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How about a little balance?

maine
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13 posts
3 reviews
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How about a little balance?

The slogan of this website is "get the truth and go", yet there is very little on this site to protect businesses from malicious reviews riddled with lies and half-truths. If you claim to represent the truth, I feel you should be more accountable for the content hosted BEFORE the reviews get posted. Obviously many many reviews "slip" through the filter, and controlling that would be a daunting task, to say the least. However, allowing users to generate anonymous accounts facilitates an overly critical and often malicious description of the events that take place. The advent of the "helpful" badge is a vehicle for building credibility for the anonymous users, based solely on feedback from other users. I feel you should also have an "unhelpful" badge as a means of checks and balances. Users would then be held accountable by their peers, and credibility could be weighed by the readers, as well as your mysterious algorithm for ranking our hospitality driven businesses.

Edinburgh, United...
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21,247 posts
1 review
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1. Re: How about a little balance?

you will find a lot of people will not agree with you but I for one do to a major degree.I have been saying for some time that the credibility of the reviews and ratings have been in doubt for quite some time.

I have suggested TA work out some way of verifying reviews as they do for aparment rentals but not for anything else.

trust for me has gone and it is very unlikely it will ever come back.

Portland, Oregon
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12,789 posts
28 reviews
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2. Re: How about a little balance?

Businesses do have a voice here if they choose to use it.

Who would decide what the truth actually is, what would that process look like to you. Please show a workable answer. If it were the owner deciding what is true or not, thee would be no balanced reviews on here at all.

Llanbrynmair...
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14,691 posts
12 reviews
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3. Re: How about a little balance?

Coming from the opposite direction (i.e. as a traveller rather than an owner), because of the excessive number of self-promotional activities on the destination forum I frequent (both in the review sections and on the discussion forum, which with the best will in the world cannot be monitored constantly by the forum enthusiasts or TA staff) I have always been very uncomfortable about the slogan "Get the truth and go".

Removal of the slogan would detract nothing from the value of the review sections of the site as a whole, and would certainly halt challenges to the credibility of the declaration.

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary
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25,029 posts
78 reviews
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4. Re: How about a little balance?

I haven't noticed the "get the truth" slogan on the TA site for quite a while.

Llanbrynmair...
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14,691 posts
12 reviews
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5. Re: How about a little balance?

Ooh, you're right Country_Wife - I've just checked and it has indeed gone.

I'm pretty sure it was present on the .co.uk site until very recently, but the changes to the review sections have only just been fully rolled out on that site, and presumably with them the abandonment of the "Get the truth and go" slogan.

Or perhaps I've been paying insufficient attention. Am feeling a distinct lack of certainty now. It's my age you know. Who am I? Have I had my tea yet?

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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42,688 posts
1,024 reviews
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6. Re: How about a little balance?

>> I feel you should also have an "unhelpful" badge as a means of checks and balances.<<

There used to be one. TA got thankfully got rid of it because it was subject to abuse.

cork ireland
Level Contributor
127 posts
141 reviews
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7. Re: How about a little balance?

I agree with Shi Tawkae I believe an unhelpful badge would make things a little fairer. I use TA for all my trips but recently I've begun to see things from the other perspective and I think I am beginning to lose faith in TA.

Torremolinos, Spain
Level Contributor
13,990 posts
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8. Re: How about a little balance?

As has been said before on more times than i can remember, nobody should use the reviews solely to base their travel decisions, just as you wouldn't use them to buy a TV or Video Camera.

Also, if an established has many reviews then try and read as many as possible to get a better balance and perspective.

There are also the Destination Forums as well as the reviews on which to gain the information needed enabling you to make a more informed and balanced decision.

CB

Sanibel Island...
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6,125 posts
4 reviews
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9. Re: How about a little balance?

Ok here we go

Are there going to be some "reviewers" that did not get a refund for the 2 days that they could not use at a lodgeing for whatever reason and instead of saying they felt they should have gotten the refund and did not-- say something like...

This place was dirty-smelly-and disgusting and oh by the way BED BUGS

Of freaking course it happens all the time- but business owners need to know how to properly defend themselves from these tools by properly disputeing the review and drafting a well worded Management Responce

Potential guests that read these--lets just say "stuff" reviews and actully believe them and not read the other reviews to make the choice...............

You dont want anyway because they are most likely going to give you another "stuff" review.

People that believe negitive "stuff" and seek it out are most likely going to add negitive "stuff" to your listing.

Negitivity attracts negitivity.

Bloomington, Indiana
Destination Expert
for Bloomington
Level Contributor
8,208 posts
23 reviews
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10. Re: How about a little balance?

First, I want to say that I do believe TA needs to do something to reduce the "gaming" of the review/ranking system by unscrupulous reviewers, owners, 3rd parties, one-post-wonders, etc. I've said it for a while and pretty consistently.

That said, repeating somewhat sanibelcruise's points; over time the "truth" of reviews will win out. Bear with me as I demonstrate . . . .

Hotel A: Has some "he said/she said" reviews, reviewer skews the hotel saying how horrible it was, etc. Management has a well written response disputing some of the "facts" and states the hotel's side of the story and why they did/didn't do something. The other reviews, well a couple of times management *agrees* with the scathing reviews statement of the facts and apologizes for the stay - essentially saying, "we goofed." The final batch (probably a majority) of the reviews are somewhat a mixed bag, mostly good to excellent, but a few averages and perhaps even a handful of terribles.

Hotel B: Ditto re: "he said/she said" reviews, but in each case management basically calls the reviewer a liar and that it's not how things happened and that the reviewer has simply made everything up. The rest of the reviews, well they're aren't many others and those that do exist, tend to be on the terrible end of the scale, maybe an average or two, or perhaps even a smattering of excellents from one-post-wonders.

Now consider in which of these two cases do you believe the reviewers and in which case you believe management. By extension which hotel do you avoid booking and which one do you go ahead & book.

See my point?

hlo