TripAdvisor has flagged a hotel in Thailand with a special message when it complained to the police about a guest who wrote a negative review. Writes about this New York Times (NYT).
It all started in the summer of 2020. American Wesley Barnes wrote several devastating reviews of the Sea View Resort located on Koh Chang. Barnes didn’t like being charged a $ 15 cork tax for bringing his bottle of gin to a hotel restaurant.
First, the man had a fight with the hotel manager, and then he started writing on TripAdvisor. The hotel administration did not like it. Employees attempted to stem the flow of negative reviews to the site and force Barnes to remove them, but were unable to reach him and called the police using local defamation laws..
The law is considered one of the harshest in the world and includes, for example, insulting the royal family and spreading inappropriate information on the Internet. You can get up to 15 years in prison for breaking the law.
Due to a complaint from the Barnes Hotel, which at that time worked in Thailand, three months later – that is, in September – the police detained. He spent two days in jail trying to get him released on bail.
TripAdvisor itself entered the dispute between the hotel and the American, as Barnes faced up to two years in prison. The service paid for the man’s legal costs and agreed to meet the two parties. As a result, Sea View Resort and Barnes agreed that the man would apologize to the hotel for the reviews, and they, in turn, would drop the charges.. At the same time, one of the terms of the agreement was that TripAdvisor would not mark the hotel with the so-called red badge as unsafe for travelers..
Formally, the service fulfilled the agreement. They waited until Barnes returned to the United States and marked the Sea View Resort page not with a red icon, but with a text warning. By the way, Barnes did apologize in writing to the hotel administration and thanked that he was forgiven there..
TripAdvisor Alert Says A Hotel Complained A User For A Bad Review That Put That User To Jail. “The hotel may have operated under local laws, but it is our duty to inform you so that you can take note of this when planning your trip,” wrote TripAdvisor. This is the first such warning in the history of the service..
Wesley Barnes declined to comment on NYT. The BBC says that as a result of the incident, the American lost his job, and because of the publicity that his story received, he cannot find a new one. Sea View Resort, in turn, said that because of Barnes’ reviews, customers began to cancel bookings at the hotel..
Tripadvisor, Tourism, Thailand, Sea View Koh Chang
EbeneMagazine – EN – TripAdvisor warned users about a hotel that reported a bad review to the police. The reviewer went to jail
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