Time for a change on web review sites.
Today’s post is inspired from three recent incidents. Personally booking a hotel, which came no where near it’s review. A friend who got to hotel, to find it was using pictures from when it opened 15 years ago, and looks like it hasn’t been properly maintained. Finally reading Elena’s post was the third strike, to borrow a saying from baseball. This post will probably annoy some people, others will agree wholeheartedly. I’m not sure about the middle ground, as it seems to be one or the other.
Go to Expedia, Hotels.com, Tripadvisor, Angieslist, and many other sites. On some you will see a rating system, on others only comments. Many people today, use these sites to choose services we will purchase. These sites only have value, it the reviews are honest, and both commendations and complaints are available for people to see. Booking a hotel in Bangkok, that has glowing reviews on the web, only to find out their internet service is slow, and unreliable plus unlike many hotels isn’t free, while not a deal breaker, might influence a person who wants reliable internet, to choose another hotel with the same overall rating. There have been documented instances of establishments posting their own reviews, having friends and employees do so as well. This is a problem that existed before the internet, and seems to have grown. Some sites check reports, and others such as Hotels.com use reports from people who paid to stay in he hotel, they reviewed. Other sites are more trust based, and some allow establishments to have bad reviews removed, by lodging a simple objection.
So what can be done, about this, you might ask. Post the originating IP address of each review, as part of the review. If all the glowing reviews for a hotel in a city come from IP addresses in the same city, a person might give second thought to the value of these reviews. Where if the reviews from England, Canada, Brazil, Japan etc all originate from those countries, the chances these are legitimate reviews is increased. Individual IP addresses need not be identified, as the website could post the City and Country where the post was made from.
Yes there are ways to spoof IP addresses, however it takes work, which increases the chance the establishments, which practice sanitizing their reviews will be identified. Also it would facilitate the ability to track down those who post fake reviews, good or bad on websites.
Want to learn a little more about IP addresses. and the ability to identify where you are? Click here where you can find out more about your session. While there click on the home page link, and learn about blocks being assigned to countries, and ISP providers. There are other services that can provide the same information.