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The forums have gone down the pan, as has Trip Advisor

Katonah, NY
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909 posts
372 reviews
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The forums have gone down the pan, as has Trip Advisor

Obviously I am a long time user and a very experienced traveller, but I have lost my enthusiasm for TA. I posted a question in the Cuba forum yesterday. I first tried to search pinned threads and look for the topic of interest. No luck on what I wanted to know, which is how do Americans go about arranging a trip to Cuba. I did get some helpful answers, but I also got at least 20 responses by two Canadians arguing back and forth over Nova Scotia. I flagged all those posts as inappropriate becasue they were in the wrong froum, as per one of the guide lines for an inappropriate post. All the posts are still there. Meanwhile, a useful post on this topic, which numerous people have requested be featured, is just another post. There are a ton of comments on the useful post by people wondering how to get it pinned, featured, etc... I don't think the moderators care what the public actually wants.

I spend a LOT of time on another Internet forum which has millions of users. That forum has moderators that respond to requests, posters can tag other users by using @, (unlike here on TA, where it would be useful), posters can flag posts and say why they are being flagged. Posters can give a post a like or helpful rating, unlike TA forum posts.

I don't feel TA is very beneficial to me anymore. I am increasingly using other travel forums to get answers. When I answer forum questions, I try to give helpful answers. I have encountered rudeness and nastiness from all kinds of travel snobs, sometimes destination experts, on other TA forums. I recall some very unhelpful criticisms and superiority on both the China and Morocco forums. TA needs to do a better job moderating the forums because when a user like myself thinks they are starting to suck, there must be a problem.

I also post many reviews on TA, and have more helpful votes than I do reviews. I also have literally been contacted by pm hundreds of time about some of my forum posts. I try to be a helpful TA user, but I really don't think TA gives a fig. I hate the badges and points. They are useless. I have been at level six for,years. It means nothing. I can't advance any higher, and there is no incentive for me to do so. The useless rant gets as much shelf space as my attempts to provide helpful information. I don't bother to review everything any more. I once reviewed an apartment in Venice, owned by a hotel there. The post was removed, no explanation. I never give anything but truthful reviews, and to this day, I have no idea why that post was taken down, as I made clear in the review that the apartment was owned by the hotel.

And heaven forbid you try to create a first review for something. I once posted the first review ever for a restaurant in Fez. I had to wait for the place to be verified, etc... When I checked a couple of months later to see if any other reviews had been posted, there were a bunch of bogus reviews that said hardly anything. They were clearly written by friends, etc...as all the reviewers lived in Fez. Yet TA will often have duplicate locations with similar names. For example, the Fez Medina, and the Old quarter of Fez. They don't seem to consolidate similarly named places that are clearly one and the same. It's annoying.

Rant over. Trip advisor is done caring about their standards and quality control. The forums especially are becoming less and less helpful,

So Cal
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11,184 posts
75 reviews
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11. Re: The forums have gone down the pan, as has Trip Advisor

Linda, you know destination forums have no real moderation, yes? At least, not as anyone would typically understand it. DEs are volunteer users, and have varying levels of knowledge, helpfulness and communication skills, none of which are evaluated by TA. They don't have any ability to move posts etc. And as you've discovered, some forums are more helpful than others; sometimes that relates to the amount of traffic it gets, and sometimes to the type of regulars it gets. Every forum has a personality, for lack of a better word.

As for the removed review, yes, many of us wish TA would notify us when that happens. Whether it was removed because the property was sold or underwent a major remodel, or because someone reported it as breaking the guideline, it would be nice to know. However, you can request that it be reinstated (via the Help Center).

Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
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67,845 posts
460 reviews
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12. Re: The forums have gone down the pan, as has Trip Advisor

That was truly a great post by e_c, and I strongly agree with what was said, as I do with the overall sentiment of this thread that TA lost it' way a while ago. Things have got worse over the last year or so, and I can't see them getting any better.

I've said for a while that there will be a point where I say enough is enough and I walk away completely, whether temporarily or permanently. I feel that this point is getting closer all the time, and as I mentioned in another thread, lindagaf, if you have reached such a point then you need to take a break as well.

TA_Mollie's increased participation in Support has brought me back into that forum to a limited extent, but far, far more needs to be done and the clock is still ticking.

