Giving customers the power to rate businesses allows consumers to share thoughtful feedback owners would have never received in the past. It also opens up the door to some absurd and self-entitled claims. Like this one.
An Australian tourist recently left a negative review of the restaurant Eala Bhan in Sligo, Ireland, not for its food or for its service, but for something that happened after the guest left the restaurant.
"The food was quite reasonable, however we were extremely disappointed to find that the operator lacked integrity," the tourist wrote of their experience in June.
After leaving the restaurant and arriving at their next destination, the diner noticed they had accidentally left their windbreaker and a pair of glasses behind, so they phoned the establishment. The restaurant agreed to forward the jacket and glasses, and the customer emailed over details of where to send them, in addition to their credit card info to cover the cost of shipping.
After following up twice "within a week or so" with no response, the customer decided to leave a three star review and question the owner's integrity.
"Bottom line is food might be OK, but integrity is seriously lacking," the customer wrote.
Not to be wrongfully crossed, Anthony — the owner of Eala Bhan — responded on TripAdviser, giving a pretty solid excuse for why it slipped his mind.
"We are delighted you enjoyed your meal at multi award winning restaurant here in Sligo serving the finest local sourced ingredients on the very edge of the beautiful Wild Atlantic Way!" he began.
Then things got real:
I apologise that I had not immediately sent your belongings back to Australia. I should have done a Joe ninety on it and hot tailed it up to the local post office and made your jacket a priority but unfortunately these things don't always happen the way you may have planed. I mean I'm only trying to run 2 restaurants in the middle of summer while my manager whom I'm delighted to say is 6 months pregnant but unfortunately is suffering God bless her wee soul and out of work resting which i insisted on!!!
Having 3 children myself under the age of 10 running around the house like
gladiators and tearing to pieces while not going to bed on time, rising like ninjas at dawn I am what you might say just a little tired and a tad busy . I should have pushed this way up my priority list but forgot and while all of this is going I'm very busy busting a gut here and in the UK promoting my beloved Sligo. Why do I do this? I love my town, I love it's people, I love every tourist that graces this beautiful part of the world and provides me and my staff with a living.
People make mistakes and forget things just like you did with your possessions. But to come on TripAdvisor and review me about my lack of postal skills honesty and integrity beggars belief considering I never laid my mince pies eyes on you ! I mean you are butchering my name insofar as my forgetfulness yet it was your forgetfulness that has us here!!!! POT KETTLE BLACK ( Google it) finally I just checked the weather forecast in your part of sunny Australia and I reckon you will be fairly safe insofar as your lack of windbreaker......jaysus it's roasting in your
spot boi!! You lucky duck!!!
Anthony also let the man know that his wind breaker was en route, free of charge. But not without dissing the windbreaker.
He also drove home the purpose of the review site.
And then finished it off with a nice goodbye.
Eala Bhan is ranked third on a list of 121 restaurants in Sligo, and has a 4.5 star rating with over 900 reviews.