B&B owner wins landmark case against TripAdvisor

2012-10-12 11:53
A bed and breakfast owner in Scotland has won a landmark legal victory against review website TripAdvisor, TravelMole reports.

Richard Gollin, 64, launched a small claims action at Stornoway Sheriff Court over what he says are "false and malicious" criticisms of his guesthouse in Lewis, which the site refused to take down after being posted by its users.

He claimed that negative comments posted cost him valuable bookings of around £2,000 (R27 600).

Until now, TripAdvisor, which is based in the US state of Massachusetts, has denied it was subject to UK laws and could therefore not be sued.

Gollin's lawyer, Duncan Burd, however, won a concession from the firm which has agreed it can be sued in Scotland.

In the mean time TripAdvisor has won its request to hear the action in a higher court, to which the bed and breakfast owner has launched another appeal which is expected to be heard in two months.

If it goes ahead, it is believed the case will pivot on the legal interpretation of TripAdvisor's website terms and under the basis of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.

The case could see subsequent legal action against the site as any decision could be cited in cases outside Scotland.

A spokesman for TripAdvisor said: "We understand the importance that the reviews and opinions on TripAdvisor have to properties and businesses listed on the site."
They added that their content is controlled quite closely with 25 sophisticated filters blocking out spam and 56million users to help police.

"If an owner feels they've been subjected to an unfair review, we urge them to contact us immediately.

Read more on:    travel international

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