30 March 2009

"Express yourself" --Madonna

[Sometimes gripes are legitimate.]


[Unrelated note: To see me all macho-like (yeah, worse than usual), check out my guest post at White-Collar Redneck today.]

When we travel, I like to read reviews of places on TripAdvisor.com because you get the real deal versus the standard PR campaign. That said, there are a lot of morons traveling/offering reviews and you have to take what you read with a huge grain of salt. No joke, there's at least one of these on every place reviewed on TripAdvisor:

  1. "I loved everything about this place but gave it an overall lousy rating. Did I mention how great the food and the service were? And the view, OMG the view! And they were constantly cleaning but not in an intrusive way! It was the best place we've ever stayed at! But where do they get off charging that much money?"
  2. "I had a lousy trip in because the airline sucked/my travel agent lied. Even though I'm in paradise, this ruined my mood and my entire trip and you shouldn't come here because of that."
  3. "My kids were in the adults only pool/I demanded a late check-out when the hotel was booked to capacity/I wanted a burger and they only had filet mignon/I wanted a raspberry margarita and they only had strawberry margaritas/I ignored the posted dress code for dinner. Can you believe they were totally inflexible!?"
  4. "How come nobody speaks English here? What the hell is that? Okay, it's a foreign country but sheesh!"
  5. "Even though every other review claims the resort is spotless and the rooms are spectacular, our room was covered in mold and dead bugs."
This last one is my favorite. TripAdvisor has the option for reviewers to upload their own pictures. I swear, there's somebody that travels to every resort with baggies of bugs and mold and does these elaborate photo shoots. How can it be that every other room on property is sparkling new and exquisite and theirs is the portal to hell?

Also, every one of these will start out with the words "I'm not a picky traveler but..." It's like the ubiquitous words in porn letter mags: "I never thought this could happen to me..."

15 comments:

SheinMD said...

Ha, that's so true. I am usually pretty skeptical of reviews as well for the same reasons, and also if it's an incredible review I always wonder if it's the owner...

Jamie said...

There are some people in the world who always manage to wrest defeat from the jaws of victory. You know, the person who makes six special requests when ordering at the restaurant, and then when the burger comes with the pickles on top instead of on the side, feels compelled to send it back instead of picking them off. "But it will taste like pickle juice!".. of course. So then the other 5 people at the table are done eating when their food finally comes again.

I'm exactly the other way around. Even if I get something that's totally not what I ordered at a restaurant, unless I really don't like it, or I was really looking forward to whatever it was I'd ordered, I'll usually just eat it.

It's all about what's the best way to move forward from the situation you're in at that moment. Eat something that's not exactly right... or make a fuss and wait for it to get fixed. Sometimes it's not worth the wait, and it's not worth getting upset about the occasional imperfection.

repliderium.com said...

Some people just shouldn't travel- i have met many of them while backpacking and I'm always amazed that even bother.

fiona said...

Ditto repliderium!
Some people just shouldn't be let out,PERIOD! lol

Bilbo said...

Can we discuss how it is that you know "the ubiquitous words in porn letter mags"? Just asking...

Mike said...

I think you've made some good points in this post but .....

rs27 said...

I love Trip Advisor but then i don't pay attention to what anyone says.

I guess thats a me problem.

SingLikeSassy said...

HAHAHA! I totally ignore the posts and just look at the "candid" photos. That's what I really want to see. No "candid" photos, no booking, that's my policy. So far we are 4 for 0 using my method.

Maxie said...

I trust 100% of what i read on trip advisor.

maybe i should stop doing that.

Karen said...

You're so right. My personal fave is when people stay at a super modern, minimalist place and then complain that it's bare. Or the opposite. Did they actually look at any sort of review before selecting?!!

The candid picture requirement sounds like a great idea!

f.B said...

#5 was great.

Oh, really? Mold and dead bugs, you say? Were the authorities called? Because that's a legitimate health issue. If not, Trip Advisor does not care.

Kate said...

What's wrong with mold and dead bugs?

Barbara said...

Sometimes I have to remind myself that not everyone has the same taste or judgment that I do. Like when I went to Cafe Pizzaiolo in Arlington because of the rave reviews to find a wait worthy of a ketchup message and some of the worst pizza I have ever encountered served with none other than a dark human hair in it! We walked out and went to Sette Bello in Clarendon, which never fails to please.

lacochran said...

SheinMD: Good point. I don't think there's any prohibition on owners and owner's friends, relatives, paid lackeys writing reviews.

Jamie: So true! It's amazing how people can take one little thing and blow it up into Chernobyl.

Repliderium.com: True! I think some people serve as an example and some as a dire warning to the rest of us.

Fiona: If it were only a matter of buying the padlocks...

Bilbo: I could have sworn that's what you told me. Did I get it wrong? *blink* *blink*

Mike: Let me guess, you're not a finicky blog reader but...

Rs27: You have me problems, too? You hide it well.

SingLikeSassy: So true. A picture is worth a... well, you know.

Maxie: Even the contradictory stuff? How very zen.

Karen: It is all about expectation and, yes, you have to wonder what fantasy land some of these people live in.

f.B: My theory is they tried to get their room comped and failed OR they have a vendetta against the owner.

Kate: Makes me feel more at home. :)

Barbara: Shhh, keep it down about the hair... everybody will want one. (Yeah, I'm old enough to remember when that joke was new.)

Kate said...

I think there are some people out there just looking for something to bitch about. Seriously. If a hotel room is clean, smells good and a decent size (like, I can fully walk around the bed without having to suck in my stomach), I'm OK with that. Also, if a restaurant has good food and decent service, I'm not going to complain.