Threatening to leave a bad review is among the top tactics holidaymakers employ to get what they want, according to a new survey from sunshine.co.uk.
The OTA labelled holidaymakers a “dishonest bunch” for their behaviour, which usually hotel and restaurant staff bear the brunt of.
The survey found more than a quarter of tourists questioned had previously lied or over exaggerated about a bad experience on holiday in order for them to benefit in some way.
The old classic ‘there was a hair in my food’ was found to be the most likely fib told to extract a discount or free meal from a restaurant or hotel.
The research was conducted as part of an ongoing study into the behaviour of Britons on holiday.
More than 2,500 people aged 18 and over from around the UK took part in the study and answered questions about their previous holidays abroad.
Everyone taking part had been on an overseas holiday during the past 12 months. The poll was anonymous.
When asked, ‘Which of the following, if any, have you previously done on a holiday abroad to get what you want/benefit in some way?’ the top five most common answers selected were as follows:
1. Lied about/exaggerated a bad experience – 23%
2. Being over-generous with tips/tipping when told not to – 19%
3. Threatened to leave a bad online review – 13%
4. Refusing to pay a bill- 10%
5. Lied about a special occasion (birthday/honeymoon/anniversary) – 8%
When asked who had been on the receiving end of their lies, threats or refusal to pay on holiday, restaurant staff (65%) was the most common answer, followed by hotel receptionists (21%) and housekeeping staff (18%).
Anyone who had lied or exaggerated about a bad experience were then asked to specify what they had done.
The most common answer was “lying about a hair in my food” (31%), followed by “lying about the cleanliness of my room” (22%) and “lying about noise disturbances” (14%). An additional 9% had also lied about developing food poisoning on holiday.
When asked what they had hoped to achieve through their lies or threats, 47% of the relevant respondents said it was to ‘save money/get a discount’ and 38% said it was to ‘receive some kind of upgrade’.
Asked if they were successful in their attempt to get what they want or benefit in some way from their devious actions, 51% said ‘yes’.
Chris Clarkson, managing director of sunshine.co.uk, said: “These survey findings have made me feel incredibly sorry for hotel and restaurant staff working in holiday resorts abroad. We’re clearly a demanding bunch of visitors who will go out of our way to get what we want from our holiday.
“Threatening bad reviews is clearly one of the top tools in Britons’ bargaining arsenal. Hotels and restaurant rely a lot on good reviews only to drive custom and bookings, so it’s easy to see why threatening a bad review would make them bend over backwards to accommodate a customer’s request. Still, Britons shouldn’t bend the truth or fabricate stories for their own personal gains.”