Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Trip Advisor and review sites

The other day I decided to change an email address I use for many things; it's based on a nickname someone who I thought was a friend gave me; as we are no longer friends and I really don't like him (I never did before when we were meant to be friends) I figured I'd like to stop using the email. This meant going through all my social media bits to make the changes; that included my trip advisor. I don't use it often but every now and again when I remember to do so, or a company/place pisses me off then I will leave a review (I also leave good ones for great places - the cottage I stayed at in Wales got a 5* review; I only leave those for really good places :) ) In fact I only really review somewhere if it's been exceptionally bad or extremely good - I think I need to start reviewing the mid-range places too (because I have so much time on my hands to do such things :) )

I figured as I use this email address for pretty much everything these days I'd set up a new account with it. I was a bit disappointed it meant all my previous reviews would no longer be available but them's the breaks. I'm a bit of a hoarder when it comes to things I've put on the web (with text messages, emails and PM's too) and tend to keep copies of them all in files on different cloud systems so figured I'd still have them to have and planned on copying them again, when it struck me that there might be a way to merge the 2 accounts; a quick google search (gotta love google) and I found a thread on exactly that. Minutes later I was emailing trip advisor to see if it was possible. I cannot tell you how shocked I was when just 34 minutes later I got a reply from them. I can wait days for people who ask me for money to get back to me yet a company like TA who must have hundreds of thousands of emails every day replied so quickly. I was mightily impressed I can tell you. Yes, they were able to transfer 90% of the reviews I've made from one account to the other. The 5 I left for the places I visited in wales have not been but are still available via my old profile - for now. I do like good customer service though and they surely get 5 stars for theirs. 

One thing I don't about review sites are the people who go out of their way to harm/promote a business. I know of another shop whose competitor got all their friends and family to leave awful reviews about their business. I'm sorry but that's not only bad sportsmanship but utterly pathetic at the same time. Competition is a healthy thing and if you're that worried about your business being affected by a competitor then maybe you shouldn't own a business at all. I found when I first opened my shop the competition over the road went out of their way to bad mouth me - I found the whole thing laughable and farsicle but someone who doesn't take these things in the way I do could have been broken by the things they did. She spent more time concentrating on how to bring me down she neglected her own business and ended up having to sell because she was losing money. The next couple to take over (2 sisters) also tried - and failed - and the 2 in their now (nieces of the previous couple) have been leaving glowing reviews about their shop on google using their own names. How stupid can you get? How sad do you have to be to review your own business?

I do try to be thorough when I leave a bad review (and will pull up any issues I have with the place at the time - 9 times out of 10 they couldn't give a shit which is why I then leave negative words about them). I don't just say "They were shit" and give a 1* review though; I explain what happened and why I was leaving such a negative one.  My best was a book review I left a few years back. Oh my goodness. The abuse I got for that. I'd bought this book based on the reviews I'd read - I learnt a lesson there. It was deemed as a horror/paranormal book and as someone who loves a good ghost story I was eager to read it. I could not have been more disappointed if I had tried. It was dire and so I said so. I listed what I didn't like about though and explained what I was hoping for - you can find the actual review HERE. It was only after I got abuse (so much abuse; the author hassled me, his friends, family - it got so bad I actually removed my review at one point, then realised they were nothing more than bullies and reinstated it - I will NOT bow down to bullies). In the end it got all quite pathetic with him saying I had a personal vendetta against him (he also left a glowing review of his own book - yes, he was 'one of those'). I did notice after that all the previous reviews were glowing and the reviewers had only ever reviewed that one book or books the author had written so it became pretty obvious that they were people he know - probably the same ones who cyber stalked me!! 

Another review I got a lot of stick for (by people PM'ing me) was the review I left when I did my flying visit to the USA back in 2014 with a company called Just You. I actually thought it was good :) I made sure to note it was just my experience, added in some pitfall warnings and shared the good bits. The comments I got PM'd to me telling me I was"wrong" that the trip was "amazing" that I was "out of order" for posting anything negative were ridiculous. These were from people who'd not been on the same trip as I was so how they could know I was wrong is beyond me. People are strange at times, aren't they? 

I do belong to a site where you reviews can earn you money but how anyone has the time to spend writing them to earn enough to make it worthwhile is beyond me. There really aren't enough hours in a day, although I guess I should try and make time to maybe review something every day for if it means I can earn a few pounds towards my trip then that can only be a good thing :) If only trip advisor paid us for our opinions :) 

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