IT WAS the kind of customer service hotelier Basil Fawlty would be proud of.
A hotel owner embarked on an angry tirade on TripAdvisor after a guest left a one-star review of his Stirlingshire guest house.
Alex Scrivenor, owner of The Crags Hotel in Callander, was so incensed by the review, which he believed was unjust, he wrote a lengthy rebuke to the woman, from Glasgow.
He hit back and claimed her party’s stay in mid-February had been so difficult that it had ruined the memory of Valentine’s Day for both himself and his wife Victoria, who took over the guest house in 2007.
In a review titled “nightmare!”, the guest said the stay had been “the worst experience ever” and advised holidaymakers to “stay clear of this hotel”.
She wrote: “Very poorly managed extremely disappointed: Was a nightmare from very beginning as they double booked our room and continually lied to us about the booking. Our friends came all the way from England and were very disappointed as their booking was wrong also… will stay clear of this hotel.”
Mr Scrivenor, a father of two whose hotel holds an 81 per cent approval rating on the travel website, responded to the post.
He wrote: “Valentine’s day has always held a special place in my heart… it was the day I first kissed my last girlfriend… who I then proposed to three Valentine days later.
“However from henceforth I will remember Valentine’s as the miserable day that I had the misfortune to meet you, your husband and your friends from England!
“And the 16th Feb will now be called ‘Hatchet Sunday’ in memory of the review you left us.”
He accepted that the party did not have the room they originally booked, which was the focus of their complaint on TripAdvisor, but said he gave them a free bottle of wine, £15 off the room and even added a free night’s stay.
He also claimed the complaining guests had become “incoherently drunk” and even kicked a hole in the wall of his hotel.
In a 900-word tirade in which Mr Scrivenor likened himself to the John Cleese character Basil Fawlty, owner of the fictional Fawlty Towers in the 1970s BBC sitcom, he even revealed one of his guests had been charged with a breach of the peace.
He wrote: “That you and your husband went on a criminal rampage through the streets of Callander the like of which we have not seen since William Wallace had a ‘city break’ in Carlisle!
“Did it really slip your memory that your husband was charged with threatening behaviour, criminal damage and breach of the peace?”
When contacted yesterday, Mr Scrivenor said he stood by every word, adding he and his wife had worked hard to build up the business, and that most reviews of their eight-bedroom hotel, which costs between £55 and £80 a room a night, were positive. He told The Scotsman: “I completely stand by what I said. I like TripAdvisor a lot and think it’s very good website and if people have genuine grievance they should make their comments known.
“But if people misuse it then owners have the right to stand up for themselves and their business.
“Myself and my wife work very hard to run our hotel and don’t want to see it tarnished.”
The hotelier’s response has created a storm on social networking sites with many people calling him “a legend” and saying they now plan to visit his property.
l Police Scotland last night confirmed a man had been charged over the alleged incident in Callander.
A spokesman said: “A 45-year-old man was charged with vandalism following a disturbance at a hotel in Callander on 14 February.”