Extortion (also called blackmail, shakedown, out-wresting, and exaction)
is a criminal offense of unlawfully obtaining money, property, or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called protection.
Luckily for every establishment owner who had NO choice to be added to TripAdvisor, you can rest assure that TripAdvisor will have NOTHING to do with extortion practices..It’s true, take a look at what they themselves claim about this issue.
We take allegations of blackmail or threatening behavior by guests against property owners very seriously. Not only is it strictly against our guidelines, but it may also be illegal in many jurisdictions. If an owner experiences this, we urge them to contact us immediately and our content integrity team will investigate.
WOW, at least they are serious about something…. Thank god you can rely on TripAdvisor…
FORGET IT!!… TripAdvisor sits back and does absolutely NOTHING about stopping hard working establishment owners from getting extorted using their site. We managed to get our hands on some back and forth details between an establishment owner that was extorted and the disgraceful response from TripAdvisor.
Before we share the details, we would like to point out that this establishment had absolutely no problems with TripAdvisor [ 125 excellent reviews and 6 terrible reviews (of which 3 are from the same person) ], until it became clear with this issue that TripAdvisor does not care at all about any of the establishments or owners.
On April 5th 2012 the owners of the Green Parrot Belize received the following email.
—– Original Message —–
From: Meg Brossy
Sent: 04/05/12 09:39 AM
To: David & Linda Allardice
Subject: Recent visit to the Green Parrot
I am sure that by now you have heard of our disappointing visit to The Green Parrot from Leo. It was pretty much downhill from our arrival. Our boys ran ahead to the beach when we first got there and came back dejected, describing the four feet wide, two/three inch thick stretch of nasty wash-up that ran along the entire beach. No one had raked it (for a long time, it seems) and they didn’t want to walk through it. To be fair, we sat at the bar for about an hour, and no one else did either.
When we first got to the bungalow, I asked Leo if it cooled down at night because we realized immediately that there wasn’t any A/C. He said “We don’t advertise A/C on the web site…true, but you don’t say there is none either. In 85 degree weather, with 90 percent humidity, it was oppressive.
When it got time to go to bed, it hadn’t cooled down at all, but we went into the bungalow and I went upstairs to lie down. Even with all windows open, it was stifling, so I turned on the ceiling fan (which was advertised on the web site). It vibrated so badly, I was afraid to continue using it. To top all of this off, we were all sweating and Meg decided to go down and take a shower before coming to bed. When she turned the water on, immediately the bathroom began smelling like a decayed animal and the water was brownish…to the point where she didn’t to take a shower because then she would then smell like the water.
It got to the point where all combined, it was too mich to take. We checked out at 8:30 and found another place.
While travelling is always a risk/adventure, we are happy to pay for the first night. We understand your cancellation policy, but under the circumstance, do not think we should have to pay for the other two nights and ask that we settle this where it stands right now (assuming you haven’t put the charge for the second and third nights through). While not quite splitting the difference, you get the idea.
We are avid users of TripAdvisor.com and will refrain from a report if we can end this amicably. Hope you understand. Let us know.
Guy and Meg Brossy
Also, we did have dinner at your restaurant. While you may not be there that often, you should know that we were the only ones there for dinner, the service was non-existent and the food was poor.
—– End Original Message —–
As the owner of The Green Parrot wrote on the TripAdvisor’s Owners Forum [ that got removed by TripAdvisor for reasons unknown to anyone except the TripAdvisor Nazi’s that removed it! ], there is nothing wrong with this email, and YES it could have been solved amicably, ALL BUT the last sentence, “We are avid users of TripAdvisor.com and will refrain from a report if we can end this amicably. Hope you understand. Let us know.“..
This is a clear threat to use TripAdvisor as a scare tactic to extort the owner. The owner David did the right thing, ignored the threat, and sent all the details to TripAdvisor.
Of course Mr Allardice never heard back from TripAdvisor… ( probably too busy working on their very sophisticated fake review filters )..
Four days later The Green Parrot received THREE negative reviews, 1 from Meg Brossy and 2 from Guy Brossy, that’s correct, Guy Brossy using TWO accounts to maximize damage… TripAdvisor does NOTHING about this..
Like anyone would do, Mr Allardice AGAIN contacted TripAdvisor to ask WHY one couple can post THREE negative reviews??
Date: April 11, 2012 10:30:56 PM EDT
Subject: Re: Your Review Dispute
This couple posted 3 reviews. Explain that policy to me
On Apr 11, 2012, at 9:26 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Dear TripAdvisor Listing Owner,
Thank you for expressing your concern about the following review:
Title: Beware … dishonest owner/manager
Each reviewer is only allowed to write one review per property. That said, two reviewers who have shared an experience are both entitled to post independent reviews about this experience. For example, we would allow a husband and wife traveling together to post individual reviews of a shared experience.
We understand that there are two sides to every story and encourage you to write a management response to be posted on our site. Your response will appear immediately below the review in question.
