Lets make a point to Trip Advisor

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Hillbilly's picture
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10/22/2011

Hello!  I must say, I was really excited to come across this forum.  I think I have viewed every post on here in the last week.  My wife and I have been innkeepers for 14 years now.  I told her about this site and she will be joining you soon.  She is a much better typer than what I am.  Actually, I am suppose to be doing the dishes and getting the place ready for a wedding right now.  I thought I would take a sec and make a comment.
    A lot of you have been making comments about TripAdvisor.  I to believe Trip Advisor could be a good thing if it was fair to both the customer and business.  TA allows anyone to post anything (within reason) to any business even if they have not stayed their.  I could go on and on about how much of TA is wrong and so can you.  So If TA allows people to post comments to businesses with out verification, why can’t we.  I have never stayed at any of your properties.  But according to TA, I can post a comment about your Bed and Breakfast. I just can’t post about mine!  I can give you all gleaming reviews.  TA says reviews can be from a phone call through checkout.  I think we should all go and write a review to each Bed and Breakfast out their just to prove a point.  I really don’t have the time to do that, because I own a Bed and Breakfast.  I know you don’t either.  The point is, I am tired of walking around on pins and needles wondering what kind of review I might have to defend because Joe Smith was being rude and bothering our other guest and I asked them to leave.  Or Mr. Cook who sent me an email after they had such a great time at our place stating that if I did not refund their money for their stay, they would go on every website possible and make up bad reviews. Sure after a review is posted, I can make a Managers response.  This does not change our rating.  Just takes up what little spare time we have.  We are all going to have to come together and come up with a way to fight back.  I guess that is enough for now.  I still need to vent some more but our cleaner just called in sick!  Now I have dishes, four rooms to clean and a wedding yet to do today!  As my dad says.....Livin the Dream!

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Hillbilly's picture
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I have enjoyed all of your comments! I even had a really nice phone conversation with one of you. This is going to be a great place to spend some time while my wife shops! 

Joey Camb's picture
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If trip adviser wasn't annonymous I would not have a problem with it because then you could easily sue them for slander. I don't believe that you should be able to review without giving your identity, plus I think it would make people think twice if they knew you knew exactly who they were.

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Bob!  Beautiful place you have there!  Our B&B has been closed for a year and a half and we still get calls that people found our TA reviews (even though the listing is long gone).  It's definitely not going away. 

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Bob, I understand your frustration with TA and totally agree that they should have some guidelines in place to verify questionable reviews but as Guillim stated I don't think it is going to change. 

They can lie and call names (another recent thread about that) but the response can not call attention to the lie.  The more professional the response the better, it is the last word on the issue so one up and end the issue with the upper hand.  Sometimes you can win more guests with your response than you loose with a negative review.

When the issue is about the physical location, upkeep etc.  it is good to remind the reader that an unbias place to make sure ANY business is on the up and up about their location, upkeep of the property etc is by using Google maps where Google has gone out to take photos... some aerial views with 360 too. 

 

Proud Texan's picture
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 We use the BedandBreakfast.com review widget on our website.    That alone has provided us with numerous new guests.   I don't think it's as difficult to deal with fake reviews or bad reviews there as it appears to be on TripAdvisor.

 

Hillbilly's picture
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10/22/2011

Im sorry! I am new here and I guess I have posted out of line.  I think Trip Advisor could be a really great thing.  Im not sure if everyone gets what I am trying to say.  My point that I am trying to convey is this.  Lets say you have a reservation for 3 of your rooms for a weekend.  Two days before they arrive they call and need to cancel.  You remind them that they are within the cancellation deadline and that they will still have to pay unless you can rebook it.  They say “well thats not fair, im not staying so why should I have to pay”?  You tell them that you are sorry and that you will try and do everything that you can to help lower their cost if you can rebook the rooms.  They say “ok”and all is good. Three days later you still have not been able to rent the rooms out and so you charge their card.  Then a few weeks go by and you happen to go on TA and read a post that says this. 

“Innkeepers are Horrible”

We arrived and the place looked like it was once used as a crack house.  I think their pictures on their website have had some Photoshop work applied.  The innkeepers were their in person but not all there, if you know what I mean!  We decided not to stay and they said they were still going to charge our card.  If you want a nice relaxing weekend, stay clear of this place!

You can’t believe what you just read on your TA listing.  You think to your self “this never happened”!  Then you look a little closer and notice the person that made the post has the same name as the person who cancelled 3 weeks ago with the 3 rooms.  You call them up and they said yes they wrote the post!  Then they tell you “ If you don’t refund all of the money including the room deposit,  I have the other 2 couples that had to cancel with me are going to write the same type of review and we are going to keep doing this until you give our money back.

Or, what if your husband fires someone at work and that x employee goes home and  remembers that his boss has a Bed and Breakfast and takes revenge on your TA page.  Then before you know it you have 5 bad review all in a row because he calls up his family for support!

All I am trying to say is that TA needs a little more verification before allowing people to post reviews.

Sorry If I have stepped out of line here!  I am new to this forum and hope to get to know all!  Hope you all have had a great weekend!

