NEEDHAM, Mass., Nov. 05, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — TripAdvisor® Senior Vice President and Head of Global Product Adam Medros testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation yesterday in support of the Consumer Review Freedom Act, to prevent businesses from leveraging corrupt “gag clauses” and to ensure the freedom for users to share candid feedback online. TripAdvisor applauds this bipartisan legislation introduced by Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS).
Medros said during his testimony, “Placing a muzzle on one’s customers with contractual boilerplate goes against everything we stand for at TripAdvisor. Just as a consumer can tell her family and friends about her experience with a business in the ‘offline world,’ she also has a right to share that experience and opinion online, allowing businesses and other customers to learn and benefit therefrom. When a business includes a ‘gag order’ in its agreements with its customers, everyone is harmed. The consumer is improperly censored. The consuming public at-large is less informed than it otherwise would be about the quality of service – or lack thereof – at a given business. Even the business doing the silencing is harmed, as it loses the opportunity to learn from the experiences of its customers. These types of clauses serve no positive role in the American marketplace and stand in the way of consumer transparency.”
TripAdvisor fully supports the Consumer Review Freedom Act. We do not believe that unscrupulous business owners seeking to eliminate transparency in the marketplace should be able to muzzle dissatisfied consumers’ opinions and reviews, and applaud Congress’s efforts to eliminate that practice.
TripAdvisor’s community is based upon giving customers a platform to share their honest opinions, good or bad, and we strongly believe in their right to do so.
Consumers know they can rely on TripAdvisor to help them make informed decisions, and that is why millions of travelers keep coming back to the site each month.
It is completely against the spirit of our site for any business owner to attempt to bully or intimidate reviewers who have had a negative experience, which is why TripAdvisor is categorically opposed to any tactic by business owners to unfairly silence customers’ candid feedback and opinions.
TripAdvisor® is the world’s largest travel site*, enabling travelers to plan and book the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers advice from millions of travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools that check hundreds of websites to find the best hotel prices. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching 375 million unique monthly visitors**, and more than 250 million reviews and opinions covering 5.2 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 47 countries worldwide.
TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP) manages and operates websites under 23 other travel media brands: www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.everytrail.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com, www.flipkey.com, www.thefork.com (including www.lafourchette.com, www.eltenedor.com, www.iens.nl, www.besttables.com and www.dimmi.com.au), www.gateguru.com, www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.jetsetter.com, www.niumba.com, www.onetime.com, www.oyster.com, www.seatguru.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.tingo.com, www.travelpod.com, www.tripbod.com, www.vacationhomerentals.com, www.viator.com, and www.virtualtourist.com.
*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, July 2015
**Source: TripAdvisor log files, average monthly unique users, Q2 2015
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