Difficult customers and their reviews

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    Graham Fisher

    Gcb - we have a saying for this in the B&B community locally - you have about as much chance of Bdc removing a review as you have of meeting Moses....

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    Robert Daniel

    Important to remember the customer is not always right, and you ha e the right to ask the guest to leave.

    We have a clear notice when people check in that any aggression verbal or otherwise, or drunkenness, won’t be tolerated and they will be told to leave.
    If they don’t, the police will remove them.

    Once the review is there, just make sure your response is clear about their behaviour. Most potential guests see right through them, and if your response is firm, polite and concise, people know what happened.

    I also agree that those reviews should not stand.

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    Graham Fisher

    If you are in the UK Robert, I would not put a lot of money on the police turning out to help you. 

    Since they do not even turn up now when cars are broken into, I suspect you could be waiting a long time for them to come and remove a guest.

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    Robert Daniel

    Hmm ok, we are in Australia and the response time on the few occasions we’ve needed them has been awesome.
    They are so under funded so under staffed, prioritising is a real issue.

    In that case I’d stick with a strict policy with no refunds. Stop the problem before it begins.

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    European Connection

    It is too bad they (Booking.com) are almost the monopolist at the market. especially for B&B and smaller hotels.

    So they sometimes act as a boss, not as a partner.

    Anyway it is in the best interest of both booking.com and hotels to have some revives in the reviews which guests are leaving.

    Currently guest can write literally anything: that staff are vampires, that hotel is a hidden Illuminati base, that hotel is run by serial killers, and booking.com would publish it unchecked.

    I understand client is a king concept, but even kings are beheaded when they cross the line.

    Currently any guest who is misbehaving, or even harassing personnel or making unreasonable demands can have an upper hand, because if they will be put back at their place by hotel, they can then blackmail us by their vicious "reviuws", which often have nothing to do with a factual reality.

    I know many hotels in the regions who are looking for a ways to get rid of booking .com services because of this dreadful review slunder, and frankly if this aspect will not taken care of, I expect someone will be filing law suit, so it is in mutual interest of booking and the hotels to somehow make sure that this aspect is put under control.


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    It is sad, but Booking.com has forgotten that we hotels are their customers too.

    Customer service for hotels has reached an all-time low with it taking up to 20 minutes of being on hold to get to speak to someone and 95% of the time the person you speak to, whether it is your 'area manager' or a 'customer service' agent, is not able to answer your query/solve your problem/specify a plan and time frame for resolution or manage the issue.

    There is no accountability and as a hotel you receive second rate customer service.

    It was so much better a few years ago. They have grown faster than they can manage.

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    I think review will be published sooner or later. The holding is because lots of hosts also respond agressivly because of the hurt feelings and not thinking straight.. So it basicly gives a host the time to cool down and edit it if needed. 
    Also if the majority of review are positive, I hardly beleive that you would get less bookings because of one lousy review. :) It's just part of the busines so are the patients.. so we are basicly a mental institution with a free pass.. so never go to their level, try to argue.. they see different, have different perspectives, be calm and proffesional.. If the guest have an issue, "apologize" offer them a coffee and find a solution.. 
    The drunk ones.. and are aggressivly I would show them an exit door with no refund, or calling the police.

    "Prevention is always the best. I would suggest revision on your policies. Ensure guest are made aware of your policies prior to booking. Samples Noise: For the comfort of other guests we have strict no noise policy after 10 pm. No Party Policy:This policy is designed to ensure that all our guests can enjoy their time with us and not be inconvenienced through noise and action of others. Any guest failing to comply with this may be asked to leave without refund. Address your main concerns/complaints, then update your policies. The most important thing is to follow through on your policies. You will then gain more trusted guests."

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    Great advises 🙏

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    Kathleen Davenhall

    Difficult customers are rare for us - we operate small self catering cottages in central UK -however when they leave nasty reviews which are naturally concerning as the world would read them -however I agree with phibomarco and if other reviews are a least good/reasonable  the public will judge for themselves - Concerning our nasty review where the customer walked off without paying I reported misconduct as per her booking form , it does not have have slot where they will not publish a review if the customer did not pay - however bdc when I complained sent the guest an urgent reminder and she did eventually pay. There is a box to tick on the misconduct slot if your do not wish to accommodate the customer again which I ticked

    Regards Kathleen


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    Robert Daniel

    Hector, your comments are spot on.
    They have grown way too fast and really, booking engines are simply parasites.
    Their commissions are insane, plus they stop businesses changing prices, even though commissions are higher.

    If each accommodation had a website, as used to be the case, they have a level playing field when it comes to attracting guests.

    Now booking engines spend millions on advertising to ensure they head all the search engines, and no business can compete. They cream off the top of small businesses simply because they have the spending power to pay more for advertising.

    We get a lot more guests through than five years ago, charge more than we did five years ago, yet we receive less income due solely to booking engines.

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    The problem occurs when the bad review is anonymous. So you cannot challange it. Is normal BDC are their most heplful as always. It is us who pay their commission and without us they have no business.


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    Graham Fisher

    A couple of balancing points Ladies and Gentlemen - firstly a few negative reviews should not have a major effect on the overall score of the property and the nutters are out there whether we like it or not.

    Secondly, I have had several guests say that they only believed the positive reviews because some negative ones were included - strange but true.

    Whilst we may find them upsetting, I have to say most of those that placed them regarding our B&B were somewhat "damaged" characters themselves... and at least with Booking.com we have taken some money from them - unlike some of the characters that leave negative reviews on Trip Adviser after I turn them away for whatever reason!

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    Sales, true overall speaking. They suspended me for few months.. I realized I need them more then they need me.. fact. So there is no "we" it's just "you & me". 

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    This is an issue we've had with BDC.  2 reviews came on the same day that were anon and 5/10 were allowed.  Both posted the same day, saying similar things but were allowed to stand.

    Bookingcom have published comments that didn't match our property. 

    It's tough to get nowhere with the very company we pay to promote us seems to care more about the guests no matter HOW badly they behave.

    One day there will be a Class Action law suit if BDC don't eliminate derogatory remarks when none was earned by the host.

    Good luck


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