You and I collectively have so much more power to influence companies that we do business with than we ever have. Companies spend a ton of money monitoring review sites and social media. But we’re past the era of damage control; now companies are actually listening to people!
The Los Angeles Times reports hotels are significantly improving the experience when we stay at them. And we have TripAdvisor, Yelp and other social media sites to thank directly for that.
Across the industry, hotel operators are seeing people who abandon bookings and won’t stay at their places because of the online reviews they read about the place.
I do this all the time. Over and over again, I’m ready to pull the trigger on a booking but then I read the TripAdvisor reviews. If they’re lousy, I abandon the booking.
This is so much a trend that hotels are fixing things when there’s a pattern of complaints. I’ve also noticed on TripAdvisor that hotels are responding to complaints and either disputing what’s been said or apologizing and saying how they’re going to address it.
So don’t just go away angry from any business. Nor should you say something just out of anger. But if say what you experienced, well, who knows? You may fix that problem for you and for other people!
Here’s the right way to complain online and lessen your chances of encountering a problem
Consumer Reports suggests you keep the following pointers in mind:
- Know your state’s law regarding SLAPP suits. Strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) are designed to threaten you with expensive and time-intensive litigation to deter you from posting a negative review. By knowing your state’s laws, you can understand the parameters of what you legally can and can’t say in your review.
- Stick strictly to the facts with your complaint. Keep it short, simple and factual; nothing more and nothing less.
- Cool off. Write your complaint out and then take 24 hours to reflect on it before you post. Make sure your vitriol isn’t crowding out the facts in what you’ve written.
- Know what to do if you are sued. In the worst case if you are sued, you may be covered by your homeowner’s policy for defamatory statements. Check with your insurer to see.
- Remember, it all comes back to sticking strictly to the facts. Never post libelous comments that disparage anyone’s character. That’s the best way to stay out of trouble.
For more money-saving advice, see our Travel section.