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Duncan Bannatyne reacts to TripAdvisor review

14 December 2010 by
Duncan Bannatyne reacts to TripAdvisor review

A hotel guest who posted a bad review on TripAdvisor about Duncan Bannatyne's Charlton House Spa Hotel has removed her harsh assessment after the Dragon's Den star reacted angrily on Twitter.

Bannatyne called marketing boss Suzie Warner "dishonest" after she described the hotel near Shepton Mallet, Somerset, as "shoddy" and a "disaster". Bannatyne bought the hotel for £3m in May 2010.

Warner later removed the review after Bannatyne publicised her mobile telephone number to his 221,000 followers on Twitter, which led to her receiving a series of hate messages.

In the review Warner complained about the meal, which the hotel removed from her bill after she had voiced her dissatisfaction.

Bannatyne said that on the following morning Warner also harangued the head porter to try and elicit further discounts on the £130 she paid for her bedroom.

In a letter to Warner, published in The Sun, he wrote: "I have no idea why you have attacked my company in this way. Perhaps it is because you did not get a further £50 discount from your bill or perhaps you are involved with an opposition hotel."

Prior to the review being removed, Bannatyne said that he would sue Warner for "loss of earnings".

Emma Boyem, UK senior media relations manager for TripAdvisor, said that she would not comment on the Bannatyne case, but that it is rare for a hotelier to threaten a reviewer with legal action.

"If we are aware of this happening, we'll send out a letter to the owner alerting them that their property will be actively monitored by TripAdvisor for suspicious activity, and that they must discontinue any attempts to subvert our system. We also make them aware that we have a procedure for penalising businesses who make such attempts."

She went on to say that a review can be removed for only one of two reasons - "either a review is deemed fraudulent or the reviewer decides themselves to remove it. In all circumstances we strongly discourage anyone from pressuring a TripAdvisor traveller into removing a review."

TABLETALK: Was Duncan Bannatyne right to react to the bad review about his hotel in this way? What do other hoteliers do when they receive a poor review from a disgruntled guest? Tell us what you think

Duncan Bannatyne unveils plans to expand Charlton House Hotel >>

Enter the Dragon - Duncan Bannatyne the hotelier >>

TripAdvisor, true or false - you decide >>

By Janet Harmer

E-mail your comments to Janet Harmer here.

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