Class action from UK B&Bs against TA

Sep 29th, 2010, 06:03 PM
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Class action from UK B&Bs against TA

against Trip Advisor for defamation - interesting read!
Here is one link which talks about the class action against Trip Advisor.

Whether you use TA and whether you agree with it or not I think this is a "heads up" to be a bit careful of what you post on reviews.
ivenotbeeneverywhere is offline  
Sep 29th, 2010, 10:31 PM
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Interesting development, the backlash against the amateur critic. I always consult TA but I take the reviews with a pinch of salt. The thing that always puts me off is the owners and managers that respond to every post.
Susan7 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2010, 11:56 PM
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I think that when the owners respond to everything it is a pain too Susan but although I think that TA has its good points I also think that it is used by devious owners i.e. as in Cairns where one person in particular has about 70 wonderful and glowing reviews over a fairly short period of time. On the other hand there are those reviews which have been done out of spite too for services that might have been expected but were not available etc and it certainly is a way of meanly getting at another operator as I think someone in the UK made note of.
I find that Fodors is much better, you can do a search on something or some place if you want but it also can be debated as well which cannot be done on TA.
I guess in the end there is always two sides to everything and nothing is perfect but there was a situation some years ago, which was hotly debated here on Fodors, whereby a guest of a B&B decided, months after his trip, to write a really nasty review over a couple of rather petty issues. The review was hotly debated for 2 - 3 weeks till in the end it was obvious to Blind Freddy that said guest was just an ill tempered grouch who wanted 120% of everything - if not why not - and if not then the operator was going to pay through his villification technique. Finally though, the operator of the resort did reply on Fodors and we heard both sides whereby we were all able to make a judgement which was on the side of the operator. It was also mentioned at the time that one person, just one guest "could" have the power to damage a business to such an extent that the business could go bust - in a small community, in a small country like Australia it would not be hard. That is what is bad about TA. What is good about TA is that if you have had a really good experience you can write it up and although the property may be very, very small its good points can be made to shine through against all the big companies and hotels etc. So there has to be a happy medium I think.
ivenotbeeneverywhere is offline  
Sep 30th, 2010, 03:13 AM
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Sometimes an operator has absolutely no recourse to a review but to use a management response. This happened only last week to a local B&B here in Cairns, disgruntled guests who had never guaranteed their booking with credit card, despite being asked, were upset to find they had no reservation. Resulted in a filthy review to TA, which included describing the operator, of 17 years standing, as a "laughing hyena" and where the reviewer, although admitting he'd never stayed in this B&B, rated in one out of five in each TA category. This dropped the B&B's TA ranking by 3 levels.

This "review" sat on TA for 3 weeks before it was brought to the attention of the operator and I happen to know that she spent half a day of her valuable time trying to contact a human being at TA, which proved impossible. After all, TA looked pretty stupid publishing a review when the poster admitted he'd never stayed in the establishment. As there was no recourse for her but to write a management response, she did, the "review" was immediately deleted by TA, but it would have been nice had they offered an apology to the operator. Not a word,although they have now, after a week, adjusted the B&B's ranking .
pat_woolford is offline  
Sep 30th, 2010, 05:49 AM
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Yes, it will be very interesting to see what happens. From the standpoint of an owner, I can certainly understand how it can be extremely frustrating, not to mention financially costly, to have their establishment's reputation ruined by one or two disgruntled customers or a competitor. And, on the other side of the coin, there certainly have been establishments which publish their own fake glowing review. How to solve those problems I don't know.

However, as the guest, I love TA as a resource but one needs to do their homework carefully. I basically discount any review where the poster has no other reviews. Even where they are obviously genuine reviewers (as in posted reviews on a lot of places over a reasonable period of time) I check to see whether they consistently rate high or low. I am also very wary of any review which sounds completely over the top, whether it be positive or negative.

I've booked places numerous times on the basis of reviews on TA and have as yet to have a bad experience. The places have lived up to my expectations regardless of whether it is meant to be high end or just clean and simple.

In fact, I have just today rung a hotel that we have been booked into for a conference over the weekend to request that our room be at the back of the hotel, as a number of reviews mentioned the traffic noise for rooms at the front. Without TA, I wouldn't had an idea that this was a potential issue.

