7 years ago

TripAdvisor and Expedia face legal action in France over hotel listings

tripadvisor parisA union of French hoteliers is taking legal action against user review giant TripAdvisor and parent company Expedia over what it calls “unfair commercial practices”.

The Synhorcat group filed a lawsuit at the Commercial Court in Paris last week with a raft of claims against the two companies and sister site Hotels.com.

The deposition is pretty fierce and cannot be corroborated at present.

Visitors to these websites, hotel guests and hospitality professionals today are deceived by false information provided on these sites, ‘pirates of the canvas’.
“The Synhorcat began a dialogue with those operators who are deaf to its demands, however legitimate, to restore a fair and accurate information.”

“Visitors to these websites, hotel guests and hospitality professionals today are deceived by false information provided on these sites, ‘pirates of the canvas’.

“The Synhorcat began a dialogue with those operators who are deaf to its demands, however legitimate, to restore a fair and accurate information.”

In short, Synhorcat says visitors to TripAdvisor are being misled because they are often directed to Expedia for more information rather than the hotel’s website.

The union told the AFP wire that if the property does not have an agreement with Expedia, “then it tells you that the hotel is full” instead of offering an alternative.

TripAdvisor would not respond to any of the accusations, remarking only that it does not comment on ongoing litigation.

The user review firm recently launched its Business Listings product so hoteliers can buy additional links to their own pages.

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.



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  1. French Government going after Trip Advisor | abouttripadvisor

    […] group filed a lawsuit at the Commercial Court in Paris in April 2010 with a raft of claims against the two companies and sister site […]

  2. Alla Dolce Vita

    Ok…Kevin…I am going to eat now…already on the table, and then I’ll propose in details my answers

    • Alla Dolce Vita

      Dear Kevin, here we are.

      Actually the previous reply are bit criptic, so please consider this:
      1) NOBODY can distinguish fake negative and ( above all ) positive reviews, from REAL one ( generated from a real traveller-guest of the hotel )…so in other words: your supposed “tens of million” of reviews and increasing users could be be generated in a LARGE (?) part from “professional reviwers”.
      So the answer to your question , is : because the “so wanted-fragile-fake” Expedia-Tripadvisor system is made to grow …but not in quality!
      This theory it’s supported by one fact: most of the “best” hotels listed on tripadvisor show a strange “phenomenon” on the sequence of the reviews GIFTED.
      After a negative review, are following many positive reviews left by anonimous writer who has generated a single review….just like , only to make an example of phantasy
      🙂 ….the owner of the Hotel has logged in thought a dynamic proxy server, generating a brand new IP which allows him/her to create a brand new e-mail address with a brand new identity ( FAKE ), to subscribe on Expedia-Tripadvisor so to contribute to enrich the comunity value ( FAKE itself ).
      Another interesting analysys could be done identifying the hotels which are listed in the best positions and cross the results with the “magic service ” offered by Expedia-Tripadvisor, so salled “business listing ” ( a paying service which open the doors of a sparkling super attractive on line reputation ….which , in other words means bookings ( with a fee to pay to Expedia-Tripadvisor of even over 30% !!!!!!!!!!!!!)

      So one question to you: do you think that the marvellous increasing numbers showed from Expedia-Tripadvisor, noting the above facts , could be signs of a winning business which is NOT so genuine?

      2)If they could be aware of those dirty mechanisms , my reply is YES.
      Generally spaeking a misleading advertising is a crime when the goal is to pilot consumers choices and at the same time creating conditions for unfair competition
      This is a question of RELIABILITY which worth billions EUROS and fair competition.

      I hope my replys are clear enought.
      And if you want to deepen the issue I would be glad to propose some questions which are still pending because , up to now couldn’t find the answers.

  3. Perry Jones

    There is no substitute for the unedited verdict of the buying public. I find Trip advisor an accurate and reliable guide when picking hotels pubs and restaurants. This sort of consumer feedback is no different to that offered on the Amazon and ebay websites, and no doubt a host of others. Long may they all continue!

    • Alla Dolce Vita

      Mr. Perry, if like reading even fake information and misleading advertisments it’s your choice.
      Tripadvisor is NOT a realible info source and being owned by Expedia could you belive that is independent?….

      • Kevin May

        Kevin May

        @alla dolce vita – you are a veritable scratched record on this topic (but perfectly entitled to your opinion).

        how about commenting on it from a different perspective:

        1) Why does TA have still tens of millions of reviews and users (increasing all the time)?

