Reservations from TA

61 replies [Last post]
muirford's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

So, I'm pretty sure someone mentioned this but I'll be darned if I can find the thread now. I just got one of those phone calls that started off with the recorded announcement 'this phone call is brought to you by Trip Advisor' (or something along those lines), and then a guest asking about availability for next week.  The person's name was on the caller id, not TA.  So, I don't have anything open, but I asked her how she happened to call me, and described what happened when I answered the phone.  She said she was looking for lodging in the area (parent of a new local university student) and she called the number that she found on TA.  I asked her what number she called, and it was our area code but a completely different phone number, not matching any of ours (we have an 888 number, a local number and a residence number). 

Since they are about to move into the booking business, I would guess this is how they will convince us to sign up with them.  This could get very tricky.

__________________

Jeanne

There are no rules, just follow your heart. ~ Robin Williams

 

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

I just got the live person call. They said they will put MY number up for the remainder of the trial period if that is OK. I said if it is MY number I do not care but if it requires a donation from my checking account it is NOT happening. She told me I had over 70 referrals to my web sit from TA in the last month. I fine, I can check that out right now.   "How"  I just happen to have a tracking program on my site. "Oh, it is not track-able from TA"

HmmmmIf it is not track-able to my web site from T A, they can toss out any number  and it is strange that everyone else is track-able. I think they are handing people a lot of bull. IF I want another directory, I can get a good one for less than T A wants. I think they would be a lot more credible if they could show real stats - like allow YOUR trackers to pick up hits from TA much like G allows - then I could see what actually comes from them.

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

gillumhouse wrote:

I just got the live person call. They said they will put MY number up for the remainder of the trial period if that is OK. I said if it is MY number I do not care but if it requires a donation from my checking account it is NOT happening. She told me I had over 70 referrals to my web sit from TA in the last month. I fine, I can check that out right now.   "How"  I just happen to have a tracking program on my site. "Oh, it is not track-able from TA"

HmmmmIf it is not track-able to my web site from T A, they can toss out any number  and it is strange that everyone else is track-able. I think they are handing people a lot of bull. IF I want another directory, I can get a good one for less than T A wants. I think they would be a lot more credible if they could show real stats - like allow YOUR trackers to pick up hits from TA much like G allows - then I could see what actually comes from them.

If you don't have a biz listing, there is no link for your site on TA. No link means you can't track how many people went from TA to your website.

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

That was my point - they can tell me any number they want that went to my site from T A and I have no way to prove them wrong. Perhaps rather than the dummy phone number, a link would have been better because we CAN see that to know it is real. Pulling unproveable numbers out of nowhere does not convince me of anything.

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

They were all excited to tell me I had 2 calls using the number they posted!!! Me. Testing the number to see what happened. Since we have dropped down the list again I am not expecting great things from being on TA and not going to pay $689 for a biz listing.

Last time I tried it the price was around $300. Because they have a gazillion views everyday the price has gone up. I get that. If I went from half a gazillion reservations to a gazillion my prices would go up, too.

They also wanted me to sign up for the email begging for a review. If guests won't write when I ask, why would they write when someone they don't even know asks? Altho, my guess is the email goes out with MY info not TA but they then have the guest's email whether or not the guest ever signs up to write a review.

__________________

Everyday, for good or ill, we intersect with some else's story and become a part of it.

 

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Madeleine wrote:

They were all excited to tell me I had 2 calls using the number they posted!!! Me. Testing the number to see what happened. Since we have dropped down the list again I am not expecting great things from being on TA and not going to pay $689 for a biz listing.

Last time I tried it the price was around $300. Because they have a gazillion views everyday the price has gone up. I get that. If I went from half a gazillion reservations to a gazillion my prices would go up, too.

They also wanted me to sign up for the email begging for a review. If guests won't write when I ask, why would they write when someone they don't even know asks? Altho, my guess is the email goes out with MY info not TA but they then have the guest's email whether or not the guest ever signs up to write a review.

And then T A has another source of revenue as they sell the good lists.

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

gillumhouse wrote:

That was my point - they can tell me any number they want that went to my site from T A and I have no way to prove them wrong. Perhaps rather than the dummy phone number, a link would have been better because we CAN see that to know it is real. Pulling unproveable numbers out of nowhere does not convince me of anything.

yes

Silverspoon's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/16/2011

Just called (866-322-5942, option 1)...was told that the number would be removed.  

Edited to add:  It took 24 hours but the number was removed.

__________________

Gardens are not made by singing "Oh, how beautiful" and sitting in the shade.
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

 

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

I will say they did not want to remove the number when I called.