Katonah, NY
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909 posts
372 reviews
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13. Re: The forums have gone down the pan, as has Trip Advisor

The problem is, I don't want to walk away from TA, but I expect that I will be using it less and less frequently. I totally agree with what exterior corridors said. I no longer totally trust TA to give me advice that I need. It's too diluted, for lack of a better word, with people who make no effort. And they make no effort because TA allows them to do so. It's a shame.

14. Re: The forums have gone down the pan, as has Trip Advisor

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum posting guidelines with regards to family-friendly language and/or subject matter. We will remove messages or topics that contain objectionable language and images (avatars or links to pornography), including but not limited to profanity, obscenity, vulgarity, pornographic literature, racial slurs, hate speech, personal insults, hostile comments and threatening language.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 24 January 2017, 13:10
Fort Lauderdale...
Destination Expert
for Fort Lauderdale
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40,899 posts
11 reviews
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15. Re: The forums have gone down the pan, as has Trip Advisor

Maybe Trip Advisor will get the message better by looking at it's stock performance- it was down over 40% for 2016, making it one of the worst performing stocks in the year - and the reason given by many analysts was failure of it's new direction.... can't say I'm surprised... they have a lot of problems they really need to address....

…yahoo.com/m/d0767387-7de3-356f-b67a-007416f…

Sherbrooke, Canada
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44,478 posts
824 reviews
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16. Re: The forums have gone down the pan, as has Trip Advisor

@Maurice F - I find this very typical, mostly on air travel related topics. Discussions are usually dominated by industry people who will never give the poster any sympathy and just remind him that the only obligation of the airline as per it's contract is to take you from point A to point B, eventually.

Back on Linda's point, I often book via Expedia. They have very good customer support and points that are worth something (prices are sometimes even cheaper than booking direct). I now rely more on the hotel reviews there and I am 100% sure that the writer actually stayed there.

Pittsburgh...
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6,548 posts
81 reviews
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17. Re: The forums have gone down the pan, as has Trip Advisor

Maurice, I don't participate in the Air Travel forum, but I want to keep this thread on track, because a lot of good points have been made. I understand where your impression comes from, but let's not make incorrect assumptions about forum moderation. As mentioned earlier, after a certain number of members report a forum post, it is automatically deleted. TA is not directly involved in that process, so it is not accurate to say that they are choosing sides in an argument. Now, there may be a reasonable argument against automatic deletions, but that's another topic for another thread. Perhaps if there was more staff dedicated to the forums some of those issues could be addressed.

Either way, Lulu provided some interesting information. I hate to say "I told you so," but I and others predicted as much, and we didn't need advanced analytics to do it. Anthony Melchiorri once told owners of a motel that they didn't need to be a 5-star resort to make money. They just needed to be really good at being a motel. The point is, don't try to be something you're not. Just do what you do really well and you'll be successful. TA needs to learn this lesson sooner rather than later.

So Cal
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11,184 posts
75 reviews
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18. Re: The forums have gone down the pan, as has Trip Advisor

Re #14

Having just read through that thread, I can't say I have a lot of sympathy.

Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
Level Contributor
67,845 posts
460 reviews
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19. Re: The forums have gone down the pan, as has Trip Advisor

>>>I hate to say "I told you so," but I and others predicted as much, and we didn't need advanced analytics to do it.<<<

I can't believe that I'm being proven right about so many things! Of course, there are many like myself who said it would all start to go wrong at some point...

West Grey, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto
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80,867 posts
102 reviews
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20. Re: The forums have gone down the pan, as has Trip Advisor

FIVE very dedicated and hard working Support DEs have resigned, apparently un-noticed by TA staff. Each of us had been personally abused, attacked, harassed, belittled, insulted and ridiculed publically for our efforts, by users who had mistaken us for TA staff.

In an effort to once again gain TA staff’s attention to the on-going problem on the two specialty forums, (Support & HUMTAB) and the need for basic & regular staff involvement, I posted a suggestion on how to improve the website. For my efforts, and the heartfelt comments of 20+ individual forum users, my suggestion to “Make TA Better”, was deleted. It is a sure fire indication that TA staff and/or management are not interested in even listening to what we have to say.

“Stock performance is down 40% in 2016.”

When volunteer members, who are “the backbone of the community”, are out there shooting off signal flares and pointing out real issues, they get their topics closed and deleted.

TA is now more interested in marketing. It’s sad, because it could be so much more...and it was, in the past.