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A Holiday Inn attempts bribery to gain positive reviews

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We have probably all seen signs in hotels and restaurants we have visited asking if we would be kind enough to recommend them on TripAdvisor or similar sites if we enjoyed our visit.

One Head for Points reader recently found that a Holiday Inn in San Francisco was stooping to outright bribery in order to get positive feedback on internal IHG surveys:


Yes, you got 1000 IHG Rewards Club points for scoring the hotel 10 out of 10.  That is a bribe of £4 – £5.

I know from conversations with IHG staff that the company takes the questionnaire scores very seriously – I’m not sure how seriously it takes attempts to game the system.

What is slightly concerning is that the leaflet implies that the hotel is told the score you give it (how else could they award the 1000 points?).  You may think you are making a confidential submission to Head Office but that is clearly not the case.

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Comments (50)

  • Lumma says:

    I remember a while ago searching on trip advisor for a curry house in London and the best rated one had several bad reviews saying they’d been offered free things to write a good review before eating…

  • Ken says:

    I booked a hotel in Kampala on earlier this year. After I had checked in sent me an email asking how the check-in went. I indicated it was fine. Next morning at breakfast, the receptionist approached me to thank me for my fantastic review. I didn’t know what she was talking about until I remembered the smiley face I’d clicked on in’s email. I was a bit concerned that they were aware of this so soon and could identify me. If I’d given them a bad check-in review who knows what would have gone in my breakfast. Poisoning is common in Uganda, I’m told!!

    • Peter K says:

      I booked a hotel for a week’s holiday in the Algarve via Expedia. Had the same type of email asking for a review of check-in the day after I arrived. I did not give it as was suspicious that it would be given straight to the hotel staff…seems I was right to do so!

      RE: TA. I’ve always found my trip advisor reviews have been published. Good, bad and downright ugly!

  • ElectroGoblin says:

    I think that none of these surveys are anonimous. I gave a poor rating on the satisfaction survey after my stay at Mercure Randburg (South Africa) just following the link received, not entering my email anywhere, and next day I was emailed by property manager to excuse themselves (but no points offered).

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