Why I Cannot Trust Expedia Reviews

I’ve used Expedia to book family travel for a LONG time. Hotels, flights and even a Christmas cruise regularly earn us VIP status with the travel site. Yes, I might save a buck or two by using other sites or booking directly, but old habits are hard to break. But what happened to us this week may have me changing how we book our travel.

We planned a long weekend getaway with the family to St. Louis to attend Geekway of the West, an annual board game convention attracting nearly 2,000 participants. I effortless booked the host hotel through Expedia for the convention dates and even saved a few dollars over the official rate offered by the hotel for those who booked directly! As the dates drew nearer we decided to travel a day early so we could be at the convention at 8am on day one.

But this host hotel was sold out. So off to Expedia to find a one-night solution. They listed the 2-star Red Roof Inn as being within a mile of our final destination, so we booked based upon the photos. What we discovered upon checking in was the worst hotel stay experience we have ever had.

Let’s start with the extremely uncaring front desk staff. I realize not every employee is a gem, so I ignored the handful of reviews that said they encountered rude service. The young lady female who manned the desk (9:30pm, May 17, 2016) was obviously upset we arrived while she was on a personal call. But she did check us in right away since the documents were already printed. Then we headed to the room.

Had a horrible hotel experience, but Expedia is denying the ability to post the review. You should be aware of their review moderation! - SahmReviews.com

Advertised as non-smoking and proudly displayed on the window, this room had been smoked in on more than one occasion. It smelled so bad both of my daughters said it was making them ill.  Tried to turn on the TV – no remote. Discovered a missing hair dryer also, so I headed back to the front office to ask for a different room. “Sorry, nothing available.” Fine, how about a remote and a can of air freshener? “Sorry, we don’t have air freshener.” This floored me – I have never seen any hotel that didn’t have a method of neutralizing room odors… Fortunately maintenance was able to locate the remote (which was at the front desk). As for the hair dryer? They don’t put them in rooms, you have to check them out and they were already all being used according to this same rep.

Had a horrible hotel experience, but Expedia is denying the ability to post the review. You should be aware of their review moderation! - SahmReviews.com

Then I used the bathroom. It was quite small and the door opens almost flushly against the wall. When closing it, this is what you see. USED toilet paper, hair and other grime. Housekeeping obviously goes in to clean the toilet and doesn’t close the door behind them because there isn’t really room to do so. I looked further at the condition of the bathroom and discovered more dirt and something growing around the rails to the tub.

Had a horrible hotel experience, but Expedia is denying the ability to post the review. You should be aware of their review moderation! - SahmReviews.com  Had a horrible hotel experience, but Expedia is denying the ability to post the review. You should be aware of their review moderation! - SahmReviews.comHad a horrible hotel experience, but Expedia is denying the ability to post the review. You should be aware of their review moderation! - SahmReviews.com

That was enough for me. Knowing I wasn’t getting any further with the front desk I elected to call customer service at Expedia. I have to say the rep I got at Expedia was very professional and caring, even if a little hard to understand. They called the front desk themselves to try to get remedies and encountered the same rude clerk. I really didn’t want to change hotels (an option, but with added expense) since it was now after 11pm and graciously accepted a coupon from Expedia for a future stay (the amount was less than the price we paid for this hotel).

Had a horrible hotel experience, but Expedia is denying the ability to post the review. You should be aware of their review moderation! - SahmReviews.com

So why am I upset with Expedia when it looks like I received good service from them? At the customer service rep’s suggestion I filled out Expedia’s review form to help warn others of the condition of this property. I was very thorough in my description, paying careful attention to the “Tips & Guidelines” for posting commentary. All-in-all, over 400 words along with two photos. Then I get this email.

Had a horrible hotel experience, but Expedia is denying the ability to post the review. You should be aware of their review moderation! - SahmReviews.com

I never mentioned rates, so this couldn’t be the issue. Zero profanity, unless terms like “disgusting” or “horrible” are considered profane. I wouldn’t think of leaving any personal information, so it must have been the last thing – the photos. I included the above two photos of the used toilet paper and the shower rod (sans SahmReviews branding). Apparently the sight of the actual condition of the facility is too much for the eyes of Expedia’s review moderator.

But what makes this whole thing worse is that when you have a rejected review and hit the “Review Your Review” button in the email, Expedia’s site takes you to a new BLANK review page. There is no revision – their idea of revision is to have you re-type the entire thing without exact explanation of what they deemed inappropriate. How many other customers have had reviews rejected with factual information and photos that don’t want to take the time to recreate their work and just move on like I am?

So I will vent my frustrations here without fear of biased editing and let the next unsuspecting person who visits the Red Roof Inn in St. Louis (Maryland Heights) have the same experience. I now have a new view of Expedia’s customer reviews not that I know anything too gross doesn’t make it through their filters. It’s a shame, people should be able to provide factual reports (good and bad) without fear of having their efforts wasted.

UPDATE! (5/31/16)

In the spirit of full disclosure, I feel compelled to post an update of what has transpired over the past week. Today I received an email that my review was now magically approved (although heavily edited). Photos were included, but are so small most readers will not be able to see the detail like you can in our photos above.

