Quantcast

Thoughts on the TA Webinar

INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources

Help Support INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources:

SweetiePie

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
614
Reaction score
0
Did anyone else attend the webinar? If so, what did you think?
 

Proud Texan

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2008
Messages
2,685
Reaction score
0
We're listed on TA, but didn't know anything about it. Don't care for TA very much.
 

muirford

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
2,489
Reaction score
6
I did, except I left it 2:55 so I missed the very end. I didn't get any new information, really.
 

SweetiePie

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
614
Reaction score
0
That was my impression as well. You had to be a PAII member to attend. First of all it was very controlled. TA stated that they knew many of us just wished they would go away and THEY'RE NOT. They also acknowledged that many of us have issues with them but rather than discuss them, they wanted to keep it educational which means push their partnership program. I thought it was also interesting that they referred to themselves as "THE 800 LB. GORILLA". I guess if we weren't intimidated by them already, that was supposed to do it. It gives some insight into what Jay is up against in trying to represent us and why he wants to increase the size of the organization.
They did allow a few questions at the end. I don't know where they came from because my setup had no means for asking a question. I felt some were poorly worded and the person running it didn't even know what the person asking the question meant. That was a wasted opportunity, because then of course the TA people didn't know how to answer it properly.
One was "One person has had a negative review on your site for over a year." I guess the question was how long would it stay on there and the answer was FOREVER.
Another was "How to handle a person threatening blackmail through a bad review if their demands weren't met." TA's response was not to give in but then they tried to down play it by saying often people threaten and then don't follow through.
What burned me up the most is their stubborn stance about NEVER removing a negative review. They keep telling us that we should be satisfied with the Management Response. Well, I for one, am not.
 

muirford

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
2,489
Reaction score
6
That was my impression as well. You had to be a PAII member to attend. First of all it was very controlled. TA stated that they knew many of us just wished they would go away and THEY'RE NOT. They also acknowledged that many of us have issues with them but rather than discuss them, they wanted to keep it educational which means push their partnership program. I thought it was also interesting that they referred to themselves as "THE 800 LB. GORILLA". I guess if we weren't intimidated by them already, that was supposed to do it. It gives some insight into what Jay is up against in trying to represent us and why he wants to increase the size of the organization.
They did allow a few questions at the end. I don't know where they came from because my setup had no means for asking a question. I felt some were poorly worded and the person running it didn't even know what the person asking the question meant. That was a wasted opportunity, because then of course the TA people didn't know how to answer it properly.
One was "One person has had a negative review on your site for over a year." I guess the question was how long would it stay on there and the answer was FOREVER.
Another was "How to handle a person threatening blackmail through a bad review if their demands weren't met." TA's response was not to give in but then they tried to down play it by saying often people threaten and then don't follow through.
What burned me up the most is their stubborn stance about NEVER removing a negative review. They keep telling us that we should be satisfied with the Management Response. Well, I for one, am not..
SweetiePie said:
You had to be a PAII member to attend.
I am a PAII member, but I believe you could be on it if you were not a member, but you had to call PAII to enroll. I don't know how that worked.
SweetiePie said:
First of all it was very controlled.
That is certainly true. I guess I didn't realize it would be essentially TA people giving us info, rather than a discussion about TA. Maybe that was made clear somewhere and I missed it. Given the strong feelings about TA, whatever kind of webinar it was would have to be pretty controlled, though.
I thought if you were a property owner who didn't have much experience with TA, some of the information would be helpful. Many of those manager's tools are relatively new, and not well publicized unless you check the owner's tab frequently. I already knew about most of them.
My control panel for the webinar had an area where you could send a question in; I didn't use it personally, though.
SweetiePie said:
Another was "How to handle a person threatening blackmail through a bad review if their demands weren't met." TA's response was not to give in but then they tried to down play it by saying often people threaten and then don't follow through.What burned me up the most is their stubborn stance about NEVER removing a negative review.
That bothered me as well, since they made it very clear that offering a reward for a positive review (or any review at all, I think) would result in punishment for the owner. I don't think reviews need to be removed just because they're old but allowing them to be there as a result of extortion seems wrong. And my most recent management response took almost five days to post, so they get behind frequently on that. I have seen management responses that say the reviewer is lying, so a well-crafted mgmt response seems to be the way to go.
Reviews aren't going away - they are right about that. Look at all the competitors they have - yelp, yahoo, bandb.com. At least TA does allow you to respond to reviews.
 

