IHG, the parent of Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, InterContinental etc, publishes traveller reviews on its website for each of its hotels.
For some time there have been rumblings on Flyertalk about bad reviews mysteriously disappearing after being submitted.
A couple of weeks ago, I had a HFP reader contact me. He had stayed at the new – well, rebadged from Kensington Close Hotel – Holiday Inn Kensington High Street. My understanding is that this hotel – room photo below, although I believe refurbishment is underway – could not be more of a dog if it had four legs and barked. (I told this to an IHG executive at Christmas, this comment will not surprise them.) It still averages 3.9 out of 5, however, from reader reviews.
According to our reader:
I had a terrible stay at the Kensington High Street HI and wrote a suitably scathing review once the automated system asked for it after my stay. They then deleted it. Refused to publish it. Refused to send it back to me. Just want the whole thing to “disappear”. They deny it is censorship, but can’t find an alternative word to describe their actions. I am escalating a complaint with them that they cannot do this and have to take the bad with the good if they host a review service. It is is very dishonest practice to delete the bad ones and just leave the good reviews.
One Flyertalker, who submits regular reviews, stated that he never grades below a ‘3’ because that is likely to see the review disappear. His own grading of rankings is:
Overall score of 4.6 is great
Overall score of 4.3-4.5 is ‘nothing special’
Overall score of 4.0-4.2 is ‘hit or miss’
Overall score of 3.9 or below is ‘avoid at any cost’
On this scale, the Holiday Inn Kensington High Street is correctly positioned – it averages ‘3.9 or below’ – but the casual reader of ihg.com may not see it that way.
Another Flyertalk member submitted a positive review of a property but did mention that it had bedbugs. He got the following response:
Your review has been rejected.
As a valued guest, your concerns are of the utmost priority. Therefore, rather than posting your review, we have alerted our Customer Care Team. One of our agents will be reaching out to you immediately. We apologize for the experience you had at our hotel, and thank you for bringing it to our attention.
Here is a report from a Flyertalk reader who wrote two reviews back to back:
Holiday Inn – Birmingham – 1 star Review (IMO) – Still Pending 2 days.
Staybridge Suites Birmingham – 5 Star Review Submitted 10:45 – Approved and Live 14:00
It isn’t certain that IHG is filtering out bad reviews from its website. You don’t need to be a sceptic, however, to believe that you shouldn’t take everything that appears on a corporate website with a grain of salt.
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