“Yes! My wife does get a bit snooty on the odd occasion. I will have a word with her.”
How Adrian Loveridge handled a bad TripAdvisor guest report…
Changing the BBQ, having a word with his co-manager
In a recent BFP article TripAdvisor’s Brian Payea coming to Barbados we told you how the tourism industry was thrust into an unknown and frightening world when the internet arrived and, much to their horror, hotels discovered that tourists could post unedited reviews and photos online.
This is such a big deal that many foolish hotels sought to curtail free speech rather than to engage disgruntled customers. Hotels didn’t want to explain, apologize and sometimes have to admit that a customer had a valid complaint.
Imagine that… some hotels don’t want to listen to customers and use what they say to make the business better. What a novel idea! How foreign a concept to those who think they know it all because they run a government-owned hotel with a bottomless bank account.
But running away from bad internet reviews means that only one side is heard. That is foolish these days when over 80% of tourists research their vacations on the internet before booking. (I can’t remember where I heard that but it sounded reasonable.)
Some customers can’t be pleased no matter what. Others are put off a hotel for one minor issue – but I think that most people consider the entire experience and product and give a fair opinion when asked.
Then again, I’m not in the hotel business. Peach and Quiet Hotel owner Adrian Loveridge is though, and how he handles the very rare bad review on TripAdvisor is instructive for anyone in the tourism or service industries. BFP readers know we like Adrian and Margaret, but even with that disclaimer we are blown away by Adrian’s candor and integrity in how he handled this complaint. What a pro, and what a decent person. Hope Margaret doesn’t bop him one! 🙂
First, for interest…
Overall Ratings: Peach & Quiet vs. Time Out at the Gap
According to TripAdvisor, Peach & Quiet has 123 visitor reviews, with 100 rated “Excellent”, 17 “Very Good”, 2 “Average”, 3 “Poor” and 1 “Terrible”.
That contrasts with “Time out at the Gap” with 118 visitor reviews, with 10 rated “Excellent”, 23 “Very Good”, 40 “Average”, 25 “Poor” and 20 “Terrible”.
Now the bad review of Peach and Quiet, and then Adrian’s response…
Peach & Quiet “Could do (much) better…!”
Date of review: May 16, 2011 – New
We booked into P&Q as a result of all the positive comments on TA. As expected, the location is a little oasis of calm, right on the beach, with the only sound being the crashing waves – idyllic. Not a lot to do in the hotel and not great for getting to other places, but good to chill out.
However, we found several shortcomings with regard to the staff, for example, when my husband asked if you could have chips with his club sandwich for lunch, he had a one-word answer – “No”. Not really what you expect from a service industry.
We also booked in for a barbecue, and the bbq did not work, so after a long and hungry wait, they cooked the meat and then brought it out on trays. I understand that the chef was probably a bit frustrated with the bbq, but he was really rude to me, and then to cap it all, the meat was very dry. When we saw the state of the bbq the next day, I am not surprised it had given up the ghost – it looked extremely dirty and uncared for. And I do think that it should have been checked a bit earlier than 5 minutes before it is required.
The manager was in practice helpful, but had a rather superior attitude which did not sit well. All in all, I think the staff could use a little training in customer service.
Also, do check whether you are being quoted US dollars of Barbados dollars. We were told the evening meal was a fixed price of (I think) 28 dollars, and as everything on the menus was in BBD, we assumed that was too – but no! What would have been a reasonable value meal turned out to be rather pricey. I’m not sure how they keep getting the VFM rating they do.
Anyway, I am sure we will get a comment accusing this of being bogus – but it is not!!
Response from Peach & Quiet Management
Management response from Peach and Quiet, Owner
May 17, 2011
First let me say, we can always do better and we are sincerely sorry that we did not meet your expectations.
Just to go through the points:
1) No! We do not normally serve chips. Regular repeat guests know that we prepare everything freshly. We do not stock frozen chips, so potatoes would have had to be peeled and then oil heated.
We have noticed over the years that our guests have dramatically switched from fatty foods to more fresh products. Our chef does cook chips on occasions by special request, but it would depend how busy lunch was that day, at what time they were ordered and its unlikely there would be time over a peak period like Easter.
2) Our three course dinner including BBQ is US$28. We are the only registered hotel on Barbados that I am aware of that does not have a mandatory service charge which helps us offer one of lowest eating costs on the island. All prices for meals are shown on the information sheet that is placed in every room and clearly states US$.
I must admit to be surprised that you found our meal costs high. I am not sure where else on Barbados you could eat for US$28 (three courses) and with our BBQ we usually have a nine piece steel band and while this does not cost our guests a single extra penny, it cost us US$500 so we need 18 diners just to cover the music charges and thats before we allow for staff, food and other operating costs.
3) We acquired the BBQ a couple of years ago and it was the most expensive one we have ever purchased. From memory BDS$5,000 (US$2,500). We were assured at the time it was stainless steel but within weeks it started to rust. We clean it after every use. This year we have had (along with many of our Caribbean neighbours) record rainfall. Already over 19 inches so far this year and April was especially wet from the second week. I can only assume that it was damp and would not start. This year we are disposing of it and returning to the previous alternative, half of a 50 gallon oil drum.
4) Yes! My wife does get a bit snooty on the odd occasion. I will have a word with her.
We have really tried over the last 23 years to give the very best value for money and service to our many guests that reflect in the prices we charge.
We have taken your comments and observations to heart and we will try and do better in the future.
BFP Editor’s Note: You can see the exchange at TripAdvisor