I’m slowly digging out of the hole I dug myself with excessive travel over the past four weeks and came across an email from a hotel I stayed at during the European portion of my trip. It was a request to fill out a survey about my stay, an email that many hotels send these days.
I try to make a habit out of filling out these surveys – regardless of whether the stay was good or bad – so I clicked on the link. I was quite surprised at what I saw. It sortof looks like a survey page but it also completely looks like a TripAdvisor review page, mostly because that’s exactly what it is.
Submitting a “survey” is actually a TripAdvisor review and the fine print makes it clear that I was actually posting to TripAdvisor, not completing an internal survey for the property. Not that I have anything specifically against TripAdvisor, but I don’t really love the content, the format or using their site so I also don’t contribute to it. And this was the first time I’ve even been prompted to submit a review directly to them as though it was going to the hotel. They didn’t really hide it – the logo is at the top of the “survey” form – but between prompting me with positive reviews from others in the sidebar and positive suggestions for the text fields it is far from a reasonable survey. Expecting to get “clean” data from something like this is rather a dream I’d say.
Maybe it works for them. They are ranked 23/190 in Brussels and they get a lot of comments/reviews so I’m guessing it does. But it also seems a bit misleading to me that they’re calling it a “survey” to help them improve service when that is only a tiny part of what it actually is.
For what its worth, I actually enjoyed the hotel. Nice room, though the bath was a bit strange and the couch against the windows with nice views was great. The location wasn’t bad though I didn’t have much time to explore town. Also, the “free mini-bar” was one soda, two bottles of water (one sparkling, the other not) and one beer. That’s more than many hotels offer but not a huge benefit.
They also had issues like the lobby being laid out strange and insufficient staffing at the front desk, a comment that was echoed in some of the TripAdvisor reviews I read once I was prompted to create my own. I’ll definitely consider them again given the price point and the quality of the room, but this experience also has me even more inclined to distrust TripAdvisor. And I was pretty far along on that track already. The cynic in me also wonders who is paying whom to get the data into TripAdvisor as part of this process.
Am I overreacting? Am I too old-school in my views on what surveys and data collection should be about? Is this just the way things are now?
Never miss another post: Sign up for email alerts and get only the content you want direct to your inbox.