Duncan Bannatyne: We must take a stand against TripAdvisor hosting untrue reviews
Hotel owner and Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne writes in this week’s Caterer about online hotel reviews. This follows the publication on TripAdvisor of false claims and factual inaccuracies in a review concerning his four-star Charlton House Spa hotel in Shepton Mallet, Somerset. Mr Bannatyne has earlier expressed his disgust at the way that TripAdvisor deals with malicious reviews in Caterer in December.
Mr Bannatyne, who owns four hotels, says he has no issue with reviews that give a guest’s opinion about a hotel, but he claims TripAdvisor was obstructing his right to reply to factual inaccuracies.
In the latest article Mr Bannatyne says:
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.
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.