Olly the Tripadvisor Owl is watching

A English Public Relations company, is threatening to take a class action against online travel website Tripadvisor for defamation and damage, that they claim, some reviews cause to certain hotels and businesses.

Kwikcheck, has reported that they have indications from over 400 hoteliers that they may proceed with a group defamation action, against the American based Tripadvisor group which is owned by Expedia Travel, if they do not remove certain biased reviews. They say that some reviews are obviously malicious, and made by persons or competitors with a personal grudge or bias against a particular establishment. They want Tripadvisor to remove these biased and malicious reviews within two weeks or else they will proceed with legal action.

You would have to wonder if this is just a clever publicity stunt by Kwikcheck, or if there is any real substance behind a potential action. In my opinion Tripadvisor should call the hand and reveal if the Kwikcheck game is real or just a bluff. Tripadvisor do not comment on legal matters, but did release a statement that read;

We believe our more than 35 million reviews and opinions are authentic and honest from real travelers, which is why we enjoy tremendous user loyalty and growth. If the reviews people read didn’t paint an accurate picture, users would not keep coming back.” 

Another sticky wicket for any Hotelier taking an action for defamation, is the counter claim that Hotel staff may be writing fake reviews praising the Hotel that they work for. Its a classic case of the old saying “You cant have your cake and eat it too” and may result in a potential “fold” from Kwickeck, once the stakes are raised.