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Cyber Blackmail ala Trip Advisor

Saint Paul...
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for Tanzania, Serengeti National Park
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Cyber Blackmail ala Trip Advisor

I didn't want to hijack another thread so I thought I would start my own fun topic:

Ah yes, a new phenomenon in this tech age: Cyber Blackmail ala TripAdvisor. It has happened to me. You didn't read about it here because I paid the blackmailer. Read on:

I had someone go on safari. She received EVERYTHING agreed upon plus extra. But she decided that she paid too much (because others who were traveling in a group paid less than her - she was a solo traveler and couldn't understand that a solo traveler necessarily must pay more than someone in a group) and so she demanded money back or she would come here and blast us. (And threatened to use her father who was a lawyer and had even argued a case at the US Supreme Court. Oh no!!! Actually, I was tempted to email her father - yes I could figure out who he was - and let him know of his daughter's behavior so that he could be supremely embarrassed, but I decided against it, much as I wanted to.) So I paid her and lost money. All I got was a good story that I can tell to other business owners as we commiserate (spelling?) with each other.

I will say that I've gotten better at spotting this type before they become customers and I gently nudge them away.

Haifa, Israel
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1. Re: Cyber Blackmail ala Trip Advisor

I wonder if she contact her airline and ask for a refund because she found people on board that had a discount because of group booking.

There are many types of people... you don't need to avoid any of them.. you just need to know how to act with them. This kind of people needs to see a price list table. show them the table and they will have nothing to say.

nyc
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2. Re: Cyber Blackmail ala Trip Advisor

Thanks for the heads-up!

Admire your willlingness to "pay her off" rather than deal with the courts! There's always one character that has to "have the last word" and feel satisfied that they "put one over."

I'm sure if she blasted you here on TA, they're be many of us with you, and shame her. You're a good guy!

Kind of reminds me why a number of outfitters do not accept credit cards. By doing so, client always has the option to contact card company to complain about what was promised/provided, poor food, didn't meet expectations, etc... and leave it to card company to pursue outfitter and deduct the payment from outfitter's account.

Saint Paul...
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for Tanzania, Serengeti National Park
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3. Re: Cyber Blackmail ala Trip Advisor

She was a college student so she knew exactly what she was doing (I think she understood how to divide) but just wanted some money for Friday nights or something. I don't think showing her a price list table would have helped. It was about her need for money and her own arrogant self-riteousness and her knowledge that a threat like that can yield a few hundred dollars.

Spokane, Washington
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for Glacier National Park, Spokane
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4. Re: Cyber Blackmail ala Trip Advisor

tough spot to be,fight and risk unknown financial and social costs,or re-enforce her immature and irresponsible behavior. You do always have the opportunitiy to respond on trip advisor to posts.

Somerville, New...
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5. Re: Cyber Blackmail ala Trip Advisor

Double shame on her! What nerve!!

She would have never gotten far (blasting you), cause we would have backed you up Brian.

Had to chuckle about the lawyer threat. Its one of MR WR's(police) pet peeves! He gets it all the time when hes trying to ticket someone. Of course they try to intimidate him. It really boils his blood when they do this.

Thanks for sharing the story.

Edited: 01 December 2010, 02:54
Isle of Man, United...
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6. Re: Cyber Blackmail ala Trip Advisor

Brian. You started this thread as a 'fun topic!' I really truly hope that what you recounted was just fun and that in no circumstances did you pay up! I do agree the phenomena is becoming prevalent, one running on Kenya at the moment, and of course the reverse is true and we get the frequent 'bribed' favourable posts. We sadly live in a mercenary age. But no way do you give in to these people. I would say it is not the "American way" but a, I am not American and b, sadly it often appears to BE the American way these days. (See my post on MK safaris about five of your lovable citizens.)

Blackmail is a dangerous tool and can easily be turned on the perpetrator. If you did pay, tell me you did not, please name and shame on here and see how she likes her moment of fame! Ring Daddy!

Edited: 01 December 2010, 10:59
Arusha Tanzania
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7. Re: Cyber Blackmail ala Trip Advisor

Hi

What occurs to me.........

If she was in a vehicle with others who paid less but was using single acommodation then she has to pay more, if she was sharing acommodation with one of the members of that group then not, i would not be happy to hear i was paying more for the same service.

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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8. Re: Cyber Blackmail ala Trip Advisor

Having had businesses for quite a few years, I know that most are subjected to this kind of stupid consumer behavior from time to time. I have been also. And I deal with it differently from time to time. Sometimes, when I'm very busy and don't want to bother with such triviality, I cave in; but other times it get my dander up and I push back. I have been known to tell people who threaten me with lawyers and such that I welcome that and would like to test their "big time" lawyers with mine and see who comes out on that.

If this would have been one of my push back times, I would definitely have telephoned her father since she brought him into this and tell him what his spoiled little brat was using his name for, and ask him if he really wanted to use his time (lawyers get paid for their time) on something this trivial. And if he said yes, then I would have told him to bring it on and I welcome the challenge.

But guess what Brian; if she is this lame for a couple of hundred bucks she will get hers someday (albeit you won't know about it). Someday she will run into someone who pushes back much harder then she does and her world will come tumbling down. And she will find out that her "big deal" father will be nowhere around to protect her spoiled little .... It always happens to spoiled brats (who can be any age). And by the way, very few attorneys actually get to plead before the Supreme Court, perhaps on the periphery but not before the court. Most attorneys are licensed to practice before the Supreme Court, but very few do.

Saint Paul...
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for Tanzania, Serengeti National Park
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9. Re: Cyber Blackmail ala Trip Advisor

Achnab, to clarify, she was alone in a private vehicle and talked to other tourists at a lodge. They were in 5 in a vehicle and she asked what they paid. When she heard, she was furious. And then when the Seronera didn't have water due to drought in the Serengeti, she threw a loud fit and tried to incite others to fury. It didn't work. She was the only person at the hotel to demand a full refund plus money for her hardship.

Yes, Mfuwe, I paid her. This incident was more than a year ago so I don't remember exactly how much, but I think it was something like $240. I was trying to be on vacation myself at the time and I wanted this to go away and so at the time it was worth $240. Like Karl, I push back sometimes, but it depends on my mood. At that time, it just wasn't worth the brain space since I was trying to relax on vacation - if that's possible with two little kids!

I call it fun, because it reminds people that it's not just the customers that get hosed all the time. And it happened so long ago, it's just a distant memory to me.

Her father had taken a case to court. She had the same last name as her father, so it wasn't too hard for me to figure it out. And trust me, the fact that her father was an attorney made ZERO impact on me because I knew it was a bratty kid with a fake threat. It was actually laughable and part of what makes this a fun thread. If she had asked for more than $500, I'm sure I would have just invited whatever tactics she could conjure up.

Isle of Man, United...
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10. Re: Cyber Blackmail ala Trip Advisor

Nice one Mzee. Like you I generally push back and would certainly have spoken to Daddy.

No sense in getting into a pi$$ing over five dollars but anymore and my answer is invariably "Bring it on if you feel lucky! My Lawyer is bigger than your Lawyer. He even frightens me!"

They do get their cumuppance!

Edit. Seen your post now Brian. Not good although I did understood how you were fixed a year ago.

So when I book with Karen next year, that's $420 definitely coming off my account! Or I shall tell everyone on here AND my Daddy!

Edited: 01 December 2010, 14:38