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Anonymous Reviews

I started this threat over six months ago. Over 100 comments later asking/demanding action for change and Booking.Com has done nothing. I can't believe the attitude Booking.Com has taken with some commentators. The rubbish announcement that Anonymous Reviews are down is totally missing the point. They should be stopped. We work hard, countless hours to build a business to secure our futures and then  someone with an agenda is allowed to slander us with no becommance, I read that is against the law in Thailand, also in Australia, however because Booking.Com allows anonymity, we can't commence court action against slanderers, as we don't know who they are. Could that be classified as aiding a criminal act I wonder? It really is not good enough. Malcolm Craig, Merrima Court Holidays, Kings Beach. Australia

25 Replies

2
Robert Daniel

I agree. The anonymous review should be removed entirely.

1 year ago
1
On the Deck

Anonymous reviews are never left by guests offering a 10. Why?

The whole point of the review system from my perspective is to help owners improve the experience they provide to guests.

Reviews with no reference ie "name of guest" to tie the comment to does nothing to help us improve.

I feel the same way about low scores without comment or explanation.

These are usually misinformed or uppity people who go on holidays to find new people to "bitch" at and should not be given a place tp publish their thoughts.

1 year ago
1
Office

Yes Agree,

Always thought Anonymous reviews shouldn't be allowed. Especially when if you need to address a maintence issue and can't work out which room it is.

But it would also be handy if they mark you anything than a 10 as to why. We have pretty good facilities so when they put 7.5 for facilites we are at a loss as to what they want.

1 year ago
1
Nancy Nguyen

Total agree!!!

Almost of anonymours review is not good one with the low score. But it's not fair for us that we don't know who are they and what make them unhappy? They should provide their name & booking ID, so we know where is the problem from? and it's true or not?

1 year ago
1
malcolm craig

Thank you all for your input and agreeing to my comments to have anonymous reviews stopped. Booking.com's staff often make comments in these forums, but have remained silent now for over six months on this topic.

Previously at the end of surveys Booking.Com sent to us all, their last question would be, 'If you had 5 minutes with our General Manager, what would you say?' Well their General Manager has obviously lost her ability to read!

Malcolm Craig

1 year ago
3
Ginascott57

I agree, if you want to say something or rate a stay then you should be able to be identified. Anonymous shoud not be allowed and reviews without comment should not be allowed. Why? because the property cannot comment and it is a one way street, and shouldn't be.

1 year ago
2
Leina'ala

I agree.

Luckily (so far) all the anonymous ratings for us have between 8 - 10 points. Still, I'd like to know who rated us well so I know which staff members were working during the guests visit so we can commend them for a great performance. Maybe being able to be "anonymous" encourages those who otherwise would not comment submit a rating. Maybe in that situation a guest have to provide a comment to be anonymous so we, as the host/hostess, have to opportunity to improve.

1 year ago
5
monet208

Booking.com say it is illegal for them to publish the guest information if they wish to stay anonymous

It is however illegal for anyone not to be allowed the right to reply to a review - it is a breach of equality and European human rights law

Apparently this is also become part of an investigation being carried out by the CMA into unfair practices by internet accommodation booking sites- OTA'S

1 year ago
2
Robert Daniel

Price fixing is also against the law, at least here in Australia, yet all prices throughout the different booking engines are meant to be the same, regardless of the commissions being charged.

I have run accommodation before websites existed, and during the relatively early days of booking engines. I've come to an alarming conclusion.

Our numbers have gone up each year since we opened. For the past four years these numbers have kept increasing, yet our income has gone down, in sync with the increase in bookings that require paying out commissions.

Booking engines are parasites. They don't create or produce anything, yet they extract their percentages and hold small businesses to ransom. They pay millions of dollars in advertising on the back of the commissions earned from us, to keep themselves on top of major booking engines and in prime advertising spots in all high traffic areas, which in turn attracts most of our customers who book with them which then leads to us paying out yet more commissions.

They pay the most for each click, therefore get the most clicks, visitors, customers.

On a level playing field, each business has a website or funnel. We promote these as we see fit and gain our position on booking engines largely on merit, and in how much we are willing to pay out to promote our business.

With the thousands of booking engines out there, slowly being absorbed by the bigger players, there is no way to compete with their massive spending power.

It has got so bad now that guests don't even have to use cash, or a card anymore, while booking. They can use an app. Some guests, especially Asian guests using Agoda (which has a close deal with booking.com), actually walk into reception, greet us, look at their phone and click on their app. they are standing not three feet away from us. My phone goes off to say we have a new booking, and it's from the person standing right in front of me, still smiling.

