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TA forums & reviews are for all whether one agrees or not!

Rothesay, United...
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3,058 posts
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TA forums & reviews are for all whether one agrees or not!

My wife and I have used TA forums and reviews for some time now regarding UK, mainland Europe, and US trips. The disparate views of locals and visitors are very valuable indeed. When one sees differing reviews of a restaurant or of an hotel, one then can judge and make up one's mind as appropriate. However, I believe strongly that one should not criticise an opinion or a report just because one disagrees. Disagree yes; discuss yes; but do not say one has reported on a different restaurant ..... same restaurant at a different time perhaps!

I’ve just received a personal message from a first time poster regarding my review of G.A.L. I’ve posted this below as sent and also my reply. I have removed the name of the person sending.

On 20 August 2010 18:14 ? ? ? wrote:

this certainly is not the same restaurant that we had been eating in at all. we have eaten at G A L on many occassions. my husband has the steak and has NEVER had one under or overcooked !! i think this is a very unfair review !!

Hello ? ? ? - You are entitled to your opinion and there are many good reviews of G.A.L. There are also some not so good. As to unfair? We are entitled to our opinion and that is what TA is about; you will see I have nearly 3,000 postings and have much experience of TA. It is most certainly NOT normal for personal criticism to come through for one's postings. I suggest you post on the open forum where you and I and others can have a fair discussion. I told it as it was - I really do hope you are not accusing me of telling porkies? I said the staff were lovely even after the complaint; I said the place was spotless; I said the starters were good; I said G.A.L. had made no charge. However, we had come some distance from our hotel for our main meal of the weekend and our evening WAS ruined - FACT. My steak was appalling - FACT - a restaurant can not cook properly a wedge shaped steak and I described mine accurately. My wife's steak was completely uncooked - FACT. The kitchen confirmed this and apologised as did the manager. I asked for another steak and said I was prepared to accept it was an aberration in the kitchen. Instead of a steak, I got the pudding menu - FACT.

I will make a note on the main forum about your criticism but I will not personalise it and will not mention your name. The whole point of a forum is discussion.

East Midlands
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for Northamptonshire
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1. Re: TA forums & reviews are for all whether one agrees or not!

Buddy - a first time poster (someone who had contributed to a review or forum, once, before they sent you a PM) or someone who registered just to send you a PM? If the latter, move on and forget it. Life's too short.

Rothesay, United...
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81 reviews
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2. Re: TA forums & reviews are for all whether one agrees or not!

Hi GingerC:

Quite agree. PM to me and restaurant review basically at same time! All first time!

Thought I would just make the point to new posters that it's "best endeavours" from all TA contributors and that's what makes TA what it is - usually comments honestly put forward; good and bad. I never give a bad review without recording any good points also. My "good" reviews usually also contain some bad!

Best regards, BuddyLancs

Sydney, Australia
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19 reviews
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3. Re: TA forums & reviews are for all whether one agrees or not!

Totally agree BL

I had similar recently.....I criticised the behaviour of a restaurant manager not long ago and a week later there was a post from a new poster with one contribution spouting effusively about exactly the same person and saying they were the best thing since sliced bread

I'm 99% certain that poster was the guy in question, but never mind. Hopefully the review (and the complaint I put to the restaurant owners) will have made him buck his ideas up anyway, which is the important thing

Chester, United...
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3,212 posts
169 reviews
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4. Re: TA forums & reviews are for all whether one agrees or not!

There are so many restaurants in Chester that the competition must be completely cut throat, with staff on the move all the time. I would say it is the duty of TAers to pass on word if somewhere is 'going off the boil'. I was a great fan of GAL and went often, but recently I noticed the tables were a bit sticky, the light fittings very dusty... then the last time I was there my daughter pointed out that the staff were still serving alcohol to a customer who was obviously well inedbriated. Before we knew it he had vomited over someone sitting next to him (none of us thankfully). My husband has no desire whatsoever to revisit strangely enough.

I'll probably go again some time as I have had such lovely meals there in the past, but will be on the look out for a drop in standards and yes, will probably make a comment if that is the case.

