Sunday, May 4, 2008
FORE!!!!!!!! Censored by Last Minute Golfer
Being an avid, bad golfer, I frequently use the services of Last Minute Golfer. For those not familiar with LMG, it's a website that lets you book tee times online, sometimes at a discount (hence the name...). Another feature, is the ability to leave feedback on the participating courses. Obvious things like... course condition, pace of play, service in the pro shop etc... As long as it's not obscene or offensive, anything golf related is acceptable. I managed to sneak in a round at a public course in south Kansas City on an unseasonably warm February weekend. I don't recall all the specifics, but I do know that my review was critical of the price of the round of golf, compared to the condition of the course and the time of year.
Fast forward to last week... I'm cruising LMG looking at course reviews and notice that my review is no longer online. Under the course in question where my review once lived, it had been deleted "by a course representative" for (I'm paraphrasing here) "inaccurate or unrelated criticism".
Of course, I disagreed. So, I emailed LMG questioning the integrity of the review process, if a course is able to remove comments that are less than flattering. That would be like eBay allowing sellers to remove negative feedback, from a buyer they just screwed over. About 5 minutes after I emailed them, I went ahead and took my cries to the street (also know as the LMG discussion board). I presented my experience and again raised the question of the value of the reviews, when the course can remove said post as they see fit. The next morning I awoke to see that my post on the discussion board had been removed!!!!
So, I posted again.
A few fellow golfers have chimed in to agree. One even brought up the 1st Amendment. I wouldn't go as far as to say this is a free speech issue. To me, it's about the integrity of the service LMG offers. After all, it's the golfers who are paying to use LMG (with a nominal "service fee" that started showing up this year), so their feedback is what counts.
That's the cruel irony of being a bad golfer and living in Prairie Village... There are 3 golf courses w/in a 4 iron of my house. All three... private.
I've got a few thousand reward points built up on LMG and will be cashing in shortly and giving them the boot. It's too bad it's come to this... as a bad golfer that doesn't have the means to pay $75 a round at some of the snootier courses, this was a nice way to save a few bucks.....
Oh... as of this rant, Last Minute Golfer has not responded to my email.