This is a first for me and am wondering if anyone has encountered the situation and what have they done about.... Go an email from VT this morning that they had received an email from someone saying a tip I had written 6 years ago was wrong. That the fish wasn't fried and that the menu had 6 selections not just two. Then VT asked if I wanted to go back and edit what I wrote 6 years ago. I was thinking of going back to the tip and adding a note to say I had heard the menu had expanded but I worry that opens a big can of worms and a whole lot of tips that would need comments put on them. When you read a 6 year old tip how much accuracy in the menu are looking for? Or is it about the experience and the impressions? Or perhaps VT could send me back to the Big Island and I'll investigate myself? Just finding this minor experience off putting and perhaps indicative of some shift in VT that I don't care to follow along with. Feels like an old friend is changing?
This is very silly. To rectify the situation, VT should send you on an all expense paid trip to the Big Island so you can investigate it yourself.
What I don't get is why you have to defend your statement. Did the other person provide the correct data? Who has time to go through and redo tips? I don't. Plus we are doing this for free. It's not a paid gig. My attitude is this:When you are searching for tips on travel, take into consideration how old the data is. Then google for the correct up to date data. It amazes me how so many people have nothing to do with the time in their lives other than to point out the incorrectness of it all.~
If I read a six-y.o. tip? I wouldn't expect to find that the restaurant was still open or even if it were, that it would have the same menu! Some common sense is missing here - on the part of person pointing this out in the first place ... and then I have to wonder about VT emailing you. I agree, ask for for them to sub a trip back so you can make any changes needed. Yes, definitely changes abounding and not for the better, imo.
Here, here :o)
It only makes sense if a VT staff member recently went there and looked at your tip. I periodically go back to some of my older tips on restaurants and check links and see if they are still open, but that is still a major undertaking. Did the VT staff member identify themselves?
You got an email from VT, wow!! Seriously though, maybe someone was just trying to deal with a request. Do we really need to pull it apart in the forum? Doesn't sound like there is any compulsion for you to change your tip. I'm impressed someone even spared us the time to even respond to the initial request, whether we think it was necessary or not. I guess they'll be less receptive to any request those of us have in the future, if things will be critiqued here. Bring back the days when there was no communication :-))
I wouldn't read it negatively if the Vt staff was just passing along the idea that what was in my tip was being questioned. In fact, if I have wrong information in a tip, I would appreciate being told so I could either correct it or delete the tip. I don't update tips regularly but once in a while there will be an occasion for me to wonder if a restaurant or hotel I wrote about 6 years ago is still open or has had significant changes. I go to their website to check and if so I indicate that as of that date the info is still good.
Maybe there is an opening for VT to follow the lead set by TA - allowing manager response to tips/postings etc. Although reading TA it seems that some of the managers use a 'one size fits all' type reply that is clearly written by a PR professional. Yes I know it does lack some credibility, but may be better than nothing.
Goodness me someone must have nothing better to do ....why could they not have writen to you personally in a nice way and said "Did you know?" I think if a VT member found a cafe very nice 6 years ago I would give it a try but I am quite capable of reading a menu for myself and I would not be surprised if there were changes. But there is something nice about VT and we should not let the trolls and narks spoil that for us. There is a very nice core of regulars who keep VT great.
