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When Using TripAdvisor, Click "Poor," "Terrible," and "Average"

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This may be a reliable way to find out if there is a recurrent fault with a hotel.

I recently stayed at Riverside Motel in Stanley, ID. It is a good place with a great location that has received much praise on TripAdvisor, including from me in 2009. However, when we stayed there recently, the experience was marred by an extremely disagreeable encounter with the owners.

When I got home, I studied the TripAdvisor ratings for the place carefully and in doing so I found that virtually all of the "poor," "terrible," and "average" ratings for the motel where not about the facilities but about unpleasant experiences with the inept people who own and run the place.

I checked out my theory on other properties. For instance, Sun Mountain Lodge in Winthrop, WA, is a place we used to spend a night or two every year but stopped when the rates increased so much it became a poor value. And, it turns out that most of those who posted poor, terrible, and average ratings for Sun Mountain Lodge on TripAdvisor describe why they found the place not worth the price.

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