TripAdvisor ‘a sad, desolate place’ says licensee

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Bad experience: Licensees 'abdicate' TripAdvisor
Bad experience: Licensees 'abdicate' TripAdvisor

Related tags Tripadvisor Review

The Queen Vic, Rottingdean, East Sussex, has refused to deal with TripAdvisor any longer after it claimed the platform encourages trolling, bullying and is “too emotionally draining”.

In a post on the pub’s website​, the Queen Vic’s owners openly vented their frustration at the “negative impact” the review site can have on businesses, describing their dealings with reviewers as being “uncomfortably like dealing with bullies by bullying them back”.

The post outlines three main issues the owners have with the platform, including the fact they don’t like TripAdvisor’s business model; that nasty reviews are “plainly by bullies” and that dealing with them is “emotionally draining”.

The post read: “TripAdvisor has become a sad, desolate place occupied by trolls and littered with dusty fake reviews from ranking-obsessed business owners…

“We have a number of issues with responding to TripAdvisor reviews. Firstly, we don't like their business model - the fact that they encourage trolling and that the balance is very much in the advantage of the reviewer rather than the businesses.”

‘Against their guidelines’

It continued: “Curiously, it isn’t against their guidelines to lie in a review – they insist that it’s up to the business to respond, so perpetuating the cycle of engagement. By responding to reviews it feels like we're legitimising TripAdvisor, which we just don't want to do.

“Secondly, while the negative reviews are quite often plainly bullying, we're lucky to be well educated and have a good turn of phrase. Many business owners seem to live for the one bad review that they can take apart with enough style to go viral.

“We regularly get people tell us how much they enjoy reading our previous responses to reviews. However, it feels uncomfortably like we're dealing with bullies by bullying them back harder, which just doesn’t make us feel like good people.

“Lastly, it's just too emotionally draining. We put our heart and soul into our pub and these reviews really hurt. But if we just ignore them and move on, it's much less painful than actually engaging.”

The operators go on to say they are lucky to be owner-operators of the business, are successful and popular.

Their status as business owners means they don’t have to put up with any of the rudeness or bad manners published about the pub on TripAdvisor, the letter said.

‘Shi**y TripAdvisor reviews’

“Unsurprisingly, this doesn’t go down well with some. Who then go and leave us shi**y TripAdvisor reviews.”

Trip Advisor told The Morning Advertiser​: "Contrary to what some may believe, the majority of reviews submitted on TripAdvisor are in fact positive – the average bubble rating is currently over four out of five.

"In addition, a lot of research shows that consumers want to hear the owners' side of the story as well as the customer's."

Meanwhile, a licensee put a TripAdvisor ‘bully’ in their place with a scathing response to a ‘fairy tale’ review​ of his pub earlier this year.

The Ducie Arms was attacked on TripAdvisor with a ‘terrible’ rating from reviewer gmanefc, who claimed his party was asked to move from its table despite it not being reserved.

Licensee Kevin Bales told The Morning Advertiser​ the review is "an excellent example of how someone can manipulate TripAdvisor to their own means".

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