Last year, we were booking our daughter into a simple home-stay by the sea in Kerala, India. While we sat in the owner’s office, I spotted a framed certificate issued by the Booking.com website. It showed that the home-stay had earned a 9.8 out of 10 satisfaction rating. I congratulated the owner for achieving this. Sadly, he told me, the latest rating was now 9.4.
“That’s still pretty good,” I said.
“Maybe,” the owner replied, “but it keeps going down. The problem is the Indian guests who stay at my place.”
“Why?” I asked.
“When foreigners come and pay £10 per night, they know what to expect,” the owner began, “but when Indians come here they expect accomodation worth £100 even when they are only paying £10”
“The problem is,” he continued, ” that Indians arrive expecting included breakfast, a swimming pool, and other facilities, for which they would usually have to pay £100 or more. These are not available at £10 per night. So, when they write their reviews on Booking.com, they give us a low rating, which is not fair given how little they have to pay. These low ratings bring down my overall rating.”
I sympathised with the man, who then admitted:
“I would rather have no Indians staying here. I prefer the foreigners because they know what to expect of budget accommodation.”
When I stay at places that I have booked on Booking.com, I tend to be over generous with my rating unless there is something very seriously bad about the place. Also, when choosing where to stay, I am not put off by ratings of just over 6 out of 10. I have often found hotels with lowish ratings to have been under-rated because people have been over-critical about minor defects.
So, when you next rate a place you have visited, try to be fair and reasonable with your ratings.