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Competition and market authority publishes report into online user reviews

Jackie Grech, Legal and Policy Director for the British Hospitality Association
The BHA has been working with the prominent hospitality review sites to continually improve measures to prevent misuse and has provided a robust report and discussions to the CMA Consultation for the Online User Reviews. The view of the industry was made clear in a BHA survey of 804 UK hospitality establishments, the majority of UK hospitality businesses report seeing a value of user reviews with approximately 75% of UK hospitality businesses find user reviews to be "useful” to market and promote their business to prospective customers. However, more than half (55%) of respondents believe a single review has caused their business harm.

Jackie Grech, Legal and Policy Director for the British Hospitality Association said: "Online user reviews have fundamentally changed the way people find, search and book restaurant and travel. They are powerful influencers for customers' purchasing decisions, especially for hospitality purchases.  

Customers place increasing levels of trust in online user reviews, which makes them incredibly helpful when appropriately used but capable of really misleading consumers and harming business when misused or abused.

We are pleased that the CMA has listened to the recommendations from our industry in their report and their recommendations going forward. We share a goal of ensuring our customers receive accurate, transparent and useful information about our businesses. We will continue to work closely with the online review platforms and government to promote practices that encourage reliable reviews and transparency in business rankings, ratings and search result order."

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