Classic Viral: "You Have A Very Bad Hotel"

A colleague sent this to me today; it's one of the classic examples of what a few unhappy customers with a web connection can do.

You Have A Very Bad Hotel (Use Internet Explorer to view)

I found an interview with the writers, and found a few of their answers very insightful:
Q: Why did you spread it all over the Internet?

In truth, we sent it initially to the hotel; two clients/friends in downtown Houston, and Shane's mother-in-law. That was it. Yes, the last screen says: "And we hope they send it to THEIR friends!" Call us naïve, but we figured that meant perhaps twenty or thirty people. We never dreamed it would get passed around like this. Trust us. We had NO IDEA. The website postings, including the one at urban legend clearinghouse, was done by others without our permission or approval.

Q: How far has it gone?

Well, we've heard from five continents. Most hospitality professionals seem amused and sympathetic (though one former hotel manager suggested we get psychological counseling). We have had a couple of stern lectures from fellow road warriors/"civilians", though, who explain how out of line we were to expect our "guaranteed" rooms held for us. About 2 percent of correspondents call us jerks and worse.

Q: So... what's it all mean?

Hopefully, that while $#!@& happens, service matters — and hand-to-hand email has power...Perhaps, now that "Yours Is a Very Bad Hotel" has attracted attention in corporate offices of many hospitality providers, managers and customers alike will be a little more aware of the power customers wield.
There are over 130,000 pages that mention this slide show, in several different languages. Several print articles were run in small outlets like the Wall Street Journal. It's not clear how many people have viewed it because the original site got so much traffic they had to take it down; all the current sites are fans who reposted it, articles written, and aggregation sites such as Digg or Slashdot.

This was written and published in 2001. Imagine how much bigger the response could be today.