Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tripadvisor - How To Find The Good, And Avoid The Bad And The Ugly

BeforeTripAdvisor, travelers whose hotel turned out to be more a fleapit than a Pharoah’s palace had to grin and bear it to a certain extent. Holiday disappointment almost used to be part and parcel of some holidays – and tour operators and hotel management continued to get away with misrepresentation, shoddy maintenance and lousy food, knowing that tourists could do very little about it.

TripAdvisor has given a voice to holidaymakers – and checking out hotels and holiday resorts before you book can not only help you avoid the bad and ugly – but also can help you find an even better hotel or resort.

The most common complaints that holidaymakers have include:
  • Accommodations not as described in the brochure: e.g., no sea view, balcony, entertainment or à la carte menu;
  • Tour details changed without notice beforehand – you set off and discover on arrival that your itinerary has been changed or another hotel has been allocated;
  • Shoddy and dangerous hotel maintenance – poor plumbing, dodgy electrics, broken steps and paving stones, a dirty swimming pool;
  • Poor service from hotel staff – rude staff and rooms not ready on arrival, or even not available as booked: e.g., no double bed, bath or terrace or non-smoking rooms.
Holidaymakers work hard to afford their vacations and it is hugely distressing to arrive and feel as though you have been ripped off.

Checking the reviews on Tripadvisor before you book can alert you to any recurring problems at your hotel, as well as poor maintenance, unhelpful staff, dirty rooms and bathrooms – and any amenities which have been misrepresented.

Miserable staff and a poor  reputation are also signs that all is not well, so do your homework before you book – and also take a look at other hotels and resorts on Tripadvisor, which you might enjoy more and which might even be better value for money.

If tour operators and hotels cannot deliver, the best thing to do is give them a wide berth and book with a company or hotel which can offer you your dream holiday.

Make sure you return the favor - if your trip was great, write a positive review. if there were problems explain what happened and whether they were resolved or not. At first, it may feel as though by posting your complaints on Tripadvisor that you are being petty, but even a dirty showerhead could prove fatal if it is harboring Legionnaires’ disease – and serious illnesses like salmonella or E.coli should not be included as part of a package holiday. Of course, that's extreme - but remember how helpful you found the reviews in planning your trip.

If you have had an unsatisfactory holiday, first it's best to make a holiday complaint direct to the tour operator and let them know your opinion and see what they can do for you.