An Open Letter to Trip Advisor

Dear Trip Advisor,

You doubtless have recently read my Open Letter To The Mayor. I now find this a convenient juncture to continue my series of “open letters” by explaining to you my recent (half an hour ago) experience of trying to leave a review on your website and the subsequent dramas/amusements that followed.

Only I can’t, can I? At least, I can’t contact you directly… hence the Open Letter (obvs).

There’s nowhere on the internet to leave a review of the Trip Advisor website. Not that I could find at any rate. Even after, literally, minutes of checking.

You see, I was in an hotel bar. To be exact, I was at the hotel bar at the Hadlow Manor Hotel, Tonbridge, Kent, England, Europe, The World, The Solar System….. you get it…..

The bar manager wanted to leave me a review and duly handed me a business card (a Trip Advisor business card, no less). It gave instructions as to what I should do next. So I did.

Now, bear in mind that I was in the hotel bar and not in front of my computer (as I am now). I did, however, have my smart phone (A Samsung J3). The thing about the J3 is, of course, that it really doesn’t have much memory. We’ll get back to that later.

I deftly opened Google Chrome (my web browser of choice) and entered your web site address. Hey presto, your website appeared and it seemed like the simplest thing in the world to enter the details on the card so that I could leave a review of this excellent hotel.

Alas, I received a message saying that it was quicker, easier, simpler and oh-so-much better to use the APP.

You see, Trip Advisor, your website had taken a look at the device I was using. Fuck only knows what else it’s looked at. My browsing history perhaps? My location? My “private” collection of jpegs depicting all girl college student dorm pillow fights? (If you delved further, you’d have discovered these were a vital part of a photography course I didn’t take). Anyhow, this all seems somewhat intrusive. I mean, your website KNOWS that I am using a mobile phone. What else does it now know?

Of course, there was NO option to continue to the normal website. If I want to leave a review on your *ahem* “reliable” source of information (we’ll get to that in a bit as well, don’t you worry), then I HAVE to use the APP.

Soooooooooo……….. riddle me this, Trip Advisor….. Your website is so damn clever, it knows I am using a mobile phone. Why can’t you build the next level into the equation? If you did, your website could have informed me that I only have a puny Samsung J3 with less memory than the average goldfish (leads in from the comments above). It could then have further realised that there was not a hope in hell of me being able to install another APP on my phone. So it should have just sent me directly to the website. Or told me to fuck right off and get a better phone.

Only it doesn’t, does it? There is no option to continue to the website. I guess this does lend a good deal of validation to the statement that things are “easier, quicker, faster, better” etc, on the APP. Well, obviously things are better on the APP because your website stops working!

So now I am stuck. Unable to leave a review for the nice hotel and unable to contact you directly to complain about it. Because you can’t review a review site, can you? Oh no, that would be far too easy…. And I can’t email you to complain either, because you have no contact details.

So, my impossible search for your website continued until the limited search that is Google chucked this at me (links back to “reliable” source of information) :

https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/434gqw/i-made-my-shed-the-top-rated-restaurant-on-tripadvisor

After reading this and deciding it is probably one of the funniest articles to make it onto the internet, I decided to write you the above open letter with some advice below as follows…..

  1. Don’t make it impossible for people to leave reviews
  2. Don’t let someone’s shed make it to No. 1 restuarant in London
  3. Allow some form of direct communication with yourselves
  4. Don’t forget to pay your congestion charge

Best,

Tim

PS – If you want to respond to this, you’ll have to download the APP. Which doesn’t exist…… FUCKERS!!!

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