Hello. Come on in. Take your shoes off and settle down. We’re here to talk to you about TripAdvisor and other “review” options. You might be familiar with it as a concept: people leave a review about an establishment based on their experience there. It’s supposed to be a community that benefits customers and businesses alike. A customer leaves a review about a business, others see that review and build opinions based on it. It allows businesses to build a “trusted” reputation that will further drive it through the long and arduous trail of being a successful operation.
Unfortunately, like flavoured Gin, TripAdvisor has become a mockery of itself, beloved only by self-righteous middle-aged people who can’t work technology yet seem more than able to download an app on their phone to unleash their vitriol.
Take this review for example:
There are two options here, her husband died not long after the soup fiasco and it’s the cold soup that’s hit her the hardest OR quite a lot of time has gone by, her husband has long passed away and she’s seen something that sets her off, suddenly she focuses all of her anger on bringing down this soup establishment with the funny named staff. They must pay for what they have done and she will stop at nothing to honour her husband’s memory and destroy the soup elite. Watch out, Manchester, for the soup widow will bring you down and will expose you for your shoddy soup. Yes, we have ignored the “just want to feel okay again” because it’s haunting and she immediately asks for her next victim. *There are feelings that this is not a real review, but the internet doesn’t care about that does it?!*
Here’s an actual, useful review to break things up:
Here is why you should sleep on your reviews before releasing them to the world:
So elegant, so wonderful. Matthew Beamont will be studied in English classes across the land.
This one perfectly embodies the sheer contempt that people have for review services:
It’s either a weird attempt at sarcasm or this guy’s standards are higher than the highest building in the world which is…the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Lucy Blu writes:
Simple. Stop eating in toilets, Lucy.
Sometimes saying nothing is better than saying something. J Brailsford got the memo too late:
Ahh yes, remember the dark ages, when everyone was kitted out in Converse and ripped jeans after the Roman Empire fell? Iconic period.
Our friend Paul McGarvey seems to have misunderstood a few policies:
Paul, they don’t charge people for a quick drink. They charge people to go in. You can spend five minutes or five hours in there, you’re still paying, buddy.
Pretty sure this one can be put into the “cool story, bro” category:
Bet you’re a fun guy at parties, Antony.
“Customer angry because time exists”:
If food is stopped at 8, it stops at 8. You don’t get to bitch and moan because you showed up when the kitchen closes. Also, great rape joke, Joshua Boyle. Starting to think everyone else wished you’d chosen to sit somewhere else too.
Just… read it:
The manager’s response? “We had a gas leak”. Do customers think that everyone just gathers round at the start of the day and chooses one booking at random to cancel? “LADS, what about this one. Let’s tell her there’s a gas leak and hope she doesn’t happen to come by and check. Hopefully she’ll get her hair and makeup done to justify this random culling of profit”. Imagine the papers the next day: “Bar explodes killing 50 people. Rebecca6993 was amongst the victims, police say she is badly burnt and was almost unrecognisable if it were not for the fact she’d had her hair and makeup done. We spoke to those that knew her: “She would have wanted to go out this way, it was either this or be all done-up for nothing, it was last minute on a Saturday after all.”
Now for something that would be just as home on an NHS enquiry form as it is on a review site:
You do you, Jade. You. Do. You.
A damning review of a popular BBQ joint:
Wondering where the picture is? So is everyone else.
We believe this to be the work of Google translate, hence the “Captain”:
So, basically: “It opens at 12, what a shit! Everyone gives this good reviews but I don’t agree with this. The staff and manager put you off for some reason (probs because we got angry that it wasn’t open yet lol)”
Here’s one that has to be read to be believed:
Guessing that it wasn’t just because of this gentleman’s really expensive t-shirt.
How much is too much to spend on a t-shirt btw? Like, if your t-shirt is worth more than some people’s wage then surely you’re spending too much on a t-shirt? That’s a frivolous expense and I would not trust you to act responsibly in my establishment.