As mentioned, how to work out the line to make it fair for all is very hard but I will leave that up to someone else. I just hope that this doesn't eventually lead to the demise of TA - although I will still have my Fodor's family to continue giving me personal recommendations.
shandy is offline  
Oct 11th, 2010, 02:46 PM
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However I use TA for most travel and business plans and to be honest if you only see one bad comment then you balance that with the good ones. I always check out which country some of the whingers come from and you can also go to their previous history - once a whinger sometimes always a whinger.

On the whole every hotel I have stayed in has been pretty much on the mark according to guest reviews and over the last few years we have done a lot of travelling through South East Asia.
Karen246 is offline  
Oct 11th, 2010, 05:25 PM
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To illustrate & endorse Shandy's point: When I looked at the reviews (after I'd booked (!)) for my hotel when we had our Fodors GTG, they weren't exactly encouraging. I called the manager, was satisfied with his comments & ended up quite happy with it. I was looking for something within walking distance to our meeting & dinner places and cheapish as I was only there a few hours. I made an informed choice and was satisfied with the result. Had I not seen the reviews & made the subsequent call, I may have had a different reaction, having stayed in other, better, properties in the group.

I think Karen246 makes a good point too - I check posters' home base too as there can often be a somewhat predictable disconnect between expectations & availability in.

I'm another who is sceptical about someone who (apparently) registers only to post either an OTT glowing or flaming review.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Oct 11th, 2010, 08:16 PM
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I personally only write a review if the place is wonderful or if the place is disgusting. I do not see the point in writing a review if its middle of the road because so often it can be because of the staff who are on or not on as the case maybe.
Case in point - one guesthouse owner friend of mine has had a somewhat "ordinary" review based on a less than 24 hours stay at a time when there was a grave issue going on which would have made things somewhat tense to say the least. The writer of the review made incorrect statements as to who cooked breakfast and who was the cleaner etc and the whole review was incorrectly slanted. This then has made a big difference in status levels of said guesthouse.
Further it has been evident that those places who sign and pay up for Trip Advisor advertising seem to be gaining promotion with their ratings in the reviews section. Something else for those who rely on reviews to watch out for.
ivenotbeeneverywhere is offline  
Oct 12th, 2010, 08:12 AM
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I've used TA a lot as I researched places to stay during our trip to Oz and NZ. I think you just need to read with a discerning eye, because careful reading may show when a review is too OTT favorable, or heavily negative. I try to read a few positives, a couple of negatives, and make my judgement accordingly.

When we get back, I'll report on how that all turned out!
SB_Travlr is offline  
Oct 15th, 2010, 02:40 AM
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I use TA to check on places in which I am interested.

One of the places in Scotland that I'd selected had no reviews, and I was a bit hesitant about it, although it's website covered most of my questions, and they were very responsive to emails.

When I got there, it was everything I expected and more, the hosts were good, etc. The couple had only been in business a couple of months. I submitted a review to TA and they waited ages to publish it.

I've looked at reviews for some other places I stayed, and wondered if I'd been to the same place. Take them with a pinch of salt.
margo_oz is offline  
Oct 20th, 2010, 07:16 PM
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Like most I am wary but I have posted a couple of reviews citing positives and negatives especially when reviews and cost per night all seem to point to "perfection" and pretensions of being 4/5 star and they clearly are not so imho.
JohnFitz is offline  
Oct 20th, 2010, 10:22 PM
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I routinely use TA, but I locate properties I'm interested in first, and then look for reviews. I place absolutely no value whatsoever in TA's ranking system, as it has more to do with the total number of reviews than what the reviews actually say, or so it seems to me.

I find it interesting that property owners put much stock in this ranking system, as it's meaningless as far as I'm concerned.

I like to think that the general public is wise enough to read between the lines and to not blindly believe what one or two disgruntled people have to say, but perhaps I'm overestimating the average traveler.

I've added TA listings for at least a dozen B&Bs/small hotels/restaurants. If I find a gem, I want to share it. Many people don't seem to take the time and initative to have an establishment added to TA, but once they're added, people seem more than willing to put in their two cents.

Like everything else on the Internet, one must proceed with caution - everything is subjective. I can't wait to see how this all plays out.
Melnq8 is offline  

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