Never totally believe a site review.....

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by BobtheBass, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. BobtheBass

    BobtheBass Funster

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    In the past I have placed a good deal of faith in magazine reviews (NOT Practical Motorhome who give favourable reviews to all of their advertisers) of camp sites. Especially the MMM reviews that give the appearance of having been submitted by members of the public.

    Well now I'm not so sure. I cut out and kept a review of a site in the Dordogne a few months ago that sounded lovely, right up our street. On the river (correct), close to town centre (reasonably correct). However, everything else was pretty much shoe repairers. Free WiFi. Broken. Lovely restaurant. Closed. Takeaway pizza. Non. Nice bar. Closed. Irish pub in the town. Wrong. It's an expensive restaurant with an Irish name. Owners speak English. One does, the other has no words at all. And it's not that the review was done in high season, as it specifically says that the reviewer stayed in September.

    Anyway, all I can say is be prepared for things to change significantly in a year. Don't build your hopes up for a real pint of Guinness like I did!
     
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  2. Robert Clark

    Robert Clark Funster Life Member

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    Sorry that you had a bad experience.
    One of the features I love about Campercontact are the thousands of reviews by 'real' people. You pick up all kinds of insights and tips from people who have actually stayed at a place.
     
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  3. pyro

    pyro Funster

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    In my experience, review sites - as with most publishers - are often tainted by self interest. I have had numerous run-ins with Trip Advisor over their blind attitude to the posting of fake reviews (positive and negative) over places they feature, and their dodgy practice of charging for "enhanced services" (such as "recommended by Trip Advisor" certificates, higher prominence on their site, etc)

    I have got to the stage now where I loathe "review site tourists" who swagger from one over-rated place to another, and generally pay far more than the places are really worth because of inflated reviews - often posted by the establishments themselves - to the extent that I do my utmost to avoid them. There again, I'm not the kind of person easily influenced by any social media
     
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  4. Cleve

    Cleve Funster Life Member

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    I find somewhere convenient that appears to tick the boxes and then try it. If I don't like it I go. If I pull in and the vibes say no then I am gone.

    I have listened to the opinions of many in the past and have been pleasantly surprised when despite the negatives I have ventured there anyway and been pleasantly surprised (repetition).

    If it is anywhere near water use a mosquito net - I do now, the stop at La Flèche was good but I did provide a change of diet for the local mossies.

    As they used to say, one man's meat is another's poison.
     
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  5. Mack100

    Mack100 Funster

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    A lot of sites close those facilities at the end of August.
    Edit: just seen the bit about the dates!
     
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  6. DBK

    DBK Funster

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    September can be a month of change in France. Sites will be closing down all the time, a few staying open until the end of the month, other closing in the middle and so on. So the original review written if written in say early September might have been more or less accurate at the time apart from the inevitable changes to local businesses. I've also found sites close earlier than advertised - bad weather forecasts might be one reason they pull the stumps early.

    Most of the aires should still be open. :)

    And at least one of the MMM reviews was written by a real person - me - if I am real that is, must pinch myself to be sure!
     
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  7. rangitira

    rangitira Funster

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    We went to a similar one here in the UK, restaurant, Bar,, both closed, this was mid season. It was a family run affair, When we asked when the Restaurant/Bar was going to open we were told "the family member responsible for running it was sick, and as the other family members had worked an 8hr shift that's why it was closed.

    The blub also said Bus stop in a 1/2 mile, what they didn't say was it was up a perpendicular goat track, I swear we had to use ice axes ;)it was that steep:LOL:
     
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  8. BobtheBass

    BobtheBass Funster

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    They might close the facilities on offer, but they don't reduce the prices much to compensate, if at all.
     
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  9. beejay

    beejay Funster

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    Yes trip advisor is subject to fake reviews, whether positive ones where business owners ask friends and family to post or negative ones posted by rival businesses. Much has been written and said about this all over the internet. However as a recently retired owner of a seaside tearoom I can assure you we never paid for a "recommended by Trip advisor" sticker. This "award" and the certificate of excellence are given depending on the number of good reviews a business receives. We were very proud to receive a certificate.
     
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  10. PORKSTER

    PORKSTER Funster

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    Do you use the phone app Robert ? You certainly find some nice spots
     
  11. pyro

    pyro Funster

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    I understand, and it is a crying shame when there are perfectly legitimate businesses earning well deserved recognition, yet there are others cheating the system.

    Trip Advisor do nothing to police the reviews on their site. On one occasion I called in the police to a restaurant in Portugal when they deliberately double charged for a meal (instead of splitting the bill between 2 cards as asked, they charged double). It wasn't the first time, and they were prosecuted for it. Trip Advisor didn't want to know, in respect of that and in respect of the 30 false reviews they posted up to try to hide the one informing the public of their prosecution

    They are not alone. I have been in places in Austria and France where there has been no snow for a month, reading up about how the "heavy snow" has meant all ski runs were open - yet we were taking mountain walks on them in the sunshine. I have been on "well reviewed sites" where the advertised EHU was only capable of providing 300W - barely enough to run the fridge, let alone provide any hot water - and the site shop/bar had been closed for at least a year

    Perhaps that's why I am such a cynical bugger
     
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  12. BobtheBass

    BobtheBass Funster

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    Sort of reminds me of when I sold our first house in 1978. To make the cheap softwood bannister rail look more presentable I slapped some blackboard paint on it. In the estate agents particulars on it said "Black Oak bannister rail".........
     
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  13. Robert Clark

    Robert Clark Funster Life Member

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    Thank you !

    It's the ONLY app I use
    Don't use any out of date Airs Books
    Never use a map or atlas - only sat nav and google maps

    The only books I use are France Passion and Britstops


    We also use Tripadvisor wherever we go - always taken us to the best value 'eateries' anywhere
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
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  14. Langtoftlad

    Langtoftlad Funster Life Member

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    As @DBK will no doubt confirm - there is often quite a delay after submitting a piece until it published.
    I've no idea if this is the case here but time elapsed (if it was last year or even the previous one) could explain some of the changes to businesses in town & facilities on site.
    All reviews have to be approached as a starting point, opinions differ and thus not definitive.
     
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