Conning travellers

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Done to confuse and con us? Image © Dan Sperrin

Over the years, CD-Traveller has considered the problem of review sites and sites which carry independent reviews of holidays, tours, hotels, cruise ships and other travel related products.
How independent are they? What do you believe?
Yesterday I had an e-mail from a company called (also known as which asked me whether I wanted positive reviews. Once I had dug a little bit deeper and tracked it back through some other website names, I learnt that it had 40,000 separate e-mail addresses from which it could select to post reviews. And if I chipped in between $19.95 and $99.95 per month, it would work for me creating and posting positive reviews on the sites that I wanted. And if I didn’t know the important sites it would work to let me know which they were. They say that “we will write the reviews in English with several different writing styles,” and that “your link building campaign will look absolutely natural to Google.” Yet they pledge to follow Google guidelines.

Plainly this is designed to mislead review sites, others and most importantly – us.
If review sites have difficulty weeding out liars and charlatans how are we supposed to spot the genuine from the bogus?
Can we consider the recency of the posting as a guide? The volume of reviews on a site? It is hard to know now that I am a little bit knowledgeable. An inclination to take no notice of any reviews whatsoever seems a little over- the- top.
I had no idea that a company could set up 40,000 different addresses to use. And where one company exists there must be others. All working with companies to deceive us.

This particular company is linked to another called which rather sums up their business attitude. Maybe it should be called “crush your competition by any means possible be they foul or” As I dug I found a host of other names assciated with this company which all came back to one company based in the US and with an office in Dublin. What I did like was that one of the associated companies called offers a service in fraud prevention.
I make no further comment!

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