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Update to Guest Reviews

Dear Community,

One of the biggest topics of conversation we see in the community is around our Guest Reviews System. We thought it would be helpful to share a new update with you here. 

Because of the slowing of travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, properties are not receiving new reviews at the same rate as earlier - while continuing to lose reviews, which normally expire after two years. As the review pool is reduced for newer partners with fewer reviews, this could impact their ability to convert returning demand - with guests also having less information available to them to help choose a booking. 

You may have seen your fellow partners mention this problem in the Community. Many of you have expressed support for the idea of saving these reviews from expiring. 

We researched many options and found that extending the period of a review’s validity by one year provides the most benefit and prevents partners from being negatively impacted by the slower rate of published reviews. To prevent you from being negatively affected by a loss of guest reviews, Booking.com will be gradually extending the lifetime of your existing reviews from two to three years. This means reviews that were about to expire as of July 31, 2020, will remain for an extra year. For example, a review submitted on 1 August 2018, would normally have expired on 31 July 2020, but it will not expire until 31 July 2021, as a result of this change. 

You can read more about this change here in the Partner Help Centre. 

This is the latest step in improving our guest review system – stay tuned for more.

Sergei and the Community Team

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19 Replies
299 Views

2
Désirée van Schaick

Thank you for the update Sergei. Is there any news on the new rating system that is flawed and is concerning a lot of the property owners?

I have tried posting the ways the system should be improved but my mail got removed - there was nothing improper about it. 

- if you want to keep the overall experience rating, at least make it clear to guests that this does not mean the overall experience of the holiday but the overall experience of the venue, so they won't downgrade us because it rained, because they couldn't find a restaurant (when there are lots around) etc. 

- the rating of the subcategories should be a 1-10 system as well, otherwise every grade goes down to 7.5 as soon as the overall experience rating is lower then 10.

When your team has been working so hard to extend the lifetime of reviews, maybe they should have directed their energy in the fact that ratings are a lot lower with the new system. I recently had guests who rated 4 x 10 and 2 x 7.5 yet their overall rating was a 7...

+5
10 days ago
2
Richard Osborn

Yes, the new system is not working for anyone. Yet Booking.com says no one is complaining about it. So... nothing is being done about it.

Yet the damage from the scores being much lower than last year is REALLY hurting my business. Since we the owners pay commissions to Booking.com(that's what pays your paycheck). Maybe it should go back to the old way. IF IT'S NOT BROKEN WHY FIX IT!!!!

+4
10 days ago
2
Désirée van Schaick

I read in another thread that Booking customer services receive thousands of phone calls and messages a day with complaints, so if Booking says they are not complaining that seems untrue to me. 

+3
10 days ago
9
Sharonpowney

There are a huge amount of comments on the forum where people are shocked at the way it works.  Given that most of the problem is that the Review is taking our score DOWN I can't believe nothing is being done.  In the end no one will have good scores over 9 and that will look bad for booking.com

Richard - sorry to see your comment that you are stopping using booking.com because of this.  I haven't replied directly because then other people won't see it as shown as answered.

Sergei - surely you can do a search on the forum for issues raised and see how many there are.

+2
10 days ago
2
Désirée van Schaick

Sergei knows about the issues and the amount of complaints.

There are several discussion threads about this topic and I have been active on some of them.  I have seen loads and loads of people giving examples of how this doesn't work for them. People ask Sergei directly when this is going to change, what Booking is going to do about it. He never replied.

Then, when I posted that Sergei obviously had given up on the thread, I got an immediate reply why I would think such a thing. His argument was that this is just a medium for colleagues to share experiences, even though at the introduction of that thread he clearly states that the forum is a tool for Booking to receive valuable feedback. 

+3
10 days ago
10
M Adamopoulou

Dear Sergei,

Highly appreciate the extension period in review system....it will help us newbies very much....

Wish guests understood  better the way they should review properties for the benefit of all...

Wish everyone a splendid weekend...

