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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
    Klondyke's Avatar
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    American sued in Thailand

    American sued in Thailand over negative Tripadvisor review


    Bangkok (AFP)

    An American has been sued by an island resort in Thailand over a negative Tripadvisor review, authorities said Saturday, and could face up to two years in prison if found guilty.

    Domestic tourism is still happening in Thailand, where coronavirus numbers are relatively low, with locals and expats heading to near-empty resorts -- including Koh Chang island, famed for its sandy beaches and turquoise waters.

    But a recent visit to the Sea View Resort on the island landed Wesley Barnes in trouble after he wrote unflattering online reviews about his holiday.

    "The Sea View Resort owner filed a complaint that the defendant had posted unfair reviews on his hotel on the Tripadvisor website," Colonel Thanapon Taemsara of Koh Chang police told AFP.

    He said Barnes was accused of causing "damage to the reputation of the hotel", and of quarrelling with staff over not paying a corkage fee for alcohol brought to the hotel.

    Barnes, who works in Thailand, was arrested by immigration police and returned to Koh Chang where he was briefly detained and then freed on bail.

    According to the Tripadvisor review Barnes posted in July, he encountered "unfriendly staff" who "act like they don't want anyone here".

    Barnes and the Sea View Resort did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    Thailand's notorious anti-defamation laws have long drawn scrutiny from human rights and press freedom groups, who say powerful players use it as a weapon to stifle free expression.

    The maximum sentence is two years in prison, along with a 200,000 baht ($6,300) fine.

    Earlier this year, a Thai journalist was sentenced to two years in prison for posting a tweet referencing a dispute over working conditions at a chicken farm owned by the Thammakaset company.

    American sued in Thailand over negative Tripadvisor review - France 24

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Koh Chang resort sues American over bad review

    A Koh Chang resort is reportedly suing an American resident after leaving a bad online review on TripAdvisor. After recently visiting the Sea View Resort on Trat province island in the Gulf of Thailand, American Wesley Barnes allegedly wrote an unflattering account of his stay prompting the owner to file a complaint over the Ďunfairí review. Barnes allegedly is accused of causing damage to the hotelís reputation as well as fighting with hotel staff over refusing to pay a corkage fee for alcohol that he had allegedly brought into the hotel. Barnesí review on TripAdvisor below, reportedly got him in hot water with police.


    Wesley B wrote a review Jul 2020
    Unfriendly staff and horrible restaurant manager
    Unfriendly staff, no one ever smiles. They act like they donít want anyone there. The restaurant manager was the worst. He is from the Czech Republic. He is extremely rude and impolite to guests. Find a another place. There are plenty with nicer staff that are happy you are staying with them.
    Date of stay: June 2020


    Police detained and arrested Barnes, who works and lives in Thailand, and returned him to the island where he was freed on bail. If convicted, Barnes could face up to 2 years in jail along with up to a 200,000 baht fine under current defamation laws.


    Sea View is located on Kai Bae Beach currently ranks 10th out of 85 properties on the island that have been reviewed on TripAdvisor. Out of 1,922 reviews, 1,090 rate the resort as excellent, 580 rate it as very good, 170 as average, 48 as poor and 32 as terrible.

    Koh Chang resort sues American over bad review | The Thaiger

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    This is about the most ridiculous thing I have ever read. Arrested for a TripAdvisor review!

  4. #4
    Pedantic bastard
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    Think he is in big trouble. Think it does not matter here if what he wrote was true.

  5. #5
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    This is about the most ridiculous thing I have ever read. Arrested for a TripAdvisor review!
    Ridiculous, yet not that​ surprising.
    Last edited by cyrille; 26-09-2020 at 06:56 PM. Reason: Freedom! Freedom! Freedom! Freeeedom!

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat raycarey's Avatar
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    could be wrong, but i think there was more to the review than what is included in the linked article......something about avoid the hotel as if it was COVID.

    which is probably what pushed the owner over the edge....not saying it's right what the owner did...but posting anything about COVID in a hotel's review during this time is likely to elicit an over the top response.

    the blow back on the hotel is probably going to be fierce, so i'd bet this dies down quickly and quietly.

  7. #7
    The Fool on the Hill bowie's Avatar
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    There are always two sides...


    Rating 4.5 out of 5 Excellent based on 1,920 traveler reviews


    #10 of 85 hotels in Ko Chang

    Traveler rating

    • Excellent 1,090
    • Very Good 582
    • Average 170
    • Poor 48
    • Terrible 32


    Wesley B
    wrote a review Jul 2020

    Unfriendly staff and horrible restaurant manager

    Unfriendly staff, no one ever smiles. They act like they don't want anyone there. The restaurant manager was the worst. He is from the Czech Republic. He is extremely rude and impolite to guests. Find a another place. There are plenty with nicer staff that are happy you are staying with them.

    Date of stay: June 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.


    Response from Tom Storup, Other at Sea View Resort & Spa Koh Chang Responded Jul 20, 2020

    Dear Wesley B,
    We are sad to see that you have decided to post 2 negative reviews (the first one removed by Tripadvisor for violating their review guidelines) with the only purpose to defame our Food & Beverage Manager and the resort. We are certain, however, that everyone that reads and compares your review to that of all our other guests will see that your comments are far from the truth. We think it is very unfair for that you have chosen to try to give a very negative image of our wonderful resort and our very friendly staff so we would like to shed some light on what made you go this far.

