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Can You Trust Online Travel Reviews?

The internet can be a great research tool, especially when booking travel related things, like hotels and restaurants, but can you really trust all the online reviews? Are the good reviews that bit too good, or the bad reviews that bit too bad?

Here’s some tips and thoughts from your fellow Mobal Members when they’re assessing online reviews…

Richard Taub says:

I have reserved numerous hotels in Europe using the reviews. I check different websites and look for those with lots of reviews. And I take the negative reviews very seriously.

Donna says:

Yes, I do, as I read and then go there, they are true. What I cannot trust is when people say the bed was “comfortable”, as comfortable to one person is awful to the next. When someone isn’t from the USA and says the bed is comfortable I question that….have they slept on one of the new 14″ pillow top mattresses, or just the old European 7″ hard ones???

Thirza says:

I often look hotels up on Trip Advisor. There may be a wide range of opinions. I generally discount the best and the worst, and assume that the truth is somewhere in between. Many hotels, especially in older buildings have several classes of room, or rooms of different sizes, or rooms that have been re-decorated and rooms in need of refurbishment. I am seldom disappointed.

Diane Rice says:

I’ve learned that the most disgruntled people generally write the really bad reviews and that for every 1 person who slams a property, 100 others were perfectly satisfied. We all know you get what you pay for; why do some people book cheap rooms and then complain at the quality? One London hotel pallet pooling review was so bad that we almost changed our booking for five rooms, but decided to just tough it out, and were very pleasantly surprised at the quality of our stay and our rooms and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. I no longer blindly trust Trip Advisor’s reviews and instead, assume that I can ignore the very best and very worst reviews on the site to believe something in the middle.

Joan says:

use trip advisor but don’t totally trust first time posters of reviews. look for someone who has posted a lot of reviews and also often read the bad ones as well. just to see if they make any sense or if it is just someone who is hostile or a bit crazy. eg. bed bugs everywhere.

d. kruse says:

I don’t always trust them as I have often felt the exact opposite, but I DO read and pay attention!

John says:

I no longer trust reviews. After leaving a negative review on a major hotel salessite the review was not posted. My trust level for the positive reviews is way down.

Marie says:

I read them and take the negative ones seriously. As far as the positives – if they sound too good to be true I figure somone with the hotel has posted them – anything relatively normal I’ll keep in mind.

Patrick Milligan says:

I read all of the reviews. I believe you can get a pretty good understanding of the quality that way.

Michael says:

I, too, read as many of the latest ones as I can (newer than 2 years old) and sort of “average it out.”
Doing that has saved me from many a travel heartache, and has let to some wonderful new hotel finds!

Do you agree or disagree? Leave your thoughts as a comment below…

Author: Emma

Emma is a Online Marketing Specialist at Mobal. She is responsible for our outbound marketing efforts including planning and executing email campaigns, social media and blog posts. She also works with the Web Designers at Mobal to update the website and to help to create a better experience for the user.

4 thoughts on "Can You Trust Online Travel Reviews?"

  • Ian Stuart says:

    Tripadvisor is the only site that I trust, they are pretty good about posting bad reviews and they do allow the hotels and restaurants to post replies. As others have said, don’t trust ecstatic reviews or unfair negative ones but look at the details. I used Tripadvisor last year to find an Indian travel agency for a trip to Rajasthan and Kerala and saved over $15000 (for three of us) over using an American or UK agent (and they would have simply subcontracted it to an Indian agency anyway).

  • Don says:

    Read most of Trip Advisor reviews and make up my choice by them most will let you know one way or another !

  • leigh shepherd says:

    I used trip advisor to look at props in vienna and amstedam. found them to accurate and helpful.

  • Fred Adriance says:

    You get what you pay for and are almost always surprised how some of the reviews don’t match up with reality. I also throw out the really bad and really good reports. If a person starts off complaining about how much they paid, you can bet they’ll follow it up with bad service and bed bugs. If you get a Honeymooner, I’m not sure whether they’re rating the hotel or their new marriage. If you really want to use a specific hotel, email or call them and ask about some of the problems you’ve read about. Chances are they were given a bad review without the benefit of trying to correct it through a customer’s direct feedback.

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