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16-10-2008, 11:40   #31
zazzywandra
 
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Negative reviews are NOT removed!

Hi guys,

I'm the marketing manager with MenuPages.ie, my name is Sandra Egan and I'm interested in your comments - we love feedback be it good or bad.

What alot of you are saying here about MenuPages.ie is not correct . We post every single review to the web site. We have a team of people that read the reviews before they go live and the only time a review won't be published in full is if it is litigious or obsence. So if you identify someone saying "the waitress, with red hair called Mary, was a stupid x and y" we won't be able to post that part of your review. We would be sued it we did. However we do post everything else including the food was crap, service poor etc.

I challenge you all to try it - I wouldn't stick my neck out if this wasn't the case. It is the backbone to the site and why it is so popular.

Just to cover a few other little things in the proceeding comments:

1. Darragh29 - you say restaurants pay us - every single restaurant that appears on the site appears free of charge. So what you say isn't correct. We do allow restaurants the ability to do extra advertising on the site but the starting point is full free listing for all. Otherwise the site wouldn't be comprehensive. There are restaurants that absolutely hate us because of us allowing users say their food is terrible - even people that pay us for extra banner advertising freak about bad reviews. But they stay live, no matter what. We do allow restaurants what we call "the right to reply" but not all take up the offer.

2. MarkNoonan1974 - you are correct - restaurants do get an email saying a review has been posted. However, this is when it is live on our web site - it is an automated system which is just to let them know someone has posted a comment. At the same time, our users get an email saying "your review of xx place has been posted". They don't have chance to moderate it - although I know they would love to in alot of cases

Feel free to let me know anything else that you like (or hate) about the site. We're an Irish business just trying to make our way - my email address in work is sandra@menupages.ie.

Thanks,
Sandra
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16-10-2008, 13:02   #32
AARRRGH
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That is a lie.

I have an e-mail from your company saying the review was removed because the restaurant (a "premium" member) wanted it removed. Do you want me to post the e-mail?

The two negative things I said were -

1. The dessert was frozen and tasteless.
2. I left the restaurant feeling a bit angry as I paid a lot of money for very little food.

Again, your e-mail specifically says the restaurant asked for the review to be removed, and there is nothing litigious or obscene in my review.

All my friends have also had reviews removed, and I assure you they are decent people who would not say anything litigious or obscene.

Note my review was on your site for a few days, so obviously your company thought it was ok.

You are just going to make this situation worse by lying. We are not stupid.

Last edited by AARRRGH; 16-10-2008 at 13:10.
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16-10-2008, 13:17   #33
Darragh29
 
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"Try MenuPages.ie for a fast objective guide to eating out in Dublin."

Quote from Menupages website link below:

http://www.menupages.ie/AboutUs

There's an obvious conflict of interest here that can't be reconciled by the company spokesperson. Putting the e-mail address at the end of the mail is just an attempt to drag exchanges into a private discussion by way of e-mail instead of having it here.
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16-10-2008, 16:34   #34
zazzywandra
 
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Darragh, firstly, there is nothing sinister in putting my email up at all - I have received 2 great suggestions from other boards users from this thread who obviously have no problem with it. I'm happy to chat in public or private - whatever puts our users at ease.

Secondly, AARRRGH from your posting, I know who you are now and what happened in your case - you ate in EasT restaurant and after your review was posted the restaurant wanted to put things right and offered you a full free meal for you and a friend.

Most of the restaurants site take complaints very seriously and EasT seems to be no exception. It is our policy, in cases where restaurants offer to fix problems and to have diners back to their restaurant free of charge, to put a review on "hold", pending the outcome of the revisit to the restaurant. In most cases, our users write another review (overwriting the previous one). Where users do not take up the restaurants offer or where they do not write another review after the free night out, their original bad review is reinstated. In this case Darragh, you turned the restaurants offer down and we put your review back on the site - in totality and unamended.

I think it good form that restaurants make an effort to put things right when they have messed up. Most of our users are delighted at the chance to have their faith in the relevant restaurant restored.