Rothesay, United...
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5. Re: TA forums & reviews are for all whether one agrees or not!

Certainly G.A.L. hosts many large parties; there are a number of postings to that effect and a large "invasion" was expected as we left. The profit will indeed be in the drinks rather than the food which can carry quite small margins.

However, I wonder if I really was mistaken in my review. Maybe our steaks were excellent? Following my review, we now have two first time posters with ab fab comments !!

Yorkshire Dales...
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for North Yorkshire, Suffolk
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6. Re: TA forums & reviews are for all whether one agrees or not!

I always hope that common sense will prevail and people reading reviews before deciding where to go will quickly spot the 'one post wonders' in comparison to the (well, what seem to me anyway) genuine ones, especially by people who are regular contributors with a range of favourable and unfavourable ratings.

That's not to say that a one time poster is never genuine of course!

I also recall an incident where we'd had a bad experience at a restaurant on many levels and my review was met with a range of one post wonders not only saying how wonderful the place was (passed me right by I have to say) but attacking my review and me!. I did get TA to intervene, which I have to say they did quickly.

Rothesay, United...
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7. Re: TA forums & reviews are for all whether one agrees or not!

Wise words indeed morgana and thanks for some good comments coming through. Reviews can be so important to businesses one does have to sort the wheat from the chaf (or chads?).

It can work the other way of course. If you have a look at the reviews for Oddfellows Hotel in Chester; mostly 4 to 5 star but a one star wonder with one posting and no details on their profile whatsoever (as with the two who popped up on the 20th Aug reviewing the original restaurant in question) has appeared to make a lot of unsubstantiated rubbishing comments; awarded one star; and lives in Chester!

I don't know how TA can monitor these as everyone has to post for the first time. However, most people tend to put on some personal details on their profile to show where they have been, what type of holiday they like, etc. It is surprising that most of these one star wonders have empty details. Maybe no review accepted, good or bad, until the reviewer has made 5 or 10 contributions to TA?

We started using a marvellous guest house in Kelso (The Old Priory) from the many favourable reviews; it is indeed superb and we have been three times now and will be going back soon. However, we fell into the trap recently of picking the no.1 rated guest house in another Scottish town. It was OK but nothing special and the other guests we spoke to at breakfast didn't think it great either (one left after one night). Looking back at the reviews of this top rated B&B, we then spotted a fair number of one time postings, many from places rather too close to the guest house to be using it!

Yorkshire
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13 posts
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8. Re: TA forums & reviews are for all whether one agrees or not!

Interesting chat about one post wonders. I am a hotelier and we were emailed recently about an outfit in the States who for $60 a month will guarantee 4 favourable postings about your hotel and of course they have never been near. I do hope TA can get a grip of this. One idea we hoteliers had was to use a camera phone to take a picture of the bill which could then be a mandatory requirement before a review could be posted. What do you reviewers think to that? If TA is going to be watered down by fake reviews and reviewers it doesn't do anyone any good. I must say though I have only been suspicious about one out of 80 or so reviews left about either of my properties. It was allegedly written by a local and even when I offered 'her' a full refund through this site she never came forward - again a OPW and almost certainly from a competitor.

Rothesay, United...
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9. Re: TA forums & reviews are for all whether one agrees or not!

There are 4 or 5 threads running on the Glasgow forum at the moment about restaurants (and possibly one guest house) "fixing" or playing the "TA Game". Two restaurants have come from nowhere in 3/4 weeks to No. 2 and 3 overtaking many well loved and long established places.

Sadly TA "took down" the most meaningful thread where a "consultant" to one of the restaurants explained exactly how he taught the place to manipulate the TA reviews.

Thread came down; VERY dubious review and placing stayed !!!!

The Daily Telegraph have been running an article about TA reviews and they were featured on TV a couple of weeks back.

TA just don't seem to care - sorry!

Chester, United...
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10. Re: TA forums & reviews are for all whether one agrees or not!

Well, BuddyLancs, you were I think right about GAL. Hopefully TA will somehow get a grip of fake reviews, but I think most of us old hands do approach 'OPW' reviews with caution.

Maybe TA could put a warning fornew posters and readers of reviews?

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