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Reviewers too much power?


#1

I am in a hotel in the west coast of ireland. Its beautiful, staff are nice, room is huge, food great and a great location to explore the area. Today we swam in the altanic ocean, chilly but great fun.
Last night i looked at some views on Tripadvisor about the hotel and i was shocked at how petty the comments were.
Do posters ever consider the repercussions of their comments, on staff, on jobs, on suppliers and on the community in general that needs tourism.
One guest gave 0 as he got lost( well posted directions) one guest complained that at the side if the pool there were lessons( pool is huge and still had a swimmers lane) one complained a staff member put a luggage trolley back in place when the guest had blocked the entrance of the hotel( loading bay just outside) one guy moaned he had to wait for breakfast when he came down at 9.50am, breakfast funishes at 10.00am. Another complained it was not in the middle of the city. There are 4 hotels in the city and any map would have shown, its a 10 mins drive and could not believe the hotel did not pay his taxi fare.
Do people not take personnel responsibility anymore and prefer to blame in this case the hotel. The manager replied to all comments so professional and polite. He has some patience.

I was talking to a waitress yesterday as we were getting seated for breakfast, honestly pigs eating at a trough would make less mess. Food all over the carpet, food mushed into the seats and table and a cup of tea split and no effort to clean up
As children i was always throught to leave a table tidy and respect the staff.
People moaning about little things and leaving tables/room filty.
Does airbnb change how we behave when in another accommodation or are people just getting worse with a bigger sense of i am paying you and i am entitled to complain and do what i want.
Am not sure but felt sorry for the staff from the manager to the cleaners. I have stayed in a hotel before which had a few issues but i emailed them privately rather than publicly berate them and addressed issues i had, like our private feedback.


#2

I like reading bad TA reviews because they show me not how bad the hotel is but how deluded some travellers are. One of my favourite hotels in the world is La Jolla Cove Hotel in San Deigo. it’s not the classiest or best decorated hotel in the world, the rooms are on the small side and they only provide aircon if you ask because: sea breezes. All these things are made clear up front. But you still get guests complaining on TA about: the size of the rooms, the lack of aircon and the smell of the sea lions across the way which is kind of the most famous attraction in La Jolla.

So my criteria is if 85% of guests give it a 4 or 5 star review I am fine with that. If more than 20% give it a 1-3 star review I’ll see why and probably ditch it. My mother told me about a cheap hotel she had booked in Cairns and when i checked it up on TA there were many reviews saying it was unclean and smelly which I know she would have hated so I got her to rebook somewhere nicer and more her comfort level. As a rule if the only picture they show is the palms trees next tot he pool it probably isn’t that great!

Personally I would be happy if ABB reviews were more like TA reviews and I got an average of 4 stars rather than 5 compared to real 5 star resorts with infinity pools, 24 hour room service and hot and cold running staff at your beck and call.


#3

I have left reviews on TA - my most read is “the Sad Saga of Sheraton on the Park”. That was a disaster and they dealt with it really badly!


#4

TA reviews in the U.S. are horrible! Even if the owner of an establishment gives a full refund for a complaining guest, and also brings out a new meal to comp - that same guest is likely to post their 1 star experience even after the owner did their best to fix everything and family ate for free. It’s sad…


#5

I suspect (hope) that the general public, in other words people like we are, are smart enough to form their own opinions taking the reviews into account but taking them with a pinch of salt too.


#6

I hear you. The review sites and the ability to review are the scourge of our time. Did you see the Black Mirror episode where everyone in the episode was reviewing everything and everyone. It was so ridiculous. I for one am sick of the review culture.


#7

I thought so much of AirBnB when I watched that episode! It seems like any “gig economy” job overly relies on reviews. I don’t take Uber/Lyft often, but a friend called one for me, and the driver was kind of crabby, but I still gave her 5-stars because I know how detrimental anything less can be to one’s livelihood.

The importance of reviews seems to be seeping into traditional industries like hotels, as well, as they try to keep up with the “sharing economy” gigs.


#8

They can’t really control it though when they are reviewed on Trip Advisor and Yelp.


#9

i saw that show too, Kona.

When I worked for a cruise line, we dreaded the discount weeks. People had such ridiculous expectations. The same is true of TA.

