A row between Tripadvisor and a hotel in the UK is intensifying as the review giant hits back over claims it red-flagged the property unfairly.
TripAdvisor says the red badge was applied to the Riverside Hotel in Evesham after an investigation, not because of an isolated review but a belief that the property owners had fraudulently posted a positive review of its own hotel and a negative review against a rival property.
TripAdvisor says it issued warnings to the owner on two occasions but decided to apply the red badge because the activity continued.
However, hotel owner Deborah Sinclair denies any fraudulent activity and says she received no communication from the review giant.
Sinclair says reviews posted about her hotel are not fraudulent including a positive review posted by a genuinely satisfied customer who posted using the property's wifi.
Sinclair says she has lost business as a result of the red badge and is planning legal action.
She also believes she may have a case for joining a potential civil action against TripAdvisor in the US led by reputation management firm Kwikchex.
"I have no answer for all this other than I'm going to take it legal. It's defaming my business. I think Tripadvisor lost credibility a long time ago."
Tripadviser says only a fraction of a percent of properties have a red badge applied and badge expiry is on a case by case basis.
In the UK, TripAdvisor says it is co-operating with an investigation launched by the Advertising Standards Authority last month after an official complaint of untrustworthy reviews from Kwikchex.
In January this year, Dragon's Den entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne mounted a campaign against TripAdvisor after a review compared his hotel to Fawlty Towers.
Last week Reevoo, which features reviews of consumer goods and plans to launch into the travel space, introduced a manifesto to protect consumers against fraudulent and untrustworthy reviews.