Tastecard is definitely blocking bad reviews and failing to act where restaurants act dishonestly. I recently both wrote a review and reported Robertos restaurant in Rickmansworth to Tastecard for dishonestly adding entirely unadvertised "supplements" to the bill at the end of the meal. Tastecard followed up and established that the restaurant had broken the rules - there was no question of that - but took no action. The initial reason was that the restaurant had told them there was some "confusion" and our menu choices were not "a la carte" but "specials" (not that that should have made a difference anyway). I was then able to send a weblink to Tastecard straight to the restaurant menu to show that the restaurant was lying. Despite this clearest, proven dishonesty and breach of the rules - and the restaurant retaining an extra £20 or so of our money, Tastecard has both allowed the restaurant to continue in the scheme and blocked our balanced, objective review. It makes a farce of the idea that the scheme is policed and that reviews have any meaning or credibility. It's also not the first time we've had problems using the card, despite meticulously following the conditions. It's not clear to me why restaurants in fact sign up for the scheme when they so often resent accepting the card in practice - spoiling their customers meal out and probably losing future custom. I certainly won't be renewing!
I had a very bad experience with one unnamed big restaurant group that decided they did not want to take a tastecard on a day they would have taken according to the tastecard website. They were also very rude.
Not a problem, I will just leave a warning to other users on tastecards review section of that restaurant. But my review and following review was never published. I was to find out that tastecard will show all reviews to the correponding restaurants before they publish online. It is entirely upto the restaurant if they want reviews about them published. They should have a big disclaimer about this on their website before all reviews!
Main problem is that they automatically renew without telling you - and don't bother complaining, because they are completely inflexible. And I didn't want to renew because most of the high street restaurants that take it refuse to do so on a weekend, Bank Holiday, in London etc.