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Does Trip Advisor refuse to publish negative reviews?

Lakewood, WA
posts: 10
reviews: 87
Does Trip Advisor refuse to publish negative reviews?

I submitted a review on a property in September. It was never published. I did not say anything inappropriate (no vitriolic messages, nothing that was not true, no swearing) but it was a negative review - deservedly so. I ended up deleting the review and reposting it. This review has not been published. I did not book this as a Flip Key property and my review is through TA. Any idea of what's up? I'm beginning to doubt the 'reviews you can trust' motto.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for TripAdvisor Support
posts: 11,519
reviews: 67
1. Re: Does Trip Advisor refuse to publish negative reviews?

Hi Mel,

Welcome to the Support Forum!

The forums are primarily member-driven, peer-to-peer and I'm a member like you and not a TA staff member.

TA publishes reviews that meet guidelines. I'm not sure what happened and I'm wondering if you can clarify. At first you say that it was never published and later on you said you deleted it.

Were you reviewing a vacation rental or other listing on TA?


Lakewood, WA
posts: 10
reviews: 87
2. Re: Does Trip Advisor refuse to publish negative reviews?

I was reviewing a vacation rental. I believe it is a Flip Key approved rental, but we did not use Flip Key. It was never published - always showed as 'pending'. I contacted support to find out why it was not published on Oct. 16. On Nov. 2, I got the following response: "It appears that your review has been caught up in our automatic filters and editorial processes, which will remove a post from our site if it is deemed suspicious for any reason. Unfortunately, I cannot go into detail about what triggered the removal, nor can I re-publish your post. " Not a very satisfactory answer. I deleted the post and re-wrote it on Nov. 2. On Nov. 3 I confirmed that it is my post (responded to an email asking for confirmation). My second post It is still showing as 'pending.' This property had fairly good reviews, which is why we rented it, but it was very unsatisfactory. I am wondering if TA is not posting my review because it is a 'Flip Key' property. Here is the property: tripadvisor.com/VacationRentalReview-g186338…

Thank you for your assistance. I am very curious about this whole matter and becoming increasingly disenchanted with TA.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 37,822
reviews: 54
3. Re: Does Trip Advisor refuse to publish negative reviews?

It can take up to 2 weeks for a review to be posted. If you submitted on Nov. 2nd you have potentially 11 days to wait for that to happen. Posting reviews is not a speedy process. Reviews do not go up instantly like forum posts do.

As far as I know, Flipkey rentals require a different process, although you say you didn't rent through them. The process involves a request going to the Flipkey owner for confirmation of stay, who does not see the review. The owner only confirms the stay. If the owner does not confirm the stay, then TA contacts the reviewer for proof of stay. The review is published, if it does not violate any guidelines. I realize you didn't book through Flipkey, just wanted to make that process known to you. Just in case.

See what happens with your second submission. If it is rejected in similar fashion, you can post it here for the many "wise eyes" to check out for you.

Edited: 1:43 am, November 06, 2012
Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Philippines
posts: 15,849
reviews: 773
4. Re: Does Trip Advisor refuse to publish negative reviews?

Ive seern good and very bad reviews. As long as it meets guidelines it will be published.


Lakewood, WA
posts: 10
reviews: 87
5. Re: Does Trip Advisor refuse to publish negative reviews?

Thank you who responded. I have published both positive and negative reviews and have never had this problem before, which is why it is so frustrating. I'll be patient for a couple of weeks and see what happens.

posts: 44,814
reviews: 89
6. Re: Does Trip Advisor refuse to publish negative reviews?

"Does Trip Advisor refuse to publish negative reviews?"


Obviously not, as ten seconds search would have shown you, or in fact one seconds consideration since you say yourself you have published some negative reviews !!!

What does happen, I suspect, is that if a review breaks guidelines, its far more likely to be challenged by the establishment than if it doesn't (obvious really :-). Though since yours is just pending, its not that.

Plus there the natural tendency to look for patterns, so if a review is removed/not posted, the tendency is to look for some reason, though why you picked on it being negative as the reason since you already posted some negative ones, is a mystery.

Plus,and this is likely your issue, flipkey reviews can take much longer to be posted if the establishment dont respond to verify the reviewer stayed there. This is a step that doesn't occur in non flipkey reviews.

It may even be that you cannot place a review for a flipkey rental if you didn't rent through them.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
posts: 39,057
reviews: 831
7. Re: Does Trip Advisor refuse to publish negative reviews?

TripAdvisor does not give a fig if a review is good, bad or indifferent. All reviews, however, MUST conform to the review guidelines.

Often when travelers have a poor experience, they are angry or upset. If they write their review at this time, it is entirely possible that they may inadvertently violate the review guidelines. Reviews posted by unhappy people may tend to contain questionable language, insults and/or yelling. These reviews are probably more likely to trigger the TA filter system.

TripAdvisor uses an automated filter system to determine if a review is in compliance with the guidelines. If the system detects an anomaly, the review may be sidelined to be inspected by a human staff member -or- it may disappear and/or not be posted at all. In this event, usually TA sends a notification to the member that the review will not be posted.

Lakewood, WA
posts: 10
reviews: 87
8. Re: Does Trip Advisor refuse to publish negative reviews?

Hard to say what happened with the first review (which was never posted and which I deleted after nearly two months in pending status), but I am certain that I did not use any inappropriate language, insults or 'yelling'. However, there seems to be some progress on the second review: even though I did not go through FlipKey, they are now going through the review process to be certain that I actually rented the apartment, something I've never had happen before and is probably because it is a FlipKey property. I submitted my rental agreement, screen prints of my PayPal receipts and copies of some of the correspondence with the manager - hopefully that will be sufficient. Time will tell.

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary, TripAdvisor Support
posts: 24,075
reviews: 67
9. Re: Does Trip Advisor refuse to publish negative reviews?

TA has put in this second process to make sure that FlipKey owners don't abuse the first process and deny that you ever stayed with them, because they know you're not going to submit a positive review. (And, I believe, the procedure was brought in because of concerns raised by TA members about possible abuse.)

This is the only situation in which TA staff will independently verify a stay based on documentation that the reviewer submits, and it may take a while for them to process the information once they receive it.

Edited: 9:55 pm, November 07, 2012
Abingdon, United...
posts: 5
reviews: 1
10. Re: Does Trip Advisor refuse to publish negative reviews?

It is not just negative reviews that get held back. Having had a good experience with a rented property I joined TA to give the owner a pat on the back. I submitted the review - positive but recognising some minor problems so 4 out of 5 - over a month ago, responded immediately to the confirmation request, but nothing has happened since. I have sent two requests for further information to TA support but have had nothing useful back - just automated replies. I can understand if TA want to check that it is a genuine review but they have not contacted me or asked any questions - not even to say what the problem is.

What's the point of taking the trouble to join and submit reviews if they do not get published?