Rick, you are being a test member for VT asked for by the parent company to try to get all tips current. FUGETABOUTIT!!! If this were a paid site, then go ahead and just eliminate the review (tip) from your pages. The problem with VT is that we the members use the tips (reviews) as a memory for just ourselves. Too bad that VT doesn't have two areas to go into. One for current tips and own for memories. In today's world, a location may stay the same, but the experience will be different for everyone. Even Rick Steves can be old and outdated. It was his turn and he got paid for all his travels. Even in California we have Huge Howser with old shows being on TV that a lot has changed since he was there, but he got paid. In today's economy, worldwide, things can change and change fast. A tip one writes today, in one week can be 100% wrong. Perhaps VT should put out a disclaimer that all reviews (tips) are written free of charge and the members own viewpoint based on the time of the visit. Also maybe the 1 million members may be a bit deceiving as most likely some are dead or just never came back after one question. I still believe that no one should have to sign up to ask a question, but to look at each members pages, they should be a member. If this is to be a great site, the truth must be told. Nothing blown up makes it. I could be deleted for this as I know no one at VT would like a bad reputation, or even a few sensitive members that are overzelous about VT and feel they can be the answer to everything, but the truth will set you free. VT is a site for real people and we are the people behind the places, the only restriction is that the reviews (tips) can become dated and if someone who joins VT and sees an old outdated review (tip) that is wrong, why not just a nice note to the writer of the review (tip)saying that it is no longer accurate and let the writer know what is different. Some people want to be old school and be a grade schooler with the tattle tale syndrome. Hey Rick, you have the right idea being in Alaska, away from the pettiness of the world. If you can't get someone at VT to respond with their name, then this is not the VT I joined. Why not ask G. He would be where the buck stops. ;-)
I like that Rick is being discreet enough not to lynch the staff member here. Rick hasn't said he is corresponding with an anonymous person, that I read anyway. Let's give them a break. Let's be friendly. Let's be friends :-)
I have to believe that the person that sent the message was only posing as a VT staff member and isn't really. I once asked them if there was anything they could do about some stuff that was located in the wrong community (wrong state even), and they said that there was nothing they could do about it unless the VT member decided to move it. They really seem to just let the community be a self-policing and self-correcting community and if that means there is some stuff that is horribly misplaced then so be it. If the person has more recent information then they should write their own tips. Your tips are based on your visit and how things were at that time. Anything more isn't writing from personal experience, which is what VT is about.
Oh don't be crazy! I'm sure Rick knows who he was emailing with!!
Pam, sorry, but I find your first comment a bit too cynical. I know that you defend VT all and everywhere, but Rick's question had no accusation in it, at least not to my perception. And to answer Rick's question: no, I would not delete such a tip. I might make a note that my review is based on year so-and-so and that things have changed. But I also might not make a note, because, as Rick wrote, it would open a can of worms and I would feel that I have to look into every single tip I wrote and check if this have changed.... And I don't have the time to do this, because I am writing in my free time. We all do. That is the idea of VT. I thought so. If someone would expect from me that I look into every single tip and update them, I would rather delete everything and move it elsewhere. But apart from that, I think Glenn/@glabah has a point: someone might have be posing as VT staff but is not. Ingrid :-)
I really find it pointless to run to the forum with such issues when members can't really help, and all that happens is innuendo such as saying it may have been someone masquerading as staff. Even you know Ingrid that staff have dedicated email addresses. Again, though, Rick has not said here that he doesn't know who he is emailing with. If it's ok to talk about how staff deal with something, then it's ok to talk about how members react, don't you think?
Pam, when I receive mails from G, they end with @VTmail.com. Only when he or others send me mail to my external adress, it is a different mail. I don't find it pointless to ask, because it could well be that someone just says he/she is staff. We all know that not everyone from HQ has a homepage that clearly shows that they are staff. G once said he wants to make sure, but... And that justifies Rick's question imho. Maybe another VTer has received such mails. Where else would we know if not through asking in the forum. (off now, for some nice trip in real life :-)
I got a similar thing a few months ago initiated by a London restaurant owner. I did change my tip (I think the new Internet URL was really the only thing making it worth), but never received any thanks thereafter although I notified both VT-staff and the restaurant owner. Anything with fish smels :) PJ
I agree with Ingrid, this is a very valid question and some valuable input of answers. There is no direct attack on VT staff by the OP, simply a question of what VTers would do in similar circumstances. I certainly would not edit any of my tips/reviews as has been requested of the OP, 6 years past and things change, when reading tips/reviews you have to bear these things in mind. Miscellaneous is highly appropriate for a question such as this.
I think restaurant tips are particularly prone to going out of date. I live in London and about half my restaurant tips there are merely indications that a place has closed, moved or changed cuisine. I recently had some time on my hands after an accident and decided to go through all my old tips checking technical things like hyperlinks, telephone numbers, opening times etc. whilst leaving the main content of my visit there intact. Of course there are many place I will never physically revisit so they will have to stand as is. I think, or at least I hope, that people reading will have the sense to look at the date of the tip and make up their own mind, perhaps seeking confirmation from other places or more recent tips here. I do rather like the idea of VT paying for me to revisit everywhere to check on my tips, now that would be a job and a half!
