Hotels busted for fake 5-star reviews
Two guesthouse chains have been temporarily shut down by authorities in Yunnan Province for generating fake online ratings and harassing customers who left negative reviews.
The two chains, Fenghua Xueyue Hotel and Qinde Kezhan Hotel, located in the popular tourist destination of Lijiang, made public apologies for the shady practices following a CCTV expose that prompted an official investigation.
In the Friday report, managers were accused of using click farms to boost ratings on booking apps, as well as coercing guests to delete negative reviews either with bribes or harassing calls.
The two chains, which each run around 20 guesthouses, were ordered to shut down as of Sunday, Lijiang authorities posted Sunday on Sina Weibo.
The two hotel chains have been pulled from online booking platforms, the post read.
Both guesthouses released public apologies Monday.
“CCTV reported that we deliberately deleted low ratings and employed a click farm,” read an open letter from the managers, “and we regret it.”