According to a new study, people have spent 402 hours writing negative reviews about the Paris landmark on Tripadvisor — and they’re likely to be named Kim or Paul.

By Rachel Chang
September 09, 2020
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Paris is the city of lights, love, and apparently complaints, too. The Eiffel Tower tops the list of most complained about attractions worldwide, according to a study by UK comparison site Uswitch.

Well, at least that’s true for English-writing reviewers on Tripadvisor. The company’s study looked solely at the negative reviews of popular global attractions, noting the number of complaints, as well as the time spent writing them.

While the Eiffel Tower leads the list by a healthy margin in terms of hours spent writing negative reviews, the Parisian landmark is followed by the Colosseum, Big Ben, Pyramids of Giza, Statue of Liberty, Hollywood sign, Sydney Opera House, Taj Mahal, Berlin Wall, and Grand Canyon’s South Rim.

To reach this conclusion, the study started with a list of the world’s biggest tourist landmarks and then used Tripadvisor to look at the first 50 pages of its “poor” and “terrible” reviews. It used the average word count of those reviews, calculating it with the average number of words typed per minute, to come up with its metrics.

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That formula put the Eiffel Tower ahead of the rest, with 19,303 negative reviews and 24,129 minutes (or 402 hours) spent writing those complaints. Rome's Colosseum trailed behind in second, with 1,944 bad reviews and 2,430 minutes (or 41 hours) spent on them.

The New York Times warns about the credibility of online reviews, and the Harvard Business Review says online reviews are biased, while online typing tutor site Ratatype says words per minute typing speeds can vary by gender. But even the positive Eiffel Tower reviews on Tripadvisor often have negative titles, like “Kinda Dirty,” “No Social Distancing,” and one simply with the title “COVID.”

The study also looked at the names of people who registered the negative reviews (or at least the names they use on Tripadvisor), verifying that Kim and Karen are the most common female names for those who complained. The top 10 is rounded out by Susan, Sue, Sarah, Julie, Emily, Claudia, Anna, and Rachel. Meanwhile, the top 10 male names for most complaints include Paul, David, John, Mark, Andrew, Steve, Michael, Peter, Jeff, and Daniel.

Rachel Chang is travel and pop culture journalist who grew up in the California Bay Area and lives in New York City (well, Hoboken, NJ). She’s a solo travel advocate, dumpling addict, and reluctant runner — who managed to finish the NYC marathon twice. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.