LoyaltyLobby reader forwarded me an email today that he had received after booking an independent hotel using Booking.com.
Here’s the email from the reader:
In regards to your article on hostile reviews, I booked an independent hotel in Berwick Upon Tweed UK, and received this email after my confirmation ;
From: The Castle Hotel <email@example.com>
Date: 12 September 2016 at 05:00:25 BST
Subject: Online Booking Reminder
The management of the Hotel will charge an Administration Fee of £100 + VAT if the circumstances arise where a response has to be made to any comment or picture posted on electronic media which is in their opinion unfair or scurrilous in nature or to which they were not given opportunity to rectify when or after the service was provided. This charge will be deducted from the Credit or Debit card provided as guarantee for the booking. The Hotel management reserve the right to amend or cancel any booking without notice.
It goes without saying I cancelled my booking as was concerned that any establishment would warn about a charge for submitting a negative review, what horrors await.
Had a look at twenty or so most recent reviews and the management hadn’t left a single reply.
I believe the reader made the right choice and canceled his stay. If the “welcome” email is this nasty, I would have run away as well.
Why do properties think that they could get away with something like this? You get favorable reviews and you get critical ones like any other property. Overall, they do give a fair picture of what is going on.
Seems that some owners still don’t understand how review sites and social media work. Negative emails like the one above don’t do any good for the property. It already sets a negative tone for the stay had the reader decided not to cancel it.