Guests are using the threat of a bad review on TripAdvisor to blackmail hotels into giving discounts or upgrades - even when there is nothing wrong with their stay, according to owners.
Among the claims, by about 80 hotel and bed-and-breakfast owners, is the case of a guest threatening to write a poor review if they did not receive a 50 percent discount.
In another, an owner tried to charge a guest for damage to a room but was forced to back down after the threat of a poor write-up.
TripAdvisor carries more than 50 million reviews written by consumers about hotels, restaurants and airlines. Hotel owners claim the site’s model is unfair as it allows anonymous reviews, often without supporting evidence.
Adam Raphael, editor of Good Hotel Guide, said: “I have heard of cases of people calling a hotel and threatening a filthy review before they have even arrived in the hope of getting a discount.”
TripAdvisor said: “We take allegations of blackmail by guests very seriously. Not only is it strictly against our guidelines, it may also be illegal.” - Daily Mail