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

She tried to talk me out of it but I said I want no number other than mine displayed. I wonder how many calls directly to my number they are going to try to claim. Will not matter - I am not entering ito a vendor/client relationship.

Ice
Offline
Joined:
02/22/2010

I called yesterday and talked to Mike.  He said that the number will be there for 1 month then nothing.  I hate to say it but the calls I got from them just proves that I'm not a good fit to have them.  I think my guest goo gle lodging in my area then maybe check us out on TA.

__________________

"Do not put off until tomorrow what can be put off till day-after-tomorrow just as well." Mark Twain

 

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

I was told that no one will write that number down and try to call us back after the month is up. It's amazing the disconnect between the generations... Because why would anyone write anything down when they can just go back to the same spot and look it up?

Why would anyone use a AAA book from 2000 and expect the prices to be the same?

Why would an employee call me to say she's sick if I would just give her my cell number so she can text?

Why would anyone show up 2 hours early and try to check in? Sigh... gotta go...

Silverspoon's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/16/2011

Ice, if you really want the number removed you should call "Mike" back and tell him to remove it.  

egoodell's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/01/2008

 

Hi and thanks for your feedback. What you're referring to is a limited-time test we're running to demonstrate how many phone inquiries TripAdvisor Business Listings can provide for a property. We're always looking at new ways to enhance the experience of both accommodation owners and travelers on TripAdvisor, and to measure the added value that Business Listings provides to all parties. This test will be concluded shortly.

[/quote]

Meanwhile, i have to hope that nobody wrote down this TA false phone number and think it's mine to call later only to find that it is disconnected. I told them what I think of them posting false phone numbers under my business information. I still don't think it's legal

Riki

__________________

Riki Goodell
Arcady Vineyard Bed & Breakfast
Arcady Vineyard Wine Tours
www.arcadyvineyard.com
Come! Let us show you the beautiful Monticello Appellation!

 

Ice
Offline
Joined:
02/22/2010

I just got another call!

Silverspoon's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/16/2011

Still looking for an explanation for the TA number posted on our listing.  No answers yet.  

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

Possibly related to the phone call I had a couple of weeks ago from a girl saying she wanted to make a rez but wanted to be sure we were located in town? Putting 2 + 2 together now... Other people had that call, the number on the CID was identified as a valid TA phone number. Did the same people who got that call end up with a TA phone number on their listing?

http://www.innspiring.com/node/13242

Silverspoon's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/16/2011

I did not get that call but I did update our TA listing to secure the Bronze level as a Green Leader.  Perhaps TA is putting their number on any listing that is updated.....something to think about before you do a management response or update your TA listing.

egoodell's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/01/2008

Silverspoon wrote:

I did not get that call but I did update our TA listing to secure the Bronze level as a Green Leader.  Perhaps TA is putting their number on any listing that is updated.....something to think about before you do a management response or update your TA listing.

Nope. They have come on PAII and said that it's an experiment.  These numbers are appearing on free listings like mine.  They are trying to convince us to pay for their expensive listing. They think when we get all these calls that start with the recording, "this is from TripAdvisor" that we will be so impressed with all the calls that we'll rush out and pay the big bucks for the listing.

What they don't know is that inns like me do 100% of our bookings online. And all I have gotten is three calls asking for a Saturday night one night stay which is wasting my time on the phone explaining to them that ttwe require a two night stay. Experiment not working!

Riki

 

Ice
Offline
Joined:
02/22/2010

Amen!

Silverspoon's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/16/2011

I know what you mean.  We don't do our bookings on line but we want guests to go to our web site to get a feeling for the place before calling.  It really cuts down on the calls because we are a small niche B+B that will not appeal to someone just looking for a place to rest their head for a night.  Yesterday I got a call through TA from someone who obviously had no idea what we were about....wanted to know if we had two beds in a room (no we do not) and if someone could sleep on the floor (absolutely not).  I'm sure she never saw our rates or descriptions/pictures of the suites that are on our web site.  Just a waste of my time!!!

Offline
Joined:
06/24/2008

Silverspoon wrote:

I know what you mean.  We don't do our bookings on line but we want guests to go to our web site to get a feeling for the place before calling.  It really cuts down on the calls because we are a small niche B+B that will not appeal to someone just looking for a place to rest their head for a night.  Yesterday I got a call through TA from someone who obviously had no idea what we were about....wanted to know if we had two beds in a room (no we do not) and if someone could sleep on the floor (absolutely not).  I'm sure she never saw our rates or descriptions/pictures of the suites that are on our web site.  Just a waste of my time!!!

