I first read this news story on Saturday and it’s been bouncing in my mind ever since.
In a nutshell, a woman and her 6 year old granddaughter were asked by police to leave their hotel room after the hotel manager called 911 to have them removed for leaving a bad review on hotels.com. Earlier, the woman had been emailed by hotels.com and was asked to leave a review. The police officer on the scene told the woman that the hotel had the right to remove them. The article references a Georgia state law that says hotels can remove guests for a number of reasons including the very vague “or other action by a guest”, which apparently can be interpreted to ridiculous proportions.
Thoughts bouncing through my mind:
- Did the woman do more than just send a bad review like the hotel manager later said? Nothing in the police report indicates that.
- What could possibly motivate a hotel manager to go to that extreme?
- Extreme disappointment that Hotels.com backed the hotel until confronted by the media.
- Credit to the Police officer for going above and beyond the call of duty and helping the woman and her granddaughter find a new hotel.
Since I do check online reviews, I used to feel a responsibility to also leave reviews as a way to help others who are helping me. But I find myself reading and leaving fewer reviews of any kind because I question the sincerity and motivation of too many that are leaving the reviews. It seems to take more effort than in past to weed out the angry reviews or even the ultra positive fluff reviews that also don’t always give a factual representation.
I’m curious if your attitude toward reviews has changed over the years? Is the whole online review thing broken and lost its value as a reliable tool?