    On the day you arrived, you decided together with some friends to have dinner in our Sunset Restaurant and you brought along your own bottle of liquor which goes against our rules, as it does in any hotel or resort I have worked or visited around the globe. As a standard, for any guest willing to bring their own bottled drinks there is a corkage fee of 500THB which you were informed by a member of our staff. When she informed you about our house rules you dismissed her and used abusive language towards her. The Food & Beverage Manager decided to intervene for the safety and comfort of our staff and guests who were having a peaceful dinner.

    It was then when another guest at your table took over the conversation with our F&B Manager and he apologized profusely and shook hands after a short chat. The F&B Manager then decided that, in order to avoid further disturbance, to allow you to have that liquor without charging you for the corkage fee.

    It was to our surprise that even after all the disruption you caused and our gesture of allowing you to drink your own bottle of liquor at our restaurant you still decided to write negative reviews on all possible review sites.

    We wish you a safe trip here in Thailand and we hope that other resorts don’t have to go through the same experience as the one we had.

    Best Regards,

    Tom Storup
    Rooms Division Manager

    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat
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    The full story with screen shots is on Richard Barrow's site. After reading it all I think the hotel are in the right, they reached out looking to make matters right with the whiner but he only replied a few months later after he was arrested. Fuck him

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    ^ Link to letter from Barrow’s site.

    20200926 Press Release.pdf - Google Drive

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowie View Post
    We wish you a safe trip here in Thailand, which may now be extended by 2 years in prison as we've gone to the coppers.
    Best Regards,

    Tom Storup
    Rooms Division Manager
    Maybe they can deliver him dinner in the clinko once a month or something. Let him review it.

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat raycarey's Avatar
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    two takeaways from that letter....

    1. even money that wesley has been a TD member at some point.
    2. any advice for wesley about life on the inside of a thai prison, topper?

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    Koh Chang resort sues American over bad review
    Somebody posted it here this afternoon:

    American sued in Thailand

  13. #13
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    Having his comeuppance.
    Fuck 'im...

  14. #14
    Lone Monarchist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Headworx View Post
    The full story with screen shots is on Richard Barrow's site. After reading it all I think the hotel are in the right, they reached out looking to make matters right with the whiner but he only replied a few months later after he was arrested. Fuck him
    I agree. These hotel operators aren't pushovers.

    They let him drink his liquor in the restaurant and the douchey seppo still shat on them.

  15. #15
    Lone Monarchist
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    This is about the most ridiculous thing I have ever read. Arrested for a TripAdvisor review!
    Nah this is great. The Seppo is an arsehole.

    I am gonna stay at Sea View because of this. They were fair. They thought they rectified the situation and then the Seppo took a steaming shit on their review page.
    Last edited by Backspin; 26-09-2020 at 10:35 PM.

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Barrow's reply from him:

    Koh Chang resort sues American over bad review-ei17jtdvgaaq3eg-jpg

    Koh Chang resort sues American over bad review-ei17jtevoaa8ics-jpg

  17. #17
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    international news now ! this resort is dead and greatly deserves it ! I will help as much as possible !

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat
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    Damn, you guys best go through all your film reviews in the Multimedia Forum and edit everything to 10 stars.

    Don't want to spend a weekend in the clinker and pay 100k bail.

  19. #19
    Lone Monarchist
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    Quote Originally Posted by questionsreplies View Post
    international news now ! this resort is dead and greatly deserves it ! I will help as much as possible !
    Nope. Any publicity is good publicity

  20. #20
    RIP
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    TripAdvisor is exactly what it says.
    What about the other 32 terrible reviews?

  21. #21
    Custom Title Changer
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    Poor fuckwit....

    Any normal person would have looked up Thai defamation law when threatened. It's one thing to "defame" another foreigner, it's quite another to do the same to a Thai national.

    It's an easy court case to win, if the guy wants to pay for a lawyer, however I would recommend mediation.
    "I was a good student. I comprehend very well, OK, better than I think almost anybody," - President Trump comparing his legal knowledge to a Federal judge.

  22. #22
    Thailand Expat armstrong's Avatar
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    Dying to take a red pen to that statement.

  23. #23
    Custom Title Changer
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    Quote Originally Posted by armstrong View Post
    Dying to take a red pen to that statement.
    Fooking low life TEFLer..

  24. #24
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    You cannot disagree publicly with authority in this country particularly if it has commercial implications, whether it is a general, a judge, a policeman, a civil servant or in this case, a hotel owner or manager whose reputation has been impugned.

    I've been to this resort albeit over ten years ago, a very quiet place set within lush tropical grounds abutting the beach. The hotel food was excellent, best in Thailand in my experience, and the whole area was mercifully free from: young people, fire wankers on the beach, ghastly drum'n bass tech hip hop shit and blessedly no children. As I recall the main evening pastime was watching the huge fruit bats lurching from tree to tree gorging on mangos etc and guessing how many tukays a tukay would croak after his initial warble.

    Great place for relaxation but 6000 baht is taking the piss.
    Last edited by Seekingasylum; 27-09-2020 at 12:13 AM.

  25. #25
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    Now that's review!

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