Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Raveable.com is a joke - Bed Bug Reports are very Inaccurate

We just had a guest call us about information they read on Raveable.com. Please, please, please, do not believe everything you read on the internet! Especially when you only get half of the information. Any respectable review site, such as TripAdvisor, will have a mechanism for posting a response to reviews. The proper way the system works is that people can post whatever they want and hotels can post a response. That is how one makes an informed decision - getting both sides of the story. Raveable.com, on the other hand, has "spiders" that pull information from other sites and regurgitates it on their own site. They have no original content, qualification method or system to provide both sides.

For example...
When you look at the Chancellor Hotel listing on Raveable.com, a big warning header in bold red type shows up that says:
WARNING: Bed Bugs Reported
1 unconfirmed report in the last 12 months. Before booking, call the hotel and inquire about this incident.

When you click through, it indicates two reports, but they are from the same guest review copied off of TripAdvisor.

Regardless, the whole thing is not true! It was one posting by a guest that was trying to extort us for a free stay. They demanded a free stay or else they would post bed bug reports about us on the internet. As you will read in their execution of their threat, we tore the room apart in front of them and NOTHING WAS FOUND. Here is what they posted:

“BED BUGS.....VERY COMMON AT THIS HOTEL”
Reviewed February 17, 2011
So we gave this hotel every chance to redeem themselves. When we approached the front desk about bed bug bites that appeared after a single night's stay it was clear that it was not the first time they had dealt with this problem. They turned the room upside down, and gave us another room for the evening....we had no choice but to stay there. When we looked at the bed bug website - the financial district in San Fran basically had one big red blotch over it and seemingly every hotel had dealt with it. As for this place the higher level front desk person had close to zero customer service skills, and the manager never came to speak with us. I would absolutely tell anyone looking for a hotel in San Francisco to carefully research the area and the specific hotel. We had to dry clean or wash everything in hot water when we got home - vacuum all bags and put as much as possible in a hot dryer...it was a nightmare. Plus bites took a couple of weeks to heal. We choose this hotel for the location and price...but got what we paid for....especially bad service.

Here is my response that is posted with it:
This is an example of one of the real flaws with review sites. However, I trust that a vast majority of people that use TripAdvisor see right through this.This is absolutely untrue.These folks reported "bed bugs" the evening of their second day after coming back and being out all day. Not when they were sleeping. We immediately went to the room to check things. As they to mention, we stripped the room in front of them and FOUND NOTHING. If there was something, we would have found it. The lady has some red bumps on her. We don't know where they came from, but it wasn't from bed bugs at the Chancellor Hotel. They indicated they would be more comfortable if we moved them to another room for the night. We did. The next day we re-checked the room and found nothing. Just in the interest of goodwill, we offered one night refund. I didn't think that was fair to us, but if it would make them happy, I was willing to do it. However, when they tried to bully and threaten us demanding a full refund or they would post bad reviews all over the Internet, we said no. We will always do what is right and fair, but we will not be bullied and extorted. We have found bed bugs at the hotel. We have an extensive bed bug program and were recognized in the New York Times as a best practice business. You can Google it. If there had been bed bugs, this would not have been posted because we would have done everything possible to make the guest happy and rectify any issues. A hotel can not stop bed bugs from being introduced to their property, but they can do everything possible to deal with them and we do.
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Here is a link to the New York Times Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/08/business/08bedbug.html

Other issues that make me question the content of Raveable.com...If you are looking at a hotel listing, they attach a list below that says "better quality hotel..." If the hotels have the same star rating, how do they label it as "better" than another hotel?

They have a box on the site that says:
+77.8%
Increased Risk of Bed Bugs in San Francisco Hotels

What? Where did they come up with that?
They have no real evidence to make a claim like that. That is outrageous!

After looking through several listings and pages of information, I find Raveable.com is a waste of time and very unreliable. Good luck...its a jungle out there.

3 comments:

Philip Vaughn said...

Hi Wes,

I wish you would have contacted us or researched this a bit further before calling our website "a joke". A few points of clarification

a. We do collect our own bed bug reports. You incorrectly state that we don't.
b. We do ask (but do not require) that guests provide us additional information that would validate their stay.
c. We do allow hotels to contact us and tell their side of the story. If we determine that the story is likely untrue we remove the bedbug label from their page.
d. We specifically tell our users to call and inquire about the incident which is exactly what happened in this case.


Philip Vaughn
CEO Raveable.com

Wes Tyler GM said...

Raveable.com solicits bed bug reports, but most are pulled from other places. I think the whole site is fear mongering and sleazy.

When I saw the false claim reposted on Raveable.com copied off of TripAdvisor, my first reaction was to post a response so all the information is out there like TripAdvisor provides. If there is a system for a hotel to post a response, I couldn't find it.

Luckily, we had one guest call us, but I would bet that there is a huge number of people that view Raveable.com's garbage and do not call the hotel for more information.

Anonymous said...

Chancellor Hotel is one of the best hotels in San Francisco. My father stays there every time he comes to San Francisco. Over 20 times in 17 years. We both recommend it it to all our friends. Customer service is superb. It's a sweet little boutique hotel in an excellent location.