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How Negative Reviews Can Cost You

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How Negative Reviews Can Cost You

Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Twitter and all the other internet platforms offering perturbed guests a place to share their opinions, can cost you. If you are a frequent whiner, companies will know it.

Both sides of the traveling experience have valid points when it comes to the complaints department

No restaurant, hotel or other service is 100% perfect all the time. On the other end, guests are forking over their savings account or per-arranging every detail of their trip and expect their time and money’s worth. Both sides have fair points, but what happens when there is an issue?

A few General Managers in the hospitality field shared the do’s and don’ts to getting a problem resolved.

Give Peace a Chance

Some frustrated customers will jump straight to voicing their displeasure with comments on social media or review websites. If you give the establishment a chance to fix the problem before taking public measures, your case will be treated and handled with more care and respect,” a GM of large chain hotel confessed.

This is where leaving negative opinions can hurt your case for legitimate complaints. Chances are, the staff won’t see your complaint until you have left. If you address the issue with staff first, you will increase the level of respect for your complaint versus blasting the issue online. If they see your grievance online, the damage has already been done.

The online complaint leaves a negative digital footprint for the business. Likewise, it leaves a trail of your complaints. If you have a history of sharing every negative detail, we can see that too.”

The customer service team will also be looking for evidence of repeated negative reviews. If you have a trail of criticisms, it won’t help your case. It may not be the case, but it comes across as an attempt to get refunds or additional perks free of charge.

Generally speaking, reps are far less inclined to rectify the situation if you haven’t given them a chance.”

More Smiles, Less HULK SMASH

There is a strong case to make complaints in person whenever you can. You are more likely to get immediate response if you are standing in front of staff with an understanding smile, versus making an angry phone call.

If someone presents an issue in person, staff can’t put the issue on hold. Guests are less likely to get lost in the chain of relaying messages and it shows the desk clerks you are serious about getting immediate action. If you are kind about it, smile or convey an understanding, you can probably count on an additional perk later.

Whether you call or show in person, make sure your tone is agreeable and open. Also, make an effort to locate the correct person or department you need.

The agents at the front desk usually bear the brunt end of complaints. They are rarely the ones who are responsible for the issue, so ask who need to speak with to resolve the problem. Being polite will make anyone more inclined to help you or offer you an extra perk to ensure your satisfaction.”

The Extreme Cases

There are extreme cases. Recently, Page Six ran a feature regarding a hotel in Hudson, New York. At the time, the hotel’s site featured a built-in fee for negative reviews for those wedding guests who left deposits.

“Please know that despite the fact that wedding couples love Hudson and our inn, your friends and families may not,” reads an online policy. “If you have booked the inn for a wedding or other type of event . . . and given us a deposit of any kind . . . there will be a $500 fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review . . . placed on any internet site by anyone in your party.”

Since the article ran, the hotel has removed the $500 fee warning and told CNBC the fee was “a tongue-in-cheek response to a wedding many years ago. It was meant to be taken down long ago and certainly was never enforced.”

This situation perplexes me. If you don’t take your business policies seriously, why should guests?” one manager wondered upon reading the article. “If you have one policy that is meant as a joke, it leaves your other policies open to questioning and interpretation. It does bring up the point that policies vary across the board. Knowing the hotel’s rules before you book can save future hassles.

Knowing of any cancellation fees or charges in advance will help prevent stick shock when you get your final bill. Often, the bill you see when booking online are subtotals that don’t include charges for things like parking or cleaning along with resort fees. Just another reason you should call to book hotels. Ask if there are any additional costs that aren’t present in the total they give you.

24 Comments

  • Kath Rivera says:

    Yes I agree with you that nobody’s perfect. Even though the review is positive, it depends on her experience of the reviewer. It’s always subjective but the review is a good guide for everyone.

  • Michelle F. says:

    Those are some great points. I agree with letting the company fix the issue before complaining to the public.

  • Apoorv says:

    Amazed if letting know about bad side of any product can cost… It isn’t fair, every one has it’s own view and can review.