        2) Do you think consumers REALLY care about your points over ownership and independence?

        • Alla Dolce Vita

          Hallo Kevin,
          thanks for your feed back.

          My opinion is supported on facts.
          I like real information and not fake and mislading advertisment dressed as “unbiased reviews”.

          I reply accordingly your points:
          1) how many of the reviws published are REAL and coming from real travellers?
          2) Consumers want to know “the truth”….and Expedia-Tripadvisor is not ( if there are concrete and real elements to show that what is published is realible please let me know…probably I have undeevaluate something ).

          • Kevin May

            Kevin May

            @alla dolce vita – you didn’t quite answer the questions.

            never mind.

  4. magpie 58

    We have only a small number of guest comments. Four are excellent, one negative- and seemingly spurious. the latter was enough to drag us from a very high to a very low ranking.

    Trip advisor ‘s “room availability “: listing is misleading – it gives the impression all the operators it chooses to list update their availability with trip advisor.

    We don’t so Trip advisors give potential guests the impression we are full every night ,,,

  5. Jody Forester

    Not many sites offer this much info on these legal issues, thank you. I have been looking around for legal advances and I think this post actually made a difference.

  6. Irony calls as Paris hotels lead drive for TripAdvisor Business Listings | Tnooz

    […] Many will note an unfortunate irony associated with this story given that TripAdvisor and Expedia face legal action in France over hotel listings. […]

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    […] TripAdvisor and Expedia face legal action in France over hotel listings Last Week in Travel Tech: […]

  8. Alla Dolce Vita

    those are some interesting links that discover this [redacted] of Expedia-Tripadvisor:
    Sunday Times : http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/news/article6583450.ece
    Daily Telgraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/740272/Authenticity-of-hotel-reviews-questioned.html
    SOS Albergatori: http://www.sosalbergatori.com/
    Turismo e Consigli: http://www.turismoeconsigli.com/
    Comitas : http://www.comitas.it/botta_risposta.asp

    In Italy Tripadvisor.it has been sue in fron of the Antitrust autority.

    Tripadvisor never replied to those questions:

    1) How can you certify that the writer, of the review you publish, has ACTUALLY stayed in the accommodation ?
    2) How can you GUARANTEE that the writer is not a FALSE guest or an unfair competitor or a jocker?
    3) How can you ENSURE that what it’s written in the review , from the “potential” guest, it’s what really happened ( you boast UNBIAS review!!!!!)?
    4) How can you guarantee the thruth, the genuineness, the originality and the origin of the review?
    5) What consist in your checks ( a detailed description it’s requested ) and on how many reviews of the ones you boast to have published, have been checked?
    6) The Italian law “ Dgls 196/2003 “ has been shaped according to European law to protect privacy.
    Why you publish details for commercial use, when the law guarantee the right to prevent a third party to abuse of names, adresses, pictures and referrals ?
    7) Why the Italian interface and the other local european interfaces don’t publish an address of the real offices, telephone and fax numbers, and the person in charge of managing the sensitive details accordino to the privacy law?
    8) If an holiday property manager and /or owner would like to protect and defend it from published libels, would you be able to provide the writer details?
    9) If you are able to publish reviews following a real holiday, would you be able to provide all details of the booking ( travel agent or travel web-site or portal)?
    10) How many of the published reviews are true and incontrovertibly linked to a real holiday stay and linked to indetifiable and unique user?
    11) Why you publish “ Get the Truth. Then go”, which dress the contets as thruth, when you are not able to certify the source and the thruthfulness of what it’s written in the reviews?

    Tripadvisor is a marketing machine to let Expedia sqeeze money form the market without a clear, fair and commercially correst strategy.

    We really hope that the justice will do the right thing!

    Sunny greetings

    Alla Dolce Vita

  9. TripAdvisor reveals take-up of Business Listings product - less than 1 percent of total | Tnooz

    […] week TripAdvisor found itself on the end of a lawsuit in France after a union representing hoteliers claimed the company and its parent Expedia were undertaking […]

  10. uberVU - social comments

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by socialmapping: TripAdvisor and Expedia face legal action in France over hotel listings http://ff.im/-jaX3O

  11. Happy Hotelier

    Oops and their new French speaking rep is stranded in Boston:-)


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