liveaboard.com Can I trust them?

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Jonn

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SB and LA are private property their owners can run any way they want. This isn’t a First Amendment thing. But if LA wants to claim “You can trust us, we are legit” as per this thread, testing that claim is where the entitlement comes in. They have the right to play some common but shady tricks, we have the right to call them on it here or elsewhere.
As someone casually shopping for a liveaboard trip, I’ve found this thread to be very useful. Not even saying I won’t book with them, but I feel a bit smarter now.
 

The Chairman

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I just don't log dives
In this age of entitlement and hyperbole, I think we need to remember that even on SB, we do not have the right to post anything we want.
We are moderated, but we encourage people to post factual reviews. We don't allow spam, cyber extortion, name calling and such. If you feel a post or thread is out of line, please use the report button on the bottom left of every post and be explicit. If you feel your post has been moderated in error, please send an email to abuse@ScubaBoard.com with a link, and again, be explicit.
 

LiveaboardCom

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Kudos to Kathryn for following this up and posting the review!

Now lets hope that this starts to be taken seriously and that next time someone posts a negative review it does not take 3 months to publish and as much effort as I had to put. However, I am still waiting for this post to be published on the Orion boat, since that is the boat I went on, not the JP Marine. I also wanted to point out that if this was 100% fair, I would give a 1 star out of 10, not 2.8 out of 10. I also find it crazy that I have to be ok with they didn't edit my review too much. But I still consider this a win non the less.

Thank you Alberto, I appreciate that and I'm glad I could be of some assistance to you.

As I mentioned in my message to you - and so others are also aware - I will shortly be leaving LiveAboard.com to start a new position elsewhere.

I am expecting Scubaboard will be checked in future by my replacement but please find contact details and relevant policies for if you have concerns in the meantime:

Contact: Contact us

Review policy: Review Policy

Terms of use policy (including cancellations, amendments, complaints and disputes): Terms Of Use

Wishing you all the best with your future dive travels.

Many thanks,

Kathryn
 

chillyinCanada

ScubaBoard Supporter
Staff member
ScubaBoard Supporter
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All the best to you too, Kathryn
 

Jay

Need to dive more!
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994
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Melbourne, OZ.
# of dives
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You have 17,900+ verified reviews, each having an overall score out of 10.

1/ How many have an overall score of less than 5?
2/ How many have an individual component* score of less than 5? (*vessel, crew, food, diving, value)
3/ Is there a reason why you won't/don't display the individual components? 3a/ Will you change that in the future?
4/ Have you shared / will you share how the overall score is computed?

Just to confirm I have passed your questions on to the management and review team, who will be in touch if they have information to provide.

Thank you for the replies Kathryn and all the best for your new role.

I hope something comes of the ideas proposed in this thread to make LiveAboard's review and scoring system transparent, and above all honest.

I'm just going through your posts again to see where I can provide more information. In response to this post: 1. Yes it is possible to check the overall scores of reviews and if you look back to Pg7 of this thread you'll see a selection of reviews, some of which scored below 5 and down to 2.

I've manually been through hundreds of reviews but it seems the answer to question 1/ based on this and your response is that only a small fraction, certainly less than 1%, most likely less that 0.10% have a score of 5 or less.

That can only mean either negative reviews often don't see the light of day, and/or, the scoring is calculated in a way that it's nearly impossible to have an overall score below 5. For sure divers might expect some slight bias when viewing overall scores, but there's slight bias, and then there's ... well ... I'm not sure what a polite way to call it is.

In response to this post: [of mine]
- Yes, the review policy has been audited and updated. Changes to the wording have been made as a result of this.

Upon reading this I was really optimistic. I compared the before and after policies, but my optimism was dashed when the only two areas of difference relate to marine life "take only pictures, leave only bubbles", and providing an example about what is out of your control: "... delays caused by weather conditions". i.e. not much to do with this thread.

I don't know what you seem to see as being "broke" in their system.

Please see the info above for what's wrong with LiveAboard's review system (w.r.t. the overall score out of 10). For the inability to easily post a negative review, there's some info earlier in this thread as well as some external links, and this one ... Liveaboard.com - has anyone booked via them? - Galapagos Islands Forum - TripAdvisor (same issues / similar LOB responses).
 

Ben Davison

Registered
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I'd like to cast my vote in favor of Jay's suggestion above.

Additionally (or at least in the meantime) subscribing to Undercurrent, Consumer Reporting for Serious Divers Since 1975 would seem like a prudent decision. I'm aware that at least one person has stated that the owner's of undercurrent receive some kind of compensation from dive operators they review; I have no personal knowledge that this is true, but regardless I've read a fair amount of negative (and seemingly unedited) user reviews on the undercurrent website. Clearly it would appear that user reviews on liveaboard.com are suspect AT BEST, but the user reviews on undercurrent magazine seem trustworthy.
As the founder of Undercurrent, a nonprofit organization and newsletter, I can attest that the only income Undercurrent receives from anyone other than subscribers and donations, is from a few organizations that buy a link to their businesses on our website. I think our gross income from that is about $4000. Our travel reviewers pay their own way (we provide a small fee to the for the article) and write what they experience. Our reader reports come only from subscribers and if I find one that strikes me as being somehow "sponsored," I delete it. I can say that in all my dive travels, I've never so much a take a drink from a dive operator and, in fact, have never been discovered as a writer by an operator until after and article is published and they put 2 and 2 together. The only way any operator learns we review them is when the see the article in print.
Ben Davison, publisher since 1975
 

The Chairman

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I just don't log dives
Our reader reports come only from subscribers and if I find one that strikes me as being somehow "sponsored," I delete it.
We only delete if we have evidence of cyber extortion. It's not just a "gut-check" feeling, but a consensus from the mods. We believe that users don't need to be spoon fed only good or only bad, and that they have the sense to see who has an agenda.

FWIW, I do accept trips, drinks and advertising money from all sorts of people in the industry. That doesn't affect how they get treated here by the mods. We've even banned advertisers from breaking the rules here with or without my blessing. Additionally, we don't charge anyone to search our vast collection of information. The upside is that Google will let your personal trip review be searched by the world. FWIW #2, I write about the good times I've had and let others write about the bad.
 

BUSY_BEE

New
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Melbourne
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I was deeply disappointed with my recent dealings with Liveaboard.com
My husband and I booked a Komodo dive trip through these guys for Christmas. Their response time was poor anyway but by the time we were in Komodo awaiting departure the following morning, it got so much worse. They emailed me the night before we left to just casually notify us that the boat we booked 4 month's prior was not running and so they were relocating us to another boat. Only the other boat operated at a shorter time frame, did not have the same quality and yet they were still going to charge the same price! Panicked, I emailed back, asked for urgent response. I have several Indonesian contact numbers and they still refused to contact me. They did not take my calls until after I used a hotel phone and only then did they bother to engage. I expect that after a late notice cancellation like this they would have worked to match the standard of boat if not better, but they could not do this. In requesting immediate refund they still took many days to process it, despite my immediate transfer to them being acceptable. So I was stuck prior to Xmas, with a cancelled trip worth more than $4000AUD, now without a booked trip, and without cash to rebook an alternative. I was appalled at their refusal to engage except via email, despite my request for them to call multiple times and after many calls direct to them. I would never recommend booking through this company. Your business is not what is important to them, only your money. They charge a massive commission and customer satisfaction is not a priority. I recommend finding reputable local dive company at your destination and booking directly through them rather than this substandard third party company.
 
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