Trip reports, holiday reviews, opinions in general

Isn’t it extraordinary what people will complain about ?  Here are three e-mails I received recently from three different families who stayed during in August of this year in the same holiday house.

Family 1: We so loved your property, it ticked all our boxes, and I just wanted to say thank you for such a lovely holiday.

Family 2: We’d like to book again for next year please, perhaps the same week if it is available.

Family 3: Your property is below standard and we will not come again. 1) there was only one oven tray  2) there were not enough bowls or forks  3)I spent the whole holiday fishing splinters out of my child’s foot

It is just such a pity when silly people write silly things.  For one thing, the e-mail from Family 3 was rude.  Why be rude ?  Holiday reviews and trip reports are very useful to the owner if they are sensible and constructive e.g “were you aware that the fridge door doesn’t quite close?” or perhaps “by the way, the village shop is now closed on a Monday” – but this rude kind of message from Family 3 serves no purpose whatsoever except to make me check that she is not on a blacklist somewhere – that type often are.  Silly little niggles like a shortage of forks (the other two families didn’t comment on this) are easily solved by simply asking for more forks.  It does my head in, but I suppose there is always somebody somewhere with the brain of a peanut.

The whole AIM of holiday reviews and trip reports – or any report for that matter, be it books, vehicles, restaurants – whatever – is to warn the public if the place/item was particularly BAD and to praise the place/item if it was particularly good.  The AIM is absolutely NOT to be rude or petty – it only says some not-good things about you as the writer.

When reading reports look out for “vengeance”, decide whether the report is a personal experience (ie something good/bad relating to just that one event, ie of no interest to the public at large), and mentally delete anything petty like the above.  Base your decision on the owner’s/manufacturer’s own description – that way you have a proper come-back if things are not as described.

There are several blogs on here about this subject and, if you are a reviewer or a reader of reviews, I hope you will read all of them.

Catherine Broughton is a novelist, a poet and an artist.  She is widely travelled and writes regularly for magazines and blog sites.  Her sketches are on her web site .  Her books are available from Amazon and on Kindle, or can be ordered from several leading book stores.

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Catherine Broughton is a novelist, a poet and an artist.  Her books are available as e-books on this site:-            “A Call from France”          “French Sand”         ”The Man with Green Fingers”        “Saying Nothing”

They are also available on Amazon & Kindle, or can be ordered as paperbacks from most leading book stores and libraries.


Posted on 24/08/2012 by Catherine
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  • Hi Catherine,
    I own 2 holiday properties situated in Cyprus and Turkey. I wish clients would realize how hurtful petty comments and complaints like this can be. They don’t seem to realize that we have put our heart and soul into it and done incredible amounts of work in order to achieve lovely houses. Despite this every year I get at least one family who think they have the right to be rude and unpleasant, where as if they’d been nice and simply brought to our attention any little issues during their stay it would’ve been resolved quickly and easily. People like this aren’t worth my time and personally I now automatically blacklist clients such as that Family 3 you mention.
    All the best,
    Tom Taylor

  • CatherineBroughton

    I have been following your blogs on this subject. In my experience, as a hotel owner, people who write complaints about silly little issues like this are invariably looking for some kind of refund. I’m afraid I also blacklist them these days.
    (By e-mail to Catherine from Julan Walter-Synde, Bristol, UK)

  • CatherineBroughton

    (copied from an e-mail) People also need to be aware that places like Trip Advisor will just post any old report, even if it is utter rubbish. They even have a kind of good-point thing, where you get praise for writing lots of reports, regardless of whether they are true or not. It is just what one person wrote, but reeaders will take it as gospel.

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