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Tripadvisor Issues Warning After Thai Guest is Jailed

Tripadvisor guest goes to jail after giving bad review to Thailand hotel.

Credit: Pixabay

The popular travel site has posted a warning on a Thai hotel listing after a guest was put in jail for two days. This is because the guest gave a negative review!

Tripadvisor user Wesley Barnes took a trip to the island of Koh Chang and stayed at the Sea View Resort and Spa. Barnes gave the hotel bad reviews on the travel site and was arrested under the southeast Asian country’s defamation laws.

Apparently, the bad review consisted of modern-day slavery and Sea View Resort and Spa said it was unfounded. This led Barnes, the US citizen, to spend two nights detained and looking to face up to two years in jail. 

Barnes was released in October and has since left the southeast Asian country. This led Tripadvisor to add a warning to the listing of the hotel which has never been done before. 

The warning says: “This hotel or individuals associated with this hotel filed criminal charges against a Tripadvisor user in relation to the traveller writing and posting online reviews. The reviewer spent time in jail as a result. Tripadvisor serves its users best when travellers are free to share their opinions and experiences on our platform – both positive and negative. The hotel may have been exercising its legal rights under local law, however, it is our role to inform you so you may take this into consideration when researching your travel plans.”

In response to the alert, a spokesperson for Sea Views Resort and Spa said the hotel was disappointed with Tripadvisor’s choice in posting the warning. 

In case you’re wondering how this bad review came about, it was reported Barnes and a staff member got into a dispute. Barnes wanted to bring in his own alcohol in the restaurant and was causing a scene for not wanting to pay a corkage fee. 

After all, the hotel and Barnes agreed to dismiss the whole dispute. He apologized to the hotel, tourism authority in Thailand, and foreign media organizations. The apology consisted of Barnes taking back his negative review and saying he regretted writing it.

This led the hotel to withdraw their complaint. Want something positive out of all this? Look at how this Thailand restaurant is using pandas to encourage social distancing during the pandemic.

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