Priceline hiding reviews to keep a star level?

Moderators: KeenWink, tilepusher, readymade

Priceline hiding reviews to keep a star level?

KCMatt
Registered User
KCMatt
Registered User
Joined: 17 Feb 2007, 06:22

02 Jul 2007, 20:43 #1

In the past, PL has edited some reviews to remove mention of the situations many here refer to as being "pricelined". These are often apparent by the gaping hole they leave in the review by just cutting that portion out leaving the rest, no matter how badly the edit skewers the flow.

This situation is somewhat different and I am curious if what I have noticed is happening to any other properties & zones. The last review showing on PL for the Radisson Hotel & Suites Kansas City DT is dated 11/16/2005. I myself have submitted two subsequent reviews on this property (all my reviews for other properties have appeared, usually about 1 month behind) and I have confirmed with others roughly 7 other submitted reviews, all negative, yet none of them appear and these are from early, mid and late 2006 as well as some in 2007. So my question is, why are reviews for this sub-standard property being held back?

A little further digging reveals that in this particular zone, there have been no reported 3* wins (checking both BB & TOBB) in the DT/Crown zone for properties other than this Radisson since July 2005 and that was for the Hyatt CC before it was upgraded to a 4*. Note that this property (Radisson) is a former DT and the last winning bid reported under the DT flag was mid 2005.

In this particular zone, there are only the following 3*:

Radisson Hotel & Suites DT
Marriott DT (last reported win in Jan 2005)

(note that on the non-opaque side, several other properties show in the Downtown-Country Club Area, but the name your own price side splits this into Downtown-Crown Center and Country Club Plaza zones leaving the properties above)

It is curious that PL stopped adding reviews for this property shortly after the conversion from DT to Radisson and that no one has reported winning the Marriott since Jan 05 (and the low # of reviews for this property on PL would seem to confirm the rare win at this property). Given that, it seems very odd that the Radisson has had no new reviews added since Nov 2005, especially the large number of wins reported for that property since. To add to that, I asked the Radisson directly (a close friend works there and deals directly with reservations as part of their duties) about their number of PL bookings and they are often a significant % of their occupancy.

So is PL intentionally keeping the reviews for this property hidden so that they can continue to offer it as a 3* in this zone since they cannot have just one property at a given star level? Given the awful condition of the property and the crap reviews it has received virtually everywhere, it would make sense that it would have to be removed from the 3* level if all of the reviews were to be posted. They were already at a 7 rating when the reviews stopped and the property has been dropping in quality since although the sleep number beds were a nice addittion, remarkably little else has been done and the elevators still contain the "pardon our mess while we upgrade" message that was there a year ago with no change in the actual condition of them. Add that to the numerous non-sleep number bed rooms that hotel policy puts PL customers into unless they complain and ask to be moved and a pattern is certainly evident. Now that the Aladdin (by Holiday Inn) has re-opened, this may place another 3* in this zone (unless they make it a 4* which I doubt), it will be interesting to see if this changes the dynamic of this zone.

Just curious if something like this is happening in other zones or peoples thoughts on this situation.
Reply
Like

cnmiranda27
Registered User
cnmiranda27
Registered User
Joined: 08 Aug 2002, 05:46

04 Jul 2007, 00:03 #2

It wouldn't surprise me at all if Priceline hid negative reviews. There are quite a few hotels that get consistantly bad reviews and the hotel does not get downgraded. Priceline's loyalty is to the hotel supplier over the customer. As previously mentioned, just be sure to read hotel reviews both here and on Trip Advisor to determine if a zone or hotel is acceptable to you.
Reply
Like

OOredux
Registered User
OOredux
Registered User
Joined: 16 Dec 2005, 22:32

07 Jul 2007, 18:18 #3

First, they do allow only one hotel at any particular star level in a zone. I can attest to that, as I'm sure can others.

Are you talking about reviews here that have been edited? I'm confused. This isn't a PCLN site so it would not be them editing them anyway. Maybe I'm not understanding where the reviews are...
Reply
Like

AAlum
Registered User
AAlum
Registered User
Joined: 05 Feb 2007, 01:28

07 Jul 2007, 19:35 #4

deja vu

I believe he's talking about the reviews on the priceline website - the ones that Priceline e-mails after we return from a stay on a won bid.
Reply
Like

OOredux
Registered User
OOredux
Registered User
Joined: 16 Dec 2005, 22:32

07 Jul 2007, 20:29 #5

LOL

Thank you for the explanation AAlum.
Reply
Like

KeenWink
Registered User
KeenWink
Registered User
Joined: 05 Jun 2004, 03:48

08 Jul 2007, 04:33 #6

Quote:
First, they do allow only one hotel at any particular star level in a zone. I can attest to that
What do you mean by this comment? We know for sure that there are zones in some cities that have multiple hotels at any given quality level in the Priceline NYOP product.

*wink* to AAlum, who clarified that question to me when I asked it a while back.
Please place all of your Priceline bids through our Priceline link.

Please check rates at Hotwire and make your bookings through our Hotwire link.

Reply
Like

KCMatt
Registered User
KCMatt
Registered User
Joined: 17 Feb 2007, 06:22

08 Jul 2007, 18:22 #7

Thanks for clarifying AAlum, as I was referring to the reviews that are posted on the priceline website itself.

For the one property at a certain star level issue, while it may only appear that one property is participating for that zone/star level based on reported wins, that does not mean that no one is winning other properties in that zone....they are just not being reported. We who use sites like BFT are typically going to find the lowest possible win thanks to the info others share here, but there is a much larger user group who do not use BFT or BB who tend to overbid that we never see the results from. In this specific zone I am referring to, the other 3* property has recent review dates of Jan 07, and since you cannot post a review to priceline without booking through them, that tells me that the property is getting won (or booked via the non NYOP side), just not reported here.

To add a little info to my first post, the new (or should I say old) Aladdin (Holiday Inn) has been downgraded to a 2* (showed as a 3* for a few weeks) leaving only the DT Marriott, Radisson & Hilton President as the 3* in this zone. The President has no reviews yet on PL proper though. Until it can be confirmed the President is participating in the NYOP side, that leaves just the Marriott & Radisson, with the suspiciously absent reviews since 2005 for the crap Radisson.
Reply
Like

KeenWink
Registered User
KeenWink
Registered User
Joined: 05 Jun 2004, 03:48

09 Jul 2007, 04:18 #8

KCMatt, I have never booked a room via Priceline Retail, so I don't know whether or not users who do book that way are able to post reviews of their stay. I wouldn't be surprised if Priceline does solicit reviews from their retail bookings as well as NYOP. And this could be why you see reviews of unexpected hotels there.

Your comment about BFT users tending to win the same cluster of hotels via NYOP is something I've thought about for the past several years, and I generally agree with you. However, it is important to remember that because hotels may load multiple price-points into the NYOP product, it is possible for over-bidders to win the cheapest hotels as well (which is why you classified them as overbids, I presume). And just to belabor the point, the reality of multiple price-points is why the ongoing advice per the FAQ #7 here on BFT is:
Quote:
Bidding higher in the hopes of getting a specific hotel or avoiding a specific hotel most often results in an overbid for a lower priced hotel (typically the one you didn't want).
Please place all of your Priceline bids through our Priceline link.

Please check rates at Hotwire and make your bookings through our Hotwire link.

Reply
Like