With that one click we are paying 12.5% plus commission to a third party, and this habit is getting so ingrained with travellers now it doesn't occur to them to do it any other way. And this is just the beginning of the trend.

Booking engines can now offer prices lower than the business can, because they use some of their commission cut to offer cut price deals to get ahead of other booking engines. They compete with them by using OUR money to get THEM more guests paying THEM the commission.

Every time that happens our accommodation businesses lose money. They have created a situation in which if a business chooses to drop out of being in a booking engine, the general public is so well trained the business now becomes invisible.

80% of bookings are now made on a mobile phone, mostly through an app. Forget websites, they are redundant, forget position on Google, they are becoming more and more irrelevant. Booking engines take the cream while accommodation houses do all the work, yet are still accountable to the booking engines.

Booking.com is our biggest booking agent by far. Are we dependent on them? I'm not sure. What would happen if we cut ourselves loose is largely guesswork because no one is game enough to try it now.

So, when a review comes in that's not so great from an anonymous source, the PAY NOW commission invoice comes in each month, we are told categorically that our prices have to be the same across the board, when mistakes in the system lead to various problems with bookings, when dodgy credit cards are used to hold bookings etc etc ... I believe they have got way too big, much too fast and are controlling our businesses in ways we were too slow to see coming.

We are working at combatting this right now, y using other methods with which to get our guests to use OUR booking button which doesn't mean paying out commissions. We can even offer 10% discounts and STILL come out ahead of what we are paying now!

1 year ago
1
Christine P.

I also agree that anonymous reviews should be stopped completely. Guests who do this usually want to take revenge on the property because we did not entertain bogus complaints in order to get upgrades. If they think they are not doing anything wrong, why should they hide their names and reservation numbers? The truth is, they are aware of the injustice they are doing. Despite all efforts by the hotel to accommodate even the silliest requests, the guests still want more and will write a vile review or give a poor rating.

1 year ago
2
Nino Jejelava

If there is anything we could sign or vote to make booking come read this and make our opinion count ? I cant agree more anonymous reviews should not be allowed !!!!

1 year ago
1
Suzanmck21

I also agree that anonymous reviews are a completely negative aspect of all things good coming out of Booking.com. Absolutely no point in someone leaving a negative review if we don't know what it is we need to change. We had one last night with no name and no comment so I can't even respond. We only started this April and this is the first review to give completely the opposite review on our property - leaves me thinking that there's something underhand going on somewhere along the line. I have emailed Booking.com and asked for them to remove said review.

1 year ago
2
Pottsofflemingate

Occationally and not very often we get guests who are not fair or leave a review that is not honest. This is surely the mis-use of data? With Facebook recently being fined $50000000. for the mis-use of data. Are Booking.com in danger of recieving a similar penalty? I realise the person leaving the review is liable for what they say, but in the case of anonymous reviews, Booking.com are occationally and not often putting themselves in the position of simply being peddlers of lies. Will they face a simillar fine I wonder? I hope not because they are a very good company and I enjoy dealing with them.

1 year ago
1
malcolm craig

Well, Pottsofflemingate, I don't know why you believe Booking.com is a very good company. They have had countless complaints about Anonymous reviews and have done nothing.to stop them. When I first started this thread a customer service officer would sometimes make a comment, even that has stopped. Booking.com are charging you 15% +/- to get you bookings, they use a small portion of your potential booking to advertise themselves on sites to take bookings from your website and you enjoy dealing with them. Great. To me they are parasites.

1 year ago
2
Robert Daniel

The term ‘parasite’ is perfect sadly.
There is no way to compete with them, as they have multi millions of OUR income to market themselves with.

1 year ago
1
malcolm craig

Yes Robert, They use our monies to devour us. I wonder how long before we get the, "Due to rising costs which we have absorbed for blah blah blah, we have unfortunately been forced to raise commission rates to etc"

How long does all this go on for before we react?

1 year ago
5
monet208

This has been a long running issue for people like us on booking,com who completely ignore us and allow anonymous reviews

There are only three ways to get them to change- really only one-number 3

1. Personal letters to the CEO - unlikely to do much

2. Action through the European Court of Human Rights -would need organising and a long process

3.Demostation by hoteliers outside their UK head offfice with tv and paper media present -most likely to work !