Had a horrible hotel experience, but Expedia is denying the ability to post the review. You should be aware of their review moderation! - SahmReviews.com

At no point have I been contacted by Expedia nor Red Roof Inn about the condition of the facilities or the moderation policy of the travel site. I guess the fact that most of my words are now live for others to see is some consolation.

27 thoughts on “Why I Cannot Trust Expedia Reviews

  1. Oh. My. GOD. You deserve a medal and tetanus shots for staying there. 🙁 I don’t travel much but I’ve heard people have the same experience with trying to leave negative reviews. The one good thing is, you’ve got an active blog that gets traffic that will spread the word and with good tagging, it can show up in search engines. I know it’s small consolation but maybe some retweets will also help out?

  2. That’s crazy. We stayed at a Travelodge once in Niagara Falls (US side) and it was kind of like that. I don’t think booked through Expedia though.

  3. WOW! Just wow!! We had a similar experience at a hotel in Miami! I can’t believe Expedia did that! I will not trust them from now on! I want honest opinions, good or bad! This would totally gross me out!

  4. Ugh… I can see what you mean sometimes reviews are just not to be trusted.. I stayed at a place that was the top rated hotel in the town and it had a huge spider in the bathroom and burn holes in the sheets…

  5. That is horrible….It stinks that you cant trust the reviews on those sites. I have a few hotel chains I choose from almost every time and I am very hesitant to go with anything else!

  6. I cannot imagine, as with most sites I am sure some are paid to write positive reviews instead of just honest pro/con type reviews. I am so sorry you weren’t able to trust the receive you saw online.

  7. That smoking thing is serious, too. I have asthma and that would definitely be something that would make me need to leave. Not to mention all that disgusting stuff in that room. Gross. I have never stayed at Red Roof Inn, nor have I ever used Expedia. I will be cautious if I ever do.

  8. You weren’t kidding. Those photos really tell the true story. I’m really disappointed to hear that your honest feedback was rejected by Expedia, especially when there’s a customer service history of the experience already. It will make me think twice, that’s for sure.

  9. What? That is crazy! I rely a lot on costumer’s reviews when I’m booking a new place. Now I will have to be careful since it looks like they are filtering the reviews. That’s upsetting!

  10. That’s scary… It happened to me once about 10 years ago at Yelp. They simply deleted my review… I know exactly how you feel… Have you tried Trip Advisor? Better luck there?

  11. I also wrote an honest but negative reviobut Expedia rejected it. They censor all reviews to weed out the truthful negative ones. Hence, never trust Expedia reviews because most of the negative reviews are rejected outright.

  12. Very, very interesting. I will take reviews from expedia with a grain of salt from now on! The fact that they left in your photos but they are so incredibly tiny is just a joke. How about changing things at their hotel and then leaving a comment on your review about that? Heaven forbid we get the house keepers and/or the front desk staff to amend their ways!!

  13. I submitted a review about my recent stay at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans. It was just an honest review about my experience, no profanity, nothing that would violate their policy. However, I received an email from Expedia requesting that I revise my review. Apparently, they do not appreciate negative reviews of hotels they recommend. So my warning to you reading this, don’t trust reviews that you see on Expedia. The negative reviews get rejected and they bombard their site with glorious reviews. Makes you wonder what they are being paid to silence your truth.

  14. Expedia will tell you anything to get your booking but if there is an issue they are no where to be found. I am an international traveler and Thank Goodness I never got stranded. I have been lucky. They are not trust worthy. They care about the insurance companies, the airlines and the hotels. NOT YOU!

  15. I had a similar problem with a review I left on Airbnb. They completely deleted the entire text of my review, which listed all the problems with the rental unit and just left the title which was not NEARLY negative enough to capture how bad the place was. So now I don’t really trust Airbnb to post the bad reviews that they get.

  16. Good lord I just passed through st louis Maryland Heights too and had a similar experience at a different hotel. It was a motel 6 that I am pretty sure is controlled by a gang given the brazenness of drug deals happening right at the front door. Some guy even offered to sell my husband cocaine and marijuana! A fight broke out in front of our room. We just left and got a new room at a different hotel so we wouldn’t get shot. Also Expedia is reluctant to post my review of this awful place too.

  17. Wow! It’s 2024 and I’m reading your post and wondering if anything has even changed with Expedia’s operating procedures, standards or protocols. It would seem it be in their best interest to promote the falsified illusion of a “good hotel”. I was told by a respectful rep today that they are given the information by the hotel. I asked if Expedia verifies for accuracy or has any quality control in place? He replied honestly saying “they do try to verify from time to time.” Well, “I guess it’s about that time now, huh. If enough of us call maybe Expedia will raise a red flag.” We shared an awkward laugh. Yeah if they have a way to capture and process these complaints and use tools to measure pain spots with a diagnostic approach but hey… it’s Expedia. ANY CHANCE YOU’VE FOUND A MORE HONEST AND RELIABLE SOURCE TO BOOK HOTELS? Itching for an answer. Thanks!

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