The owners of a resort near Khao Yai National Park’s feelings were so hurt by a guest deeming it “6/10” that they have threatened to sue her for THB3 million (US$90,000) if she doesn’t take it down and publicly apologize.
Attorney Sittra Biabungkerd this morning posted on social media that his client, a woman identified only as Khing, learned she was being threatened in a letter sent by the resort, which he did not name, after she left negative feedback on popular booking site Agoda.
“Khing was told by the resort to delete the review comment immediately, or else she must pay the resort THB50,000 per day in compensation and THB3 million for the damages,” Stitra wrote. “Plus, the resort asked her to publish an apology in the newspaper for seven days in a row.”
Sittra heads a consumer legal advocacy group called the People’s Lawyer Team Foundation.
He posted a photo of the letter sent by the resort – with the names of his client and the resort censored. Enterprising netizens however found Khing’s exact review cached online for the Ozone Hotel Khao Yai.
Months after staying in a Deluxe Room at the resort, Khing left her review Dec. 19 under the heading “Too expensive.”
“The room did not look new as advertised. I could not call the reception from my room, so I had to walk down by myself. Not clean. Night-shift staffers were not so helpful, but some were welcoming,” she wrote.
Her mixed review continued with a comparison with other resorts in the area:
“The room’s view was just okay – it’s good to see mountains and greenery, but it’s not as open as the Labaris or Toscana.”
As of Friday morning, the review had vanished from Agoda, but Sitra said his client did not delete it.
In the archived copy, the hotel originally left a much milder, boilerplate response on Dec. 20.
“Dear Khun Surangkana, the hotel thanks you for taking your time to review the hotel. […] We will heed your advice to improve and develop, and we sincerely hope to serve you again. Thank you,” it read.
Defamation is a criminal act in Thailand, and the truth or fair criticism are not absolute defenses. The law is often used as a cudgel to quash criticism.
In November 2020, TripAdvisor attached a warning to the page for Koh Chang’s Sea View Resort after it went after American expat teacher Wesley Barnes over a negative review. Barnes spent several days in jail and was forced to publicly apologize for the bad review.