Reverse Reviews – too clever by half? Created by an ad agency to generate publicity and social media chatter, Reverse Reviews allows staff from Art Series Hotels to review and rate the behaviour of their guests. Those that rate four or five stars will get a free night.

These reviews will be posted on the Art Series Hotels website and distributed through social media.

It’s supposed to be “fun and light-hearted” – and guests must opt-in to participate – but there’s a flip side summed up by this media blog headline:

“Art Series Hotel Group staff to get revenge on badly-behaved guests with Reverse Reviews”.

Revenge. That’s not fun.

Crucially, Reverse Reviews also challenges the fundamental concept of the service industry – that the customer is always right, whether or not they are.

Guests being formally evaluated by hotel staff is not hospitality, it’s a performance review.

“Now those remembering their manners will be rewarded with free hotel stays,” said a PR.

As for guest behaviour, specially commissioned Galaxy Research shows it’s “better than what most people expect.”

Really, who knew expectations were so low.

Or that “the more money you earn, the ruder you are to hotel staff.”

So how do you get that five-star review and a free night?

Art Series Hotels suggests: “day to day pleasantries, putting the sign out on the door as soon as your room is ready to be made up, opting to have your linen changed less frequently, keeping dirty towels in a pile etc”.

By the way the research has identified the best-behaved guest.

It is a woman from regional Victoria or Tasmania, 50-plus, married with no children, who works in a blue-collar job and earns less than 40k.

In other words, someone who would never stay in an Art Series Hotel.

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