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TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website

Posted By: Marty

TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 03/30/06 06:53 PM

i will say this many times, TRIP ADVISOR TOTALLY SUCKS. they are irresponsible, unprofessional, and really hard to deal with. a person can put a totally bogus post on their site, and when you try to get it removed, they nearly assault you and threaten to boot your login and worse.

even when you have PROOF its a bogus post. you simply cannot trust them. they are taking the easy road. they get their content free, and then refuse to police it. they must be real cheap. i police this board way more than they do theirs.

they review nothing. they remove nothing. they are not nice people either

i recommend we all boycott them and spread the word


[Linked Image]
Posted By: seashell

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 03/30/06 06:58 PM

Please give some examples because that hasn't been my experience.

Uh, allow me to rephrase. I've never asked them to pull a post of someone else's or my own. However, I have seen them pull many posts on specific threads. For example, some of those pulled posts were inappropriate and some were from an individual who had ownership in a condo complex and insisted on promoting it over and over and over again. This is against tripadvisor policy. Further, in the process of promoting his own property, he also denigrated and insulted other properties and other posters. Hmm, suddenly this sounds familiar to me.
Posted By: Marty

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 03/30/06 07:06 PM

no examples i want to go into. trust me. many operators on ambergriscaye have had nightmares with them. they seem fine as a visitor. but get one of your properties on there, and see the bias and fat headedness they have. and you will see.

i have emails and emails from them. threats that are amazing. try to be specific with them and they get super defensive and ATTACK. its really quite amazing.

idiots. numbskulls. that site is total bs. wouldn't trust it anymore than yahoo.

don't get me started on yahoo. yahoo is in a coma, and its very tough to wake them up.

the same sites there under Belize were mostly added pre-1998. Some have gotten in since then, mostly paid ones.

The are foresaking their search database to focus on selling ads. Its the main reason google has shot way way past them for best search engine. Sites sent in in 1996 were added in a day. In 1997 they took a week. In 1998 they started taking months. Since 1999 they quit responding entirely and mainly just take pay for placement.

By ignoring their original focus, they desert the girl they brought to the dance, trying to pick up money money money. It will be their downfall.

google gets three-four times the use as yahoo (73% vs. 16% on ambergriscaye.com the last 5 days). yahoo use is slowly dying also, but they are still alive enough to be very important. try submitting to them. Its kind of like banging your head against the wall. it feels real good when you stop.

anyway i digress. just roll tripadvisor.com into a little ball and throw it away
Posted By: Marty

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 03/30/06 07:06 PM

seashell, if you have never asked them to remove a thread you have never played the game, you just watched it.

i am not saying some of their posts aren't true, i'm saying the administration is SOOOOOOOOOO WEAKKKKKKK and fatheaded that you simply cannot trust their output.

GIGO
Posted By: captjeff

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 03/30/06 07:57 PM

Marty lots of folks in the travel biz say they are full of poo.poo.. they sell out to the highest bidder.and that they are full of bull.the truth is ????????????????????????????? I belive ya on this one marty.......
Posted By: KathyA

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 03/30/06 07:59 PM

Oh, my!! That's where I first go to make a decision as to where to stay. For instance, my next trip (I hope) is to Roatan. I chose Luna Beach Resort based upon the reviews. My first choice was the Mayan Princess but TripA had TERRIBLE reviews while Luna Beach Resort had rave reviews. Please clue me in. Kathy
Posted By: Chris

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 03/30/06 08:16 PM

Marty, would you recommend gmail over yahoo mail? Should I switch?
Posted By: Marty

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 03/30/06 09:00 PM

never used either. i recommend you use email from your own domain. then its on your own server and less inspectable than from a large biz like yahoo. they will flip in a second
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 03/30/06 09:02 PM

Gmail is POP3 friendly out of the box, with Yahoo you have to pay $20/year.
Posted By: seashell

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 03/30/06 09:17 PM

KathyA, you may feel confident in your choice. If you don't believe me, just ask Islenutt, or Andrea in Atlanta.
Posted By: Xoe

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 03/30/06 09:20 PM

I have used TripAdvisor in the past, and have found it helpful. I have posted reviews a few times as well. On one occasion I wondered whether the reviews were bogus, because the postings looked much more positive than I would have expected -- but I had never stayed at the place in question so thought I might be mistaken.

Is there another source for honest feedback on places to stay? This kind of information is helpful when trying to make travel plans.

(And now out of perverse curiosity, I'm going to look at TripAdvisor and see if there's anything new that looks "fishy".)
Posted By: Tim Jeffers

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 03/30/06 10:02 PM

My personal contact experiences with Trip Advisor support staff have not been at all professional, productive or pleasant.

