A HOTELIER fighting an online reviewing giant is calling on businesses to band together and stop reputations from being destroyed.
Dan Yates, from Howarth House, in St Annes, hopes to form a new group to take on Trip Advisor and provide travellers with authenticated reviews for Fylde Coast hotels.
The idea came after Mr Yates became involved with online reputation service Kwikchex after a series of what he claims are fraudulent, inaccurate reviews of his Clifton Drive South establishment.
Mr Yates said: “We had another Trip Advisor review which was removed saying ‘nice people but appalling standard’.
“They said the fridges in the bedrooms had droppings next to the doors but there are no fridges.
“I’m calling a meeting within the area of local hotels so we can all look after each other.”
Trip Advisor bosses removed the Howarth House review, and claim they are checking it’s authenticity before deciding whether to re-post it.
The global firm says it is impossible for it to check every review, but believes its users are “authentic and honest”.
However Kwikchex founder Chris Emmins said he has received numerous complaints from Fylde coast establishments and believes a better system is needed.
He told The Gazette: “We had quite a lot of complaints from the Blackpool area about problems with fake reviews. What we’ve said we will do is set up a local business group with a Kwikchex representative who can provide assistance to reputable businesses who want standards verified and authenticated customer opinions.
“Most importantly if a customer has any problem with a business in the group they can seek immediate assistance to resolve it.”
Kwikchex helps businesses with their online reputation, and has been raising awareness of a number of hotels who believe their reputable businesses have been damaged by Trip Advisor.
Mr Yates and Kwikchex hope the group could be up and running next month.
A spokesman for Trip Advisor said: “In some instances, our content integrity team may request further detail from a reviewer to confirm their review has been posted to the correct property. We can confirm this procedure led to a review being removed from the Howarth House Hotel property listing, pending further clarification from the reviewer.
“TripAdvisor takes its responsibility as the world’s largest and most popular travel site very seriously. We believe our 50 million reviews and opinions are authentic and honest.”
To join the local group contact Mr Yates on (01253) 725622.