SweetiePie

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
614
Reaction score
0
The point is, why would we WANT to partner with a company that doesn't treat us fairly, (hotels will always be the top priority that was made very clear); doesn't WANT to answer our concerns, (I'm still waiting for Mr. Kaufer, or anyone from TA for that matter, to answer me); and who only wants to deal with us on THEIR terms, (you promote our business by posting TA reviews on your site, but your only recourse if someone is slandering you unfairly is the management response)? Sure you can refute it, but trust me; the damage has already been done.
Why should we be forced to accept more crumbs from the table just because they see themselves as the 800 lb. gorilla and why should we help them to become even bigger?
 

muirford

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
2,489
Reaction score
6
The point is, why would we WANT to partner with a company that doesn't treat us fairly, (hotels will always be the top priority that was made very clear); doesn't WANT to answer our concerns, (I'm still waiting for Mr. Kaufer, or anyone from TA for that matter, to answer me); and who only wants to deal with us on THEIR terms, (you promote our business by posting TA reviews on your site, but your only recourse if someone is slandering you unfairly is the management response)? Sure you can refute it, but trust me; the damage has already been done.
Why should we be forced to accept more crumbs from the table just because they see themselves as the 800 lb. gorilla and why should we help them to become even bigger?.
SweetiePie said:
The point is, why would we WANT to partner with a company that doesn't treat us fairly,
That wasn't really the question you asked; you asked what any of us who were on the webinar thought of the webinar. Your views on TA have been pretty clear from these posts and others.
In my opinion, it might have been helpful for innkeepers who don't have much knowledge about TA but it was not personally helpful for me. PAII is on the right track by trying to provide educational opportunities for its members. TA may be wanting us all to be partners, but I think PAII is just trying to give us the insight into the tools that innkeepers can use to deal with the situation that exists. I may not like TA but I'm glad to have the information and advocacy available.
I'm not posting a TA link on my website nor do I request my guests to post reviews. I do keep track of the reviews posted and will post videos and photos of my B&B. That's my way of dealing with them - you should do what works for you, whatever that is.
 

SweetiePie

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
614
Reaction score
0
I would be more than happy to change my views on TA, and perhaps even agree to partner with them; if they would change their arrogant, bully mentality and at least meet us half-way.
We have a right to know why they make the decisions they do and not have to be satisfied with "it's a secret sauce." I'm not talking about rankings and things that can be gamed, but why they make the decisions they do about what reviews meet their "nebulous" terms of service and which don't.
Obviously, there is some discrimination going on there when reviewers are complaining because they can't say whatever they want about a property and have it published; while property owners are complaining that there seem to be no limits about what can be said about them,.
 

swirt

Forum founder. Former Owner.
Joined
May 17, 2008
Messages
3,210
Reaction score
0
I would be more than happy to change my views on TA, and perhaps even agree to partner with them; if they would change their arrogant, bully mentality and at least meet us half-way.
We have a right to know why they make the decisions they do and not have to be satisfied with "it's a secret sauce." I'm not talking about rankings and things that can be gamed, but why they make the decisions they do about what reviews meet their "nebulous" terms of service and which don't.
Obviously, there is some discrimination going on there when reviewers are complaining because they can't say whatever they want about a property and have it published; while property owners are complaining that there seem to be no limits about what can be said about them,..
SweetiePie said:
We have a right to know why they make the decisions they do and not have to be satisfied with "it's a secret sauce." I'm not talking about rankings and things that can be gamed, but why they make the decisions they do about what reviews meet their "nebulous" terms of service and which don't.
Obviously, there is some discrimination going on there when reviewers are complaining because they can't say whatever they want about a property and have it published; while property owners are complaining that there seem to be no limits about what can be said about them,.
I think for the most part what you run into is differences in human evaluation. There are certain things about a review that must trigger a human to review it...but once the human reviews it, it is up to them whether they approve it or reject it. Even if the standards are well documented internally, there will always be differences from one reviewer to the next or even from one day to the next with the same reviewer.
It's kind of like giving four english teachers the same paper to grade, the likelyhood (even if you give the same grading rubric) that they will each grade the paper the same is small. It's easy to be consistent with multiple choice exams...but free response or essays are much more difficult to evaluate consistently.
 