After all, Vuitton luggage is only canvas…:wink:


#10

Hello @cassid, I just came across of this review that perfectly describes what you say:
"This place was newly renovated inside, very very clean, bathroom amenities top notch. From nice big fluffy towels to special hand soap. Bed extremely comfortable which is a must in my book. Nicely decorated, all updated. The only reason why I gave an overall rating of 4 stars was because the outside was fair, older home being fixed up, but host and everything included was 5 star! "


#11

just read a review of an airbnb that had all amazing 5star reviews except for one man that knocked off two stars because his children were very disapointed there was no ketchup or mayonnaise. He wrote Nothing of the pool, farm animals, lovely beds, and the lovely hosts. According to him the whole holiday was a disaster becuase no ketchup.


#12

I’ve just been reviewed again and dinged slightly for things that are not only in the listing but in the house rules. However, the last guests were nice and left a nice review, but left comments in the private feedback…”we were surprised by this.” Well they were only surprised because …they did not read the rules!

In the review they also mentioned it was further than they thought and not in the town that they thought (yes it is). They just didn’t read.

I know they didn’t read also because they asked for the check in time and directions. Great big sigh.


#13

I just had a review of an AirBnB guest group members on Google…
The guest was traveling with her mother, spoke very little English.

Altough we do not speak Spanish, we understand a lot of it…

This is the typical type of guest that books at the lowest rate and then expect the same freebees the full price paying guest receives. And if they to not get it, they leave a bad review to retaliate.

Our full price paying guest receive a special guest card that gives them free access to a lot of venues. Cable cars, Museums, Zoo and much more. This really saves them a lot of money. This card costs us a host about €6 per person per night, and we put this in the nightly rates for our direct bookings.

On AirBnB we offer 2 listings, one with the card and one without. 99% of the guests book without the card, because they go for the cheaper rate. Upon arrival, after some explanations, 9 out of 10 times they buy the card from us separately because it saves them a huge amount of money.

Now this guest payed the lowest rate, and wanted the card for free. We told her we could not do this at this nightly rate, and that she should have booked the higher rates.

Her daughter has not left us a review on AirBnB yet, so I will wait for that until replying on google.
But I will put in the AirBnB: “I would avoid this guest if she is traveling with her Mother”


#14

I would definitely correct that one in the response. Guest chose not to purchase the card. Unfortunately we cannot offer it for free.

I am thinking of getting the guest to,acknowledge at booking some of the things they ding me for. Even though it’s so clearly disclosed. Really getting bloody tired of getting cracked on things that are clearly disclosed.


#15

Yes, I will definitely do that, but I wait for her daughter to leave a review on AirBnB first before I reply on Google.

The google review only shows “I.” as her name, thinking she can stay anonymous. I will use her first name to show we know who our guests are.

I will also leave a link to our AirBnB listing, which has a 4.8 star rating. (Higher than the 4* on google)


#16

I think part of the “not reading” problem is with Airbnb’s interface design. They used to show the entire listing in one view. Now they show the first paragraph with a “more” link, which is very tiny, almost imperceptible, and which guests have to click to see the full description. Newcomers don’t even see it. The same design affects their view of the House Rules/Booking Confirmation they receive. If they print it without opening the links, the text inside the links doesn’t appear. If they don’t know about those links, all that info goes unseen. I’ve coached many guests on how to open those links, and they’re almost always surprised to find out about them. Sigh.


#17

This is why most review systems suck:
4 people from one family going online to google just to retaliate at a business owner.
Never left a review before.

Just by doing 4 reviews instead of 1 they managed to get him from 4.2 to 3.9.
(And if they were really bad, they would have left another 4 on Tripadvisor, because google also takes those into account)

And for a business owner there is no way do defend against this, other than abusing the system in the same way.
Ask friends an family to leave 5-star reviews to reduce the impact of the 1 stars.


#18

Another problem, and I’m as guilty of this as anyone, is that there’s a natural temptation for us as hosts to cram as much information in as we can.


#19

My listing is very simple, and that does not get read, I have a sign in my driveway, basically guests only beyond this point, out there yesterday somebody had parked right y it, well past it and some guests were unloading luggage and he seemed surprised people were staying here, well the sign did not work.


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