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Are Customers Blackmailing Dutch Restaurants for Discounts?

Restaurant owners say customers have threatened them with fake bad reviews if they didn't receive a discount.

A number of Dutch restaurants are claiming that they have been blackmailed into giving customers discounts. According to Dutch News, restaurant owners allege that customers have threatened to write bad reviews on popular review site lens.nl unless they receive a discount on their check.

KHN — a Dutch hospitality industry lobby group — is now fighting to ensure that only customers who have actually visited the restaurant can leave reviews. Lens.nl  — which apparently attracts 5,000 to 10,000 reviews a week — says it wants to help prevent this problem as well. Currently, the site notes, restaurants can complain about reviews, which can result in the reviews being removed.

False reviews are also a major issue stateside: A study revealed that nearly 16 percent of Yelp reviews are fake. The review site has made many attempts to combat the issue: A couple of years ago, Yelp organized sting operations in which employees posed as a reviewers to fish out companies attempting to solicit positive reviews.

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