muirford

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
2,489
Reaction score
6
I would be more than happy to change my views on TA, and perhaps even agree to partner with them; if they would change their arrogant, bully mentality and at least meet us half-way.
We have a right to know why they make the decisions they do and not have to be satisfied with "it's a secret sauce." I'm not talking about rankings and things that can be gamed, but why they make the decisions they do about what reviews meet their "nebulous" terms of service and which don't.
Obviously, there is some discrimination going on there when reviewers are complaining because they can't say whatever they want about a property and have it published; while property owners are complaining that there seem to be no limits about what can be said about them,..
SweetiePie said:
I would be more than happy to change my views on TA, and perhaps even agree to partner with them; if they would change their arrogant, bully mentality and at least meet us half-way.
I'm not trying to change your views on TA, nor do I think that PAII is trying to do so. I do think TA would like you to change your views on TA; they stated as much on the webinar.
ETA: I mean the collective 'you' that hates TA and wishes they would go away, not you specifically.
 

SweetiePie

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
614
Reaction score
0
If TA were truly sincere in wanting to meet us halfway, then first of all they wouldn't be stonewalling on the simplest of things with Jay (like holding a disputed review in abeyance until it has been investigated). That should be a no-brainer.
Also, I think they should have addressed our concerns first, instead of acknowledging them and then bruishing them aside as is their SOP. I, for one, would have been willing to sit through a longer discussion and would have come away with more respect for them.
Secondly, they should not have used such inflammatory language and a more conciliatory attitude. They were simply going for the low-hanging fruit.
You have to remember that the traveler is their customer. That is who they are supposedly looking out for, not us. Which is why you see articles where they are addressing fake reviews by the properties but never by the reviewers. We are simply the coin of the realm.
Now if this group (innkeepers in general who tend to be very independent) was smart and cohesive; then we would use what bargaining power we have in getting some of our demands met. In other words, no one would agree to partner with them until they fixed some of the basic problems inherent in the system.
 

YellowSocks

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
2,179
Reaction score
13
If TA were truly sincere in wanting to meet us halfway, then first of all they wouldn't be stonewalling on the simplest of things with Jay (like holding a disputed review in abeyance until it has been investigated). That should be a no-brainer.
Also, I think they should have addressed our concerns first, instead of acknowledging them and then bruishing them aside as is their SOP. I, for one, would have been willing to sit through a longer discussion and would have come away with more respect for them.
Secondly, they should not have used such inflammatory language and a more conciliatory attitude. They were simply going for the low-hanging fruit.
You have to remember that the traveler is their customer. That is who they are supposedly looking out for, not us. Which is why you see articles where they are addressing fake reviews by the properties but never by the reviewers. We are simply the coin of the realm.
Now if this group (innkeepers in general who tend to be very independent) was smart and cohesive; then we would use what bargaining power we have in getting some of our demands met. In other words, no one would agree to partner with them until they fixed some of the basic problems inherent in the system..
SweetiePie said:
In other words, no one would agree to partner with them until they fixed some of the basic problems inherent in the system.
It doesn't matter if we partner with them or not. They are there and they're not going away, regardless of our input or lack thereof.
=/
Kk.
 

egoodell

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 1, 2008
Messages
3,023
Reaction score
0
If TA were truly sincere in wanting to meet us halfway, then first of all they wouldn't be stonewalling on the simplest of things with Jay (like holding a disputed review in abeyance until it has been investigated). That should be a no-brainer.
Also, I think they should have addressed our concerns first, instead of acknowledging them and then bruishing them aside as is their SOP. I, for one, would have been willing to sit through a longer discussion and would have come away with more respect for them.
Secondly, they should not have used such inflammatory language and a more conciliatory attitude. They were simply going for the low-hanging fruit.
You have to remember that the traveler is their customer. That is who they are supposedly looking out for, not us. Which is why you see articles where they are addressing fake reviews by the properties but never by the reviewers. We are simply the coin of the realm.
Now if this group (innkeepers in general who tend to be very independent) was smart and cohesive; then we would use what bargaining power we have in getting some of our demands met. In other words, no one would agree to partner with them until they fixed some of the basic problems inherent in the system..
SweetiePie said:
In other words, no one would agree to partner with them until they fixed some of the basic problems inherent in the system.
It doesn't matter if we partner with them or not. They are there and they're not going away, regardless of our input or lack thereof.
=/
Kk.
.
Very interesting to note - today in one of our weekly newspapers, a popular local doctor who is also often on the news channel is discussing the same problem with reviews of doctors. Same problems with good and bad reviews, and many reviews unsigned. They are reviewing about everything, including accusing the docs of having affairs with patients etc etc.
So we are not the only ones with these problems. The medical websites are not controlling them either, and he did not mention that there was any way for the doctors to respond, so I'm assuming they don't!
RIki
 

