Okay, so I'm not a fan of being reviewed as a general rule... the risk of being on the receiving end of a bad review quite possibly outweighs the benefits of a good one in my opinion. Don't get me wrong - I don't think that I particularly deserve a bad review, I'm just not arrogant enough to believe that it won't ever happen. I'm human after all, and I will therefore undoubtedly make the odd mistake along the way. But here lies my problem with the current system... I'm not convinced that many 'modern day online reviewers' take into account that behind the scenes lies an ordinary person, a person with feelings, a person who might be the first to admit that they have made an error if you gave them half a chance, a person who is probably doing their absolute best and whose livelihood could be destroyed within a matter of seconds (or keystrokes) if they happen to upset the wrong person.

Online reviews are a very real threat to any business (and in many respects, if the system wasn't open to so much abuse, this would be no bad thing). Sadly however, all too often, more and more people are taking to 'venting their spleen' on sites such as Tripe [sic] Advisor. So what if they destroy an individual's business that they have slaved over for years trying to establish in the process? They were expecting fluffy towels and they frankly just weren't fluffy enough, so *take that!* It really is that simple, but worse than that... there is nothing that the business owner can do about it. (I think some of these trolls truly believe that a business has 'carte-blanche' and can remove any bad/untrue reviews... they can't!) They are there forever (unless of course the guilty party happens to wake up sober and has second thoughts and removes it themselves).

Call me old-fashioned, but once-upon-a-time it was *normal* to speak to the owner of a business if you were dissatisfied and bring any problems to their attention - give them the opportunity to rectify the situation in the first instance... when did it become second-nature to keep schtum at the time of the 'offence', yet rush straight home instead (as fast as your full belly will allow) to air your grievances openly and publicly online about the restaurant you just happened to frequent?

I've seen many a grown adult throw their dummy out of the pram and into the dirt over a harsh, unfair, unjust or simply downright untrue review and can you blame them? Put yourselves in their shoes. Someone who you have never met, let alone even heard of, goes to the time and trouble to slate your business online for hundreds upon thousands of people to see. But why would somebody do that? (Trust me, they would - visit some freelance online writing sites and you will see first hand, the vast number of people advertising to pay people to do exactly that!) If you don't want competition (or you don't like your new neighbour), it's certainly one way of dealing with the problem!

Anyway, enough of all that... I'm thankfully on the receiving end of a fabulous review and so on this occasion, I definitely, wholeheartedly approve. It is certainly an extremely rewarding feeling to know that a guest enjoyed the experience to such a degree that they felt compelled to tell others about us so publicly. Dog Friendly Magazine is a subscription only publication sent out by mail to thousands of households each month and I feel truly honoured to have been featured.

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