Af­ter this row I’m never go­ing on Face­book again!

Pub land­lord ad­mits he was wrong but says:

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - FRONT PAGE - By Ed McCon­nell em­c­connell@thek­m­ @EdMcCon­nel­lKM

A Har­ri­et­sham land­lord has hit out at neg­a­tive on­line re­view­ers af­ter get­ting into a row with an un­happy cus­tomer on Face­book.

Kevin de Young ad­mit­ted he was wrong in the way he re­sponded to Mia Scara­mas­traSharp’s scathing one-star re­view but said it was frus­trat­ing she had not com­plained in per­son.

Mrs Scara­mas­tra-Sharp vented on The Rin­gle­stone Inn’s pro­file af­ter hav­ing a meal there and com­plain­ing about the wine, which was meant to be dry but was too sweet for her taste.

She wrote: “I had a ter­ri­ble ex­pe­ri­ence at the restau­rant to­day – dis­gust­ing at­ti­tude from the man­ager. She was so rude when we asked them to take a glass back. I’ve never ex­peri- enced any­thing quite like it and will never be re­turn­ing.”

She added the pub had “nearly re­fused to split the bill and charged for tap wa­ter”, to which Mr de Young re­sponded: “How can we nearly refuse to split the bill? We ei­ther did or we didn’t. Der.”

Mr de Young’s re­sponses were crit­i­cised by a num­ber of peo­ple as rude and un­pro­fes­sional.

Mr de Young, who has been at the helm with his part­ner for 10 years, said: “We gave her an­other glass and didn’t charge her for the first one. As for the bill sit­u­a­tion, we can’t do sep­a­rate ones un­less asked be­fore­hand.

“She left a £10 tip and never said any­thing to me. When I saw the re­view pop up I couldn’t help but re­spond. It was stupid and my wife had a go at me. I hate Face­book and I’m never go­ing on it again.”

The 55-year-old has been in the trade for 40 years and says the use of so­cial me­dia is a Catch 22 sit­u­a­tion. “We need to be on so­cial me­dia but there has been a def­i­nite rise in neg­a­tiv­ity.

“Trip Ad­vi­sor used to be bad too, with peo­ple mak­ing anony­mous com­plaints and get­ting very per­sonal. It’s not like hav- ing a proper con­ver­sa­tion with some­one.

“We are only a smal l busi­ness and neg­a­tive stuff could ruin us, but when it’s on­line we can’t do any­thing about it.”

Christina War­ren and Kevin de Young at The Rin­gle­stone Inn and the com­ment on Face­book that stirred up crit­i­cism

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