JBanczak

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 25, 2008
Messages
479
Reaction score
0
I've noted this before and don't mean to sound like a broken record... but this brings up a great point. Think about how many of the people who stay at your property depend on reviews in their lives now or will soon as sites have been launching on all of them.
Doctors
Contractors
Chefs/Restaurants
Lawyers
Accountants
Every local business like spas/salons/barbers
Every small goods manufacturer - period - from cars to electronics to sporting goods to everything
The list goes on and on... And I forget the latest stat, but something like 3/4's of travelers rate them as their most important criteria along with a photo and the map to the property!
My point in all this is that people don't mind being asked nicely in some way (follow-up email, link, at check-out, etc.) to leave a review.
 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,743
Reaction score
0
I've noted this before and don't mean to sound like a broken record... but this brings up a great point. Think about how many of the people who stay at your property depend on reviews in their lives now or will soon as sites have been launching on all of them.
Doctors
Contractors
Chefs/Restaurants
Lawyers
Accountants
Every local business like spas/salons/barbers
Every small goods manufacturer - period - from cars to electronics to sporting goods to everything
The list goes on and on... And I forget the latest stat, but something like 3/4's of travelers rate them as their most important criteria along with a photo and the map to the property!
My point in all this is that people don't mind being asked nicely in some way (follow-up email, link, at check-out, etc.) to leave a review..
JBanczak said:
I've noted this before and don't mean to sound like a broken record... but this brings up a great point. Think about how many of the people who stay at your property depend on reviews in their lives now or will soon as sites have been launching on all of them.
Doctors
Contractors
Chefs/Restaurants
Lawyers
Accountants
Every local business like spas/salons/barbers
Every small goods manufacturer - period - from cars to electronics to sporting goods to everything
The list goes on and on... And I forget the latest stat, but something like 3/4's of travelers rate them as their most important criteria along with a photo and the map to the property!
My point in all this is that people don't mind being asked nicely in some way (follow-up email, link, at check-out, etc.) to leave a review.
I spent a couple hours last night trying to locate a specific seafood restaurant in a coastal city that I have heard about and had it described to me by quite a few people.
So I had preliminary details - on a pier or dock, what the specialty is, popularity, basic geo location.
I began in google and got so frustrated I ended up on TA where the map shows all the "seafood" eateries and I click or mouse over and it brings up the image and name. If I thought it may be the one, I clicked and read the reviews. Saw the pattern on one lousy review - glowing review - lousy review - glowing review, it was most sickening. None were average, or this is a good place...
I agree, I am going to them more and more as I can get all the info in one place - EXCEPT TA still does not have links, so I was cutting and pasting restaurant names into a new window to see their website.
 