Most of the Trip Advisor traveler reviews about Banana Beach are legitimate. Banana Beach has been rated anywhere from 3 to 5 on a scale of 1 to 5 on all but two occasions. I can legitimately trace all the 3 to 5 ratings back to real guests. I appreciate these legitimate posts. As I am not happy with a rating of 3 on a scale of 1 to 5 I use and consider these posts constructive criticism.

On one of the two occasions that Banana Beach did not receive a 3 or above we received a rating of 2. This particular post I believe to be an imposter. I contacted Trip Advisor about this post. This post is full of lies. This post also states that they moved to another resort. There was then a second post placed under the resort that they supposedly moved to. In both posts they rave about the other resort while they run Banana Beach into the ground with completely false stories. They even go so far as to say on the second post that The new owner is trying to raise cash to fix up the place -- hence all the cheap deals to Banana Beach -- Interesting as I built Banana Beach from the ground up and have been here every day since. I could not relate this post back to a real guest. There are telltale signs from legitimate posters that help we owners in telling if these posts are real or not. It is my suspicion that the actual person that made these two posts was an overzealous time share salesperson. That's a whole other story now isn't it...

When I contacted Trip Advisor about this post I was told that it fell within there guidelines and that they would not remove it. They then told me that I could post an owner's response if I wanted. On this particular post I didn't bother.

The second occasion just took place on March 17th. On this post Banana Beach received a rating of 1 out of 5. I emailed Trip Advisor about this post and to date they have not responded back to me. On the same day that I emailed Trip Advisor I went ahead and posted an owner's response to this post.

Trip Advisor has a forums section too. This is where I have experienced the absolute worst from them as a resort owner. A few times I posted on their forums section in defense of negative posts towards the last 12 years of my life. (Yes I do take these posts personally). As an owner my posts were deleted by Trip Advisor. they then emailed me and told me that I was out of line and that they were banning my ISP. I replied to their email and they answered my reply with the following: - I don’t have the time or patience to reply to your entire rant concerning TripAdvisor; if you have an issue with hotel reviews, you can take them up with our support staff.
However, when participating in the TA forums you must adhere to our guidelines. If you feel that a post is inappropriate or was made by a competitor etc., you can report it directly to our moderators (“report inappropriate post”) who will evaluate the member and post in question.

In closing- Trip Advisor's idea of fair and balanced is to allow most anything to be posted by a past guest or ??? meanwhile property owner/manager's are given the middle finger by Trip Advisor if they attempt to report the rest of the story on their forums sight. And even with proof that trip reports are fake forget about getting Trip Advisor to remove the post.

Tim Jeffers
BananaBeach
Posted By: Barbara K

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 03/30/06 10:48 PM

Interesting...
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 03/30/06 11:35 PM

Tim's post rings so very true
Posted By: mikeh375

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 03/31/06 01:04 AM

Tim, my wife and I will be staying at BB in mid May, and we're really looking forward to it. Just a fyi; a few weeks ago, one of my wife's cousins,who happens to be a travel agent, and her husband stayed at Banana Beach. They both raved about it. Now you have to understand something. My wife's cousin is probably the most picky, hard to please person I've ever met, and for her to give the praise like she gave to BB is virtually unheard of. By the way, their names are Doris Y. and Frank Y., from Pennsylvania, perhaps you remember them.
Posted By: atomicindy

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 03/31/06 02:53 AM

You should like BB. I stay at 200 hotels a year and BB is very nice. Their breakfast is great. BB is a little far south of town but it is a great place to stay.
Posted By: seashell

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 03/31/06 03:02 AM

Ooooh, OK. I see where you are going with this. I misunderstood. I was talking about the forums. I see posts removed from there all the time. I don't know how it happens. Sorry, it is so hard, that's just not right.

Once Tim got started talking, part of what he was relating seemed familiar to me. I believe I saw that absurd post and remember wondering why no followup or deletion. It all makes sense now.

In any event, it's the same as anywhere. When people use the net to make decisions, they need to be savvy enough to take some things with a grain of salt. Not everything you read on the 'net is true just because you see it there.

With experience, one can usually even begin to recognize seeding.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 03/31/06 03:15 AM

of course, that doesn't count for this site! wink
Posted By: seashell

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 03/31/06 03:17 AM

Oh nooooo . . .not a bit. Never seen any seeding here. Never seen any trolling here. Never seen anyone attempt a setup either.

Hey wait a minute, which section am I in? OK, wait, must have discipline.
Posted By: atomicindy

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 03/31/06 03:43 AM

I have had posts reoved from this site also. It is important to have a site that has the opinons of Sp residents, bussiness owners, and vistitors. These are the these are the things that make this site great.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 03/31/06 03:46 AM

Yeah I've had a couple pulled too - probably deserved to have a few more pulled! Marty, et al know what they're doin!
Posted By: seashell

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 03/31/06 03:51 AM

Marty does. Those et al people, well, maybe not so much.
Posted By: Otteralum

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 03/31/06 04:17 PM

Agree with everyone that TA needs to be taken in context. It is one (1) resource that needs to be balanced with other unaffiliated resources. I like TA from a traveller perspective because it's a good starting point -- no more.

