A female customer left a one-star review on the TripAdvisor page of the Longs Arms in South Wraxall, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, after eating with her family in the pub last week.
She claimed the pub, which ranked 47th in this year’s Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs, “absolutely ruined” Mother’s Day, alleging that the beef she had ordered was wrongly cooked and that vegetables “looked very similar to veg out of a bag”.
She wrote: “I have NEVER had such awful customer service. We eat out regularly at local pubs and I will only complain if there is something to complain about.
“No apology just a feisty reply… really disappointed. We will definitely not be back.”
Asked to reconsider
When chef-patron Rob Allcock called her to see if the pub could do anything to make her reconsider her review, he claims she told him she would “only remove it for £500”.
Allcock told The Morning Advertiser (MA): “When she answered, I said to her I was the landlord and asked if we could sort the situation out. She started ranting at me, swearing and saying I shouldn’t be calling her.
“I asked her how we could resolve this and she goes “£500 and I'll remove the review”.
“And then she goes on another rant and then hangs up. Would I give her £500? Not a chance.”
The customer in question had “behaved aggressively to [Allcock’s] wife and several of the waitresses,” he added.
“When the girl went to the toilet, her family were apologising and two of them left out of embarrassment. The girl comes back to the table, they pay up and go into the garden.
“We have a three month old puppy in the garden – she kicked the puppy before she left. It’s an absolute p***take.
'We're not idiots'
“She sent the beef back three times saying it wasn't well-done enough. We’re not idiots. This woman got hold of a sirloin and was swinging it round her head saying to the people at the table ‘look at this, it's all fat’.
“I thought she was trying to get a freebie at first. When we sent the finely diced veg out to her she started shouting ‘this is frozen veg’ and then she started looking at my wife and going 'have you got a problem?'.”
Allcock said he hoped TripAdvisor would remove the review.
A spokesperson for TripAdvisor told The MA: "We take any allegations of blackmail very seriously. It is absolutely against the terms and spirit of our site.
"If an owner can present evidence than we will absolutely remove the the review from the site. We have a blackmail tool that allows owners to report allegations to us. Our fraud detection experts will then investigate."