B&B owner wins landmark victory over TripAdvisor

5th November 2012

B&B owner wins landmark victory over TripAdvisor This is an interesting story for all Shropshire Tourism members, plus we re-cap on some top-tips for responding to reviews...

TravelMole has recently reported that a bed and breakfast owner in the Outer Hebrides has won a landmark legal victory against review website TripAdvisor.

Richard Gollin, 64, launched a small claims action at Stornoway Sheriff Court over what he says are ‘false and malicious’ criticisms of his guesthouse in Lewis, which the site refused to take down after being posted by its users.

He claimed that negative comments posted cost him valuable bookings of around £2,000.

Until now, TripAdvisor, which is based in the US, has denied it was subject to UK laws and could therefore not be sued. But Mr Gollin’s lawyer won a concession from the firm which has agreed it can be sued in Scotland.

However, TripAdvisor has won its request to hear the action in a higher court which would require Mr Gollin to hire a lawyer and be exposed to limitless expenses.

The bed and breakfast owner has appealed and it is expected to be heard in two months.

If it goes ahead, it is believed the case will pivot on the legal interpretation of TripAdvisor’s website terms and under the basis of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.

A spokesman for TripAdvisor said: “We understand the importance that the reviews and opinions on TripAdvisor have to properties and businesses listed on the site.

"It's our top priority to ensure the content we feature is authentic and we dedicate significant time and resources to that end, including a host of over 25 sophisticated filters, a team of detectives, and our community of over 56 million users who help us police reviews."

"If an owner feels they've been subjected to an unfair review, we urge them to contact us immediately."

"We value the insights of the business owners as well as travellers and both are given an equal opportunity to speak to the TripAdvisor community."

Click here for the full Travelmole article


TripAdvisor rebuked over 'trust' claims on its website

You may remember reading in Shropshire Tourism's February e-newsletter that TripAdvisor had been told it could no longer claim to offer ‘trusted and honest reviews' after an investigation by advertising watchdogs found the site could not guarantee customer feedback was genuine.

Honest reviews or not, our advice to you remains unchanged - if your business is on TripAdvisor (or any other review website) make sure you check it regularly so that you can respond, either by thanking guests for their comments or investigating any negative feedback.

We share some top tips for responding to reviews from the Head of Industry Relations at TripAdvisor - click here