What To Remember When Reading Online Reviews

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The habit has become so second nature that most of us don’t even realize we’re doing it. When we’re about to use a company or service we have never tried before, we turn to the internet for recommendations.

It seems a foolproof method of ensuring you get what you pay for. Reading the reviews of previous customers can help you make a decision about a business or a particular product. Rather than reviews you find in magazines, often paid for by the company, you get feedback direct from consumers. They can tell you the ups and downs, the niggles and the things to expect.

TripAdvisor and websites similar to it are beloved of consumers, though less well thought of by businesses. You’ll likely use one of these sites when trying to make a decision about a holiday purchase. As you can’t go and view something and decide if you like it before buying, feedback from others is the next best thing.

There is, however, a downside to this that could mean your decision is influenced without just cause.

Negative Over Positive

We all do it. When something goes right, we tend to be so satisfied that we forget to take to social media or feedback sites to say so. Instead, we’re too busy enjoying the thing that has gone right.

Yet when something goes badly, the inner keyboard warrior comes out. We’re furious, and the holiday company needs to know how and why. We think it’s a duty to inform other customers. Perspective, frankly, goes out of the window.

You are likely to see a few negative points about any company you research. No one can please everyone all the time. That doesn’t mean that you should immediately nix them. Be aware that people are likely annoyed when writing them and may well be exaggerating. Balance it out by reading a selection of reviews with different viewpoints.

Different Expectations

 

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For some people, a holiday like a cruise is a chance to get on and off to see the sites. The boat itself is irrelevant. For others, the boat is the destination, and the places visited mere scenery to go along with it. If you’re in the former group when looking at cruise reviews, then opinions of the latter group are not going to be relevant. Maybe you don’t care that they’re only three swimming pools on board because you’re interested in the sites you visit. It’s worth bearing in mind the changing perspectives people may have.

Too Much of a Good Thing

A lack of negative reviews is usually a bad sign. It can mean the holiday company has paid for reviews, designed to be positive. As we said: no one can please everyone. Someone will have, at some point, been disappointed by even the most luxurious of venues. Online reviewers are a picky lot; if you can’t find a disgruntled one, then there might be something fishy going on.

Reviews can be a useful part of making a decision when booking a holiday, but they shouldn’t be the sole influence. Do you research, apply the techniques above, and then go with what your gut says.

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