First I am NOT endorsing what they are doing!  But, I do want to say that they CALLED - they were interested by what they saw on TA & the reviews.  The number provided easy access to you to get answers. TA is banking that most people are not wanting to go through any effort to search for your contact info or website - I am hoping they are wrong but the bigger they get the harder it may be to avoid it.

egoodell's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/01/2008

copperhead wrote:

Silverspoon wrote:

I know what you mean.  We don't do our bookings on line but we want guests to go to our web site to get a feeling for the place before calling.  It really cuts down on the calls because we are a small niche B+B that will not appeal to someone just looking for a place to rest their head for a night.  Yesterday I got a call through TA from someone who obviously had no idea what we were about....wanted to know if we had two beds in a room (no we do not) and if someone could sleep on the floor (absolutely not).  I'm sure she never saw our rates or descriptions/pictures of the suites that are on our web site.  Just a waste of my time!!!

First I am NOT endorsing what they are doing!  But, I do want to say that they CALLED - they were interested by what they saw on TA & the reviews.  The number provided easy access to you to get answers. TA is banking that most people are not wanting to go through any effort to search for your contact info or website - I am hoping they are wrong but the bigger they get the harder it may be to avoid it.

The calls I got were worthless - wanting a one night Saturday stay. I don't have time for these kinds of phone calls. We direct everyone to online booking only. My afternoons are taken up with wine tours. This is doing me no good whatsoever, besides giving out an incorrect number. What about when they take these numbers down!

Riki

Silverspoon's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/16/2011

Riki,  Call the number I posted and request that the number they put on your listing be removed.  TA was very nice about removing it without a lot of hassle.  I did receive a follow up call from  their marketing person, someone who tries to sell me a BL every year. We have gotten to know each other pretty well because we talk every year.  I tell her the same thing every time.  We want calls and inquiries from people who make reservations.  We do not get those reservations from TA even though we are #1 in our town and in the top 5% of our region.  If people find us on TA they are forced to go to our web site where they see our rates and get a feeling for what we do.  If they are interested, they call.  They can not just pick up the phone and call the number on our TA listing to waste my time with simple questions.  

egoodell's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/01/2008

Silverspoon wrote:

Riki,  Call the number I posted and request that the number they put on your listing be removed.  TA was very nice about removing it without a lot of hassle.  I did receive a follow up call from  their marketing person, someone who tries to sell me a BL every year. We have gotten to know each other pretty well because we talk every year.  I tell her the same thing every time.  We want calls and inquiries from people who make reservations.  We do not get those reservations from TA even though we are #1 in our town and in the top 5% of our region.  If people find us on TA they are forced to go to our web site where they see our rates and get a feeling for what we do.  If they are interested, they call.  They can not just pick up the phone and call the number on our TA listing to waste my time with simple questions.  

I did, thanks! They can't believe that I don't care that I don't have a number listed. They didn't understand all my bookings are done online. If I get phone calls, they usually are asking if my policies apply to them or not, since those folks are "special"....

Riki

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

I called today and they said it will be gone in 24 hours - but then I will not have any phone number there to which I replied fine with me.

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

We do not have the new phone number from TA and we did receive the silver Green Leader award and I have recently communicated with TA about a possible blackmail situation. I don't think there is any connection between these communications and the phone number.

Silverspoon's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/16/2011

Hmmmm, the mystery continues! 

Innkeep's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/04/2008

What follows is a reply from a TA spokesperson posted on PAII forum... so those phone numbers will probably go away shortly...

Hi and thanks for your feedback. What you're referring to is a limited-time test we're running to demonstrate how many phone inquiries TripAdvisor Business Listings can provide for a property. We're always looking at new ways to enhance the experience of both accommodation owners and travelers on TripAdvisor, and to measure the added value that Business Listings provides to all parties. This test will be concluded shortly.

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

They have not added a phone number to my listing. Don't know why, but I'm not complaining!

Aussie Innkeeper's picture
Offline
Joined:
01/16/2010

There are a LOT of "small inns - say less than 15 rooms..." who can afford to belong to PAII (and DO so!) PAII is for education, advocacy and networking. It is a very valuable ingredient in my innkeeping recipe.

I pay for a T/A listing because there is SO much competition in my area. There are millions and millions of people (read: potential guests to my inn) using that site every day. I want them to find ME!

Those of us who pay for listings have not only our correct phone number, but direct links to our website and e-mail too.In addition, we can post more photos and add specials and announcements. My analytics show that this is a good investment. I got a mobile listing for free when I signed up, which is good as I do get walk-ins on a regular basis. These people come in toting their iPads and iPhones. T/A also sends me an email each month with my stats on it. 

