Trip “Advisor” has become for a lot of people the first point of call before choosing a hotel, restaurant, or plan their entire trip. The concept is amazing, but does it really work? This humble blogger, thinks whilst it is a great tool, it truly gets misused by many people. TripAdvisor, for many, is used as a tool to threaten and obtain massive discounts. I have always found it hilarious and pathetic when people threaten staff members of an establishment that if they don’t abide to their ridiculous requests, they will RUIN you on Social Media and in particular, TripAdvisor. Even funnier, how many establishments fall for these threats. Now … I can get it if this comes from an Influencer and the business was truly at fault, but when it comes from the average John Doe with 15 followers …. err … go ahead mate! Don’t get me wrong, this does not mean that the business needs to ignore and not do anything to rectify the experience of the customer/guest, but the solution should be equal to the mishap caused.
Human beings have been obsessed with power from the beginning of time and now that there is such a competitive market out there, social media is becoming the weapon of choice. I come from the hotel industry, in particular the 5 star market. Remember the days that going to a 5 star property was limited only for people that were well-off? Well, my dear friend, those days are long gone. Increasing quantity of 5 star properties on a global stage have made this market niche have to drop its trousers, lower their prices, advertise, and do special promotions to fill the hotel. There are a few properties out there that can afford to be exclusive and still charge extravagant prices, but the general rule is lower your price if you want my business. This of course, is not just limited to the hotel industry, but to many different markets.
So why do I think TripAdvisor is so overrated? Well, whilst it does give you the general picture of the business, you shouldn’t believe everything you read. This is like judging a book by its cover. Do you really stop going to watch a movie or read a book because it received a bad critic from someone? Obviously if ALL the reviews are terrible, then you won’t, but for a few here and there …. probably not. Reviews, like many other things are based on personal experiences and human beings do err. I truly believe that if the establishment take the time to resolve your problem and/or offer an alternative … in my eyes it is done and dusted. Compensation for a bad experience is definitely not an exact science. We do not have an Excel Spreadsheet that determines what to give if something happens.
Customers/guests need to give the establishment a chance to make it right. Saying that though, there are a lot of companies out there that offer to write reviews on these social media platforms … both good and bad. Want to slander the competition, just hire these companies to write a lot of bad reviews about them and watch their ratings go down. You also got some people that because they didn’t get the free breakfast due to being asked for a method of payment (common EVERYWHERE in the world), they will write a bad review.
I was a bit too harsh in the topic by giving TripAdvisor only 1 star, but it is just to prove a point of how “easy” it is to judge. TripAdvisor is good tool and I do recommend it as a metric. Use it as a first point to decide where to go on your next trip, but it is not a gospel. It definitely not contain all the truth, so do a bit more of research before axing a business. Call the property, visit their website, and get the experience for yourself. If the business is local, then drive by and have a look for yourself.