  • When going to a place I’ve never been to before, I rely heavily on the reviews. I do agree that problems should be brought to the business first, but when I see on yelp more then 3 people with the same negative reference within a year – I know what to expect.

  • bobbie says:

    I frequently review on trip advisor and I truthfully try to keep my reviews very level. Meaning if I post a negative (even then I pad it and word it nicely) I will post positives too. And I am careful in leaving negative things because just because it was negative or less then the standards for me doesn’t mean that is the case for everyone else. I do urge people to use caution and also post reviews after the dust settles, you are home and/or have spoke to the appropriate people.. Unless there is no negative. Then in those cases I post right away.

  • This is a great post. Thanks for sharing. I know that people too often jump to writing a bad review without giving the company a chance to correct the situation. And I also like the graphic :)

  • Kungphoo says:

    Nothing in this world is perfect.. I will not give an online negative review because i know that someone out there may see it and say i wont use that place/service.. i feel like if i let the main people know that is good enough and hopefully they fix the issues.

  • It’s so important to be as quick to compliment as you are to complain. Compliments go a long way!

  • Bonnie @ wemake7 says:

    Very true. I never leave negative reviews on anything. Most of the time anyway, companies want to make right with you.

  • Great thought. The power of social media can get you attention when you have a bad experience. However, sometimes it’s not really attention you want–but the problem to be fixed.

  • Franc Ramon says:

    Negative reviews can really drive away some customers. So it would be nice to carry a positive image in social media.

  • FamiGami says:

    These are good tips but ultimately, if no results are produced never be afraid to make our experience heard by others. A company that refuses to take its customers seriously needs to be outed.

  • Aneta Alaei says:

    I believe in leaving a positive review whenever possible, but I have been inclined to go to social media when I can’t get ahold of customer service. Perfect example when I needed my stove fixed I spent over 20 minutes three times on hold waiting to talk to someone. It wasnt until I messaged the company on twitter that someone got back to me.

  • Rebecca Swenor says:

    Great post. This is great advice to insure a service you intended. I think it would be better to address the issue before leaving and I feel that is what they expected you to do anyway so they would get a good or fair review. Thanks for sharing.

  • Erin says:

    I try not to leave bad reviews before getting help, but I did once. It was an Amazon purchase that several other reviewers said they’d tried to get help and couldn’t, so I decided to leave a negative review before contacting them. They were quite willing to help once I told them I’d already left a negative review and wouldn’t change it until I’d received my item.

    The other time I left a bad review while still there was at a hotel. We kept having the same issue over and over and over again, even after contacting management, so I wrote a blog and tagged their head office on Twitter. That got a response and fixed our problem.

    Sometimes negative reviews are needed, but it’s very true that people are far too quick to leave them before first trying to resolve the issue.

  • Christie says:

    Had to giggle at your less Hulk smash comment. True no one is perfect

  • I definitely agreeto all of this. It makes a better blogger

  • kristen says:

    I agree. Best to stay positive. It’s sad that when people use the internet to bash people or businesses without accountability.

  • Jenivieve says:

    I recently went on vacation and the hotel KNEW i was planning a write up on my blog. Well it wasnt the best trip. I didnt write anything about it at all, because I felt the bad things overshadowed the good things. But I did leave them feed back on their survey.

  • I try to only leave negative reviews or comments on social media if the brand or business’ customer service department has been rude or especially unhelpful. Unfortunately, that is often the case!

  • When I do product reviews if I find that there is an issue I am always one to contact the company first. I really think you should allow people and companies to fix the issue. No one is perfect and mistakes happen. You have to give someone the chance to correct it, i think its only fair.

  • Rob says:

    Totally agree with you, negative reviews can definitely cost you. I have had one product where a user left a negative comment and we ended up losing a few sales.

  • Completely agree, We should never completely depend of negative reviews. Competetors can be behind them, and not just competitors, every one has different taste, and nothing in this world can be perfect for everyone.

  • Vanessa says:

    If you have a really negative review, try, if you can, to point out anything positive about the experience. Always weigh your options and read unbiased reviews.

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