Last month we messaged TripAdvisor regarding possible ongoing fraud pertaining to Big Cat Rescue. Since we still haven't received a response for the second time we figured it might be beneficial to release our gathered information so maybe others can try contacting TripAdvisor themselves about the possible fraud.
Below is our message to TripAdvisor. (Green words = Links)
A business seems to still being committing fraud according to what I can interpret using TripAdvisor’s own definition of what they consider fraud.
“Selectively soliciting reviews (by email, surveys or any other means) only from guests who have had a positive experience.”
I previously tried contacting TripAdvisor about this possible problem many months ago but have yet to receive a response. I assumed TripAdvisor was looking into the matter but apparently I was wrong since it has come to my attention that the business is still asking their supporters to leave positive reviews.
The business in question is Big Cat Rescue.
Big Cat Rescue sent out a monthly newsletter on January 27, 2016, where they asked their supporters to go onto many review websites, including TripAdvisor, to leave positive reviews to counteract any negative reviews from “animal abusers” they may be receiving. They send out their monthly newsletters through email and post links to them on multiple social media accounts.
Scroll down the page to where it says “Help Us Defeat Animal Abusers”.
They specifically asked for reviews from their supporters that love what they do when they said, “If you are a real visitor to our sanctuary, and love the work that you have helped us do for big cats (...).”
They asked for positive reviews because they allege supporters from one of their competitors are leaving negative reviews. I think the best course of action they could’ve taken was to contact TripAdvisor to help handle the situation instead of asking their supporters to post positive reviews which would further ruin the credibility of their rating while simultaneously tarnishing TripAdvisor’s reliability.
This is not the first time they have asked for positive reviews on TripAdvisor from their supporters that have had positive experiences.
In a prior newsletter that was sent out through email on August 27th, 2014, Big Cat Rescue asked their supporters to leave positive reviews on Trip Advisor and other review platforms because “trolls” were leaving negative reviews.
Scroll down to where it says, “Do It for Us...please.”
The proof they asked for positive reviews is when they say, “If you have visited Big Cat Rescue and loved what you saw, would you post a review (you can cut and paste the same one to each site) at as many of these review sites as possible?”
I should also point out that the CEO/ Founder of Big Cat Rescue may have been giving out rewards because at the end of the paragraph she says, “So please post your review and then email me and let me know how many points you scored, based on the number of sites you visited and posted. Thanks!
So not only are they manipulating their rating on TripAdvisor and numerous other review websites they are also attempting to discredit people leaving negative reviews by calling them “animal abusers” and “trolls”. In my opinion, that can discourage people from leaving negative reviews out of fear of being labeled an “animal abuser”. That can also mislead travelers into leaving positive reviews because they would think they are helping to defeat “animal abusers” and “trolls”.
On another occasion they asked for positive reviews on a different rating website so they could be listed as a top rated organization.
I hope TripAdvisor will finally look into the matter and do what is necessary to ensure ratings are reliable and not manipulated by businesses wanting to make themselves appear legitimate.
I respectfully request a reply
You can email the CEO of TripAdvisor here: firstname.lastname@example.org