Check out first. THEN log your opinion.
There's an unbelievable story in the UK right now about a couple who were ousted from a seaside resort hotel by the manager who believed they posted a negative review of the hotel on TripAdvisor. Adding insult to injury, the hotel manager called the police to remove the couple.
"Blackpool police confirmed that they had been called to the Golden Beach Hotel to remove a man who had not committed a crime.
"No offense had been committed by the couple, but the manager had requested them to leave the property," the paper quotes a police official as saying. "We advised the couple how to go about getting a refund. This is a civil matter."
In this era of everyone telling everyone everything about where they are and what they are doing, via Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter and plenty of other social media tools, this is both a wake-up call and a morality tale. This hotel manager was totally in the wrong, of course, but what's the point of rattling someone's cage while you are still staying at the hotel you dislike so much to give it a negative review? A couple years ago, an episode of "The Office" had Dwight Schrute telling Pam and Jim that TripAdvisor reviews were critical to his Schrute Beet Farm and B&B's success. Can you imagine if someone wrote an online critique of Dwight's awful Inn while still staying there? He likely would have used a pitchfork and his crazy cousin to oust them -- or worse -- rather than the local police.
Sometimes a little caution -- and a little distance -- is in order before you put on your online critic's hat.