Earlier this week we had a particularly scathing review on TripAdvisor from a couple who stayed a week or so ago. Mistakes had been made and they were not happy with their stay with us and made the review.
Unfortunately they went a bit over the top and marked us as a 1 out of 5 in all categories apart from location – which they only gave us a 3 out of 5.
I was fuming that they had considered their stay with us to be so low that they marked us so unkindly in all departments. I thought they were over zealous in their markings and put an article together saying so. It wasn’t very kind about them but at the time I didn’t particularly care about their feelings.
The guests noticed this article and, with Mark from YesHotels mediating, asked me to remove it suggesting they would withdraw their review also.
Now the reason I did the article wasn’t to bully them into removing it. I’d have been quite happy for my article to remain and theirs too. I think it highlighted the problem with TripAdvisor. If there are problems for a guest staying at ANY hotel and they feel like making a review on them sometimes I see the reviews they make seem …over the top. Not just with me…but with many of my competitors too.
All the hotelier can do is respond to the review but let me tell you this…TripAdvisor EDITS our responses. How can that be fair? So on the one hand the guest can make scathing inaccurate comments and not have them edited, but when the hotelier responds part of their comments can be edited out.
Many viewers of TripAdvisor will be able to read between the lines but, of course, many will not and a particularly harsh review will be damaging.
Now the reason for my article, which I have since removed, was to put a little balance back into the equation. There was no way TripAdvisor would have published my comments without a LOT of editing. Usually if they have to edit too much they will simply refuse to publish it and not even have the courtesy to let me know!!
Now don’t get me wrong. I think TripAdvisor is a great tool. I have many excellent comments and quite a few constructive complaints. I also have a few that went over the top. There are one or two extremely harsh reviews from people who have never even stayed with us. (Will TA remove those? …well I’ve asked and been ignored)
If the management at TripAdvisor ever get to read this then perhaps you would like to consider a fairer system to mark accommodation on. The current format leaves it wide open for over zealous reviews which are unfairly damaging lots of business’. I know I’m not alone in my views on this.