JBanczak

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 25, 2008
Messages
479
Reaction score
0
I've noted this before and don't mean to sound like a broken record... but this brings up a great point. Think about how many of the people who stay at your property depend on reviews in their lives now or will soon as sites have been launching on all of them.
Doctors
Contractors
Chefs/Restaurants
Lawyers
Accountants
Every local business like spas/salons/barbers
Every small goods manufacturer - period - from cars to electronics to sporting goods to everything
The list goes on and on... And I forget the latest stat, but something like 3/4's of travelers rate them as their most important criteria along with a photo and the map to the property!
My point in all this is that people don't mind being asked nicely in some way (follow-up email, link, at check-out, etc.) to leave a review..
JBanczak said:
I've noted this before and don't mean to sound like a broken record... but this brings up a great point. Think about how many of the people who stay at your property depend on reviews in their lives now or will soon as sites have been launching on all of them.
Doctors
Contractors
Chefs/Restaurants
Lawyers
Accountants
Every local business like spas/salons/barbers
Every small goods manufacturer - period - from cars to electronics to sporting goods to everything
The list goes on and on... And I forget the latest stat, but something like 3/4's of travelers rate them as their most important criteria along with a photo and the map to the property!
My point in all this is that people don't mind being asked nicely in some way (follow-up email, link, at check-out, etc.) to leave a review.
I spent a couple hours last night trying to locate a specific seafood restaurant in a coastal city that I have heard about and had it described to me by quite a few people.
So I had preliminary details - on a pier or dock, what the specialty is, popularity, basic geo location.
I began in google and got so frustrated I ended up on TA where the map shows all the "seafood" eateries and I click or mouse over and it brings up the image and name. If I thought it may be the one, I clicked and read the reviews. Saw the pattern on one lousy review - glowing review - lousy review - glowing review, it was most sickening. None were average, or this is a good place...
I agree, I am going to them more and more as I can get all the info in one place - EXCEPT TA still does not have links, so I was cutting and pasting restaurant names into a new window to see their website.
.
Have you tried Yelp for restaurant reviews? I've found it to be really extensive.
It is interesting with restaurants though - must be so frustrating to own one - because the reviews seem to vary like crazy, where with B&B's they are much more consistent. Even the nicest restaurants can serve a bad plate, cold, have a delay... the variability in service really comes to light.
 

EmptyNest

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
8,741
Reaction score
1
If TA were truly sincere in wanting to meet us halfway, then first of all they wouldn't be stonewalling on the simplest of things with Jay (like holding a disputed review in abeyance until it has been investigated). That should be a no-brainer.
Also, I think they should have addressed our concerns first, instead of acknowledging them and then bruishing them aside as is their SOP. I, for one, would have been willing to sit through a longer discussion and would have come away with more respect for them.
Secondly, they should not have used such inflammatory language and a more conciliatory attitude. They were simply going for the low-hanging fruit.
You have to remember that the traveler is their customer. That is who they are supposedly looking out for, not us. Which is why you see articles where they are addressing fake reviews by the properties but never by the reviewers. We are simply the coin of the realm.
Now if this group (innkeepers in general who tend to be very independent) was smart and cohesive; then we would use what bargaining power we have in getting some of our demands met. In other words, no one would agree to partner with them until they fixed some of the basic problems inherent in the system..
SweetiePie said:
In other words, no one would agree to partner with them until they fixed some of the basic problems inherent in the system.
It doesn't matter if we partner with them or not. They are there and they're not going away, regardless of our input or lack thereof.
=/
Kk.
.
Very interesting to note - today in one of our weekly newspapers, a popular local doctor who is also often on the news channel is discussing the same problem with reviews of doctors. Same problems with good and bad reviews, and many reviews unsigned. They are reviewing about everything, including accusing the docs of having affairs with patients etc etc.
So we are not the only ones with these problems. The medical websites are not controlling them either, and he did not mention that there was any way for the doctors to respond, so I'm assuming they don't!
RIki
.
You are right. I have been seeing several new docs recently and I never looked for reviews on them, but just typed in their name hoping to see their own website, or some information and there are at least a half dozen different sites where people send in reviews about their docs. No one could ever keep up with all of this!!!! So we just deal with it and move on. TA is here to stay and nothing a few innkeepers say or do is going to change that. They may be willing to take some advice but in the end...whatever makes them the most $$$ is what matters for them.
 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,743
Reaction score
0
I've noted this before and don't mean to sound like a broken record... but this brings up a great point. Think about how many of the people who stay at your property depend on reviews in their lives now or will soon as sites have been launching on all of them.
Doctors
Contractors
Chefs/Restaurants
Lawyers
Accountants
Every local business like spas/salons/barbers
Every small goods manufacturer - period - from cars to electronics to sporting goods to everything
The list goes on and on... And I forget the latest stat, but something like 3/4's of travelers rate them as their most important criteria along with a photo and the map to the property!
My point in all this is that people don't mind being asked nicely in some way (follow-up email, link, at check-out, etc.) to leave a review..
JBanczak said:
I've noted this before and don't mean to sound like a broken record... but this brings up a great point. Think about how many of the people who stay at your property depend on reviews in their lives now or will soon as sites have been launching on all of them.
Doctors
Contractors
Chefs/Restaurants
Lawyers
Accountants
Every local business like spas/salons/barbers
Every small goods manufacturer - period - from cars to electronics to sporting goods to everything
The list goes on and on... And I forget the latest stat, but something like 3/4's of travelers rate them as their most important criteria along with a photo and the map to the property!
My point in all this is that people don't mind being asked nicely in some way (follow-up email, link, at check-out, etc.) to leave a review.
I spent a couple hours last night trying to locate a specific seafood restaurant in a coastal city that I have heard about and had it described to me by quite a few people.
So I had preliminary details - on a pier or dock, what the specialty is, popularity, basic geo location.
I began in google and got so frustrated I ended up on TA where the map shows all the "seafood" eateries and I click or mouse over and it brings up the image and name. If I thought it may be the one, I clicked and read the reviews. Saw the pattern on one lousy review - glowing review - lousy review - glowing review, it was most sickening. None were average, or this is a good place...
I agree, I am going to them more and more as I can get all the info in one place - EXCEPT TA still does not have links, so I was cutting and pasting restaurant names into a new window to see their website.
.
Have you tried Yelp for restaurant reviews? I've found it to be really extensive.
It is interesting with restaurants though - must be so frustrating to own one - because the reviews seem to vary like crazy, where with B&B's they are much more consistent. Even the nicest restaurants can serve a bad plate, cold, have a delay... the variability in service really comes to light.
.
JBanczak said:
Have you tried Yelp for restaurant reviews? I've found it to be really extensive.
It is interesting with restaurants though - must be so frustrating to own one - because the reviews seem to vary like crazy, where with B&B's they are much more consistent. Even the nicest restaurants can serve a bad plate, cold, have a delay... the variability in service really comes to light.
Yes, very few on yelp. Restaurant reviews stink, you have to read through stupid comments to get to the details "we wanted a quiet place to talk..." "the waitress was ugly" "they charged a corkage fee" "we had to wait for a table" useless information. I was hoping for "all the tables look out onto the Sound" or something that could help verify this was the same place, since there were a few very similar sounding restaurants. The websites...oh don't get me started, and the # of restaurants with NO reviews. The main thing was the mapping on TA let me see all of them in one city and I could EASILY see the seafood restaurants NOT on or near the water.
 

