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Anonymous comment

Hello everyone,

I just got an anonymous review and I am very surprised because all my guest have already sent their comment already.  I am new, I don´t have that many reservations so I keep a very close follow up of what is happening on my page. 

Any suggestion of what could have happened?

Thanks for your help!

Virginia 

17 Replies

8
Leandri Klopper

Hey Vmachadoarancet ,

Hope you are well.

Anonymous reviews can be quite the mystery, which I think might be the point. It's possible that it's a guest had stayed at your property earlier in the month. If I remember correctly the guest has 30 days to write a review after checking out. Not sure how accurate this information is though, can't find the post where someone spoke about that.

9 months ago
3
Lu_Madrid

Hi Leandri Klopper and Vmachadoarancet ,

We also keep track on what is written about our property in order to improve our services, but there are plenty of them which are anonymous. Probably because they do not want other future guests to know their identities or just to hide a bad comment from the property.

In any case, we do know for sure that there is more time for a guest to write a comment since we have recently received a review from a guest who stayed in July-August.

I do not know why there should be such a big time range for a guest to write down a review, but some guests do it months later.

I hope that helps you identify who may have been!

8 months ago
8
Leandri Klopper

Hello Lu_Madrid ,

Thanks for sharing, that is a scary thought. I think I'll put the question to Booking.com in regards to how long a guest has to write a review and why.

Will return with feedback if I receive any. Thanks again!

8 months ago
3
Lu_Madrid

Hi M Adamopoulou ,

Yeah, I was aware of that. I didn't know that BDC gave the guests 3 months to write the review though!

Luckily, since our property is very small, we do know who left the review, specially when they write down comments too since we may identify it by any issue they may have mentioned during their stay.

However, in some cases, especially when the guest leaves a bad rating without a review, I believe that BDC should, at least, allow the property to reply. Have you had that problem?

8 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

No Lu-Madrid so far my reviews are excellent. Only one guest left me an anonymous review but it was excellent and I know who it was since I only have one Studio and not too many reservations. Maybe my policies are very strict. I prefer less but secure. I am not doing business I offer hospitality for now at least.

I think that guests sometimes leave bad reviews just because they want to nag about something.

Take care.

8 months ago
7
pibomarco

Looking from other perspective, Anonymous reviews are also ment, so that the guest can write a "truthful" review without being "bullied" from the offended host. I think it is a way to encourage the host to improve, specially if those reviews are posted frequently. Sometimes it is better to say nothing then speak/criticize publicly.. That's why I think anonymous reviews are still an option.
I beleive BDC just wants to offer the best service and basicly we are forced to improve our services and be better hosts. When we receive 20 negative reviews for the same issue, maybe then we'll do something about it. No negative reviews, why changing and improving anything at all.

8 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

pibomarco ok you have a point. Reviews are part of trusting eachother. I believe that guests and hosts have to cooperate in order have the best result.

8 months ago
3
Lu_Madrid

M Adamopoulou All our anonymous reviews have also been good so far! Over 9/10, so we cannot complain. However, I do believe BDC should allow us, hosts, to reply to those bad reviews left by unpleasant guests, who usually want to take "revenge".
We have an average of over 9/10 on Booking.com and over 150 reviews, which are not too many for some of the hosts here, but since we only have 6 rooms and opened for less than a year, we are pretty happy about it. Since that's not a big amount of reviews, having a bad review also affects more than having a 5/10 among 1000 reviews.

We do take all reviews and ratings very seriously and we think that low rates should come along with a comment specifying what they were not happy about. The bigger issue for us is not knowing the person who wrote it but what they were not happy about. As a small property, we want to take advantage of having few guests as to take every single feedback into account to offer a better service.

pibomarco I know what you mean. A 10/10 is pretty obvious and it means that the guests were happy about everything and they had nothing bad to write. But, for example, going back to the case that some people want to take "revenge", we had a couple of very disrespectful guests once who broke the shower hose, ruined the towels, left the room all messy and dirty, smoke in the room (it is completely prohibited to smoke in our property), left all smoked cigarettes on the floor and left a burnt stain on our furniture and, on top of that, made a lot of noise, disturbing other guests during their sleep. It was long time ago when we just opened and we did not have as many reminders of the house rules in the property. Since it was part our fault for not placing those reminders in bigger signs, we thought they should at least pay for the broken shower hose, so we charged them the cost of the shower hose - not any extra, just the hose -. That was 20€. They called us complaining about it for like an hour.
Now, we have a fine of at least 100€ for smoking and we add an extra for the labor fee, transport to get the broken article and what the article itself costs. The amount that they might have had to pay would be up to 200-300€. They only paid 20€. Their rate was 3,8/10, which made our rating immediately drop down. The guest did not leave any comment but the rating only.
I am talking about that type of ratings. We don't mean to write any angry message or comment about that rating but we do want to, at least, explain to our future guests why those guests left that review.

What I think that BDC should do is either letting us reply even when there are no comments from the guests, not letting guests who have been reported by the property to leave a comment or, at least, let us review all our guests as Airbnb does. People would be more conscious about their behavior. At least, that's my opinion from my experience.

8 months ago
7
fluff

I would much rather know directly from the guest, instantly, if we had failed in some way, we could then correct or even offer an extra by way of apology. They're happy and we learn too.

