Assoc: Customers threaten bad reviews to extort cafe owners

Photo: Cafe 't Loosje
Photo: Cafe 't LoosjePhoto: Cafe 't Loosje

More than 60 percent of cafe- and restaurant owners have been blackmailed with negative reviews from customers. Customers would negotiate a substantial discount or demand a free cup of coffee in exchange for not posting a bad review on influential rating sites like yelp.com, lens.nl and Thuisbezorgd.nl.

This is according to a survey done by branch organization Koninklijke Horeca Nederland among 770 business owners in the hospitality industry, AD reports. According to the branch organization, the owners of the establishments often give in so as not to damage the reputation of their business.

"Reason for us to take action right now", KHN spokesperson Jos Prinssen said to the AD. They have lodged a complaint with the Authority for Consumers and Markets and will also send letters to large review and rating sites. "We want to know from them how they are going to safeguard this and how they will ensure that the reliability of online reviews improve."

The KHN wants guests only t be able to leave a review if they have actually visited the restaurant, such as is already the case on booking site booking.com. On that site you can only leave a review if you have already paid for your hotel visit.

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