muirford

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
2,489
Reaction score
6
I've noted this before and don't mean to sound like a broken record... but this brings up a great point. Think about how many of the people who stay at your property depend on reviews in their lives now or will soon as sites have been launching on all of them.
Doctors
Contractors
Chefs/Restaurants
Lawyers
Accountants
Every local business like spas/salons/barbers
Every small goods manufacturer - period - from cars to electronics to sporting goods to everything
The list goes on and on... And I forget the latest stat, but something like 3/4's of travelers rate them as their most important criteria along with a photo and the map to the property!
My point in all this is that people don't mind being asked nicely in some way (follow-up email, link, at check-out, etc.) to leave a review..
JBanczak said:
I've noted this before and don't mean to sound like a broken record... but this brings up a great point. Think about how many of the people who stay at your property depend on reviews in their lives now or will soon as sites have been launching on all of them.
Doctors
Contractors
Chefs/Restaurants
Lawyers
Accountants
Every local business like spas/salons/barbers
Every small goods manufacturer - period - from cars to electronics to sporting goods to everything
The list goes on and on... And I forget the latest stat, but something like 3/4's of travelers rate them as their most important criteria along with a photo and the map to the property!
My point in all this is that people don't mind being asked nicely in some way (follow-up email, link, at check-out, etc.) to leave a review.
I spent a couple hours last night trying to locate a specific seafood restaurant in a coastal city that I have heard about and had it described to me by quite a few people.
So I had preliminary details - on a pier or dock, what the specialty is, popularity, basic geo location.
I began in google and got so frustrated I ended up on TA where the map shows all the "seafood" eateries and I click or mouse over and it brings up the image and name. If I thought it may be the one, I clicked and read the reviews. Saw the pattern on one lousy review - glowing review - lousy review - glowing review, it was most sickening. None were average, or this is a good place...
I agree, I am going to them more and more as I can get all the info in one place - EXCEPT TA still does not have links, so I was cutting and pasting restaurant names into a new window to see their website.
.
Have you tried Yelp for restaurant reviews? I've found it to be really extensive.
It is interesting with restaurants though - must be so frustrating to own one - because the reviews seem to vary like crazy, where with B&B's they are much more consistent. Even the nicest restaurants can serve a bad plate, cold, have a delay... the variability in service really comes to light.
.
JBanczak said:
Have you tried Yelp for restaurant reviews? I've found it to be really extensive.
It is interesting with restaurants though - must be so frustrating to own one - because the reviews seem to vary like crazy, where with B&B's they are much more consistent. Even the nicest restaurants can serve a bad plate, cold, have a delay... the variability in service really comes to light.
Yes, very few on yelp. Restaurant reviews stink, you have to read through stupid comments to get to the details "we wanted a quiet place to talk..." "the waitress was ugly" "they charged a corkage fee" "we had to wait for a table" useless information. I was hoping for "all the tables look out onto the Sound" or something that could help verify this was the same place, since there were a few very similar sounding restaurants. The websites...oh don't get me started, and the # of restaurants with NO reviews. The main thing was the mapping on TA let me see all of them in one city and I could EASILY see the seafood restaurants NOT on or near the water.
.
JBanczak said:
Have you tried Yelp for restaurant reviews? I've found it to be really extensive.
They have much more extensive reviews in metropolitan areas. Not much for out here. I'm sure that will change.
They have started recently to allow owners to respond to reviews - I believe at least some of the credit for that should go to Jay, from PAII. They wouldn't do it if they weren't getting pressure.
 

