It’s not often that I become this wound-up – well, not that I show publicly in any case – but right now I’m steaming. It’s all to do with Tripadvisor.

It’s a brilliant concept of course, (and we wish sometimes that we had the same sort of thing for some of our less welcome guests, but that’s another story!), but what a lot of people don’t realise is that it’s not free. It looks free, sure, and of course it remains free to the general public and if you don’t want to “use” its marketing potential, but at this end of the equation we pay for our “Business Listing”, and for those of us who do promote our position in its rankings, for those of us who DO use it, it is an expensive tool, and this is especially so of places like the Quinta, i.e. small independent enterprises.

To date it has been worth the money – even if it was expensive – but I’m not so sure any more and the attitude shown towards us by this massive company has left such a sour taste in our mouths that we will be actively searching alternatives from now on.

Y’see, we’ve always told potential guests, “Check us out on Tripadvisor and see what other guests have said about us.” In other words we’ve increased their hits in our own tiny, tiny way, but there must be many others just like us around the world, and taken together we must be HUGE, and this is where their attitude and actions towards us have made me so upset.

They have just re-vamped their website – not that anything needed re-vamping as it worked fine just as it was – but with this unnecessary re-vamping has come a price increase. “So, what’s so bad about that?”, I hear you ask. Well, they’ve worked out their price rise via our Tripadvisor ranking and the number of rooms we have, that’s what.

In essence it means that the better we are the more we have to pay; if we’ve put a load of effort in over the years to be a wickedly good place to have a holiday and asked our guests to write reviews on their site, sent potential guests there and generally interacted positively with them, thus increasing their hits and securing excellent rankings on their site, WE ARE CHARGED MORE than someone who never sent anyone their way at all.

It’s not peanuts either; last year the cost was 350 euros – this year it has increased by 17.5%, (yes, that’s not a typo – in the worst recession in a century they’ve increased their charge to us overnight by 17.5%) to 446 euros.

You will understand why I am not putting a hyper-link to their site into this post … I will be researching this further starting here

Now, where’s that stiff drink?