How One Bad Review Got a Glasgow Hostel Endless Bad Press

When Louise Taylor complained about dirty floors and poor service at the Glasgow hostel she stayed at, she never expected that hundreds of people would end up reading it. Yet that’s exactly what happened this week after Taylor left a one-star review on Blue Sky Hostel’s Facebook page.

The review, in part, reads that, “[There were] wires coming out of walls… mouldy bathrooms, only 1 working shower in the building, aggressive, foul mouthed staff … No light switch in the room nevermind a plug socket!” among other complaints, and Taylor says it is the “worst Hostel I have ever stayed in.”

Most owners would either issue an apology or ignore the post and hope that potential hostel guests wouldn’t be put off. Owner Todd Pedersen, however, wasn’t content to leave things as they were. Instead, Pedersen derided Taylor’s response, claiming that she was lying about her experience, and that the hostel was intended to be a party hostel, not a five-star hotel.

“The light switches are right beside the door, open your eyes … Not once did you come ask where showers were, if you did you would have been told the locations … Obviously you have no communication skills other than typing in Facebook,” wrote Pedersen.

Taylor continued to reply, informing him that she had asked about the showers, and the one she had been recommended was broken, which she reported. She also pointed out that if it was intended to be a cheap hostel, then she shouldn’t have been charged £50 a bed just because it was a busy period. Instead of cooling off, Pedersen continued to attempt to discredit Taylor, calling her at one point a r—-d, and implying that she was fat.

At this point, the exchange began to attract attention as people forwarded the commentary to their friends, and more onlookers poured in to watch the discussion go down. Most sided with Taylor and questioned Pedersen’s professionalism. Pedersen’s wife then entered the fray, asking questions like, “Is it easier to make outlandish comments sitting at your computer?” So far, the original complaint has received over 2,000 follow-up comments, and likely generated more negative publicity for the hostel than the original review ever could have.

Although hostels are certainly intended to relax certain standards, this doesn’t mean they’re necessarily a free-for-all in terms of basic privacy and hygiene.

“It’s not uncommon for us to see hotels not know how to properly maintain their floors,” says Rob Nelson of Rebound USA.“Especially if it is anything other then vinyl or tile. But mold on them is taking things to a new level.”

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