Democrats and Republicans Want to Kill Yelp and TripAdvisor

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Say what you want about Yelp and TripAdvisor, but they are essentially the voice of the people (travelers and other guests) which IMO have improved services especially at the Travel Industry. Politicizing or gutting these services from needed protection will take us back 20+ years in consumer protection achievements.

  2. This is what happens once you begin down the road of suppressing free speech. It ALWAYS comes back to bit you. Now young people neither appreciate nor understand what free speech is, so it’s dead and isn’t coming back.

  3. At one time a site such as Travel Advisor was useful. I have several reviews of various hotels in Europe on that site. Now, it is just a mess with horrible ads, pop up windows, they filter a number of the negative reviews especially if the hotel complains, etc.

    I haven’t used either of those sites in years. It is unfortunate since at one time they were useful but like many of these blogs, they have moved over to bring owned/controlled by less than neutral parties.

  4. TripAdvisor and especially Yelp reviews are worse than useless. Huge prominence is given to people with silly grievances and grudges, or competitors who wish to damage a business, and planted reviews on the other side. There’s no common standard, which means that you would be crazy to rely on any of it. And, worse, they have killed off the reviews written by professionals who provided real balance and information.

    The simple solution would be to have a law which makes someone responsible as publisher for all posts: if Yelp or TA verifies the ID of a poster and publishes their name, then the poster should become the publisher. Otherwise it should be Yelp or TA. This would mean that the outright lies would have consequences for the perpetrators

  5. I find TripAdvisor reviews very helpful, and I take the time to post objective reviews on their site. Yelp is, to me, a place for people with nothing better to do than to have the conversations one used to attribute to “Valley Girls.”

  6. Trip Advisor and Yelp are valuable
    The only severe problem is censorship as they sell revenue rooms and they juggle ratings to their advantage for their bottom line.
    When T.A, was started by the original couple it was truly honest and transparent simply outstanding
    Its still helpful but harder to determine the full truth
    If you see a 4.5 rating its likely a true 4.See a 4 star rating likely a 3.5 plus etc

  7. Big fan of Yelp and TA. Yelp is almost always on the mark, TA less so, particularly for restaurants. Of course flyertalk is always the best source of info for seasoned travelers, but the breadth of coverage is not as good as Yelp and TA.

  8. I used Trip Advisor for 10-15 years (about 10 years ago). Did all of my trip planning using the information I gathered on their site. I made many reports on my own travel experiences and enjoyed responding to folks who had questions about areas where I had been. It was a fairly clean site and easy to use.
    What they are currently calling Trip Advisor is nothing like what they had before it became a pure money making machine.
    Typical situation where something that is good and works well is sold and the idiots that buy it try to squeeze very dime out of users and than don’t understand why they lose readers/customers.

  9. I think NB has it totally backwards, especially when it comes to Yelp. No one respects their rating system and you see so many ho-hun places get a highly disproportionate amount of five star reviews. Per their own guidelines 3-star is “a-okay” while five is “best I’ve ever had.” Look at the majority of reviewer’s histograms and you’d think every meal they eat is better than the last. Sure, you’ll get the cranky folks who spam 1star reviews but that becomes obvious in the establishment’s histogram. Three star needs to become the norm again.

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