On 1st February 2012, the UK Advertising Standards Authority ruled that TripAdvisor should no longer use the slogan ‘Reviews you can trust’. This followed an investigation and subsequent complaint made by KwikChex.
The ASA ordered the site to avoid running adverts in the same form again and said it must not claim or imply that all its reviews were from real travellers, or were honest, real or trusted. “This should be regarded as a benchmark ruling which applies to all web sites which make claims about the reliability of their user-created content,” the ASA’s spokesman Matthew Wilson told the BBC at the time.
It marked the start of a long battle fighting fake reviews and their effects, with KwikChex regularly exposing abuses that have sought to deceive consumers, to enable fraud and to damage decent businesses. Highlights included
- Removing over 10,000 fake reviews posted through TripAdvisor China
- Rescuing multiple businesses attacked with false online reviews, including Google Reviews cases – like this one
- Exposing unscrupulous businesses
Exactly 10 years later – the Veri-Good alternative
1st February 2022. After battling the many problems caused by reviews inaccuracies for 10 years, the founders of KwikChex have announced Veri-Good – a genuinely verified and accountable resource that consumers will be able to use to find accurate information on businesses that have made a big commitment to information integrity and high standards.
Chris Emmins, who as CEO of KwikChex received a Business Hero Award in 2019 for services tackling fraud and supporting consumer protection, said “With KwikChex, and the help of great journalists, government and law enforcement authorities, I’ve seen first-hand the damage that poorly policed online reviews can do. They can mislead and unjustly destroy reputations and substantially enable fraud by conning consumers into believing a rogue’s business is trustworthy. We’ve looked long and hard at how to increase safeguarding and come up with Veri-Good – a resource that will boost online information integrity and provide a wide range of benefits to consumers and businesses that are really committed to transparency, product and service information accuracy and doing all possible to ensure a great and safe customer experience.”