I Love Bad Reviews

Apr 14, 2022

Depending on who you are, what you’re looking for or where you’re going, prior reviews of a property or experience really matter. 

I’m Mechiel Kopaska host of the Fearless Innovator podcast and That’s what we’re talking about today is I love bad reviews!  Call me weird, I don’t care, maybe you’ll see the value too!

I’m not going to focus on how to write a good or bad review, I’m more interested in what you learn from the bad ones!

Let’s face it is most rewarding when you get the awesome reviews because people tend to write more about their negative experiences rather than their positive ones.  Although, I think people are doing better these days

The bad reviews keep you honest!

But I’d challenge everyone that has a short-term rental or an RV Park to read the negative reviews because it’s teaching you what needs to be improved and that value alone could be worth money in your pocket but only if you choose to make the changes.   It’s sad when I go back and read the same bad news over and over again because an owner didn’t make the changes necessary to get the good review.  Good review = cha ching more visitors!

I had a review once at my short-term rental where a guy said my cat shit on his car.  Well, I guess not everyone knows that cats bury their poop.   Clearly, I knew he was lying, I had my security team review all footage and I couldn’t fix ignorance and besides I knew he was mad because I charged him for the extra guests that he did not register, simply because he didn’t read the House Rules.  I don’t care where you go there are rules!  Go to Disney, there are rules!  Go drive a Nascar, there are rules.  Shoot, drive any car, there are rules!

One bad review didn’t kill me, it made me stronger and more determined.

I read another review from an RV Park where a guest was extremely pissed (those were his words) that upon arrival he quickly learned that there was a gun club next door because of all the shooting noise.  If he had done his homework prior to arriving at the RV Park, which I encourage everyone to do, he would have learned that the RV Park was actually there since 1940 and way before the gun club.  

My question is, how can you hold an RV park owner accountable for something they had nothing to do with, nor can they fix it and you’re easily offended by gun noise? 

By the way, this is mainly an overnight park like I mentioned in my last Episode 47 – Differences between Destination and Overnight parks – today we have to plan our RV trips well in advance and do the research to know exactly where you’re going and what the area has to offer.  I could see if this guy was at Fort Wilderness in Orlando and heard gun noise – that WOULD BE very suspicious, but dude you were in the Midwest where practically everyone outside the city owns a gun and yes, they practice!

Here’s another actual review. “On our third day here, while we were away from the campground from 2 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., we had an item stolen from our campsite. This is the first time this has ever occurred at any campsite we have ever been in. Can’t wait to leave”

How do you fix that?  First time it ever happened.  Does the owner now hire a security team?  NO, I would update the terms in the contract to include a clause not responsible for lost or stolen items – which is customary everywhere you go.  In general RV Parks are safe and have very little crime reported.

I read about this one A LOT and that’s the cancellation policy!  Here’s a clear warning to everyone, you must read the Cancellation Policy.  Most of the cancellation policies are relatively strict and limit the ability to get a partial or any refund at all even under extreme circumstances.  But here’s the deal, if the RV park or Short-Term rental is hiding their cancellation policy from their website, then you may have a claim, but if it’s clearly defined and in public review, the responsibility lies on you.

Not that I want to encourage you to continue to write bad reviews, but you all are clearly telling me what kind of amenities you like and dislike in RV parks, what kind of activities you like, what you like about the location, what you like to do in the area, etc.  So, keep writing them!  

If you go to Trip Advisor, they have 4 categories that you get to score a facility on, Location, Cleanliness, Service and Value.

Reading the good reviews, I learn you love clean bathrooms, the distance it is to walk to the dumpster or laundry facilities and friendly people in the office with smiles and your Wi-Fi!

The good reviews also share that there are amenities like shuffleboard, cornhole, pickle ball, bocce ball, community fire ring, heated pool, and scheduled activities.  

Did you catch the pickle ball?  If you recall in my previous episodes, I’ve mentioned to you that I have yet to see anyone playing pickle ball.  I was just at another park over the weekend and while they “offer” pickle ball – no one was playing.  And to that end, the reviews that I read are people talking about ALL the amenities but I have yet to read one where it may say, “we played in a corn hole competition and I won first prize” or perhaps, the pickle bar court was perfectly located under some trees and we didn’t sweat to death while playing”  You all talk about the amenities but are you actually participating?  My takeaway is you’re still not getting a $100,000 pickleball court at my park unless you can prove me wrong!  And if I’m wrong, I’ll even join you in a game, but I’ll warn you I’m pretty competitive!

Ok, what’s wrong with this picture?

Here’s another actual review from a customer.

“Our first stay was disappointing. We hadn’t planned a stop here, but due to a delay in Tampa, we found ourselves racing sundown and decided to stop. No one was around to assist – office closed. Flyer said to choose a spot and pay in the office in the morning. We literally pulled in at sunset, did not hook up water or sewer – only electric for lights and furnace blower. Tried to sleep through loud highway noise and were ready to leave long before the office opened. We were eager to be on our way but waited an hour for office to open. Since buying our RV we have traveled this country more than we’ve stayed at home and the only place we can recall being more expensive was Yellowstone. For a little bit of electricity and a parking spot we’re paid $62 this morning. NEVER AGAIN! This place is simply not worth it. Sites are small; area noisy; and WAY OVERPRICED. 

The park they decided to stop at was combination between a Destination Park and an Overnight Park! It was a destination because of the amenities it offered, and its closeness to everything Florida and it was an overnight park due to its proximity to the interstate.   

Do your homework before staying that way you are not disappointed with no one to assist you at check-in, loud noise or you’re not upset about the price point.  Food for thought, why didn’t you use the water and septic?  You paid for it?

I have another take away from this example but I’m not ready to let that kitty out of the bag until I get my park.

Please keep writing those reviews because I’m taking notes so that when I get my park, I should have most of your issues resolved before I even open the park! 

It’s not likely that all negative reviews will go away, shoot even Fort Wilderness get’s their share of negative comments. 

I’m Mechiel Kopaska of the Fearless Innovator Podcast, I hope you enjoyed this episode. 


Fort Wilderness – at the time this episode was published, Fort Wilderness was still shut down and I’m unable to give you a valid link to their website.