I will be even more wary given Marty's experiences. Thx.
Posted By: Marty

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 04/01/06 12:49 AM

thats awesome mikeh375
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 04/01/06 07:08 AM

I just had to look – had never been there before – and Belize is not even listed in their destinations. WOW
Posted By: seashell

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 04/01/06 08:32 AM

ScubaLdy . . . ?? What do you mean "Belize is not even listed."?

There's a whole forum for Belize *and* a subset for Ambergris.
Posted By: shuffles

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 04/02/06 06:06 PM

Fortunately, we have not had any negative posts to TripAdvisor, and lots of guests say they check the reviews. Most of those guests also check other sites as well...Fodors, Frommers, etc., and haven't found anything negative. Sometimes being a small fish is a good thing! laugh
Posted By: catdog

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 04/02/06 09:18 PM

Yea Tim, I just wanted to add that I wrote up a report on Bananas and they never even put it up. Of course it was a glowing review! I never got around to trying to resubmit it, but maybe I'll go ahead and do that and see if it shows up this time.
Posted By: Lan Sluder/Belize First

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 04/02/06 11:52 PM

My two cents' worth as a sometimes travel writer:

There surely are some "seeded" posts on TripAdvisor, overly positive posts probably by resort owners or friends. And on the other side there are "gotcha" posts -- negative posts by competitors designed to trash a competing resort.

That's unfortunately (or, some would say, fortunately) a result of the anonymous nature of the internet.

On the other hand, as the number of posts increases about any given resort, generally a trend emerges that is *probably* worth considering.

When you get 30 or 40 posts about a specific resort, and most lean one way or another, and the posts pass the sniff test for being real posts and not put-ups, probably you can draw some conclusions.

That's pretty much the way it is here or on any other Belize-specific site. Places like Banana Beach and Victoria House tend to get generally positive reviews from all kinds of visitors, because they deliver a good product with reasonable price/value. It's the usual bell curve of posts.

But if there's just one or two posts, unless they really sound sincere and appear to mirror your own approach to evaluating a resort, you can't really tell much.

I personally find Trip Advisor among the best of the general travel advice sites. Not perfect, but as someone else said, if you look at it and then also at a few other sites (LP, Fodor's, etc.) and maybe check a couple of guidebooks, it's highly unlikely that the consensus opinion is wrong.

--Lan Sluder
www.belizefirst.com
Posted By: Xoe

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 04/03/06 03:50 AM

I agree. Many travelers sincerely try to help others in such forums; to write off the whole site would be throwing away the baby with the bath.

If you take the site's information with a grain (or maybe a handful) of salt, it can be helpful. If a reviewer gushes too much, or tears a place apart vindictively, skepticism is appropriate.
Posted By: sunny smile

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 04/03/06 11:44 PM

In May 2006 tripadvisor all of a sudden changed the listing of Salamander Hideaway - we're since then listed as "Bed & Breakfast". We have a very good and nice restaurant, full service bar, all amenities a hotel needs and we still are listed as "B&B".

Tripadvisor told us that we do not fill their criteria of a hotel. I suppose it's our cabanas with thatched roofs - but nearly 50% of the resorts in Belize have thached roofs!

Since May 2006 I tried to get in touch with anyone from management at tripadvisor. As soon as I ask for contact to management I do not get anymore answer. 2 weeks ago I started to try again. I heard of the decision of Tulum town board not to accept any non-traditional hotel buildings in the area again but only thached roof hotels and at the same time I surfed their site and saw hundreds of hotels with thached roof in the South sea (Bora Bora and many other fancy places). I finally got a call from them last Friday - unfortunately was in Belize City at that time. Today they called again and the lady was definitely not management - she's part of the listing support team and did explain to me that she was not willing to tell me what are their criterie for being a hotel. I asked to be connected to management and she denied. She told me that in the meantime they re-listed all resorts and hotels in Belize which I discoverd was not true.

I feel their behaviour is extremely rude and ignorant. Marty, I agree that tripadvisor is a horrible institution but I also discover that a lot of people use their site and that's why I still ask our guests to write their reviews in tripadvisor.
Posted By: Belikin Bill

Re: TRIPADVISOR .COM is a horrible website - 04/04/06 12:06 AM

Sounds like maybe chapin should apply for a job at trip advisor.

This is really bad but I think I agree with Lans post. If I'm going somewhere new I will look at trip advisor knowing that it is possible that some to the posts could be "seeded" or "gotchas". You can generally see a trend.
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