Trip Advisor used to be somewhat reliable. Since Expedia bought them, they have a conflcit of interest since Expedia is in the booking business. I believe they reject a large number of negative reviews and seem to have quite a few reviews that are not at all like what you find when you get to the hotel. I used to do a lot of reviews for them until I noticed they took all of my positive reviews and rejected most of my negative ones despite the detail that I used. It seems if the hotel complains, Trip Advisor pulled my review. Essentially, this makes the site useless to me.
I booked a hotel on their site that was rated 2 1/2stars. When I got to the hotel I found evidence of bedbugs and the room was filthy. It reeked of smoke. I couldn't stay there it was so bad. I had to wait on hold for 30 minutes to even get a human and then they said "too bad, no refunds." There contract is written in such a way that your credit card must pay them. Sad.
I recently booked one of their secret hotels. It touted the hotel as 3 star. When I found out what I had booked, I immediately called them and said this hotel is not rated anywhere else on the internet as 3 star. Everyone else rated it 2 star. First, they said their reviews are proprietary. Then, the agent said they take whatever the hotel says it is as the rating. Even though I called within minutes of the booking, they refused to cancel the booking. I consider their tactics misleading and deceptive.
I have tried the othe sites where you bid for hotel rooms. I have been dissatisfied with every one except Priceline. Priceline seems a little more expensive for these bids at first until you use the other sites. One just gave me a sub 2 star hotel that the site rated as 3 star. I immediately complained and they said they just use whatever the hotel says they are. Apparently Priceline doesn't do that since every hotel I have booked through Priceline was better than I expected.
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