SweetiePie

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
614
Reaction score
0
If TA were truly sincere in wanting to meet us halfway, then first of all they wouldn't be stonewalling on the simplest of things with Jay (like holding a disputed review in abeyance until it has been investigated). That should be a no-brainer.
Also, I think they should have addressed our concerns first, instead of acknowledging them and then bruishing them aside as is their SOP. I, for one, would have been willing to sit through a longer discussion and would have come away with more respect for them.
Secondly, they should not have used such inflammatory language and a more conciliatory attitude. They were simply going for the low-hanging fruit.
You have to remember that the traveler is their customer. That is who they are supposedly looking out for, not us. Which is why you see articles where they are addressing fake reviews by the properties but never by the reviewers. We are simply the coin of the realm.
Now if this group (innkeepers in general who tend to be very independent) was smart and cohesive; then we would use what bargaining power we have in getting some of our demands met. In other words, no one would agree to partner with them until they fixed some of the basic problems inherent in the system..
SweetiePie said:
In other words, no one would agree to partner with them until they fixed some of the basic problems inherent in the system.
It doesn't matter if we partner with them or not. They are there and they're not going away, regardless of our input or lack thereof.
=/
Kk.
.
Very interesting to note - today in one of our weekly newspapers, a popular local doctor who is also often on the news channel is discussing the same problem with reviews of doctors. Same problems with good and bad reviews, and many reviews unsigned. They are reviewing about everything, including accusing the docs of having affairs with patients etc etc.
So we are not the only ones with these problems. The medical websites are not controlling them either, and he did not mention that there was any way for the doctors to respond, so I'm assuming they don't!
RIki
.
You are right. I have been seeing several new docs recently and I never looked for reviews on them, but just typed in their name hoping to see their own website, or some information and there are at least a half dozen different sites where people send in reviews about their docs. No one could ever keep up with all of this!!!! So we just deal with it and move on. TA is here to stay and nothing a few innkeepers say or do is going to change that. They may be willing to take some advice but in the end...whatever makes them the most $$$ is what matters for them.
.
I agree with you that it's all about the money. TA seems to be obsessed with numbers. Their goal is to list every accommodation on the planet, whether they want to be listed or not.
That would explain their "quantity over quality" approach. Very little effort is put into following up with their listings to make sure they are still valid. We have listings in our town of B&Bs that have been closed for over 5 years. Swirt touched on the fact that they don't want to lose the page. However, how is that serving anyone, with outdated information?
TA would serve themselves well by improving the process of dealing with fraudulent reviews. We have very prominent places here that won't link to TA because they have been burned by a few very negative bad reviews in the past, even though the overall ratings are good.
 

Latest posts

Top