A Cautious Thumbs-Up for TripAdvisor

I hope I’m not imagining this, but it seems to me that TripAdvisor is becoming better at responding to owners’ problems.

The Owners Forum is a private area of TripAdvisor where owners often post questions about missing reviews, property listing errors, allegedly fake reviews etc.  When I first started posting there (where I use our B&B identity of Basse Cour) I hardly ever used to see any sign of an answer by TA staff.

Virtually all the responses to anxious owners were by other owners; even the “Owners Forum Destination Experts” are just other owners and can do no more than point owners unfamiliar with TA procedures to their Owner’s Centre dashboard.  What the owners really wanted was a forum where they could address concerns to TA, not just to other owners.  Unfortunately this was not how TA saw the forum.

Recently, unless I’m much mistaken, TA staff seem to be more active on the Owners Forum and are starting to reply to owners’ concerns.  The answer isn’t always what the owner wants to hear, but at least there is the occasional TA “human face”.

I think this is a Good Thing. 🙂

Moreover, I recently posted a question about TA’s liability in libel cases, linking back to the previous post here.  I tried to make sure that it remained within the restrictions of forum rules, but wasn’t sure whether this would be allowed to stand, as in the past TripAdvisor has jumped very quickly to remove any forum posts that carried even a hint of criticism – like this.  To their credit, on this occasion TA let it stand and even replied to it.

I do hope this is the start of a move towards greater openness and better communication on TripAdvisor, and not just a one-off case.  Opening a dialogue with owners should be the first step to addressing their concerns and creating a partnership, rather than the “Us and Them” mentality that comes from refusal to engage.

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