Hoteliers are being 'blackmailed' by hotel guests who use the threat of writing a bad review on Tripadvisor to get refunds and upgrades, according to a new report.
The Times newspaper says it has seen complaints from more than 80 hotel and B&B owners claiming that guests have been unjustifiably using the travel site as a 'weapon' against them.
Examples include one hotelier who said a room had been damaged by a guest. When confronted, the guest threatened to write a bad review on the travel site.
Another hotel owner said a guest asked for almost £1,000 in compensation after suffering food poisoning. When the hotel refused to pay (pointing out that no other guest had been taken ill), the customer posted a negative review.
A spokesperson for Tripadvisor said: "We take allegations of blackmail or threatening behaviour by guests against property owners very seriously. Not only is it strictly against our guidelines, but it may also be illegal."
Tripadvisor recently launched a new customer support phone line for hotels to report reviews that it believes are untruthful.