by Kim Niemi
Negative reviews are par for the course in the hospitality industry, but this time a nasty customer review, meant to throw a little shade on an Oregon hotel, went too far. And the hotel isn’t taking it lying down.
In case you were under the impression that social sabotage only affects businesses, here’s a case of social sabotage that backfired on the saboteur.
After a stay at the Ashley Inn in Lincoln City, Oregon, someone with the username “12Kelly” posted a negative review on TripAdvisor that included the assertions that, “[the] laundry and housekeeping are either high or drunk” and that the “owner smokes weed.”
If “12Kelly” was trying to stir up trouble, they got their wish. The hotel has filed a defamation lawsuit to stop further posts and additional damage to the establishment’s reputation. The review was anonymous, but it’s only a matter of time before they connect the dots.
A few lessons from the reviewer’s side:
Online reviews can be a wonderful thing – the ability for those who have tried a product to share their experience with those wondering if making the same purchase will be worthwhile is an advantage of the digital age. Just be careful not to abuse the privilege, or you might end up in hot water.