Debunking Guest Service Myths & Do We Only Use 10% Of Our Brains?


I was browsing a scientific magazine this weekend and came across a section entitled “Mythbusters”.

It struck me that the repetitive nature of claims or that suggested by trusted people or institutions can carry more weight and makes it all the more believable.  Don’t believe everything you read. What might start as an incorrect observation can become a false “fact” that is widely accepted. This is the evolution of a myth, and our lives are full of things that just aren’t true. Such is the subject of legends and myths, but also carries across to the more mundane facts and can influence our decisions and direction. This even happens in the vacation rental industry.

We have compiled a few fun facts below on myths that have been busted or are in the development stages!

1. A penny dropped from the top of the Eiffel Tower could kill someone!

Apparently it hits terminal velocity after about 15m and would hardly break the skin and would sting somewhat, hurting less than some of the recent changes in this industry!

2. You need to drink eight glasses of water per day.

Research shows that health can be maintained with much lower amounts and your body can absorb the water from all manner of fluids and foods. Plain water is not necessary.

3. All guests are happy to pay a Guest Service Fee and understand why its needed!

Guests when questioned show a definite negative attitude to being charged more than they would if they booked directly with an accommodation provider and saving money. Odd that!

4. You need to eat five portions of food per day.

The WHO recommend 400g of fruit and veg per day, but there is scant evidence that any particular volume is required and many countries have different recommendations as they do for alcohol intake. No doubt we do need some to maintain our strength in the face of adversity!

5. All guests want to book online through OTA’s (HomeAway, Airbnb, OwnersDirect etc).

As hotels are the main sufferers of this myth, their guests may make a good analysis. Despite the mass adoption of internet, social media and media, online travel channels are estimated to represent just 45% of all travel bookings in 2015. (Source: PhoCusWright). Seems like one lot of people not heading off to an OTA to make their bookings. The stats for VR are much higher still.

6. People are more likely to commit suicide in the winter.

Although there are small variations, apparently April and May head the Northern Hemisphere charts. No jokes please about jumping off cliffs this year if you see no more enquiries.

7. All owners and managers are happy to present their vacation rental home with nightly prices, instant payment, standardised terms, not speak to guests, offer easy cancellation terms and have no recourse for damage.

Replies of no more than 500 words can be added to this blog. Please avoid the need to use too much bad language!

8. Sharks don’t get cancer.

Contrary to what you may have heard at your local dietary supplement retail outlet, sharks do get cancer. There is nothing special about their cells and researchers have been studying cancerous tumours on sharks for years.  I think we are talking the aquatic variety here.

9. Guest Service Fees are there to help the guest!  The tiny question mark on VRBO says: “This helps VRBO provide a safer and more secure booking experience, coupled with 24/7 customer support throughout your trip.”

A couple of calls to the service support numbers showed that no staff knew where the dishwasher tablets were or how the french window lock worked or where the TV controls were, let alone were prepared to call me a taxi.

10. A toilet’s flush will change direction depending upon which hemisphere it is in.

Simply not true.  Toilets aren’t affected by the Coriolis Effect but could be handy for some recently proposed changes!

11. The money generated by Guest Service Fees are helping promote the OTA site and assist in the development of more bookings.

Number 9 above says its to help guests, so which myth are we to believe! One suspects that its to actually make more profit, but thats not a myth its a fact!

12. We only use 10% of our brains.

Often stated in self help books, this is not true. Every part of our brain is used and are highly specialised, especially the one that spots the myths that are banded around by certain corporations.


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