She checked in to her hotel (Baymont Inn by Wyndham Hotels) and found problems.
Right after checking in, Hotels.com, which she used for the booking, asked her to review the hotel – so she did, giving it 3 stars out of 5.
Unknown to most of us, when you write a review on booking sites, your review is sent immediately to hotel management.
The hotel manager then called the police and told the police to evict the grandmother because she had written a bad review. They were escorted off the premises while wearing pajamas.
When some TV reporters found out about this, they also booked a room at the Baymont Inn:
Reporters from WXIA booked a room at the two-and-a-half-star Baymont. They found a faulty deadbolt, trash under the furniture and bathroom lights that didn’t work.
- Hotels.com has removed this individual Baymont Inn from their booking services.
- Baymont Inn’s brand name is badly tarnished from actions like this. Initially, the hotel refused a refund – until a local TV station reported on the incident.
- Fewer people will write honest reviews if they fear retribution.
- Online reviews are already filled with fake “good reviews” and fake “bad reviews” (some businesses write fake bad reviews on their competition).
- The result is anywhere that user generated content cannot be trusted.
- In this specific case, many reviews from a month or two ago mentioned unclean rooms, some even mentioned bed bugs.
Per one report, this hotel is owned by the Wyndham Hotels company itself. Many hotels are franchisees, independently owned and operated. When bad things happen, most franchisers blame the franchisee and pretend the franchiser has no responsibility. But that is not true: the franchiser is responsible for insuring standards are maintained, after all, this is their brand name at risk. If a brand name means anything, it must be applied consistently throughout their chain.