This is not a client, but interesting story…

Bad Customer Reviews Makes for More Business for Villarenters.com

RUTLAND, England–(BUSINESS WIRE)–June 7, 2006–"The housekeeper punched me in the face"

"The place was dirty"

"The owner kept arriving at the property unannounced"

"Although there were 4 beds there wasn't room for 4 eggs in the frying pan"

Every day self catering rental specialists Villarenters.com validate the reviews from renters returning from their holiday, these are checked against the booking and approved for publication providing they are not personal.

Managing Director Tim Coulton says "Many of our owners didn't like the open approach at first but as they have a right of reply it has become both a true reflection of their property and an opportunity for them to improve it – renters visiting our site see the bad reviews and then feel they can really trust the good ones and book a property with confidence."

"We are different from most sites that private owners advertise with in that we provide our owners with an online bookings system – this means we know who is staying at a property"

The Villarenters reviews, combined with an index score that reflects the owners performance, ensures renters really can trust that a property is 'luxury' and that they will have a great holiday if other renters have said the same…they can see also from owners replies that minor issues and irritations have been fixed.

So check out the thousands of privately owned properties on www.villarenters.com web site : look for the customer ratings (over 50% of properties have a review) and although you may have to scramble your eggs to fit in the pan – you can make sure you won't get punched in the face!

13 Responses to “Bad Reviews Makes for More Business”

  1. That is presuming an owner can get onto the website in the first place. As I write it is 15 January 2010. I paid for an entry before Christmas, entered all my details and reviewed them. I waited and waited for them to appear. I sent two emails asking what was happening. No replies. So a week ago I telephoned and was told it was “very strange” and they would get back to me either the same day or the next. No-one phoned. I have just tried phoning them again – several times but there is no answer on their number.

    Draw your own conclusions but in my book this is at the very least really bad service and makes me wonder kind of service anyone would get either as an owner or a holiday booker. Have they gone out of business, going out of business, having severe problems or what? Fortunately there are other companies providing this service and you know what?

  2. I think the vast majority of reviews are fair and reflective of the experience. You have to put a degree of faith in the users of the system when it comes to implementing such facilities. There will always people who aren’t reasonable with their reviews, there will always be owners who refuse to concede that their property is in anyway substandard.
    And of course, as with the forum, there will always be people who spoil something that could have been a useful resource.
    I have had great feedback from all renters of my property (www.akbukholidays.com), but only one that has actually submitted their review to villarenters. This is unfortunate, but again you’re dealing with people and have to expect such things.

  3. I think the vast majority of reviews are fair and reflective of the experience. You have to put a degree of faith in the users of the system when it comes to implementing such facilities. There will always people who aren’t reasonable with their reviews, there will always be owners who refuse to concede that their property is in anyway substandard.
    And of course, as with the forum, there will always be people who spoil something that could have been a useful resource.
    I have had great feedback from all renters of my property (www.akbukholidays.com), but only one that has actually submitted their review to villarenters. This is unfortunate, but again you’re dealing with people and have to expect such things.

  4. In reply to Jim : the reason we took the forum down at http://www.villarenters.com was that three individuals became obsessed with proving they knew best about everything we did – so rather than the discussion board we wanted it became an instant messaging service for 3 people who i don’t think we wronged but i think it was more that we ignored their suggestions – we are now planning to launch a blog with comments allowed – just got a bit depressing to face the same rants every day…in the review area we don’t allow a ‘conversation’ – its one review – one reply and I still feel the reviews should be split into “review of property” and ” any issue particular to your stay” – quite a lot of complaints are so often one off issues which owners put right straight away. Some more great reviews though – “little johnny got stung by a wasp so we want our money back as it was caused by too many flowers by the pool” and we get a lot of request by owners to review renters.

  5. In reply to Jim : the reason we took the forum down at http://www.villarenters.com was that three individuals became obsessed with proving they knew best about everything we did – so rather than the discussion board we wanted it became an instant messaging service for 3 people who i don’t think we wronged but i think it was more that we ignored their suggestions – we are now planning to launch a blog with comments allowed – just got a bit depressing to face the same rants every day…in the review area we don’t allow a ‘conversation’ – its one review – one reply and I still feel the reviews should be split into “review of property” and ” any issue particular to your stay” – quite a lot of complaints are so often one off issues which owners put right straight away. Some more great reviews though – “little johnny got stung by a wasp so we want our money back as it was caused by too many flowers by the pool” and we get a lot of request by owners to review renters.

  6. Jim Diggle

    It is a pity that Villarenters took down their own discussion board because of negative feedback about their operation from villas owners -clearly when it comes to an open approach different rules can be applied.

  7. Jim Diggle

    It is a pity that Villarenters took down their own discussion board because of negative feedback about their operation from villas owners -clearly when it comes to an open approach different rules can be applied.

  8. Steve Page

    We left a review for property 9263 after staying in the villa for two weeks, the review was honest and fair, yet as we didn’t give it 5 stars it was removed by the owner of the villa, which contradicts villarentals policy above so be warned you wont see all review

  9. Steve Page

    We left a review for property 9263 after staying in the villa for two weeks, the review was honest and fair, yet as we didn’t give it 5 stars it was removed by the owner of the villa, which contradicts villarentals policy above so be warned you wont see all review

  10. I’ve had great reviews for my property on Villarenters and one not so great…it wasn’t a problem because it actually said more about the attitude of the renter.

  11. I’ve had great reviews for my property on Villarenters and one not so great…it wasn’t a problem because it actually said more about the attitude of the renter.

  12. Makes a lot of sense to me. It’s similar to rating systems given to eBay sellers, where there’s an open voting system to give sellers kudos or not.

    I’m sure people who offer up their homes through Villarenters might get irritated, but it gives them the chance to fix things up, improve, and turn their own business around through that.

    It’s scary for most businesses to allow open feedback/communication, to make that freely available to the public, and in some ways it is a bold move, but probably worthwhile if done properly.

  13. Makes a lot of sense to me. It’s similar to rating systems given to eBay sellers, where there’s an open voting system to give sellers kudos or not.

    I’m sure people who offer up their homes through Villarenters might get irritated, but it gives them the chance to fix things up, improve, and turn their own business around through that.

    It’s scary for most businesses to allow open feedback/communication, to make that freely available to the public, and in some ways it is a bold move, but probably worthwhile if done properly.

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