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9 days ago
1
Gary and Amand…

Hello Sergi!  I can only add to other people’s comments about the review system.  Over the last few years we have improved our score year on year, to a nice 9.7.  This year we are still getting 10s all  the time for the individual ratings but overall scores of 8 and nine, which is obviously bringing down our average.  What is more infuriating that guests never put a negative comment to justify their overall score.  I actually feel that what you are doing is playing into the hands of the larger hotels at a huge cost to us smaller b and bs/chambre d’hotes (who need most help in the Covid climate) If this is not the case, please tell my why the individual ratings no longer count for anything.   I had one lady tell me it was too hot this week and although she gave us a full run of 10s, her overall score was 8....because of the heat 🙄. I feel once again, the little man has no power.   

+2
7 days ago
1
Millican Wendy

Ah yes, the heat, that could be why I have six categories all at 10/10 with an overall of 8/10.  This system is truly awful.

 

+3
6 days ago
1
Rodger MacKenz…

Hi Sergei,

So when is booking.com going to fix the review system as per what the partners actually want?

+4
7 days ago
1
Sunshine and W…

I see I am not alone with trying to deal with a nasty and untruthful guest review issue. Mine is a review that is filled with lies, but...they are allowed to post this nonesense. I have very high reviews..usually 10. But now..with this single 4.5 review...our score has dropped significantly, and I have no way to appeal it. Not fair, doesn't begin to address this. I am left to consider dropping Booking.com. Too bad.

 

Gary Haupt

 

+3
6 days ago
1
K&A Apartment

Same situation. For the last 3 years I've been getting a mark of 10 because I do everything possible to offer quality accommodation and a warm welcome.  As you say, we pay a high commission (the client pays nothing!) but we are not allowed to set our conditions for comments. I recently had a client who heavily damaged furniture and linen: New mattress (3 years old) burned - All bed linen was found burned with wax (candle) and cigarette holes. Wardrobe door dislodged, burnt pan, new bathroom linen stolen (carpet + towel), big bottle of hydroalcoholic gel stolen ...  Many other items have disappeared. NEVER before I had such a problem (deterioration and theft of articles) The fact that the client did not observe the conditions of the accommodation (non smoking apartment) should have prohibited access to the comments to this client. I have sent all the pictures to BOOKING and many exchanges with them - Nothing to do!

+1
5 days ago
2
Richard Osborn

LOL... I left Booking.com. No problems with my reviews now!!! It's not costing me 15% to have people leave unfair reviews. LOL

+4
6 days ago
1
Sunshine and W…

Are you able to share where you found a 'home'? ******* if that is better.

 

Gary

6 days ago
2
Richard Osborn

We are doing direct booking through our website and that is it. We have been full every day since Aug 1.

+1
5 days ago
1
Sunshine and W…

Okay..thanks Richard. We have that as well as FB and yes..this year, we have many bookings from Canadians. It's the following years we feel we need to have a presence off-shore.

 

Thanks for you reply.

 

Gary

 

 

5 days ago
1
Sunshine and W…

I cannot understand why B . C is so reluctant to create a method, to allow Hosts to properly appeal a bad review. A proven track record indicates the lengths to which a Host has gone and continues to go to...and yet...no support.

Gary Haupt

6 days ago
1
Michele Turrell

This new review system is not logical or fair. As other hosts have said, guests are able to leave a lower overall score which is lower than the scores given for the individual category scores.  When introduced, Booking.com advised that the new system would encourage higher scores from guests!  Another point regarding guests’ reviews is that if they leave no comment, hosts are unable to respond to a positive or negative review. Also, guests can leave a low score without giving reasons. This is not helpful for hosts addressing an issue if they don’t know what the issue is! Regarding the value for money score, it seems unfair that a guest can rate everything 10 but then score low on value for money...they knew the price when booking so if everything is worth a 10 how can they be allowed to score low for value for money?  Everything appears to accommodate guests being able to leave feedback, but not hosts who are actually paying for Booking.com’s services.  Please listen to the people who are paying for your services and stop the new unfair scoring system. 

 

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1 day ago
1
Sunshine and W…

Oh God...don't get me started on the location and value reviews. I have laid everything out in profile and pictures and even a video...and guests have this awesome power to lower the point score on things that are CLEARLY stated in descriptions.

 

Gary Haupt

+1
1 day ago