I believe that when (potential) guests see my listing on T/A and then come to my website and see that I'm a member of PAII and other worthwhile organizations, it assures the guest that I'm serious about innkeeping. It says that I've placed my business out there and that it's not just a hobby.

Now, I'm NOT making any implications that anyone who is NOT on T/A and/or PAII is any less of a business than I am. What I'm saying is that I feel that because of some of the stereotypes associated with innkeeping, people take me more seriously since I am on board with these larger entities. 

__________________

Lynne
Queen of Everything!

 

Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Oh don't get me wrong AI...I believe in TA and if I still was an innkeeper I would be paying for a listing with them. As I said earlier in the thread. My good friends use ONLY TA for the most part and that is where most of their guests come from. They have over 600 + reviews *****  It has done more for them than any directory.

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

It looks to me like this new phone thing is just TA's way of letting us know that the reservation referral came from TA, from a prospective guest looking at our reviews on TA then calling.

Nothing about that would make me mad. I can fully understand TA wanting to get some credit for business coming our way because people use their site.

TA does things that make me upset. This is not one of them.

__________________

All saints can do miracles, but few of them can keep hotel. ~ Mark Twain

 

egoodell's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/01/2008

Arkansawyer wrote:

It looks to me like this new phone thing is just TA's way of letting us know that the reservation referral came from TA, from a prospective guest looking at our reviews on TA then calling.

Nothing about that would make me mad. I can fully understand TA wanting to get some credit for business coming our way because people use their site.

TA does things that make me upset. This is not one of them.

So, someone told TA that this was a test to see how it goes. Your listing has a TA phone number. They decide not to do it anymore. Guests have written down the TA phone number for your business. They go to book and the phone number is disconnected. They book elsewhere as they assume you are closed, because, as all of us know, TA is the "total truth"...

Or, you have guests in town. They have written down the TA phone number for your business when they booked a month ago and TA has since disconnected the phone number. They try to call you because they are lost and the number is disconnected.

Riki

Flower's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/19/2011

I have always thought you play with a groillia and you will get  hurt. As sheer strength he has. I have never signed  up with this and I have not been infected by not signing up.  Amazing! even with reports on their sight.Gee I wonder why????? I have been in business for many a year. Plus I Very seldom ask for reviews from my guests. I get feed back in other ways. Tips gifts, And kind words and one more thing I get referrals from guests that have stayed here.  I  count my blessing.

As I said before I don't like any one using my business name with out my permission. Esepecailly for their profit. Period!!!

__________________

Flower

 

muirford's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Flower wrote:

I have always thought you play with a groillia and you will get  hurt. As sheer strength he has. I have never signed  up with this and I have not been infected by not signing up.  Amazing! even with reports on their sight.Gee I wonder why????? I have been in business for many a year. Plus I Very seldom ask for reviews from my guests. I get feed back in other ways. Tips gifts, And kind words and one more thing I get referrals from guests that have stayed here.  I  count my blessing.

As I said before I don't like any one using my business name with out my permission. Esepecailly for their profit. Period!!!

I'm not sure what you're talking about - NONE of us signed up with TA, at least initially.  Someone writes a review and you're in their system, whether you want to be or not.  So, there's no choice involved in dealing with them - you can't get yourself removed, either.  We don't ask for reviews either, but our customers are savvy enough to use TA and Yelp, without prompting for us. 

Flower's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/19/2011

Ok I understand none signed up! But I also have read you pay high price to TA for what? Iam not sure ...is that so you can answere back to the guest that wrote a review? I heard from some it cost them $400.00 plus a year . Iam Missing some thing here. Could be. If so PLEASE correct me. Thank you. I also talk to my guest about TA and have showed them how they have hurt small places with false reports. How they decide what will be put up in writing and how if you disagree it is not always changed.When asked. to remove. . They have thee final word..opps sorry got to go some one at door

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

You do not have to pay to respond to reviews. You can go into your management account on TA and select any review out there to respond to it.

If you want to have your email address, phone number and website info published on TA then you have to pay. And, yes, it is around $400/year.

Some people find it helps them a lot. Others don't find the same thing. We used to pay to have our website link out there but we did not get a lot of clicks so we did not pay for another year. Others have completely different results.

Lots of guests say they 'found you on TA' but whether they started with TA or just looked there later on I don't know. Of all the people who said they always use TA and always write reviews, about 1 wrote a review about us!

Flower's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/19/2011

Thank you for that in sight.

