The next time you think of going somewhere and leaving some negative reviews on travelling websites, keep in mind that some irate resort owner may slap a defamation case against you. At least that is what has happened with an American man in Thailand, who is now facing up to two years in prison for leaving a bad Tripadvisor review for a resort in Thailand.
According to the Insider, one Wesley Barnes — an American working in Thailand — was sued by an island resort in Thailand after he left a negative review on Tripadvisor. The outlet reports that the owner of the Sea View Resort on Thailand’s Koh Chang Island filed a complaint against Barnes, accusing him of causing “damage to the reputation of the hotel”, after his visit in July.
Barnes, who works in Thailand, had purportedly left a one-star review for the resort, calling out “unfriendly staff and horrible restaurant manager”.
“Unfriendly staff, no one ever smiles. They act like they don’t want anyone there. The restaurant manager was the worst. He is from the Czech Republic. He is extremely rude and impolite to guests. Find another place. There are plenty with nicer staff that are happy you are staying with them,” read the review on the Tripadvisor website.
In the review’s response, the resort’s rooms division manager Tom Storup and staff accused Barnes of refusing to pay a ‘corkage fee’ for alcohol that he purchased and brought into the resort’s restaurant. He was also accused of using “abusing language” when communicating with employees.
“We chose to file a complaint to serve as a deterrent, as we understood he may continue to write negative reviews week after week for the foreseeable future,” the hotel told The Telegraph.
It is believed that Thailand has some strict rules in place, and its anti-defamation laws can lead to long prison sentences and/or fines. While Barnes was arrested by the immigration police, he has since been released on bail.
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