Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Must tell Tripadvisor



".....giant squid is pulling towels out of the cupboard. No towels -Is she there- no towels ?- Everything a bit damp, must inform Tripadvisor."

   
No sugar on the table. No bowl from which to eat your cereal and compote. The guest has had to ask for a napkin. No butter on the table for the toast. These are all minor issues that can irritate a guest, and encourage them to give one a bad review on Tripadvisor. We all know that as "nano" enterprises working in the hospitality industry Tripadvisor reviews can make or break us. Here at Casa Rosada we have been very lucky and had some wonderful guests who have done no more than pass on the good reports about what made their stay in our hostelry a pleasurable and relaxing experience.We now have 15 reviews all giving us an excellent rating. We currently come in at number 9 of 152 bed and breakfasts in the Algarve.
However what goes around comes around, and things can turn sour. It seems Tripadvisors  filters, review moderation and fraud detection do not always allow honesty, as the thespian has recently discovered.As part of the service we offer at Casa Rosada we want to point not only booked in guests but potential guests in the right direction with our opinion and suggestions for where to eat and where not to eat in the local area.This is based on a tried and tested policy by ourselves. When someone posted a bad critique of the then number one restaurant on Tripadvisor in Tavira, we posted a  counter defence "whats the hurry... " of this establishment that we ourselves have eaten in on many occasions. Tripadvisor refused to allow the post to appear and refused to discuss why. All we were attempting to achieve was to put some facts straight about our own experience of service in this particular establishment. Tripadvisor finally agreed to allow the post and it appeared. The proprietor of the restaurant also defended this criticism with his own post. More recently we were walking in the streets of Tavira and were accosted by the owner of a restaurant we dined in two or three years ago. His sales approach to us was aggressive and unpleasant and he would not take no for an answer when I told him of our bad experience on every level in his establishment, food, service,waiting time, professionalism or lack of in all categories.He asked for a second chance.I vehemently said no we would never return.Time to tell Tripadvisor.“Off-putting!” ....They were having none of it again. They told the thespian by email that his post was unacceptable.He replied:
Again!!
I have reviewed twice and this has happened both times. I am now feeling why bother.
I do appreciate that reviews must be unbiased. Mine are! I have no agenda other than give my opinion in a considered way. Can you tell me then. how , on the same section (Restaurants in Tavira) in the last weeks someone has posted a review alleging food poisoning (unsubstantiated - a very serious and potentially damaging accusation) and another labelling someone "creepy""! Nice!
I merely wrote a review of what I experienced. Is my opinion not of any value?
I live and work in the area and visit many restaurants in order to recommend to my clients the best and suggest the ones they may want to avoid. i now feel its not worth trying to share this knowledge with Trip Advisor. I avoid posting opinions of hotels and B&Bs to avoid any suggestion of bias.

Tripadvisor´s response was now to remove the previous review that the thespian had posted. What is the matter with this organisation?- We are, as a bed and breakfast, in no way in competition with a restaurant 26 kilometres away that does not provide accomodation or breakfast.
He replied again:
Now I see you have removed the other review I posted, after you agreed to publish it when I contacted you!!I resent strongly the implications of this - that in some way I am being dishonest or biased.I read reviews using much stronger and damaging language than I ever have.My views, which I believe are as valid as anyone elses, are an accurate report of my experience.I have no connection to any restaurant in the area and so have nothing to gain by posting false reviews.I own a B&B in the area - well reviewed on Trip Advisor - and have never solicited  reviews from my clients. I know the value of honest and unbiased comments - anything else is damaging to the business. I wont review other hotels I have visited in the area for that very reason - I dont want to be accused of any wrong doing.With over 20 years experience of visiting, and now living and working in the area I do have a knowledge which i thought worth passing on. Obviously Trip Advisor doesn´t think so.I am also aware, because of local knowledge, when reviews are being manipulated or solicited. Maybe Trip Advisor is not a place any more for me or my business.
Alls well that ends well. Normal service has now been resumed and  both the the thespian´s posts have been posted succesfully. Thank you Tripadvisor for acknowledging our mission.Parting words from our guests as they left this morning.... "Must tell Tripadvisor"

1 comment:

  1. O Trip Advisor..where to begin... I have had my posts removed too after a beastly holiday in a eco hotel in a sand fly filled SWAMP.. in Antigua...some hideous local attacked me and when I dared to answer..they magicked my post away....so I do sympathize.

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