We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

'Average' is NOT the same as 'good'

Level Contributor
251 posts
Save Topic
'Average' is NOT the same as 'good'

When someone reviews a business, the options are; Terrible, Poor, Average, Very good and Excellent.

These options aren't consistently divided up; because there's too big a gap between 'average' and 'very good', and this allows inconsistency to enter the grading system. So, for example, where a customer feels a business is ‘good’ (i.e. better than average, but not very good), they either have bump it up, or (probably more likely) grade it downwards. This is wrong.

There needs to be a ‘good’ option. TripAdvisor has tremendous influence on customer spend, and with that there must surely be tremendous responsibility to ensure businesses are correctly rated (neither lower nor higher than they should be).

Level Contributor
5,412 posts
72 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: 'Average' is NOT the same as 'good'

I absolutely agree that the rating descriptors don't make sense. I've proposed several specific changes to make them more helpful, useful, and dare I say, accurate. Much discussion has been had on the issue, but TA has never commented and other members seem to believe that changing the descriptors nullifies all the current ratings and rankings. I'm hoping someone will eventually take up the idea, but I don't really think it'll go anywhere.

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Bargain Travel, Food and Travel
Level Contributor
24,388 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: 'Average' is NOT the same as 'good'

I too agree. I think this was the most recent of the threads discussing that issue


Gravesend, United...
Level Contributor
636 posts
566 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: 'Average' is NOT the same as 'good'

I totally agree that as it stands, ‘average’ covers anything from fair (not quite as bad as ‘poor’, but not particularly good), through mediocre (OK but nothing special) and up to and including good (enjoyable but not really meriting ‘very good’). As has been said, there has been a lot of fairly recent posting and suggestions on this topic.

This is particularly difficult when a place is good and you enjoy the visit, but nevertheless it is like many other similar places. Personally I rate it as average in this situation (on the basis that although it may be good it is not dissimilar to many others) and add the fact that I thought it good but not meriting 'very good'.

Until TA change the system and enlarge the rating choice, we have to read the reviews to assess this wide range for ourselves.

Milan, Italy
Destination Expert
for Ho Chi Minh City
Level Contributor
4,739 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: 'Average' is NOT the same as 'good'

I always see positive reviews 5 stars only, negative are usually 2 stars.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
Level Contributor
42,788 posts
1,036 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: 'Average' is NOT the same as 'good'

It's a given that TripAdvisor won't change the 5 "dots".

So, what about:

o = terrible

oo = poor

ooo = average to good

oooo = very good

ooooo = excellent

There, problem solved :-)


>> there must surely be tremendous responsibility to ensure businesses are correctly rated<<

Er, probably not. TripAdvisor itself does not rate anything. Customers give the 'dot' rating based on their satisfaction.

Level Contributor
5,412 posts
72 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: 'Average' is NOT the same as 'good'

With the understanding that no one gives a rodent's posterior, I'll sum up my proposed changes quickly, none of which contain "average" because it is carries no meaning. Average to me? Average to industry standards? Average amongst a crap load of people I don't know? Doesn't work for me. So, here goes:

Descriptors as a measure of QUALITY:

5 = Superior-By definition, better than everything else

4 = Excellent-Not the absolute best, but very high quality

3 = Good - Not much in the way of luxury or "extras", but, as the word says, good.

2 = Fair - Lacks quality but acceptable. Don't expect much

1 = Poor - Unacceptably bad experience.

Descriptors as a measure of CUSTOMER SATISFACTION (Parentheses mean optional terms)

5 = Very Satisfied

4 = (Somewhat) Satisfied

3 = Neutral - Good and bad balance each other out

2 = (Somewhat) Dissatisfied

1 = Very Dissatisfied

In short, I know everyone says to just think of it as a 1-5 scale, but the descriptors say that it isn't a straight 1-5. I'm sorry, but "poor" and "terrible" mean pretty much the same thing, and "very good" is a superlative of a rating that doesn't exist. My 3¢ (adjusted for inflation).

Edited: 20 June 2014, 05:21
7. Re: 'Average' is NOT the same as 'good'

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

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: 22 June 2015, 05:16