TripAdvisor Trips Over Fake Restaurant
By Nishi On 26 Jul, 2013 At 01:07 PM | Categorized As Humour, International, Need to Know, Travel Tech | With 0 Comments

You have been fooled!

You read a glowing review of a hotel or a restaurant on TripAdvisor. You decide to visit it on your vacation. You manage to arrive at the mentioned address after climbing a mountain, swimming through a river, anticipating a top class property considering the toil you had to undergo.  And wham! What you see there is  bittoo chaiwala stall. Or worse, there’s nothing. Just a rusted pillar and a dog peeing on it.

TripAdvisor, apparently the biggest authority among hotel/restaurant reviewing sites, has just gone through the embarrassment of failing to spot a fake restaurant which ironically was being highly praised on the site. Someone played a nasty joke on them.

Reviews of a restaurant named Oscar’s, believed to be located in Brixham, Devon, surfaced on the website in May. It received phenomenal praise by the reviewers (read pranksters). They used adjectives like “mind-blowing”, “divine” and even claimed the the Oscar’s preparations “bordered on sorcery”! Really? TripAdvisor should have guessed it here itself. Maybe exaggeration is their thing.

Dishes “bordering on sorcery”??!!

The fraud came to light when two reviewers revealed that Oscar’s doesn’t exist. In your face. The site’s users were fuming, we think. Especially the hoteliers and restaurateurs. Some of them even claimed how their business had to suffer because of the flawed detection system of TripAdvisor in the past. Spice House in Halifax was once rated among the best restaurants in the town, but one fine day it came crashing down in the ranking list after its 300 reviews were removed, because they seemed ‘suspicious’.

And this is after the Peter Hook fiasco that happened a couple of months ago, wherein he published numerous reviews going gaga over Accor Hotels, the company he worked for.

Once bitten should have been twice shy.

Tip: Never be advised wrongly on your trip. When making a hotel booking solely on the basis of online reviews, always consult the reviewer and check his/her credentials. Or if you are lazy and over-cautious like me, never make any bookings yourself. Leave everything to the experts.


About - Nishi Jain spent five years studying English literature at Delhi University, at the end of which she realized 'all art is useless'. Another two years editing novels and writing newspaper articles, and shouting herself hoarse in street plays, she realized that erudition never got anybody anywhere. So, she took off and visited the four corners of India, came back, and announced that the best thing in the world was cheesecake. Now, she just writes, plays ping pong, and eats cake on the sly.

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