Update (8/24): TripAdvisor has sent me a chronology of events, which it asked me to publish.
Review 1/3 reported:
• On April 17, a 1 rating review appeared on the site, referencing a stay in February.
• On April 18, Chris Monroe (property representative) contacted Customer Support (CS) staff on the phone and within minutes of the call ending, reported the review through the Management Centre, stating: “Owners not at property as reviewer stated – on vacation in Fl. Supporting documentation provided by fax.”
• On April 19, the review was removed after indications of suspicion were found in data which suggested a connection between the reviewer and the property in violation of our guidelines
• The owner was emailed regarding the removal of the review.
Review 2/3 reported:
• On May 27, another 1 rating review appeared on the site.
• On May 28 the owner reported it
• On May 29, Chris Monroe called CS twice, both times requesting to speak with the staff member they had spoken to the previous month (on 4/18, see first review above). As she was unavailable, staff offered to walk them through the process of reporting/disputing a review, and they declined.
• On May 30, Chris Monroe called CS staff again and outlined her concerns that the review was submitted by their neighbor. CS indicated that the review had been through the appropriate procedures; Monroe requested to speak with a manager, and Sibu subsequently left her a message the following day (no response).
• On June 13, property representative called CS staff requesting escalation; on June 15, CS Manager received an e-mail regarding the review and email sent to reviewer for verification. E-mail sent to property noting that we take reports of fraud seriously, and that our process would require 7 -9 days (to account for the verification process).
• On June 22, the review was automatically removed by the system, following failed verification.
Review 3/3 reported:
• On June 26, a 1 rating review appeared on the site indicating that a condom was found on the bed.
• On July 5, the owner reported it and on July 6 it was pulled down and removed. An email was sent to the owner stating the review was removed.
These three particular cases did not seem one of the more common types of fraud, as these reviews were from public IP addresses from a standard internet service provider in NY (the majority of positive reviews also come out of the same area).