TRIP ADVISOR has apologised to a Leamington restaurant it ‘closed down’ without the owners’ knowledge.
Darren Yates and wife Laura, who have run Auradaze Japanese for 15 months, were confused after they received a string of calls from customers asking if they had shut.
It turned out the world-wide travel website, on which people leave reviews of hotels and restaurants, had mistakenly marked the restaurant and delicatessen on Bedford Street as closed down.
Mr Yates told the Observer: “I had received a lot of calls from people worried that our deli was shut, or that something had happened to us, but after asking around we found that it was all down to TripAdvisor.”
The angry owner contacted TripAdvisor to tell them it was business as usual, only to be told TripAdvisor would not change the webpage as they could not check it really was open via a website or facebook page – neither of which Auradaze Japanese has.
Mr Yates added: “We never asked for TripAdvisor’s involvement or advertising, as we run solely on word of mouth and recommendations from our regulars, but this big corporation has found it necessary to get involved with our business, and by their actions, spread lies about the running of our business.
“So the website had listed the restaurant without any notice, but made a big impact on our business.
“They have a responsibility to not interfere too much as their content can have serious consequences to small businesses like ours. Sadly, they will probably not face any action for anyone about this, but it has meant a lot of bother for us.”
But TripAdvisor was quick to apologise to Mr and Mrs Yates and to change its listing when contacted by The Observer.
TripAdvisor spokesman James Kay said: “We have rectified the error on the Auradaze Japanese listing and regret any inconvenience this may have caused. The property is now correctly displayed on our site as open for business.
“The very nature of our site allows for any issues or inaccuracies to be quickly rectified.
“Situations like this are rare but we welcome feedback from our community to notify us of any details for a business they believe may be incorrect.”
TripAdvisor has previously come in for criticism – particularly from hotel and b&b owners – over reviews they believed were unfair and damaging to their business.
The website had officially listed the Auradaze Japanese Deli as closed. (s)