I'm with zanzooni - look at the date of the tip and draw your own conclusions. I usually disregard tips (restaurants, hotels, opening hours,etc of that ilk) that are over a year old. Look at a tip and then do your own research.
Chipping back in to say: * Agree this is a valid misc discussion about whether we would change past tips. * No way would I change anything other than website & phone number (and no, i don't spend hours checking the validity of those in my older tips..life is too short). What happened when I visited happened when I visited. * Restaurant tips are dated. It's up to individual readers to decide if they want to go with a review that is x years old. * Like Fergy, I'll happily re-review if I'm paid to re-visit! :-))
"Anything with fish smels :) " HA! good one, and there are definitely a couple of them on VT!
hehehe great thread. I think they should declare the next VT Global Meeting in the island and we can all verify the menu ::) funny line and not so funny folks abound here too. Keep it with the good ones;life is beautiful lol!!!
Now that Fergy has replied and knowing that Fergy does a marvellous job as London group editor: this would be an exception for me! I mean when Fergy sends me an email telling me that this or that restaurant is no longer in operation, then I WOULD edit my tip and make a remark. But only because I know that Fergy knows London so well. If *someone* would tell me to edit a tip, how would I know that he/she knows the place? Even if someone writes to HQ and asks to ask me to edit something, how would I know that *someone* is indeed owner of a place or just a friend who is being sent by the owner to start a chain reaction? And this is exactly why I thought/think that Glenn has a point with what he wrote above: I cannot imagine VT staff would do that. Because how would they get a verification of someone who asks to have tips edited?
"Got an email from VT this morning that they had received an email from someone saying a tip I had written 6 years ago was wrong. That the fish wasn't fried and that the menu had 6 selections not just two. Then VT asked if I wanted to go back and edit what I wrote 6 years ago." I strongly suspect that the email from VT was a generic form, forwarding their incoming mail from "someone". VT would be in the wrong if they did not pass on mails from "someone" to the tip writer and VT doesn't have the time to get involved with how the fish was cooked, so they probably have an engine that forwards these mails and puts the onus on the original tip writer to decide what to do with their tip. The onus cannot go anywhere else, nor can VT play an incoming mail in any other way. Don't know how the names of people at VT have anything to do with it.
That's exactly how I see it Gerard. Someone wrote to VT with some information, and VT merely sent it on to the member, in this case Rich. Rich himself wrote "Then VT asked if I wanted to go back and edit what I wrote 6 years ago." There's no compulsion, and no demand. More a case of passing information on.
Sorry that should be Gerald :-)
Gotten used to all spellings, except Geraldine :-)
I'm with my friendly personal VT mates. They don't do generic emails (I HOPE). Anyone with any sense would know that a restaurant is a fluid thing, it's only as good as the chef's food. Everyone knows that chefs change and restaurants close down and change names. If anyone was expecting a tip to be accurate from 6 years ago..... well, you see that pig flying past the window? I wouldn't trust the tip, not unless it was a McDonald's restaurant. Chefs are creative, inventive and always looking for new ways to present or flavour a dish, unless they are a microwave jockey or prepare the dreadful food for Brewers Fayre. Unless I made it a habit to repeatedly go back to restaurants (I do sometimes and sometimes I am disappointed so I let people know on the revised tip) I would seriously wonder why I would be requested to change the tip. It was accurate AT THAT TIME which would be what I reported. I am accurate on my prices (tending to put the dates on things now, to help others and for personal reference) and on my assessment of the food, having a sensitive palate. Being a lover of good food, I can tell whether the sauce has come out of a bottle or has been freshly prepared, whether the guinea fowl was fresh or canned, same with mushrooms, out of a can? yes I can tell. The whole point of VT is that the reviews are what we saw, tasted and felt at the time. Not like other sites where the owner will come on and write brilliant reviews which they hope will counter the negative ones. This is why you read wildly differing views. Someone wants you to change your tip Rick? Ask them for the airfare and the hotel rooms money and I feel sure you will happily do it.