Dragon, Duncan Bannatyne is the latest to step on board the hotelier's war against the popular review site, TripAdvisor. Bannatyne's move comes after his Luxurious Charlton House Spa Hotel in Sommerset was subject to a dishonest review likening it to Faulty Towers, Bannatyne believes the write up was a dishonest bid to get a refund.
Bannatyne is threatening to sue TripAdvisor for letting dishonest reviews ruin his hotels reputation and claims the review site has also removed positive reviews of his other hotels, according to The Telegraph.
TripAdvisor took a rare move by responding to Bannatyne (there policy is not to comment on individual cases). They claimed that Bannatyne and his staff infact bullied a guest by publishing telephone numbers on Twitter stating that they were the "most dishonest person of 2011". A spokeswoman for TripAdvisor stated that it has a zero tolerance policy towards bullying and it defends freedom of speech. It will take the allegations of fraud very seriously and investigate thoroughly and unverified reviews can be removed.
TripAdvisor has come under a lot of criticism over the way it operates in the past for limited moderation of the site threatens small hotel owner's livelihoods. After a long line of allegations against TripAdvisor by hoteliers, Bannatyne plans to lead a campaign for the removal of dishonest reviews and protection of hoteliers. Bannatyne describes the website as bullying small hotel owners all around the United Kingdom. Google has already removed TripAdvisor reviews in it's Places page as they are doubtful about the trustworthiness of it's user's reviews. Only time will tell if Bannatyne's backing of the campaign will make a difference to the moderation and verification of TripAdvisor reviews.
HitSearch's reputation management advice to small hotel managers is to understand Trip Advisors rules and regulations and flag up any reviews that breach them. You would be very surprised at how strong some of the review guidelines are!