On this occasion AARRRGH, you didn't let the restaurant do that - so your review was put back on the site.

After your comments and concerns I will amend our site Terms & Conditions to help users understand what we do and why we do it. I accept that we should have let you know about the offer of free dining before you emailed us - but you were very fast, you beat us to it and for that I am sorry.

Regarding your friends missing reviews, you should note that reviews over 300 days old fall off the restaurant page however they stay within the membership section where members can view their old reviews and update them at any time. The 300 day fall off is because reviews get old and out of date and this was deemed the cut off when the site was built 2 years ago. I will also note this in new T&C's on the site shortly so that there is full transparency on the site.

I am happy to post the email you received from us here myself where the general manager tried to put things right - we have nothing to hide.

I have to say, I'm not sure I and the web site deserve the beating up that you are giving us when this actually started with a restaurant just trying to do the right thing after you had a bad night out.

I will leave it with you,
Sandra

EMAIL FROM GENERAL MANAGER TO AARRRGH


" Dear XXX
I received your email enquiring about your review. The reason I removed your review was because I had been speaking with the owner of EAsT who has invited you and a friend back to the restaurant as his guest in order to try and rectify your poor experience.

This is standard practice and as you can see from 1000's of other negative reviews on the site we don't remove them because of poor star ratings!

The owners name is Moon and he is looking forward to hearing from you.

Regards
Richard Kavanagh
General Manager
Menupages.ie "
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16-10-2008, 17:01   #35
AARRRGH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zazzywandra View Post
Secondly, AARRRGH from your posting, I know who you are now and what happened in your case - you ate in EasT restaurant
Yep, that's me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by zazzywandra View Post
It is our policy, in cases where restaurants offer to fix problems and to have diners back to their restaurant free of charge, to put a review on "hold", pending the outcome of the revisit to the restaurant. In most cases, our users write another review (overwriting the previous one). Where users do not take up the restaurants offer or where they do not write another review after the free night out, their original bad review is reinstated. In this case AARRRGH, you turned the restaurants offer down and we put your review back on the site - in totality and unamended.

On this occasion AARRRGH, you didn't let the restaurant do that - so your review was put back on the site.
I want to give you the benefit of the doubt on this, but I had to contact you asking why my review was taken offline - you did not contact me offering me a free meal - you only offered me that after I complained.

Also, I have asked my friends if they ever got offered free meals after their negative reviews were removed, and none of them recall you ever contacting them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by zazzywandra View Post
Regarding your friends missing reviews, you should note that reviews over 300 days old fall off the restaurant page however they stay within the membership section where members can view their old reviews and update them at any time.
Fair enough, that sounds like a good system.


Quote:
Originally Posted by zazzywandra View Post
I have to say, I'm not sure I and the web site deserve the beating up that you are giving us when this actually started with a restaurant just trying to do the right thing after you had a bad night out.
No, you removed my negative review because the restaurant asked you to do so. I don't really believe your explanation above (as stated, none of my friends have every received offers of free meals, and I had to contact you) but I will give you the benefit of the doubt and hope going forward your policies are more transparent.

My intention wasn't to beat up your website, but rather, I have a strong dislike of dishonesty and things I consider to be unfair.
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16-10-2008, 17:02   #36
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Great initiative Sandra in coming to boards to speak about menupages.ie.

From my own experience, i dont post reviews to the site but i do use it regularly for advise on where to go, its an easy to use site with great content.

I am however surprised that some reviews are removed in that fashion. While i completely agree that restaurants should be allowed to remedy a negative experience, I believe it should be left up to the reviewer to make the call on whether or not their review should be removed. After all, a revisit at the expense of the restaurant is an excellent gesture, doesnt change the fact that the reviewer's original experience was poor.

Perhaps a system where the suer agrees to amend or update their review on revisit may be more favourable. it maintains the integrity of reviewers and offers restaurants the opportunity to show that they take negative feedback seriously and strive to improve things based on the feedback.

