Hotel in Thailand threatens legal action after customer leaves negative review

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A hotel in Khao Yai has allegedly threatened a customer with legal action after they posted a negative review online.

The customer reportedly gave the hotel a low rating when reviewing it on a travel agency website after staying at the resort in December last year.

The incident came to light after Sittra Biabangkerd, Secretary-general of the Lawyers for the People Foundation posted on Facebook to say he had been contacted by the customer who was seeking assistance over the lawsuit.

Mr Sittra said the customer gave the hotel a 6/10 rating and wrote about her negative experience when staying there on December 19th.

The customer said she was just being honest about her experience. She claimed the hotel was overpriced.

It is alleged the customer then received a staggering set of demands including a threat of legal action, a requirement to make a public apology and a hefty fine if she failed to comply.

Mr Sittra said the hotel contacted the customer asking her to not only remove the post online but also pay compensation of ฿3 million.

She was also asked to issue a public apology which needed to be published in Thailand’s five leading daily newspapers. If she failed to comply, she was threatened with a fine of ฿50,000 per day.

Mr Sittra said the customer had contacted him on a pro bono basis to try and ascertain if she genuinely could be the subject of legal action from the hotel.

Mr Sittra said the review has since been removed the website.

However, he said the customer had not removed it and wondered whether the hotel had asked the website operators directly to remove the review.

This isn’t the first time a customer in Thailand has been threatened with legal action after leaving a negative review online.

In Oct 2020, an American man narrowly avoided jail after leaving a negative review about a hotel in Koh Chang.

And while that case was a little more nuanced, Thailand’s strict anti-defamation laws should not be underestimated.

Offenders who are found guilty of defamation can be jailed for up to two years and/or face a fine of up to ฿200,000.