TripAdvisor investigation forces Peek to change review system
The company found itself under investigation by TripAdvisor in November last year after suggesting its Peek Pro Smart Reviews service could be used by owners to ensure only positive feedback appears on review sites such as TripAdvisor.
Peek was found to have posted notes on its Pro system that suggested users of Smart Reviews could influence whether customers submit reviews publicly or privately.
Similar messaging was also known to be used in its sales messages to prospective customers.
TripAdvisor is known to take incidences of so-called “cherry-picking” of reviews that end up on its site extremely seriously.
The startup’s CEO, Ruzwana Bashir, admitted at the time that “some members” of the team had made recommendations that were “potentially inconsistent” with the guidelines of sites such as TripAdvisor.
There was no indication as to how many of Peek’s customers had used the Smart Review system in such a way.
After investigating Peek, a TripAdvisor official says:
“We have concluded discussions with Peek regarding the Peek Professional platform and the SmartReviews feature, and we can confirm that following changes to the product, the SmartReview feature does not violate TripAdvisor guidelines.”
Peek says the Pro system helps tour operator customers “improve how they work with relevant third-parties”.
Bashir says in a statement, following the conclusion of TripAdvisor’s investigation:
“We’ve helped our operators by working with TripAdvisor and other third-party sites to upgrade our product to now include insights on third-party guidelines around review collection.”
Kevin is senior editor and a co-founder at Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology, a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism and publishes his first book - a biography about Depeche Mode - in early-2017.