Books by Glenda Young

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Truth about Tripadvisor

Very interesting TV programme last night about Tripadvisor reviewers who 'destroy' the livelihoods of small hoteliers and resaturanteurs by posting damaging reviews.

I watched and enjoyed the programme because I'm a big fan of Tripadvisor and have used it for many years, reading and writing hotel reviews each time I go on holiday or a short break.  But although I watched and enjoyed the programme I didn't agree with it all.  It tried to give Tripadvisors a bad name but there are hundreds of thousands of us who use it responsibly and what exactly is wrong with putting an opinion online when you're paying hard-earned cash for a business service you deem to be lacking?

But anyway, I try always to use Tripadvisor responsibly, For instance,  I have recently stayed in two mediocre B&Bs, which were run by their owners. I could have nitpicked about both of them on Tripadvisor but because I knew that they were small places, livelihoods of their owners, I didn't post a review on Tripadvisor at all using the adage that if you have nothing good to say, say nothing. I could have put a snarky review about both B&Bs as neither of them were great and there was room for improvement in both, but it would have ben very unfair to the owners, whose life depends on getting customers in.  I just won't go back or recommend them to friends.

However, last week I stayed in a big, posh hotel where the service was abyssmal and I did post on tripadvisor about that one. Big, corporate hotels are fair game, especially when they're charging up to £200 per night and offering all sorts of promises on their website that they fail to live up to, and indeed, this one came mightily close to helping ruin the most special day of my life.  It was the first negative review I've ever posted to Tripadvisor and I actually felt guilty afterwards but it had to be done.

Anyway, I really do like Tripadvisor and will continue to use it, always, responsibly.


Sunny Jim said...

An interesting programme though clearly the makers had an agenda to try to get good telly out of it. Here's what one of the reviewers had to say about it:

Tvor said...

As i said on FB, i use TA and keep in mind that some people just love to complain about anything, even if they're not out to be vindictive. I think it's good to post negativity if you see it but try to balance it with something good.

in the case of small businesses, perhaps a review that points out what they could do better might be helpful if it's balance with positive. i.e. great breakfast or nicely decorated

That article is very interesting and I'm not surprised a documentary would try to portray TA in a negative light. As you say, it's "better" tv though that's debatable. I'd like to see the postive along with the negative and overall I think TA is an excellent resource. Some places i've researched, you see messages in reply from someone at a hotel either defending a bad review or thanking for a good one. That, to me, is good business.

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