A good friend of mine just spent a week with his family at a sunny place in the Caribbean. Although he had a good time it did not start very well. He told me that he had been to this country many times, but wanted to visit another part of the island. He went on the Internet and reviewed several potential hotel options. He wanted a peaceful and quite place and finally decided on a property that advertised beautiful pictures of the beach and their hotel rooms. The hotel was midsize, close to the beach, not too expensive and all rooms had ‘ocean view’. After a long car ride, flight and bus shuttle they arrived at the hotel. The disappointment was huge; the hotel was not as close to the beach as portrayed in the pictures. The beach was quite dirty and the view did not exist unless you were brave enough to lean far out over the balcony. They checked in for the night, as they were all tired. The next day they decided to move to another hotel that was more to their liking and enjoyed the rest of their vacation.
Sometimes what is shown in brochures and on websites can be deceiving. For example, a security company recently released a marketing package focusing on the mining industry. It contained a glossy brochure, several articles with expert opinions, and sell sheets with an overview of their corporate values. It was well laid out and formulated and gave the impression of a professional company that will offer the best service possible, but in reality, the results can be very different. We must be careful to not be drawn in by the nice website and abundance of marketing material to later find out that there is no ‘ocean view’.
I suggested that my friend utilize review websites to check the validity of a hotel’s claims in the future and speak with others that have visited the region they are traveling to, etc. I always like to encourage clients to do the same thing when selecting a professional security provider. Check references and know what you’re getting before getting it.