A Small TA Victory

16 replies [Last post]
Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

I'm sure hoping it's not temporary, but I just got a terrible review pulled from our TA listing. I had done a preemptive blackmail alert with them, but sure enough, a review came through yesterday afternoon. When I saw the review I went and did another blackmail notification identifying that this new review was the one I alerted them about.

The next thing I did was do an owner's response. Then I notified them that this review went against their guidelines because they rated sleep quality and they never actually stayed.

All of this happened late afternoon yesterday, and by this morning the review was gone. I think it was actually the reporting of them rating the sleep quality that did it, but I can't be sure.

It was a couple that had a reservation for 3 nights, arrived, checked them in all seemed fine then 1 1/2 hours later they notify me that they didn't really know what a b&b was all about and it just wasn't right for them. They were told they would be responsible for the 3 nights unless I could rebook the room and that they agreed to our policies when they made the online reservation.  I removed the added-on food packages, but was not able to re-rent the room.

They would not take any responsibility and in fact, before they made their reservation they had made an appointment with me to come and view the property and rooms, but then they cancelled. They only live in the next larger town south of us. The room they booked was our upstairs suite with no adjoining walls, no other guest rooms and is totally private. There is no way any b&b could have been ok for them unless there's a separate building. We do have a cottage, but it was already booked.

I'm hoping that it stays pulled!

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

Update: Official notification from TA that they pulled the review because it violate TA guidelines, but the author could remove the violation and repost.

Interesting that I haven't gotten any notice about the 'blackmail' removal request.

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

Oh yes, from the point of view of the traveler, what's not to love about TA. A very valuable free resource for them. Few would ever give a thought to it having a downside for the business owners.

__________________

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

 

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

Arkansawyer wrote:

Oh yes, from the point of view of the traveler, what's not to love about TA. A very valuable free resource for them. Few would ever give a thought to it having a downside for the business owners.

Or that people would ever lie to use it as a leverage to get what they want!

Offline
Joined:
06/24/2008

Met some new neighbors tonight.  As we chatted we were talking about taking vacations & he mentioned reading reviews on TA then said 'don't you just love TA' 

A deep breath later - I said it is a love / hate relationship & explained.   He never thought of it that way but now has a deeper understanding. 

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

Yes, definitely love/hate. Thanks for opening one more person's eyes to this double edge sword. All we can do is educate folks one at a time.

With this latest fiasco, the reviewer started out by saying they read all our reviews on TA before making their reservation with us. How is it then that their expectations were so out of whack?? These people never think it's them and not us that could be the problem!

Sometimes I think all our glowing reviews set up expectations in some people that actually hurts us in the long run.

IronGate's picture
Offline
Joined:
08/09/2008

Breakfast Diva wrote:

Sometimes I think all our glowing reviews set up expectations in some people that actually hurts us in the long run.

I think that the "best" overall rating is 4.5 out of 5 because it's real. That's and A-, but it's still an A. I don't trust a perfect score. Nobody can be perfect all the time. When I read reviews, I skip the good ones, and go straight for the worst ones. I presume the perfect ones are either from people who LOVE everything everywhere, or are simply not true for one reason or another. Besides, I expect a good experience, but I know that sometimes things go wrong, despite the best intentions and effort. I want to know WHAT went wrong -- and is it a recurring theme with your place -- and HOW did you respond? Were you gracious or belittling? What kind of innkeeper are you, really? Your response will tell me. If the poster had some kind of ax to grind, it will be obvious in the review, especially if it's an anomaly. 

__________________

Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

 

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

IronGate wrote:

I think that the "best" overall rating is 4.5 out of 5 because it's real. That's and A-, but it's still an A. I don't trust a perfect score. Nobody can be perfect all the time. When I read reviews, I skip the good ones, and go straight for the worst ones. I presume the perfect ones are either from people who LOVE everything everywhere, or are simply not true for one reason or another. Besides, I expect a good experience, but I know that sometimes things go wrong, despite the best intentions and effort. I want to know WHAT went wrong -- and is it a recurring theme with your place -- and HOW did you respond? Were you gracious or belittling? What kind of innkeeper are you, really? Your response will tell me. If the poster had some kind of ax to grind, it will be obvious in the review, especially if it's an anomaly. 

I'll tell my little story here again... we go on vacation every year with good friends who are also innkeepers. I started checking reviews as I am the planner. We were looking at a particular area but needed to go a little farther out as none of us wanted to pay $250/night in the off season. Found a place with rave reviews. Except for 2 of them. 2 of the reviews mentioned the owners were a bit overbearing and there was no heat.

None of the other reviews mentioned anything other than glowing comments about how caring the owners are, how wonderful the breakfast was (ours was burnt and the owner told us to cut around the burnt part) and how everything was nicely done.

OK, ax to grind, am I right? So we went there.

Owners would not leave us alone. Wanted to tell their sad story to us to the point they actually came into our room and blocked the door by standing in front of it. Told us their life story.

There were space heaters in the room. The innkeeper turned them off while we were out to dinner, meaning they came back into the room when we were gone. They wouldn't let us use the fireplace because we would 'waste gas'.

Every last thing the 2 complaining reviews mentioned, we experienced.

I am now very aware of the 2-3 bad reviews. Will that be what happens to me?

__________________

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

 

IronGate's picture
Offline
Joined:
08/09/2008

Madeleine wrote:

IronGate wrote:

I think that the "best" overall rating is 4.5 out of 5 because it's real. That's and A-, but it's still an A. I don't trust a perfect score. Nobody can be perfect all the time. When I read reviews, I skip the good ones, and go straight for the worst ones. I presume the perfect ones are either from people who LOVE everything everywhere, or are simply not true for one reason or another. Besides, I expect a good experience, but I know that sometimes things go wrong, despite the best intentions and effort. I want to know WHAT went wrong -- and is it a recurring theme with your place -- and HOW did you respond? Were you gracious or belittling? What kind of innkeeper are you, really? Your response will tell me. If the poster had some kind of ax to grind, it will be obvious in the review, especially if it's an anomaly. 