8 months ago
7
pibomarco

We are forgetting that 7,5 is still considered as a very good review. I beleive this is more truthful/realistic score then 10/10. As I once mentioned in Italy where almost "s*** holes" compared to what we offer in my city, are rated above 9. Is this a truthfull score? Because the owner (old lady) is being overly nice, insisting to take your luggage into the room, everyday asks you if you need anything else, and at the check-out ask you to rate them 10 on BDC, but the rest is "sheet"?

I also mentioned few times that is all part of the business. If you overall receive positive reviews, and from time to time you hit a bad one then you are doing great and I wouldn't put too much energy in those few bad ones. We can not please everyones views, experiences ect..

The "best" answer on a negative review for other potential guests is something like that.
Dear
Thank you very much for taking your time to post a review. Your feedback is highly appreciated and will help us to improve our service.
Kind regards,

Potential guests doesn't like see hosts who are overly defending themselves. Also they can see through those reviews and aknowledge that some people are just lame.

I think there are really small amount of properties with 1000+ reviews that are scored above 9. More guests more patients.

Also if you are going to charge them penalties you can expect in return a negative review.. that's how it is.. Is it truthful, it isn't.. but so 10/10 isn't in some cases. :) I rather ignore the damages, then charging them... Accidents do happen and usually we cover the damages, which are not common in my case.

I am a simple guy.. If I liked my stay I will rate it 10. If I didn't like it then I won't rate it which never happened because I can't be so dissapointed to write a negative review. I'm very easygoing.

Fluff well this is still different... When the guest will come to David that his coffee is bad or should at least offer a real coffee, would he be apoligizing or would be talking about how it's a freebei + 101 excuses. It's all about the act and the rule "the guest is always right". Most guests will rarely give their (negative) opinnions directly with hosts/owners. It's esier to go down in the hotel lobby to the student receptionist and speaking out their frustrations. Because receptionist will never bark back with excuses. Or just simply write a review.

8 months ago
3
Lu_Madrid

Hi fluff , sure! We do as well, but as pibomarco says, there are some guests who are not very eager to tell you in person.

pibomarco, as a person who usually travels, I tend to book lodgings with ratings over 8/10. If I see different options, I try to read the reviews as to make the decision of choosing which property to book easier. There are hundreds, or even thousands, of accommodation options in the center of Madrid, so you have to differentiate yourself from other properties somehow. We try to show our potential guests that we care about trying to improve. Other people may not use this as a tool, but everybody has a different opinion and a way of doing things.

Replying the review of a guest may not be taken the same way to different people. In addition to that, there are plenty of ways to write down a response. It does not need to be a message "over-defending" oneself. What we usually do is thank the guest for the honest review and tell them that we will take that into account, but we don't believe in "the guest is always right", sorry. We are all people and we should all know our rights, responsibilities and as both a guest and a host, I try to be as respectful as possible.

8 months ago
7
pibomarco

Lu_M you are doing it right.

I also didn't believe in "the guest is always right" for the past 10 years, since you are in my house. But now I do understand the meaning. It's basicly an act and avoiding to get in the "fight" with the guest and try to be respectful no matter how ilogic they are. We as hosts must aknowledge their point of view and put aside our ego end own perspective. There are exceptions such as abusive behaviour which I wouldn't tolerate and would gladly show them the exit door.

8 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Heya guys very helpful conversation here.

I agree that we should put aside our ego and treat guests nicely even though sometimes they are ilogical. Last summer I had a Romanian guest that was very rude and frustrated because he thought that my Studio was located in Athens instead of a country village in Oropos 50 klm away from Athens. Very strange since he had assured me in previous messages that he had been living in Athens for 8 years. He did not even bother to check my property on the map. I was very calm and nice when he started shouting. I told him that he could sleep for the night and find another place to stay next day (he had made a 7 days reservation). Next morning he came down to my home apologizing again and again for his inappropriate behavoir. He told me that he was very tired from driving all the way from his country. Next morning the amazing view and sun rising behind the mountains and reflecting in the sea cast a spell on him. Finally he and his wife stayed for 7 days and kept appologizing every time he saw me. They had unforgettable moments and eventually we became friends.

I think kindness returns to you.....

8 months ago
7
fluff

Quite agree that "defending yourself" in writing never looks good. Plus, I fully appreciate that many guests will not approach the staff with a criticism, this may be down to a previous negative experience or simply not liking any type of potential confrontation and that excuses are not the way.

Although I don't fully subscribe to the guest-is-always-right mantra. I want my guests to be happy, feel welcome and enjoy their stay but there are also limits. Pibomarco's post has just popped up while writing this, that, IMHO, is the correct interpretation of the TGIAR and a worthy goal/target/achievement.

8 months ago
3
Lu_Madrid

Very interesting points of view! :)

M Adamopoulou yes, some guests are very unreasonable and definitely should treat them kindly.That returns to you, for sure! Specially in those cases.

You're completely right, pibomarco when it comes to accidents we try to be as nice as possible and those damages will be covered by us, but when there's an abusive behavior, we do try to reach them first and explain the situation nicely. We don't have a 24h front desk reception, so some guests leave before 6am in the morning and leave the property without being checked, meaning that we have to contact them by phone or e-mail.

I think defending yourself on a comment from things such as coffee, decoration, staff, cleaning matters is useless and it may not look good. However, I'd like to have the choice to reply those guests such as the ones in my previous comment in this thread.

Fortunately, we haven't had many problems (touch wood), but when it happens, it is usually not a small accident.

8 months ago