I was prompted today to send a “Private Message” (henceforth to be known as “Direct Message” now I know they are not really private!) to one of the TripAdvisor staff members on the TA forum.
As I was tapping away, I soon went off from the specific matter I was contacting them about, and started discussing life as an owner and how I felt about TA in general. Maybe I should change my TA avatar from a frog to a butterfly.
Anyway, I thought I would share part of this same message in an open letter to TripAdvisor:
I know I’m a pain in the butt. It must seem that all I do is ask awkward questions. But I honestly think they need to be asked, and I think open discussion on the Owners Forum helping both sides understand each other’s standpoint.
In my opinion your responses are helping to remove one big source of owners’ frustration, namely the difficulty of entering into any meaningful dialogue with TA.
That said, there are certain points over which owners and TA are probably NEVER going to see eye to eye. In particular, the issue of fake and malicious or unfair reviews. At the centre of the problem is the TA policy of not checking (and usually being unable to check) the veracity of reviews.
I think I’m a fairly typical owner in that I’ll take fair criticism on the chin, apologise when I fall short and try to do better next time. But when I knew that 2 reviews of our property were plain lies, that led to genuine distress and anger, loss of sleep and all the rest, both for me and my wife.
Doubtless other owners in a similar position feel the same. Most of us knock ourselves out to look after our guests and it’s crucifying when something like that happens.
I don’t take wrongs against me lying down – whether in day-to-day life or on review sites. I fight back to get wrongs against me righted, and it’s clear some other owners feel the same. We can’t be expected to roll over when someone spreads lies about us.
Finally, I do appreciate your and other staff members’ recent contributions on the Owners Forum – though it may sometimes feel like a pretty thankless task from your point of view. But it’s also a pretty thankless and sometimes fruitless task trying to get a malicious review removed.