Being accused of blackmail by B&B owner
Two years ago we visited Madrid. We stayed in a B&B and the stay was horrible - the room was appalling and on top of that we had bugs in our rooms! We took some photos, and in order not to ruin our holiday we didnt say anything to the owner of the B&B during our stay. On our return home, we talked and decided to contact the owner about it as we were very frustrated. It was our custom to write a review every-time we go abroad but this time we decided to send an e-mail to the owner asking them for a small refund to make up for the bad service. They refused and accused us of blackmail! We were very angry and posted a review on this website, stating that we were not given a refund for the bad accommodation and stating true facts. They also said they will report us to the police...
We are planning to go to Madrid again next September - should we worry about the police thing?! We never heard from anyone for these past two years and we even removed the review as a gesture of friendship...
Hello lollyf and welcome to Travelblog!
I strongly suspect that you have nothing to worry about. If the police wanted to question you, they would have already been in contact. I'm sure the B&B owner would have given them your details if he had gone to the police.
It's been two years, I very much doubt anything will happen. Plus what you did was not blackmail - that involves payment for not stating something publicly, it is not requesting refund for poor service.
I agree with Shane. And short of staying at the same B&B again, it is unlikely anyone involved (ie: the owner) would even know you are back in Madrid.
Hello Lollyf and welcome to travel blog,
We agree that it is unlikely that you need to worry about the police.
I think you should have said something to the owner of the B&B while you were staying there. If the room is bad they need to know and be given an opportunity to make it right. It is possible you had a bad room or maybe that is their norm but we feel it is important to give them an opportunity to make it right. If you had discussed it with them they may have been willing to make an adjustment.
It seems unfair to post a negative review without sharing your feelings with them while you were there. Since you did not discuss this with him while you were there I think you did the right thing by taking the review down. We don't write anything in an on-line review that we have not discussed with the establishment first, good or bad.
In response to: Msg #171878
Many thanks for your replies. Sorry couldn't reply back earlier...
Well the think is that we were stupid enough not to complain whilst there. After all we had the right to do so if the room was not good enough! Moreover trying to rectify things from home was a mission impossible. The negative review was justified though I asked for a refund to make up for the bad experience and not for typing the review. Nonetheless we removed the review.
We are people who worry a lot for nothing and we are still worried that we might find the police waiting for us at the airport in Madrid as the owner had threatened us that he will report for blackmail!!
Cant get our minds at rest on this one :/
It is easy to be wise in hindsight, how many times has that occurred in my life! I do think you did the right thing. I also hope that you can let it rest. Once you have returned to Spain and not had any troubles, then I am sure your mind will once again be at ease about Spain and this incident.
I'm not sure what I did was blackmail, but once I paid the lowest price for a non-refundable hotel room. Tripadvisor had all great reviews. When I got to the hotel, checked in (first clue to a bad hotel is the scented spray they use to cover smells), and went to the room it was terrible...dirty sheets and towels, etc. I immediately returned to the desk to check out, telling the desk clerk not to charge my room. The desk clerk said that only the owner could make that decision as the price was non-refundable. I called the owner the next day, informing her that if they charged me for the room, I would give negative reviews on all the hotel rating sites. She didn't charge me. I was still tempted to rate the hotel just for the benefit of other travelers, but anyone who believes the ratings, especially Tripadvisor, should figure out for themselves how to deal with it...like I did.