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Study details travelers' rants and raves about hotels

A firm called TrustYou specializes in informing client companies about their online reputations, determined by studying the web postings of millions of consumers on hundreds of sites that invite reviews and comments. TrustYou said it has looked at a million postings about hotel stays, from customers worldwide, and isolated the “top 20 rants and raves” about their experiences.

The number one concern of hotel guests, in both the complaint and the compliment categories, had nothing to do with the physical facilities or amenities of the properties. The number one rant was about “unprofessional/incompetent service,” while the corresponding number one rave was for “friendly, professional, efficient service.”

Also listed among the 10 biggest areas of complaint were (in descending order): small rooms; overpriced rates; “tasteless, bad breakfast;” bad food in general; a dirty room; unfriendly service (as opposed to incompetent); a bad bathroom; bad service; and a “loud, noisy room.”

The second most frequent area of compliments to hotels had to do with having a good location, followed by a good quality room, great food, a good breakfast, clean room and public areas, a large room, an affordable price, comfortable bed, and a nice view.

Overall, “the number of positive comments far outnumbers the negative,” TrustYou said. “Great service, for example, has nearly nine times the number of comments as unprofessional or incompetent service. Across all reviews, we find this to be true. About 81 percent of the reviews we analyze are positive.”

But what about Internet access, which always turns up on guest surveys? “While there seems to be lots of talk surrounding hotel Internet (free vs. charging for it), that did not make the top 10 rant or rave,” TrustYou said. “Is this no longer a big deal for guests? We wouldn’t go this far. Internet is still important, but paying for it might not be the ’deal breaker’ that it has often been singled out as.”

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