The Council of Better Business Bureaus issued the following statement today:
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Tips from a study at USC (http://n.pr/UKyFOT).
• Compare reviews not only within a site, but across different websites.
• Reviews by people who are verified by the site are more trustworthy than reviews by anonymous reviewers — especially when it comes to negative reviews.
• Read reviews less for whether they give a hotel or a restaurant one star or five stars, but more for the specific information they give about the experience.
• Reviews are very useful for information that experts or merchants might not think to provide — how late a swimming pool stays open could be useful if you are traveling with a family.
• Focus on aggregates, not outliers. You can't trust a handful of bad reviews or glowing reviews, but trends are much harder to fake.