How not to react to a bad TripAdvisor customer review

NOTE to tourism operators - the customer is always right even when they have written an unflattering review on TripAdvisor.

Instead of copping a bad review on the chin, Maleny Egyptian Dream Retreat owner Dalila Lacquiere decided to hit back.

"Your accusations are actually about you, how ugly and low self-esteem, hatred and envy you feel about yourself clouds your judgment," Ms Lacquiere wrote in a stinging retort on Facebook.

It all started when retired Cairns police officer Kate Rasmussen booked into the retreat with a friend for a peaceful getaway last week.

The booking was done through Expedia and they paid nearly $600 upfront for two nights.

But the problems started as soon as they tried to book in.

Ms Lacquiere wanted the couple's drivers licence and credit/ debit card details for a $250 bond, according to Ms Rasmussen.

Ms Rasmussen said they showed their credit card, but refused to give the CCV number on the back or photograph the driver's license.

The accommodation was also not as luxurious as they had hoped, she said.

After booking out, she wrote her review on TripAdvisor, giving the retreat a measly two stars. She said it was "falsely marketed and extremely overpriced".

They were expecting a room "overlooking an Egyptian pond, fragrant gardens, cascading water fountains and Maleny hillside views" as advertised on the retreat's webpage.

That was not the case, she said.

"There was no fountain, no cascading water of any sort and whilst the garden was fragrant, it had been taken over by weeds," she wrote.

There were good points, "breakfast both days was really lovely" and Ms Lacquiere offered the couple a $100 voucher off treatments.

But they never plan to return.

Not long after the review went up on TripAdvisor, Ms Lacquiere allegdly hit back on social media.

She said they had provided "everything as described with Expedia" and the complaint was "not about us, it is about you".

The comment was later removed.

Ms Lacquiere declined to respond to the Daily's questions on the stoush.

Sunshine Coast Destination chief Simon Ambrose had a word of advice.

"TripAdvisor is a really useful tool to provide feedback on an organisation where you stay or visit," he said

"On occasion, you get customers who aren't satisfied, the best way to deal with that is remember the customer is always right and take a conciliatory view."


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