11 months ago
2
Pottsofflemingate

I like dealing with a company that gets work in for me, then charge for their service. I understand where you are comming from with the word parasites, however, it is a free market, and there is a finite time, when they may not be worth dealing with. I do feel however, that anonymous reviews are a step too far, and I don't understand the attraction for Booking.com. It feels like data abuse and no one should ever make a criticism of anyone or anything that they are not prepared to back up with their name. That is simply knowing right from wrong. Booking.com have for a long time been badly wrong on this issue and with Facebook recently being find $500000000, you would think they would be treading more carefully. I for one did not sign up for allowing complete strangers to leave lies about me. This is what occationally happens with anonymous reviews. This must be the very worse form of data abuse, and Booking.com are culpable

11 months ago
1
On the Deck

Booking.com keep sending me emails to remind me to read this thread.

How do we get the management at Booking.com to read it themselves?

11 months ago
2
Pottsofflemingate

The reason the management at Booking.com are not listening is because they think they are following a teenage graduate that is is telling them that there is a bigger picture....or maybe the CEO thinks there is...... but...... as a businessman of over 25 years standing working for myself, I have seen em come and go....... and......... not listening to your real customers is usually the begining of the end...... just an observation.

11 months ago
1
On the Deck

However Booking.com will not let me leave a comment on this thread unless I identify myself by signing in.

11 months ago
1
Pantai Paris H…

How to write an anonymous negative review on Booking for a competitive ‘hotel’ ( = any place that hosts guests):

It costs little money (one-night stay) but will increase your income.

Pls read the whole message!

  1. The following can be done by the owner:

As a ‘hotel’ owner, book at Booking and stay one night at different hotels and guesthouses that compete with you. Even if they know you, just tell them that you love to see how they are organised or something like that… After checking out, just wait. If some ‘hotel’ does any negative to you, give them a 2.5 – Anonymous. (This happened to us - the competitive 'hotel' thought we were influencing their clients to stay with us - not true at all).

Competitive ‘hotels’ may know each other’s personnel / owners and the next 2 options should involve a “friend” they don’t know.

  1. The friend just books a room with a competitive hotel. He/she will not show up and gives a negative review, best at 12+ at night, and ANONYMOUS.

If the competitive hotel informs Booking a “no-show” before 12 then indeed the negative review will not be published.

But the competitive hotel may be too late with this and the review stands: 2.5 points out of 10. Haha

  1. The friend books at a competitive hotel and yes, shows up. The friend stays the night, checks out and gives a 2.5 review.

No time limit though!

Again ANONYMOUS. Haha

So, it IS easy… I said Haha, but I am not joking. At all !

This HAS TO STOP. My personal option: no points, no RANKING, just reviews with text, and never ANONYMOUS.

If Booking or other intermediates want to rank, just rank with the price! Or maybe facilities or ‘star’ ranking. A 5 star hotel is more expensive but has more facilities.

The valuation should be up to the person who intend to book - he/she can read the reviews, look at the ‘stars’ , and price, and decide!

PLEASE Bookin.com, LISTEN

8 months ago
5
monet208

I think it is fairly obivious to all that the management have either no knowledge of partners negative opinions of the Review system or do know whats wrong ,but rather than upset guests and therefore lose commission,they ignore the problems

Before we joined BC and subsequently had lies published about us that BC refused to remove despite being given photographic evidence,I would never have written what follows.....

The last post is interesting and I am sure many would be tempted to do this if you have evidence that a local hotel had done it to you first

If your Review score has gone down due to a unfair negative review there is a far easier and less expensive way to get your review score back up.

. Just get another email account.book yourself in to your own hotels cheapest room and then give yourself a 10/10 brilliant review afterwards

A few of these will soon get your review score back up and costs less than booking into a competitors hotel!

Personally it not something we need to do but I would understand the frustration of partners who have been badly wronged by BC doing this, because they have exhausted every avenue trying to get lies posted about them being left for the world to see by Booking.com

8 months ago
2
Pottsofflemingate

I agree with all of the above, anonymous reviews are not open and above board, and a mis use of data.

You can't make this a matter of trust after all money IS involver not to mention reputations.

I am surprised that booking.com can't see this, but the whole review department is not run well and there are several issues over the years they simply fail to answer.

The review department at booking.com seems to be the only department not up to scratch. This is ironic really. I give them 1 out of 5.

8 months ago
1
Pantai Paris H…

Obviously, I wrote my comment in order to prove that the BC review system is just NOT FAIR . NOT FAIR.

A review point system is pointless. It is too easy to manipulate it !

Nobody actually needs points! We, as property owners, just need to know what is good or bad about us facilitating guests to stay with us. Potential guests need to know the same. They just need to know if it is a nice place for them to stay or not, compared to the price.

BC talks about GENUINE REVIEWS or something.like that. They cannot know if someone playing 'dirty' tricks?

Dirty tricks are played by Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous, I can tell you.

8 months ago