Faking reviews on B'ing.com

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05/20/2017

Long time reader (and big time learner from this site) and first time poster.  On bad days I love to come here and have a little virtual venting session remembering we're not alone and its not personal.

We think our major competitor in our village (we're in France) is somehow gaming their Boo'ing.com reviews.  They all read very same-y, they have an abnormally high number of reviews for a small operation only open less than a year, and some of the things that really bug guests in our village (difficulty of parking in summer, hard to find places in our old narrow streets) are glowing points of praise for them (they are in a very narrow dead end lane with no parking, no drop off ability, and no signage to their property).  Their score is 9.8.  We are gobsmacked and naturally highly suspicious and have been turning ourselves inside out wondering what the heck is going on.

Any clues?

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

Totally off topic, but what's the best time of year to visit where you are located? In re - not too crowded, weather isn't too hot, things are open (if things close)? (I'm making an assumption based on your id.)

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We are right on the D-Day beaches and now is just perfect.  There are three long weekends in May in France which can be a bit hectic with the Parisians having a quick break here, but the weekdays are fine.  From early June through to September is really busy - i.e., from D-Day onwards and its super busy from 14 July (Bastille Day - opening of the summer season) through to the first week of September which is re-entree (back to school week).  So May (weekdays) and October are both the shoulder times when the weather isn't too cold but the crowds are manageable - particularly if you're going to head to Mont St Michel too.  Everything is open (the gardens open the first week of May).

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

Thanks! I took a look at the area and it looks wonderful.

seashanty's picture
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06/02/2008

Welcome! 

I would report my suspicions and why and then try to move on as focusing on this will only hurt YOU, not them

Many of us have dealt with this and often it's a losing battle. I suspect they are using a service (especially if many of the reviews sound the same) or friends and family. Hopefully this will catch up with them. 

Pictures! Pictures of your place showing the lovely area with specific notes about the narrow streets and parking and the charm of it all. But how to work around those challenges. 

 

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10/04/2015

my neighbour used to do this make cheap fake bookings if say its a 45 euro booking its not costing much but feel its a nasty piece of work. Bk can check the IP address the bookings are coming from that's how they caught her.

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

Here's what I think might be going on.

I think Booking only allows reviews from people who have actually booked, stayed, and paid. As such, they probably don't do a lot of software checking to verify that reviews are real. That's different from TA, which allows reviews from anybody, so their software does a lot of checking for fakes.

So I suppose the way an inn could post fake reviews on Booking would be to make false reservations and PAY Booking their percent on those. Would that be correct?

So when they make a fake 100 Euro reservation, they are paying a Booking 15 Euro commission for the "right" to post a fake review. And they are taking a room off the market to do it. I suppose, for a place that's mostly empty anyway, it's not a big problem to take a room out of inventory, and to pay 15 Euros to post a fake review.

I'm not sure what you can do about it. It might be possible to contact Booking and ask them to look at the similarity of the reviews to see if they will take some of them down.

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05/20/2017

Merci Arks - that's what we thought they were doing.  We thought they may be reducing the price right down for a night, booking a few rooms themselves, then posting their own reviews.  Or if there was some way to make a discount code for themselves to use?

I'm prepared to let it go for this coming summer season and see if the real reviews start to show through.  After all, they may well be fabulous anyway.

We're not prepared to stoop - we have 9.4 from two years in business and were 9.5 for a long time until we had a nasty smoker give us a 2 after we charged them a cleaning fee.  I went to war with Boo'ing.com after that - no comments left so we were unable to comment back and Boo'ing.com refused to remove the review saying that the guest had a "right" to the review... like its a new part of the Constitution!  We learned the hard way that anyone that smokes inside, chuck them out before they stay the night and can post a review.  We only let them stay as we knew there was no way they'd be able to find another hotel room at that time of year and they'd be sleeping in their car.  In hindsight, we should have let them!

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

If they are smart they are having friends and family make those reservations and write the reviews. If they are not smart they are using the same credit card over and over. Altho the standard wonk who answers the help desk phone can't check that piece, someone higher up the food chain probably can.

To the OP - yes, annoying as hell when someone is getting good reviews for things they don't have. However, that will come back to bite them when real guests book there for the parking, etc, and it does not exist. Ex - former inn used to have right on their home page 'water views' and photos of the beach. There were no water views, not even of their pool. Unhappy guests.

Guests would call us asking for a water view room assuming as we were only 20 feet away, we also had water views. Not happy when I explained no one had water views on this street. I never mentioned the other inn, but I knew where else they had looked.

If you do a good business on booking, encourage your happy guests to fill out the review when they get the email from booking.

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05/20/2017

You are so right oh wise one!  Either they are really good or their real guest reviews will come back to haunt them.  We all get those guests that you just can't please and its mesmerising they seem not to!

Thanks for your response.

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