Our Review Process

Our Review Process

Review guidelines and reporting incidents

The safety of our customers is our upmost priority and we take any accusation of assault or any action that would harm a guest very seriously. Most of us here at Hostelworld are backpackers or have been backpackers at one point. We understand that safety and trust is paramount when travelling, especially when it comes to accommodation.

In recent months we have conducted an internal review of how we handle reviews, what our guidelines are and how to ensure they are transparent to both users of our site and property partners. The information below offers guidance on how to report an incident that has taken place in a hostel and the steps we then follow.

How to report an incident to us

If you feel you have been subjected to assault in a hostel booked via our site, please report it to us by emailing customerservice@hostelworld.com, calling us on +353(015245800) or talking to us via our Live Chat here. As assault is a crime, we strongly encourage that incidents are also reported to the police/local authorities.

The steps we follow if the incident involves an employee of the hostel

When a review/ complaint is submitted to us mentioning assault of any kind involving an employee of the hostel:

  1. When a review mentions assault of any kind involving an employee of the hostel, the review is not initially published, in accordance with our guidelines (see below), and the property is suspended pending further investigation.

 

  1. The customer is contacted to advise them that the property has been temporarily suspended and an investigation is underway. The customer is asked to provide further information regarding the alleged assault.

 

  1. The property is immediately contacted to ask for their account of the alleged event. We would anticipate that the property in question would have existing knowledge of any allegation and has followed up accordingly.

 

  1. We would expect that the alleged victim would be treated in a sensitive manner, and that the local authorities would be notified. If the alleged victim does not wish to speak to the local authorities then as an alternative they should be offered the option to contact their national consulate where possible. Properties should always be mindful of the age of the compliant as if the person is a minor this may involve mandatory reporting depending of the jurisdiction.

 

  1. Where the local authorities are called to the hostel a police report should be filed with a copy available for reference where required.

 

  1. We also advise that a log is kept by the property with events of the incident, which can be referred to again at a later date if required.

 

  1. If we feel that the property has taken all the appropriate steps in handling the incident and in ensuring that this will never happen again (for example, employee in question has been reported to police / employment terminated, and all staff are undergoing training), the property may go back online along with the customer’s review which must be in line with our review guidelines. The property is then able to respond publicly to the review.

 

  1. Where all necessary steps were followed and the hostel responds promptly to Hostelworld in relation to any alleged incident we will aim to reactivate a hostel within 48 hours. When reactivating we will send an update to advise the customer that the hostel is being reactivated and to contact us with any further questions.

 

  1. We reserve the right to leave a review offline permanently if it does not meet our review guidelines but will investigate all cases as is our obligation.

 

  1. Any reviews identifying a staff member will not be published online in line with our review guidelines.

 

  1. Where appropriate steps are not followed, and a hostel does not communicate with Hostelworld promptly in relation to any incident involving a staff member, we reserve the right to terminate a hostel’s contract.

 

  1. Hostels must have a process in place to deal with any reports of assault by a staff member. This includes notifying Hostelworld immediately where a Hostelworld customer reports an assault.

 

The steps we follow if the incident involves another guest of the hostel

When a review/ complaint is submitted to our site mentioning assault of any kind by another guest:

 

  1. When a review mentions assault of any kind that involves another guest, the review is not published initially, in accordance with our guidelines.

 

  1. The customer is immediately contacted to advise their review is temporarily offline and an investigation is underway. The customer is asked to provide further information regarding the alleged assault.

 

  1. The property is also immediately contacted to ask for further information regarding the alleged assault.

 

  1. Hostels must have a process in place to deal with any reports of assault by another guest. This includes notifying Hostelworld immediately where a Hostelworld customer reports an assault to the property.

 

  1. We would anticipate that the property in question would have existing knowledge of any allegation and has followed up accordingly.

 

  1. We would expect that the alleged victim is treated in a sensitive manner, and that the local authorities are notified. If the alleged victim does not wish to speak to the local authorities then as an alternative they should be offered the option to contact their national consulate where possible.

 

  1. Where the local authorities are called to the hostel a police report should be filed with a copy available for reference where required.

 

  1. We also advise that a log is kept by the property with events of the incident, which can be referred to again at a later date if needed.

 

  1. Our customer care team are in constant communication with the customer throughout the investigation and will update them when a final outcome is reached.

 

  1. If we feel that the property has taken all the appropriate steps in handling the incident the customer’s review will be reactivated. The property is then able to respond publicly to the review.

 

  1. We reserve the right to leave a review offline permanently if it does not meet our review guidelines but will investigate all cases as is our obligation.

 

  1. Any reviews identifying a staff member or guest will not be published online.

 

  1. Where appropriate steps are not followed and a hostel does not communicate with Hostelworld promptly in relation to any alleged incident involving a Hostelworld customer we reserve the right to terminate a hostel’s contract.

 

Review guidelines

All reviews expressed on our site are the views of Hostelworld users who have booked and/or stayed at hostels booked through our website. The opinions expressed are those of Hostelworld users and not of Hostelworld. We do not endorse any of the customer opinions or hostel owner responses published on our site.

We reserve the right to remove reviews for any reason including, but not limited to, cases where a serious incident of a criminal nature has occurred or circumstances where, in our reasonable opinion, the review contains a mistake as to fact or allegations which we find to have been unsubstantiated.

Offensive and defamatory Content

We do not allow any defamatory or offensive language to be published on our site. This includes racially abusive or discriminatory language, threatening language or any other language which we consider to be offensive, defamatory or specifically mentions the identity of a person.

Authentic and genuine Content

We do not allow reviews written by owners or managers or any reviews where incentives or threats are used by managers or owners to influence customers. If you are aware of any such abuse, please inform us.

We only accept reviews from customers who have booked and stayed at a property booked through our website. If it is confirmed that you did not actually stay or were asked to leave for genuine reasons by the property owner / manager, we reserve the right to remove your review.

 

To flag or report abuse of our reviews system, or posts that appear to violate these guidelines, you can contact us here.

 

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