MILWAUKEE — Kristie Love read the Nov. 2 headlines from around the globe; “TripAdvisor apologizes for deleting user’s post about being raped at resort;” “TripAdvisor apologizes for removing rape claim …” and “TripAdvisor apologizes to alleged rape victim. …”
Then, the next day, she saw a statement on LinkedIn from Steve Kaufer, CEO of TripAdvisor, saying the company was making improvements, was horrified at what had happened to Love and others and that travelers should be aware of the incidents.
And, he said, the company has “apologized to the victim for her experience.”
Love was outraged.
“WHAT APOLOGY?” she replied on LinkedIn. “I’ve yet to hear a word from TripAdvisor, and certainly not an apology!”
In a letter to Kaufer on Wednesday Love elaborated: “Not receiving a single phone call or email from your company, my immediate thought was ‘hearsay,’ ” she wrote. “It was then brought to my attention this so called ‘apology’ was in the form of a Press Release dated Nov 1, 2017.”
“Hearsay” is the reason TripAdvisor gave dozens of travelers for not publishing their warnings of terrible things that had happened to them or their loved ones at highly rated resorts in Mexico.
Turns out, while the company was publicly apologizing, nobody had actually contacted Love, the woman from Texas whose post about being sexually assaulted by a security guard at a resort in Mexico in 2010 was deleted from TripAdvisor.
At least two other women reported being assaulted at the same resort after Love’s TripAdvisor warning had been removed.
Kaufer did eventually call Love, but for her it was too little, too late.
As TripAdvisor scrambles to respond to complaints from users who say the company has forbidden them from posting negative reviews and comments detailing serious injuries and other terrifying experiences while traveling, dozens more have told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel they, too, have had their posts blocked by TripAdvisor.
At the same time, the company placed its first warning “badges” Wednesday on three resorts in Mexico, including the Iberostar Paraiso Maya, the complex where Love and others were assaulted and where Abbey Conner, a 20-year-old Wisconsin woman mysteriously drowned just hours after arriving with her family.
The Grand Velas Riviera Maya, where a tourist receiving a massage at the spa was sexually assaulted, also had a warning badge placed on its site.
The red banner across the top of the resorts’ listings on TripAdvisor caution tourists that the establishments have been subjects in media reports and suggests travelers might want to do further research.
The warning notes that the media reports or events may not be reflected in the TripAdvisor reviews.