 Strange I was told that if I had a report on my business I could not respond unless I had a busness account. Also ta had phoned here to offer us a deal. Which I told them not thanks and take my name off your listing .You are using my name and I have not given you permission.

  I wish Jay would of gone another route inside of siding with them to try and make it better for B&Bs or Inns. I truly feel it is not right they can do what they like with out asking.Or guests beable to write a note or report with out using their own name . To not have the belief stronge enough truthfullness to beable to stand up for what they perseve is correct, by not using their real name. They can say anything they want unless you can prove them wrong. How can you really believe anything was true to fact? Oh blither!

Ok stepping down from my soap box!

Again thank you for that insight

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

Flower wrote:

Thank you for that in sight.

 Strange I was told that if I had a report on my business I could not respond unless I had a busness account. Also ta had phoned here to offer us a deal. Which I told them not thanks and take my name off your listing .You are using my name and I have not given you permission.

You do not have to pay to write the response to the review but you MUST 'claim' your business in order to write the review. If you have not done this, you really should. You can add more photos that way too. And write up a little business statement that guests can read.

That may be what the person meant by having a business account.

Also, if you write reviews when you go places do NOT use the same email or name as your business account.

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

T A is supposed to be a wonderful resource because of all the "unbiased reviews". It is now becoming just another Directory. Those who were listed for free to get it populated and give it the big rep as a place to go to for the real truth are now being dinged for cash.

(Note JB - I went to new paragraph) I do hear potential guests remark about our great reviews - I do not have a lot of them but they are all pretty good - but it would not bother me a whole lot if they dropped my page - as long as it was totally deleted and not just hanging there as if I am out of business. I am not paying them so someone can tell me, "if you don't _________ I will write a bad review."

Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Yes Muirford is absolutely correct. In the beginning no one could sign up for them. Guests would post review and you had nothing to do with it. And so it has progressed over the years to when they let innkeepers pay for a listing. Now the next generation of TA begins I guess and again...who has control over it? Maybe PAII could step up to the plate on this "invasion"

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Maybe PAII could step up to the plate on this "invasion"

I do not expect PAII to do anything on this. I think it is the small inns - say less than 15 rooms that are getting this. We re the size inns telling PAII sorry, we really cannot afford such a massive jump in dues  with no warning and are leaving. The big inns are most likely paying T A so they are left alone. Strictly a surmise on my part but....

muirford's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

gillumhouse wrote:

Maybe PAII could step up to the plate on this "invasion"

I do not expect PAII to do anything on this. I think it is the small inns - say less than 15 rooms that are getting this. We re the size inns telling PAII sorry, we really cannot afford such a massive jump in dues  with no warning and are leaving. The big inns are most likely paying T A so they are left alone. Strictly a surmise on my part but....

FYI - as I mentioned in one of my comments earlier, I first say this noted on the PAII forum by Riki, with an innkeeper from Amelia Island chiming in.  I see that you started a new topic over there about it, but it had come up there several days ago in relation to another TA topic.

Silverspoon's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/16/2011

Thanks for posting this.  I had  call this morning with the robo message that I hung up on.  Perhaps there was someone on the other end after the TA message but I hung up before listening.  After reading  your post I checked our TA listing to find another number on our listing...just as you said.  

I have posted a question on the TA owner's forum about that false number.  Personally I think it is really spooky to call a number as a prospective guest and have TA track my phone call.  And it misrepresents us as well.  Anybody have any good ideas on how to "encourage" TA to quit this nonsense? 

Ice
Offline
Joined:
02/22/2010

Got one of those calls this morning at 7 am.  The guy didn't know we were a B&B, didn't think B&Bs  were on TA. 

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Just checked my listing - same thing, a phne number that is NOT  mine.

egoodell's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/01/2008

Yes, just go to your TA listing and you will see they don't have your phone number but a different one. Is this legal???? Is that not false advertising or something like that?

Riki

Flower's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/19/2011

umm is its not legal for them to use our business names for their gain. Did you all agree for them to use your name for their profit as a company. I know I sure in the heck didn't!!!

I think it is a sneaky way for TA to show you that your listing is generating potential guests. Sneaky yes also dadevilm smart!!!

Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Some of our town ones have the "fake" phone number, others no phone at all, and the paying ones...their own number.

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

It doesn't seem completely legit being as they never told us they were doing it. Plus, once the phone number goes away the guest who wrote it down is going to think we've closed. So, yeah, not the best possible plan.

Altho, getting calls that don't go thru booking.com is nice.

However, I think I'll put it on my to do list for Monday.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.