For some, criticism can be seen as constructive and in the tourism trade the chance to improve ratings and attract more guests.
But for one hotel owner a negative review proved a step too far, provoking him to revive his anger, immortalised “as a wicked demon that lives in a deep dark pit.”
Alex Scrivenor delivered the blistering rebuke to guests who complained about their stay at his hotel, describing how their claims had ruined his Valentine’s Day as well as his attempt to follow his doctor’s instructions to control his rage.
“In conclusion…you have ruined me! You have set my therapy back some six months,” he wrote in reply to the comment posted on the Trip Advisor website.
“You have stripped me of my greatest strength… my compassion… I will be, forever, a ‘Basil’.”
In his response Mr Scrivenor, owner of the Crags Hotel in Callander in Scotland, delivered a litany of allegations against the guests which included claims they destroyed a wall in the room of his hotel, drunkenly abused guests and left without paying their £400 bill.
He claims the guests were charged with a breach of the peace after they left the 160 year old building.
In his riposte he said he was attempting to become “an empathy machine” and added: “My doctor has told me that I must control my anger levels… he has told me that I must visualise my anger as a wicked demon that lives in a deep dark pit, and there the demon must stay.
“Instead of giving free reign to my anger, I have been attempting to be more understanding.”
Police Scotland confirmed they had been called to the hotel on Valentine’s Day and a wall in a bedroom had been damaged.
A spokeswoman said: “A 45-year-old man has been charged following a vandalism at a hotel in Callendar on 14th February 2014.”
Mr Scrivenor wrote his comments in response to a critical review from customers who stayed at the hotel, which has 100 very good or excellent reviews on the site, used by more than two million people.
It has nine terrible reviews and nine poor, but it was awarded a certificate of excellence last year.
In the comment, under the heading ‘Nightmare’, the guests complained of their room being double booked and being lied to about their reservation. They also said their friends had travelled from England to stay at the hotel in Loch Lomond and they would be advising people to “stay clear of this hotel.”
However Mr Scrivenor, referring to the date they posted the review as “Hatchet Sunday”, said they were given a free bottle of wine and £15 off when they arrived because they couldn’t get the room they had booked.
He said: “Do you know what… I think my empathy jet is flying on vapours!!! I think ‘Mr understanding guy’ has just been told to pack his bags and leave the building… escorted by the police.”
“(I feel myself crumbling under the injustice of it all! My grip on reality is loosening… I am teetering on the edge of the great pit… and there, below, in the inky depths… lies… the demon!… he is coming,” he added in the response.
The review appeared to have been taken down after the Telegraph contacted the hotel for a comment.
The response is not the first time Mr Scrivenor, who signs off his comments as Basil in a nod to harangued hotelier Basil Fawlty, has reacted to negative reviews left on the site about his hotel.
In 2012 when guests complained that they decided not to stay after being shown a bed with a dip in the mattress and a toilet that sounded like a Spitfire, the hotel owner simply told them they were wrong and had over reacted.
He wrote: “I think that you maybe confusing Spitfires with something else… Spitfires, you will recall, were the saviours of our nation!”
He added: “In order to seek clarity I suggest you go to YouTube and type in ‘Spitfire Sounds’ there are a number of videos that show MK19 Spitfires in action. I think you will agree that they do not sound like my toilet.”