Yet ANOTHER template “droid” answer, that yet again DOESN’T answer the question ” WHY IS 1 COUPLE ALLOWED TO POST 3 REVIEWS?“
So, TripAdvisor completely ignores the “call for help” from Mr Allardice, AND hasn’t yet answered a single question, so the only thing left to do, is to explain HIS side of the story by posting a “Management Response”, which he did…
—original management response—–
Subject: Green Parrot Beach Houses
Title: Owner response
This review is the result of a billing dispute and should never have been posted as a Trip Advisor comment about the services of the Green Parrot Resort. The guest arrived and decided that they did not want to stay. This was after they had signed our refund policy statement that requires a 21 day notice prior to arrival to receive a full refund. The guest never stayed over night at the resort. Then the guest demanded a full refund – or they would write a bad review at Trip Advisor. In fact, the guest emailed us that: “We are avid TripAdvisor.com and will refrain from a report if we can end this amicably. Hope you understand” If any prospective guest would like a copy of the threatening email that was sent to us – just send us a request and we will email a copy back to you.
This is an example of what we call Trip Advisor extortion. This is where a guest demands some type of payment -money, free food, free trips, etc. – or else they will post a negative report on Trip Advisor. We will not be intimidated by such threats. This is an example of a person that thinks they can use threats to destroy a business that has been built up over 12 years of hard work. All of our guests know what our refund and cancellation policy is – they sign a copy and know the terms.We fully disclose this information up front before you arrive.
We try to accommodate guests that have a problem with our services – however we will not bend to undue pressure. We feel that our history of positive Trip Advisor comments speaks for themselves.
Sure we have had bad comments, but we try to make improvements as a result of them. In this case the comment is biased and designed to cause great harm to the staff and operations of our business.
—end original management response—–
[ Of course the Management Response got rejected, every owner knows that a managers response only gets posted if you kiss ass response and NOT your side of the story ]
Mr Allardice received the same automated email as every other owner / manager receives when trying to explain their side of the story..
— original TA response —–
On Apr 7, 2012, at 9:33 PM, email@example.com wrote:
Thank you very much for taking the time to write a management response on TripAdvisor. Unfortunately, we cannot publish your response because it does not meet our posting guidelines.
We do not post management responses that contain [comments regarding TripAdvisor policy].
You are welcome to edit and resubmit your management response at any time through the management response form. For further information on our management response guidelines, please visit:
Please let us know if you have further concerns. We value your contributions and look forward to receiving your edited and resubmitted response.
TripAdvisor Support Team
— end original TA response —–
So at this point lets break things down:
1 – The Green Parrot in Belize receives an email from Guy & Meg Brossy threatening to post negative reviews on TripAdvisor UNLESS..
2 – The owner of The Green Parrot refuses to bow to the extortionists, and sends the details to TripAdvisor.
3 – TripAdvisor completely ignores the situation and does NOTHING.
4 – Guy & Meg Brossy post THREE negative reviews using THREE accounts to maximise damage calling the owner / manager dishonest and swindlers!
5 – Mr Allardice contacted TripAdvisor AGAIN to point out 3 reviews were posted by 2 people
6 – TripAdvisor ignores it, and advises Mr Allardice to tell “His side of the story” with a Mangement Response
7 – Mr Allardice follows TripAdvisor’s advice, and posts a Management Response explaining his side of the story.
8 – TripAdvisor REJECTS Mr Alladice’s side of the story, and suggests he posts a different version of his story or better still “Kiss Ass”
9 – TripAdvisor dropped The Green Parrot ranking from #3 to #7
[ So TripAdvisor, what is it you actually do when an establishment is being or has been extorted?.. It seems you do absolutely NOTHING! You just sit back and do nothing when evidence is sent to you. You allow 2 people to post 3 negative reviews thus maximizing the damage. You suggest owners / managers post a management response, giving them the chance to tell / share their side of the story… but you never post them !! Why is it that the reviewer can post almost anything, even personal stuff about individuals, but the owner has to adhere to a complete list of rules.
Yeahh, get the Truth.. the one sided truth!… Transparency my ass! ]
Lets take a closer look at the THREE reviews TripAdvisor approved and posted. [ click on image for full size ]
Here is what other guests have to say about the rooms at the Green Parrot .. seems like the Brossy’s are the only ones with issues..
Check why more than 90% of visitors rate The Green Parrot Excellent and Very Good
Sorry TripAdvisor, what was your Policy against Blackmailing and Extortion again??
TripAdvisor you are an absolute DISGRACE. You allow honest hard working people to get destroyed on your site, and you do nothing about it.
The owners of The Green Parrot contacted you in good faith with ALL the details you could ever need to stop this couple from causing this forewarned damage. You did absolutely nothing!!
Mr Alladice did EVERYTHING by the book, by YOUR rules, and what did you do in return? you kicked him when he was down…
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