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St. Ann's B&B asked me remove review and call me nasty names

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Los Angeles...
posts: 11
reviews: 22
St. Ann's B&B asked me remove review and call me nasty names

I recently left a somewhat poor but honest review after a disappointing stay at the St. Ann's House B&B. The owner private messaged me on Aug 9th (see full message below) and asked me to remove my review which I don't feel I should for the interest of other travelors. His request is also against tripadvisor's policy as I understand. Today I received another private message from him calling me nasty names:

"if you do not know the difference between a b and b ,and a hotel after all your travels i really dont think you should write a review based on ignorance,it makes you look bigotted and ignorrant"

Message from Aug 9th:

Dear Guests,

Many thanks for your feedback on the tripadvisor site. I would be delighted if you would take some time to understand this response and hope that you would amend or remove your review, as it is not St Anns House that is at fault, but as you implied, simply your understanding of what constitutes a 'Bed and Breakfast' (the clue is in the name!):

It is very unfair to compare hotels with 'bed and breakfast' as by definition, a hotel offers far more service and facilities than a B&B. Hotels have pools, room service, 24 hour staff etc, whereas B&B establishments are much more 'boutique' in nature, and generally more individual and homely, being usually family owned and run.

Marking St Anns House as disappointing will cause us serious damage, and is highly unfair, as it is your understanding of the accommodation type that is at fault, not our service, or facilities, which have been inspected and graded by the top two organistaions in the UK, the AA and Enjoy England.

St Anns House is listed amongst the top 500 Bed and Breakfast establishments in the UK by these two professional organisations, and unfortunately your review will cause damage to our business as many visitors simply look at the amount of 'stars' a visitor has given rather than reading the text of the review.

I would hope that you agree that it is your own expectation level that is at fault here, and that St Anns House has done nothing other than be what it is - a great 'bed and breakfast'. Our photos are fair, our service offering is as described on our website, we explain that all rooms are shower rooms without baths. Our building is unique, each room has its own individual style and decore, sympathetic to the building, which is managed with respectful love and care by a family who consider service and guest welfare of utmost importance. Our breakfasts are home cooked by a chef with many years experience as a top chef for many well known people, and those who understand the concept of a bed and breakfast are only two happy to judge us as such and leave relevant reviews.

I would therefore humbly request that you would be so kind as to amend or remove your review, as I don't think you understand the damage it will cause our business, when we were not at fault.

Kind Regards,

Michael & Duygu Riley,

St Anns House.

I'd like Tripadvisor to discipline and take appropriate actions on St. Ann's House and let the travel public be aware of the true characters this B&B demonstrates.

Solihull
posts: 2,256
reviews: 7
1. Re: St. Ann's B&B asked me remove review and call me nasty names

Your comments above made me go and look at the reviews for St. Anns.

The thing that struck me straight away is how many reviews have been done by a person who has only ever done one review on this site, and they joined Trip Advisor the day they did the review (and have not done a review since).

This to me is VERY suspicious.

I am currently highlighting a similar situation at a hotel in Blackpool (I wont name it and give it any more publicity) which is obviously adding reviews itself (or getting someone to do them).

Every review is so over the top ("best hotel I have ever stayed in" !). It has 13 excellent reviews (and none less than excellent), all done by people who joined the site the day they did the review and have not done one since.

In two different reviews the same text had been cut and pasted in with only minor changes to make them look different.

I have reported many of these reviews to trip advisor and a couple have been removed, but there is still a number of obvious fake reviews.

The problem is these lies are pushing this hotel to near the top of the hotels in Blackpool on trip advisor.

The trouble is some places cant cope with honest reviews.

Edited: 2:01 am, September 01, 2010
Sydney, Australia
posts: 2,788
reviews: 25
2. Re: St. Ann's B&B asked me remove review and call me nasty names

He shouldn't have asked you to remove the review; but I do think there was some mismatch of expectations here. B&Bs are not hotels, nor are they like B&Bs in the US or some other places, they offer a more basic and lower serviced level of accommodation.

It might help if you quote the price you paid, when commenting on the value offered by an establishment I always do this as otherwise it's difficult for the reader to make their own mind up as to what represents value.

Having said all that, I do think your review was fair

Los Angeles...
posts: 11
reviews: 22
3. Re: St. Ann's B&B asked me remove review and call me nasty names

I understand b&bs do not offer the same amenities as hotels, and had taken that into consideration of value when contemplating on the tariff differences between what St Ann charged (£89) and what we would have paid for a hotel room in Salisbury on many travel sites. By the way, St. Ann's tariffs are listed on their websites.

St. Ann's rates are among the highest for B&Bs in Salisbury. We decided to go with it based on the representation on its websites and expected the place as described especially since the rate was high. Honestly I gave it three stars only to be generous and to provide some benefit of doubt, as our experince probably only warranted a 1 or 2 star review.

