A friend of mine, her hubby and kids were on a vacation recently, but the house they rented has no hot water. She tried to contact the landlord, but got no response. Then she mentioned that she should report it to TripAdvisor.com. That is the first time I heard of that site so I decided to take a look.
"TripAdvisor® is the largest travel community in the world, with more
than 5 million unbiased reviews and opinions, covering 250,000+ hotels
and attractions. With more than 20 million unique monthly visitors
worldwide (source: comScore Media Metrix, July 2006), TripAdvisor®
features real advice from real travelers and easy access to major
online travel sites, including Expedia.com®, Orbitz, Hotels.com® and
American Airlines, for great deals."
The site even has a humor section that is made up of a blog with snippets of the reviews from the site:
"But what do we really talk about over lunch at TripAdvisor? The
stuff we can’t publish. Whether it’s funny, rude, bizarre, potentially
libelous, incomprehensible, or all of the above, we love it, and we
think you will too."
But does it really work? For those customers who report issues with vacations – does the site help them get it resolved? Well, I happened to be reading the New York Times travel section today and my question was answered in an article titled " The Web Gives Hotel Guests The Last Word":
"Nearly every morning, over his second cup of coffee, Tom Brady, general manager at the Affinia Chicago, logs onto his computer and surfs over to TripAdvisor.com to see if there are any new postings about his hotel.
“It’s an obsession,” he said. If the review is positive he moves on. If it’s unfavorable — like the complaint posted in March from a guest who had received a $90 parking ticket because of a valet’s error — he’s on it immediately. In that case, he marched straight out to the valet to find out what had happened. After identifying the guest, he made sure that the company issued an apology and a reimbursement for the ticket."
Funny, because I just stayed at the Affinia Manhattan and was very impressed with the customer service. So, maybe the hotels with good customer service read their reviews. Who knows, but it does make me want to come back to this site the next time I travel. I always like to mix professional travel reviews with those from real customers to get information on my travel destinations. Traveling with kids is hard enough, so the more information I can get – the better.