I would have a higher opinion of a restaurant that had remedied a negative experience rather than a restaurant that had bog standard relatively positive reviews. If that makes sense.

Anyway thats my 2c. Hopefully it can be taken in a constructive fashion.
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16-10-2008, 17:09   #37
zazzywandra
 
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Ok - I take both of your points on board and I commit to have amended T&C's on the site (in an obvious place) explaining how the site works within the next 4 weeks. You can hold me to it!

Thanks for the comments - I do appreciate them.
S
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16-10-2008, 17:11   #38
AARRRGH
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Another thing on the negative experience being removed... it reminds me a bit of when restaurant reviewers warn a restaurant they'll be there that night. That's a bit of a cop out as the staff know to be on their best behaviour.

The fact of the matter is EaSt provided me with a fairly shoddy experience. If I went back for their free meal of course they are going to do everything to make sure I am happy.

So in my opinion that would not be a "real" dining experience, and cannot be compared to the real, negative experience I had a few weeks ago.

Last edited by AARRRGH; 16-10-2008 at 17:15.
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16-10-2008, 18:17   #39
Darragh29
 
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Sounds to me like the rules are being made up as they go along.

FYI, I didn't post any feedback on the website good bad or indifferent, because I don't rate the website at all, it's all over the place, poorly arranged and generally depressing to look at...
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16-10-2008, 19:09   #40
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I started reading this thread thinking "those underhand feckers at menupages". But serious kudos to Sandra for coming on and explaining the reasons. It seems a very reasonable explanation, and any potential misunderstanding is now going to be cleared up in the T&Cs.

Let's give credit where credit is due ...
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16-10-2008, 19:53   #41
AARRRGH
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Well, can anyone who has had their negative reviews removed (within 300 days) confirm they were offered a free meal (via menupages) in the restaurant they reviewed?
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16-10-2008, 22:05   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darragh29 View Post
Sounds to me like the rules are being made up as they go along.

FYI, I didn't post any feedback on the website good bad or indifferent, because I don't rate the website at all, it's all over the place, poorly arranged and generally depressing to look at...
Right, well why not offer some constructive criticism on how they can improve things?

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Well, can anyone who has had their negative reviews removed (within 300 days) confirm they were offered a free meal (via menupages) in the restaurant they reviewed?
ultimately its up to the restaurant to offer the meal as opposed to menupages I expect.
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16-10-2008, 22:28   #43
AARRRGH
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ultimately its up to the restaurant to offer the meal as opposed to menupages I expect.
Sorry I meant has menupages contacted them on behalf of the restaurant offering a free meal in return for their negative review being taken offline. (I think that's what Sandra was saying happens.)

Btw, I hope it turns out a few people have been contacted, so this fairytale can have a happy ending.
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17-10-2008, 10:55   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zazzywandra View Post

Secondly, AARRRGH from your posting, I know who you are now and what happened in your case - you ate in EasT restaurant and after your review was posted the restaurant wanted to put things right and offered you a full free meal for you and a friend.
.... It is our policy, in cases where restaurants offer to fix problems and to have diners back to their restaurant free of charge, to put a review on "hold", pending the outcome of the revisit to the restaurant. In most cases, our users write another review (overwriting the previous one).
So essentially you are allowing restaurants to bribe your users?

It's pretty black and white that that is what you are saying.

If I have a sh*t experience in a restaurant and I complain, I am unlikely to return for a free meal, and if I *were* to return, they're obviously going to pull out all the stops so I won't speak negatively of their establishment to my friends!

Therefore, people who re-write their review in a case like that are not being objective as they are not experiencing a "genuine" dining experience.
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17-10-2008, 11:35   #45
ntlbell
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what they could do is send out a gift voucher for the meal.

This way they wouldn't know it was you returning until it came to cough the cash stopping them from pulling out all the stops so you could get a genuine dining experience

But besides the point menu pages this behavior is a disgrace, it's one thing coming on to boards to listen and respond but it seems you have responded with more lies only making the matter look worse.

a disgrace
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