We recently stayed in the Long Beach area, and when I returned, I received an email from one of the hotels asking for a 4 or 5 star review.
I know it is allowed for the hotel to request you to post a review (a practice I don't like from TA) but I also know it is against the rules to specifically say what star level to give as the review. I politely responded back saying I had already posted a 4 star review for them but not because they requested it, because they earned it and also very nicely pointed out as a senior reviewer and member of TA for 10 years I really try to give honest reviews, the good and the opportunities for improvement. I indicated I would be back, but that I also spread my business around and would probably try a different hotel just to stay somewhere different.
Is it common practice for all Long Beach hotels to solicit positive excellent reviews from those that stay in their businesses? Restaurants would not be able to do that since they won't know or have their email address. But many of the Long Beach hotels have "one-off" reviews and I am suspecting they are solicited from the hotel to get their ratings up.
I appreciate TA, but I really dislike the mix of reviews "sponsored" by the hotel management. I forget exactly what it says but many of the reviews now are posted by management of the hotel. What happened to just honest reviews to help those looking for a great place to stay?