosts for the bad reviews by their invited guests. Yet what should the proper response be when someone expresses dissatisfaction with your business…or when you take over a business with a history of bad reviews? [More]

Hotel Files $74,500 Defamation Suit Against Anonymous TripAdvisor Reviewer

Hotel Files $74,500 Defamation Suit Against Anonymous TripAdvisor Reviewer

The relative anonymity of online review sites makes it tempting to vent one’s anger toward a company in an over-the-top way, but does the use of a screen name prevent you from being held liable for making knowingly false claims? One hotel in Oregon says no, and is suing an unknown TripAdvisor reviewer to prove that point. [More]

Mary seems pretty cool.

Woman Temporarily Becomes Glasgow’s 87th Best Tourist Attraction On TripAdvisor

You might be the coolest person you know, but are you listed among your city’s top tourist attractions? Didn’t think so. But one woman in Scotland had at least temporary bragging rights as the 87th best attraction in Glasgow after a mix-up on TripAdvisor yesterday. [More]

How Not To Have The Worst Hotel Stay Ever – Look For Fake Online Reviews

How Not To Have The Worst Hotel Stay Ever – Look For Fake Online Reviews

So, you’re planning a much-needed vacation to a beautiful destination, but you don’t know any of the hotels in the area. You do like most consumers and turn to online review sites like TripAdvisor or Expedia. But are these hotel sites really trustworthy? [More]

TripAdvisor Decides That June 30 Doesn’t Exist

TripAdvisor Decides That June 30 Doesn’t Exist

Christopher is supposed to be traveling right now. If he did manage to schedule his trip, he didn’t do it through TripAdvisor. That’s because as far as TripAdvisor is concerned, yesterday never happened. If he were trying to schedule on February 29, 2013, they would have a point, but there is a June 30 pretty much every year. [More]

If you have to pay for nice reviews, you don't deserve them.

Hotel Claims Overzealous Employee Posted Sign Offering To Pay For Nice Online Reviews

Earlier today, we told you about the Texas hotel that offered guests up to $5 if they posted positive reviews on any number of popular travel sites. A rep for the hotel has since responded to say that this was a case of an overzealous employee acting on their own. [More]

If you have to pay for nice reviews, you don't deserve them.

Dallas Hotel Blatantly Offers To Pay Guests For Positive Online Reviews

UPDATE: A rep for the hotel confirms to Consumerist that the sign — since taken down — was posted by an employee who got overly creative in their attempt to boost the hotel’s social media profile.

Here’s a tip to hotel managers around the world — Paying for reviews is bad enough. Advertising that you’re willing to pay for positive feedback is only going to communicate to your guests that you run a bad hotel and that you expect them to not have anything nice to say about your establishment. [More]

TripAdvisor Smacked With $80K Fine For Violating Fare Advertising Rule

TripAdvisor Smacked With $80K Fine For Violating Fare Advertising Rule

TripAdvisor has fallen afoul of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s rule about fare advertising, resulting in a fine of $80,000. The rule went into effect in January, and stated that ticket agents and airlines must display fares as the total of what a consumer will pay, taxes and fees included. [More]

TripAdvisor Gives Up On "Dirtiest Hotels In America" List

TripAdvisor Gives Up On "Dirtiest Hotels In America" List

Well, this is depressing. Travel review site TripAdvisor has chosen to abandon the genius idea of releasing a “Dirtiest Hotels in America” list. Why? They want to “focus on the positive.” What the hell? Who wants to read about a bunch of clean hotels full of happy people? Bah humbug! [More]