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  • Writer's pictureMarkos Vittorakis

Unmasking the Dark Side of Booking.com: The Psychological Toll of Fake Reviews on Business Owners

The rise of online platforms like Booking.com has revolutionized the way we book accommodations. However, behind the convenience lies a sinister problem: the prevalence of fake guest reviews and the disturbing trend of guests blackmailing businesses with negative feedback. These unethical practices have detrimental effects not only on businesses but also on the psychological well-being of the hardworking owners who pour their hearts and souls into their establishments. Moreover, the lack of significant action from Booking.com to address these issues only adds to the frustration.

Booking.com impact of fake reviews.

Fake reviews have become an unfortunate reality in the world of online booking platforms, and Booking.com is not immune to this problem. Unscrupulous guests and businesses manipulate the system, either to boost their own reputation or to harm competitors unfairly. This deception distorts the trustworthiness of reviews, leaving businesses and travellers at a disadvantage. Adding to this troubling situation is the alarming rise of guests blackmailing businesses with negative reviews, leveraging the fear of reputational damage to demand unreasonable concessions, refunds, or upgrades.


For business owners, the psychological impact of these unethical practices is deeply distressing. The relentless fear of receiving fake negative reviews or being blackmailed takes a toll on their mental health. The anxiety and stress associated with navigating the precarious landscape of online reviews can lead to sleepless nights, constant worry, and a sense of powerlessness. Business owners who have poured their passion and dedication into their establishments now find themselves in a constant state of vulnerability and fear.


Despite being aware of these issues, Booking.com's actions to combat fake reviews and guest blackmail have been underwhelming. Many business owners feel that the platform prioritizes the interests of guests over the well-being of its partner hotels. The lack of substantial efforts to address these problems only exacerbates the psychological burden on business owners, leaving them feeling neglected and unsupported.


It is high time for Booking.com and other online booking platforms to prioritize the protection and support of their partner hotels. Robust verification processes, enhanced fraud detection algorithms, and stricter penalties for fake reviews and blackmail must be implemented. Moreover, transparent communication channels and dedicated support systems should be established to assist businesses in handling fraudulent activities and mitigating their psychological distress.


An ecosystem built on trust and fairness is crucial for the sustainability and growth of both businesses and online booking platforms. Booking.com must demonstrate a genuine commitment to its partner hotels by actively addressing their concerns, considering their perspectives, and taking decisive action to eradicate fake reviews and guest blackmail. Only by fostering a supportive environment can the negative psychological impact on business owners be alleviated, restoring their confidence and ensuring their long-term success.


The prevalence of fake reviews and guest blackmail on platforms like Booking.com takes a toll on the psychological well-being of business owners who pour their hearts into their establishments. The lack of significant action from Booking.com to combat these issues amplifies the frustration and anxiety experienced by these owners. It is imperative for online booking platforms to prioritize the welfare of their partner hotels, implementing stringent measures to eradicate fraudulent activities and providing dedicated support to alleviate the psychological burden. By creating a fair and balanced ecosystem, we can foster trust and ensure a brighter future for both businesses and travellers alike.

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