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Duncan Bannatyne: We must take a stand against TripAdvisor hosting untrue reviews

05 January 2011
Duncan Bannatyne: We must take a stand against TripAdvisor hosting untrue reviews

There are very few places where members of the public can post such damaging allegations and, as a recent victim of a rogue review, I am well placed to lead the campaign for more protection against the perils of TripAdvisor.

Let me say at this point that I have no problem with honest reviews and, even if they are less than positive, always welcome the opinions of customers with constructive feedback. My chain of hotels would soon be out of business if we didn't listen to and act on these reviews.

However, there seems to be no mechanism to prevent untrue reviews being posted in a moment of spite or twisted amusement. Negative momentum gathers pace quickly, stigma attaches to the business and, before an unsuspecting hotel owner has realised what is happening, he has haemorrhaged custom and revenue and his business is on the brink of closure.

If negative reviews are fair and reasoned, we owners cannot complain. We live and die by the quality of our service and, if it is not up to scratch, some timely home truths could be the jolt needed to make wholesale improvements. It is only when the negative reviews are untrue that we are left completely exposed and powerless to fight back.

Recently, a reviewer of my Charlton House hotel in Somerset wrote that the spa was simply a small and poorly heated plunge pool with cracked concrete edging and walls. In truth, it actually consists of a hydrotherapy pool, crystal steam room, Finnish sauna, laconium, ice fountain, jacuzzi and three treatment rooms.

The reviewer also stated their bedroom was next to a main road, when in fact the hotel is 38 metres from the nearest road and that is a B road.

TripAdvisor did not remove these allegations. The same reviewer told a member of my staff that, if they didn't get a refund, they would put a negative review online. This reviewer paid £110.64 (excluding vat) and received dinner, breakfast, complementary newspapers, robes, towels and full use of the gym and spa facilities, yet she says she was ripped off. I believe she ripped off my company.

To my mind TripAdvisor does little to support businesses from reviewers who are dishonest. The more I am outraged by TripAdvisor the more I will stand up for my staff, my company and democracy.

http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2011/01/05/336506/Hoteliers-support-Bannatyne-campaign-against-TripAdvisor.htm" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">How to deal with bad online reviews >>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2011/01/05/336511/How-to-deal-with-bad-online-reviews.htm)

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Hoteliers support Bannatyne campaign against TripAdvisor >>

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