Customer reviews

TripAdvisor: Outraged pub owner issues 1,000 word rebuttal to scathing review

By Emily Sutherland

- Last updated on GMT

Venue owner Paul Bell said he was 'deeply saddened by the review'
Venue owner Paul Bell said he was 'deeply saddened by the review'

Related tags Pub owner English-language films Tripadvisor

An outraged pub owner has issued a 1,000 word response exposing the ‘sober reality’ behind a scathing TripAdvisor review.

The How Do You Do pub in North Shields was subject to a scathing review from one user of the review website, who accused the pub being verbally and physically abusive and staff of ‘disgusting’ behaviour.

The review read: “They let random strangers from the street enter the wedding venue. When questioned, they hurled abuse at not only guests but at the bride and groom. They proceeded to have a lock in (illegal) where they kicked the wedding guests (bar a few) out of the venue.

“Just goes to show, you can sugar coat crap, but it will still always be crap.”

However, pub owner Paul Bell was not prepared to take the review-which has since been deleted- lying down.

He said: “Venues, small businesses and sole traders very rarely get to provide the sober reality of what happened.

"The ‘random strangers-these people were in fact local residents and friends who frequent the premises on a regular basis. They entered a public bar and out of respect and because our highly trained staff asked them to, they remained in the front bar. The venue was not for the wedding party’s exclusive use and the front bar has been a public bar for the past 400 years and will remain that way."

The pub then accused guests of taking drugs in the toilets, acting aggressively towards staff, punching and kicking windows and doors and refusing to leave the venue. Police were then called.

Bell told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser​: “We are saddened by these terrible comments as our staff and management put their heart and soul into making customers feel welcome and cared for. We believe we go above and beyond and have just undergone a major refurbishment and investment of over 200k. More businesses should stand up to people making these comments and allegations. There's more that needs to be done to regulate TripAdvisor reviews-this is something I feel very strongly about."

TripAdvisor came under fire in 2015 from a campaign calling for reviews​ to only be posted alongside a receipt, proving the reviewer was a genuine customer.

However, a spokesperson from the company said the system would be unfair to customers who might not have been the one to pay the bill but still wanted to provide feedback.

Pub manager Peter Dodman also hit out against the company​ after he received a ‘terrible’ review despite a barman saving a wedding guests life.’

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