Travel Review Sites Get Poor Grades
KwikChex, the reputation management and consumer-reassurance site, has published its first ratings of the top travel reviews sites. Each site has been awarded a star rating according to a KwikChex analysis of reliability factors.
Remarkably, no site has been awarded the top 5 stars at present, but several, such as Booking.com and Expedia have been awarded 4 stars, thanks to their carrying reviews from fully identifiable customers of the businesses they have reviewed.
In a previously post, New Media Travel outlined the rating system for the rating review sites, and we thought at the time one of the sites would earn the 5 Star category because its reviewers would be identified, and proven to be verified purchasers of the products or services/businesses reviewed.
The lowest score in the process used, a one star rating, went to the world's biggest airline reviews site, Skytrax. Google reviews, also rated one star, came in for particular criticism for failures to detect fake reviews. Emmins says that Skytrax is being investigated by TTG Digital and that of this posting, Skytrax has not responded to KwikChex’s request for further information and comment.
Chris Emmins, Co-Founder of KwikChex, said, “Reviews sites, are fundamentally asking consumers to trust and believe in the information they provide on businesses. They are highly influential in consumer opinion and decision making. Small businesses in particular can be made or broken according to the online reputation created by such sites.”
Emmins goes on to argue that it’s therefore reasonable that these sites provide a degree of diligence and transparency to maintain a duty of care to consumers and businesses. This should not be a very high standard to achieve, but apparently it is. Caveat Emptor