By Hilary Wardle
In Mitch Albom’s novel The Five People You Meet In Heaven, the protagonist finds himself in the afterlife and meets five people who have significantly impacted and guided him throughout his time on Earth. TripAdvisor isn’t heaven. Far from it. But you can divide the misguided reviewers who use the site into five clear categories.
Since January 2013 I’ve been running a humour site called Tripadvisaargh that collates some of the most odd, confused and eye-opening reviews on TripAdvisor. After just a few weeks, I started to notice some very distinct patterns emerging. Here’s a rundown of the five types of bizarre reviews you’ll encounter on TripAdvisor.
1. First World Problems
This category is fairly self explanatory. These are people who are rarely satisfied with their expensive break as even the slightest flaw sends them into an over privileged meltdown.
Another version of the ‘first world problem’ reviewer is someone who is generally happy with their luxury holiday, but has one utterly ludicrous complaint:
2. Captain Obvious
The next group of reviewers are the self sacrificing men and women who decide to state the absolute obvious in an attempt to help their dim-witted, unfortunate readers. You might be surprised to hear there are no fewer than 10 TripAdvisor reviews titled ‘Just a bridge’… you know, in case we thought it was a shoe or a herring.
Others include people who are surprised to find large numbers of donkeys at a Sidmouth donkey sanctuary…
And this fantastic review of a butterfly conservancy in Canada:
3. Too foreign
This is by far the largest subset of TripAdvisor reviews left by British people. They’re almost all written by individuals who are shocked to find their Benidorm hotel is staffed by Spanish people who serve Spanish food and- god forbid- play Spanish music. Usual title: ‘not for us brits!!1!!!’
4. The confusing and deeply strange
Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of these and there will be until TripAdvisor introduce a sanity test for people signing up to review on their behalf.
5. Frustrated comedians
This group of people think they should have been the next Russell Brand. Instead, they’re reduced to tapping out TripAdvisor reviews with one hand while Googling ‘hilarious one liners’ with the other.
So there you have it. The five types of people you meet on TripAdvisor. Do you think I hit the nail on the head, or are we missing a key example? Let us know in the comments.
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