The issue of fake online customer reviews has been prominent in the travel press lately, whether as a result of over-zealous marketing directors painting a positive picture of their hotels, angry employees venting anger, or simply some sites openly allowing anyone to post a hotel review.So how does Priceline Europe ensure that all the feedback published on its sites (www.activehotels.com, www.booking.com, www.priceline.co.uk) comes from genuine hotel guests that are best qualified to state their opinions?
The authenticity of the feedback is thanks to the company’s technology processes and systems set-up. Once a guest has made an online booking (via a Priceline Europe site), and is allocated a reservation number, the online administration system communicates with the hotel to confirm the booking. A few days after the guest has left the hotel, an online questionnaire which can only be completed once and is easily identifiable by the guest’s reservation number is emailed through to the customer who is then eligible to leave a review.
Stef Norden, CEO of Priceline Europe said: “We have a market-leading hotel reviews system in place, whereby only genuine customers can leave feedback. With approximately 1 million reviews published to date, our online visitors can be certain that they are reading the opinions of guests who have previously booked on a Priceline Europe site and recently stayed in the hotel that they have reviewed. Each of our reviews is referenced internally which allows us to match reviews to exact details of that guest’s stay.”
Priceline Europe’s reviews consist uniquely of opinions expressed by guests that have booked and stayed at a hotel. The reviews are posted within a week of the guest’s departure and are published as submitted (unless removed for offensive language). Users are able to relate to the viewpoints given as the customer profiles are clearly displayed (e.g. young couple, mature couple, solo business traveller, same sex couple etc). The information is therefore unique, relevant and up-to-date, helping customers to make accurate and informed choices.
Priceline Europe has always published 100% genuine customer feedback and is committed to helping customers make accurate choices. Priceline Europe is currently adding on average over 50,000 international customer hotel reviews per week. Comments can be found in several languages (including English, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, and German), depending on the language in which they have been submitted and currently total approximately 1 million reviews of European hotels.