Deleted Reviews About Rape and Druggings at Mexican Resort Could be Trouble for TripAdvisor
Screenshot — TripAdvisor/Iberostar
BOSTON (AP) — The Federal Trade Commission could take action against TripAdvisor after the Massachusetts-based travel company was accused of deleting hotel reviews that contained allegations of rape and other crimes.
Several people told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this month they were sexually assaulted at Mexican hotels and resorts but the online reviews that mentioned the crimes were taken down.
Reporters with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel have been investigating the allegations for months trying to figure out if there is a connection between hotels paying for clicks and commissions when rooms are booked and the “flagging” and disappearance of negative reviews about guests being drugged, assaulted and even raped. Kristie Love was one of those who tried to warn others about her negative experience at the Iberostar resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, in 2010. Love, from Dallas, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel a security guard who told her he would escort her back to her room raped her.
Love said after the attack, hotel staff refused to call police. She posted details of the assault on TripAdvisor to warn other women since local Mexican authorities had essentially dismissed her case, only to be told it violated their family friendly guidelines.
The Boston Globe says after the report was published Democratic Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin wrote to the FTC, urging an investigation.
The commission aims to prevent unfair or deceptive business practices. It responded Nov. 17, saying it will consider the information provided by Baldwin to determine whether enforcement or other action is "appropriate."
TripAdvisor says it's unaware of an FTC inquiry and hasn't been contacted by the commission.