How to get free stuff: One-star stick-ups destroy service industry with blackmail

One-star stick-up artists are blackmailing the service industry by threatening to leave poor reviews on websites like Tripadvisor and Yelp.

Hotel and restaurant staffers are buckling to peoples’ demands of additional or free services or be forced to deal with the low ratings. All facets of the service industry risk being affected by the growing problem.

Craig Savage, who runs the Double Barrel Steakhouse and Grill in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, told the Telegraph that about 30 of the 1,000 meals he serves each week are given to customers demanding comped meals in exchange for positive reviews.

“TripAdvisor needs to have a policy where reviewers should not be able to tell restaurant staff that they are a reviewer.” said Savage’s partner, Sarah Bird.

Although TripAdvisor would like to curb the problem, other websites are selling cards that identify the cardholder as a reviewer to present to staff at businesses.


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