Highlands John's picture
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04/16/2010

Hi Bob,

I don't think you posted out of line, just because some of us disagree with you, your opinions are just as valid as everyone else's.

We had two coupls stay last summer, who got together in one room, drank wine and were generally very noisy until almost midnight. At which point I went upstairs and politely asked them to keep the noise down for the sake of other guests as well as ourselves. A couple of weeks later they left us a horrible, spiteful review on TA and complained about most things.

Effect on our business, zilch. Why?

1) I posted a management response which pointed out the inaccuracies in their review which showed them to be the liars they were.

2) as per my previous posting, because I encourage all those who I think will y nice things to post a review their poor rating is just 1 out of several hundred 4/5 and 5/5 ratings.

Play the game.

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gillumhouse's picture
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Bob, Welcome to the Forum.

We understand your irritation with what I call the 1000 lb Gorilla, but it is something that we just live with. Most of us do not live in terror of a bad review. I personally feel it is my business and I run it MY way and TA threats be damned. I have had guests tell me they booked because of my reviews - which by the way are not a lot in number. Yes, I have started asking for reviews. It is what it is and we just respond as management. Yes, a bit of responsibility on their part would be nice, but to me, we have lived in an era of no one being responsible for anything for a while. Everything has been his fault - whoever his is....

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More importantly, I don't know any innkeepers who are fearful of TA or reviewers. They are out there, and there are locales where this is more rampant, especially in the UK. (info from another source of UK innkeepers). I have actually seen negative reviews benefit inns when the owner is able to respond and share a bit about the business.

Not sure if you just arrived here why you are trying to rally the troops here without getting to know us first.  I am not anti TA, at all.

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 Welcome, Sorry but I think TA is here to stay and we just have to deal with it. I know one of the top inns here owes their rise to the top because of all the 5 star reviews given them on TA and guests always say that is how they found them.  If a bad review comes, just deal with it. That is all you can do. People see through a bad one when all the others are great. Now on the other hand if all the reviews are lousy ones, then the innkeeper better do something differently because everyone can't be wrong. Learn a lesson and move on.

YellowSocks's picture
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05/22/2008

I for one am OK with Trip Advisor... I get plenty of guests who look at the hotels in town, read the reviews, then book with me.  They frequently tell me I'm their first stay at a bed and breakfast.  I suppose I could have a rotten apple leave a horrible review, but so far all of my guests have been fabulous and they have been very kind with their online reviews. 

If the time should come that someone leaves a review like that then I will do the management response thing... and know that travelers are not stupid.  I look at reviews when I'm traveling, too.  If I see dozens of good reviews and one whiner, it not only doesn't stop me from booking, but I feel all the more confident that the rest of the reviews are bona fide.

=)
Kk.

Highlands John's picture
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YellowSocks wrote:

I for one am OK with Trip Advisor...

Me too. I've said it before and I'll say it again, there's no point leaving it to the gods. Everyone who gives you 100% on your inroom feedback form email them after and ask them to put a review.

TA is not there to help me collect guest feedback, I don't want it giving a balanced view of guests opinions, it's a marketing tool.

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10/07/2008

Hi Bob and welcome to the forum!

(If you could change the the topic to ONLINE REVIEWS instead of chat vent laugh and cry we will be able to find this info later on)

PS Beautiful place, Acorn has done it justice, if I were a guest I might never leave...we have some of your folks here (MO).

Proud Texan's picture
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05/30/2008

Welcome Bob.   I don't think you'll find anyone here that disagrees with you about TripAdvisor.    If I could remove our B&B from their website, I would.    Fortunately,  they make it so hard to find bed and breakfast we've yet to ever have someone tell us "We found you on TripAdvisor".

 

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06/15/2008

 I haven't had anyone say they found us on Trip Advisor but 90% of my people tell me they book with us because of our reveiws. I feel that it helps so much to have the reviews on there.

 

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Highlands John's picture
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sandynn wrote:

 I haven't had anyone say they found us on Trip Advisor but 90% of my people tell me they book with us because of our reveiws. I feel that it helps so much to have the reviews on there.

 

A couple of years ago we had a "business listing" with TA, it cost £180/pa which is a lot for a small B&B like us. I monitor our web traffic closely and the number of people coming to our website from the TA link was small compared to other sites charging a lot less. We didn't renew.

Just under 50% of our guests say that TA reviews were one of the primary reasons for booking with us.

Just yesterday I had a letter from TA offering 20% off a business listing. Am considering it !

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 We don't have a paid listing but they look for our reviews on TA. 

webmarketing4hotels.com's picture
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Read today that Trip Advisor, in the UK, have responded to a recent TV programme and have appointed a dedicated customer services phone number [click 'Phone number'] they are also running a number of roadshows

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Happy Keeper's picture
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10/24/2011

Despite the fact that we have used Trip Advisor to benefit our business and we have been very pleased with those results, customer service needs for U.S. accomodations that pay to list their information are not being addressed adequately. It's just a matter of time before the "netflix" syndrome or the "Bank of America" snafu comes to TA.

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