Someone who doesn’t understand anything about bars and pubs:
You get lured in by Susan’s initial comment (she HAD to be called Susan). £4.25 for half a pint of Magners IS expensive, you have been ripped o… oh, it was a bottle. You paid the price of a bottle and complained because pints in Manchester are cheaper in Manchester. Susan, you’ve brought shame on this respected name.
When customers make lazy jokes and it’s the basis of their review:
Shut up, Jemma. Just because you think you’ve made a joke doesn’t mean that anyone has to laugh. Believe us on that one. Also, just shut up in general. You got half price drinks, go home.
This next excerpt is from a lengthy review written by a 59 year old man who didn’t say what his voting record was, but everyone knows. Everyone knows:
Wait on one table at a time. It’s basic. Wait until that table has finished their meal. It’s basic. Only when that table has finished their meal AND NOT A MOMENT SOONER you may ask them if they wish to pay. It’s basic. When that table has paid you may then move on to your next table and repeat the process. It. Is. Basic. His entire review was of this ilk and he seemed confused as to why other tables were being served when he hadn’t finished his food.
Here’s one that we believe was left by John Taffer in disguise:
THEIR BUSINESS MODEL IS NOT MAKING THEM ENOUGH MONEY, I SUGGEST WE STARVE THEM OF OUR MONEY UNTIL THEY TRY TO MAKE MORE MONEY. THEN THEY WILL SEE THE MONEY THEY HAVE MISSED OUT ON. LOOK AT THESE PEOPLE THAT ARE COMFORTABLE, THEY MUST BE KILLED.
“Customer sits at a table without a booking. Asked to move as other people were waiting for the table. Gets angry and refuses to come back. Business cries.”
This one is from that all elusive shared TripAdvisor account that those cutesy couples all have:
“I’ve never written a review” – ChrisandAndrea82, writers of 18 previous reviews. No explanation of said traumatic experience. They haven’t disclosed their voting records but everyone knows. Everyone knows.
“Lads, shall we go to this bar that I love so much. Oh, they’ve got live music on, which is acoustic, but let’s not tell anyone that as it might invalidate any reviews I might wish to write in the future. We can just talk louder. Sorted. Leave it to your old friend Michael B to find the solution to the problem. They’re telling us to be quiet? Well I never! Come, let’s all leave and never come back. I’ve never met ruder people in my life.”
TripAdvisor and any other review system that are left in the hands of the general public will always be a toxic situation to find yourself part of. Small businesses rely on this service to get more custom. Businesses actively seek out positive reviews because it improves their reputation. When people are free to write what they want and TripAdvisor seemingly do nothing about quality control, there will never be any trust from a business point of view. There’s a widely believed saying in the hospitality industry and it’s “The general public are stupid”. TripAdvisor only seems to cement this.
We’ve omitted any and all 1* reviews that are left by the “justice brigade” whenever someone sells their story to a newspaper or writes a Facebook status without context or proof about how a bar or restaurant has wronged them and they must pay for their crimes that may or may not have been committed. Those reviews are often written by vile people with nothing better to do than to read one side of a story and effectively try and close a business down in the name of justice. Very often those reviews will be left by people that haven’t been to the venue, don’t know where the venue is and are conveniently Facebook friends with the offending Facebook status’s owner. Those people deserve nothing, and they are a drain on society.
If you frequently leave TripAdvisor reviews that are like the ones above (let’s be honest, you won’t have read this because your pride is telling you you’re right), we beg of you: please take a second to think about what your fingertips are doing. Did the bouncer actually not let all of you in despite you all being completely 100% sober? Was it your expensive t-shirt that got you knocked back? Are you actually unhappy with the service or just unhappy in life? Just take a second and cool-off. If you still feel inclined to leave your abhorrently written review then go ahead, be safe in the knowledge that you’re contributing to one of the biggest piles of lies and deceit the internet holds dear. You don’t have to disclose your voting records, because everyone knows.
We’ll leave you with something that hopefully lifts your spirits:
Take care out there.
Some of our favourite review titles from TripAdvisor: