Friday, 21 August 2015

Censorship and Reviews

I wanted to put a pause on the book reviews and writing posts to talk about something that is very dear to me. Censorship is something that is a constant struggle throughout the world either with books, movies, websites, etc. But something I experienced this past week was censorship with a review.

My family and extended family went up to Blue Mountain this past week to have a family vacation. We rented these condos (because that's basically all that's up there) and hoped for the best. When we got there our condo was a disaster with a curtain railing about to fall out of the wall and a kicked in screen door just some of the many issues. I immediately posted a review on TripAdvisor stating at the beginning that this was a "first impressions review" and at the end that we were waiting to hear from management about what was going to happen.

When the review finally posted we were in a different room that had downgraded the second bed for my brother and I to a futon where you could feel every spring. The condo was clean and in a lot better shape than the other one so that was good.

Then, something happened. My dad and I went off for a walk while everyone else went to the pool and I got a phone call from my mom. "You need to get back here right now." Apparently management saw the review and were not at all pleased. They had confronted her about it and upset her so much that she wanted it taken down. I did it because she was so upset about it, but it also made me upset. What right did they have to confront her about something I had written? This bothered me even more because it was completely factual (including pictures) and I had only written what was true. When we looked up other reviews on TripAdvisor they hadn't received very many good reviews and many people said to stay away due to deception on the company website.

We were told that earlier a group of university kids had whipped through there but that is no excuse to allow those rooms to be rented out until safe. what if that curtain rod had fallen and hit one of us as we went to bed? They should have taken the extra time to make sure that the room was safe and rentable.

I will not say who this company is as I don't want to upset my mom further, but I think it's a sad day when we post true reviews and are harassed by the company simply because they don't like what they hear. Reviews are meant to be opportunities for consumers to find the best places and share their experiences, while companies can learn what to do better.

Next time I will wait until I have left to leave a review, but I will still leave honest reviews about places I have been.

Quote of the day: The only lies for which we are truly punished are those we tell ourselves.