I'll tell my little story here again... we go on vacation every year with good friends who are also innkeepers. I started checking reviews as I am the planner. We were looking at a particular area but needed to go a little farther out as none of us wanted to pay $250/night in the off season. Found a place with rave reviews. Except for 2 of them. 2 of the reviews mentioned the owners were a bit overbearing and there was no heat.

None of the other reviews mentioned anything other than glowing comments about how caring the owners are, how wonderful the breakfast was (ours was burnt and the owner told us to cut around the burnt part) and how everything was nicely done.

OK, ax to grind, am I right? So we went there.

Owners would not leave us alone. Wanted to tell their sad story to us to the point they actually came into our room and blocked the door by standing in front of it. Told us their life story.

There were space heaters in the room. The innkeeper turned them off while we were out to dinner, meaning they came back into the room when we were gone. They wouldn't let us use the fireplace because we would 'waste gas'.

Every last thing the 2 complaining reviews mentioned, we experienced.

I am now very aware of the 2-3 bad reviews. Will that be what happens to me?

Oh no! That's partly "oh no" because you've had a bad experience you didn't deserve, and partly because you've turned my theory on its head! LOL I hope you and your friends all posted honest reviews, so that the tide will begin to turn for that place. 

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

It's a good theory, no doubt. I used it myself! Eye-wink And our guests say the same thing... we don't trust places that are all perfect reviews.

We did not write reviews but other people did.

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

IronGate wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

Sometimes I think all our glowing reviews set up expectations in some people that actually hurts us in the long run.

I think that the "best" overall rating is 4.5 out of 5 because it's real. That's and A-, but it's still an A. I don't trust a perfect score. Nobody can be perfect all the time. When I read reviews, I skip the good ones, and go straight for the worst ones. I presume the perfect ones are either from people who LOVE everything everywhere, or are simply not true for one reason or another. Besides, I expect a good experience, but I know that sometimes things go wrong, despite the best intentions and effort. I want to know WHAT went wrong -- and is it a recurring theme with your place -- and HOW did you respond? Were you gracious or belittling? What kind of innkeeper are you, really? Your response will tell me. If the poster had some kind of ax to grind, it will be obvious in the review, especially if it's an anomaly. 

We do have 5 'Terrible' out of more than 135 reviews...all from people who broke our policies for one reason or the other. I refuse to give in to threats of "give us our money back or we'll write a bad review".  Those are the kind that will do a bad review even if you refunded them. You can't believe how many guests tell me they read our bad reviews and just laughed. There's no middle of the road reviews....they love us or hate us! It's quite interesting actually.

IronGate's picture
Offline
Joined:
08/09/2008

Breakfast Diva wrote:

IronGate wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

Sometimes I think all our glowing reviews set up expectations in some people that actually hurts us in the long run.

I think that the "best" overall rating is 4.5 out of 5 because it's real. That's and A-, but it's still an A. I don't trust a perfect score. Nobody can be perfect all the time. When I read reviews, I skip the good ones, and go straight for the worst ones. I presume the perfect ones are either from people who LOVE everything everywhere, or are simply not true for one reason or another. Besides, I expect a good experience, but I know that sometimes things go wrong, despite the best intentions and effort. I want to know WHAT went wrong -- and is it a recurring theme with your place -- and HOW did you respond? Were you gracious or belittling? What kind of innkeeper are you, really? Your response will tell me. If the poster had some kind of ax to grind, it will be obvious in the review, especially if it's an anomaly. 

We do have 5 'Terrible' out of more than 135 reviews...all from people who broke our policies for one reason or the other. I refuse to give in to threats of "give us our money back or we'll write a bad review".  Those are the kind that will do a bad review even if you refunded them. You can't believe how many guests tell me they read our bad reviews and just laughed. There's no middle of the road reviews....they love us or hate us! It's quite interesting actually.

Those five "terrible" reviews will lend a great deal of credence to the "perfect" ones, as long as your response (gently) points out that they were posted by people who wanted a different set of rules than everyone else. Such a response would make me more likely to choose your place. I play by the rules, and it's really upsetting to me when others don't have to. To find out that you stand by your policies is comforting to me; I know I'll be treated fairly -- the same as everyone else. If you can point out nicely that the bad reviews are from terrible people, not terrible experiences, you've got me. And I'll be laughing with you at breakfast!

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

They sure knew about TA THO.

These are the times that having a TA link or badge on our websites only gives those an idea of what todo.

sorry that happened, and hurrah for having it pulled. 

__________________

Gluten free is never free. - Joey Bloggs

 

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

They sure knew about TA THO.

These are the times that having a TA link or badge on our websites only gives those an idea of what todo.

sorry that happened, and hurrah for having it pulled. 

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

I hope it stays gone, too. 

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

Yes, let's  hope it stays pulled. I do know of cases where one was pulled over a violation of TA terms, but they removed the offending section and reposted and it stayed posted. So keep two eyes open and two fingers crossed.

Generic's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/24/2011

BTDT... they reposted sans the offending part which showed the poster's agenda. Made it absolutely worse because it wasn't a review that could be trusted, because of the hidden agenda. And I ended up repeatedly embarrassing them because of it... but it's still there. Absolute lies about not cleaning the room, etc.

__________________

Permission to quote in whole or in part, other than usage on this forum, is entirely forbidden.

 

Comment viewing options

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