Edited: 3:51 am, September 01, 2010
London.UK
posts: 3,835
reviews: 1
4. Re: St. Ann's B&B asked me remove review and call me nasty names

Having read your review I cant see anything there which warrants the owners asking you to remove it.

It seems your expectations may have been a little high for a b & b in the UK, but even so I think your review was balanced overall. It seems a little odd that despite being listed in the top 500 b & b's in the UK by ' the top two organisations' the owners feel your review will cause them ' serious damage '.

BB

Glasgow, United...
Destination Expert
for South Ayrshire, Glasgow
posts: 13,751
reviews: 228
5. Re: St. Ann's B&B asked me remove review and call me nasty names

You can't please all of the people all of the time, and an accommodation provider should know this. Your review read as polite and balanced, especially as you added the caveat that this was the first time you had stayed in a B&B, thereby alerting the reader to your lack of experience in this kind of accommodation.

The tarriff certainly seems at the higher end for B&Bs, so I can understand why your expectations would be high. I don't think your review is damaging at all, and the owners can add their comments below yours to give their perspective, which makes things fair. However I think that a B&B which performs so well in the review ratings on the basis of so many gushing, five star, one-post-wonder reviews may indeed cause damage. It will make people to think twice about whether they want to stay at a place where some of the reviews sound rather suspect.

Perhaps you should remind them that a management response is the way to go if they feel aggrieved. Certainly leave your review where it is so that readers can form their own opinions.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Amesbury, London
posts: 6,059
reviews: 42
6. Re: St. Ann's B&B asked me remove review and call me nasty names

I've looked at your review, and looked at their website. As others have mentioned, I do think there was a mis-match between your expectations and what a typical British B&B offers, but equally, we should be able to give reviews as we perceive them.

Incidentally, I would expect to pay about £40 pp, so their fees aren't unreasonable.

If the owners of St Ann's B&B happen to read this thread, then I would urge them to write a 'management's response' on the review you left - but omitting the nonsense at the beginning. It is perfectly fair to point out what a b&b is and isn't, but please don't start making judgmental statements about guests!

The other thing I would say to hotel & B&B owners is that potential guests are not stupid - we know that things go wrong; we know that people have varying tolerance levels, and just because one or two may not have enjoyed their stay, doesn't mean we wouldn't stay there - there are times when I've read well-considered management responses to people's poor reviews and thought: "They know how do customer service; I'd stay there" and equally when I read management response 'rants', THAT would put me off, rather than someone's poor review.

SYD-LON-MUC
Destination Expert
for Honeymoons and Romance, Richmond-upon-Thames, Bondi, Katoomba
posts: 3,864
reviews: 45
7. Re: St. Ann's B&B asked me remove review and call me nasty names

Yes B&Bs in the UK are different. But in saying that we have stayed in numerous and almost all have been fine. But generally there have been 2 people there to check in and almost all check ins have been at almost anytime of day so long as we let them know our time of arrival.

But without repeating the others here are some stats for you (on top of Guilbert53's comments).

63% - the number of same day joiner/posters for 5 star feedback;

27% - number of 5 star ratings by 2+ contributers

3 – the number of 5 star posts (that follows) by same day joiner / posters after a not so good review

14% - 3 star or less

When I search for reviews I look for reviewers with the most contributions first;

Then I check out the 2 stars or less reviews to see how fairly the accommodation has been rated and photographic evidence which is always nice as a back up to their rating;

Owner / GM replies – Customer Service or lack there of.

Not that I was bored enough to get the above figures but it’s always nice to have numbers.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Amesbury, London
posts: 6,059
reviews: 42
8. Re: St. Ann's B&B asked me remove review and call me nasty names

Case in point further to my post - I've just read your other thread, and checked the review for the Dolphin House (Do I see a common thread forming here?) and the management response. A very well written management response - it wouldn't put me off using them...

I am truly sorry you had some disappointing experiences, but the picture I am getting is one where your expectations were greater than what could be offered. I do hope you will be back in the UK, but may I humbly suggest that you stick to 'proper' hotels, as I think they offer the level of facilities and services that you desire.

SYD-LON-MUC
Destination Expert
for Honeymoons and Romance, Richmond-upon-Thames, Bondi, Katoomba
posts: 3,864
reviews: 45
9. Re: St. Ann's B&B asked me remove review and call me nasty names

yeah I too read the other thread...

Know what you mean though...

London
posts: 110
reviews: 20
10. Re: St. Ann's B&B asked me remove review and call me nasty names

I have to say that I would have been really angry to have received a note calling me "ignorrant" (spelling?) and "bigotted" for refusing to remove a perfectly legitimate review (all reviews are personal after all). I think this says a huge amount about the attitude of the owners. If they continue to pursue you any further, I would be tempted to publish their correspondence on the review section. Then they might have some cause for concern.