Couple fined £100 for bad TripAdvisor review

19 November 2014

TripAdvisorscreencrop A couple went to a hotel in Blackpool and they didn't have a nice time. So, like many disgruntled customers, they complained about it on the internet. After leaving a critical TripAdvisor review, they found themselves being fined £100.

What?

Tony and Jan Jenkinson left some negative comments on the review site after being thoroughly unimpressed with their stay at the Broadway Hotel. Later, when checking their credit card bill, they found an erroneous £100 charge. The hotel, it turns out, has a policy where they take money from you for bad review.

Of course, the Trading Standards are now investigating as it looks like The Broadway Hotel has breached unfair trading practice regulations.

If you look at the hotel's policy, which is contained in the booking document, it says: "Despite the fact that repeat customers and couples love our hotel, your friends and family may not. For every bad review left on any website, the group organiser will be charged a maximum £100 per review."

You can almost admire the cheek.

If it is in the t&cs, then what is the excuse of the Jenkinsons? Well, when Mrs Jenkinson signed the papers, she didn't have her glasses on so she couldn't read the small print. Mr Jenkinson isn't having any of that though. He is vowing to fight the fee, and told the BBC: "Annoyed isn't strong enough for how I feel about this, what happened to freedom of speech? Everybody we have spoken to says they (the hotel) are not allowed to do this."

Councillor John McCreesh, cabinet member for trading standards, said: "Customers need to be free to be honest about the service they're getting. Other customers depend upon it. Hotel owners should focus on getting their service right rather than shutting down aggrieved customers with threats and fines."

"People should have the right to vent their disappointment if a hotel stay did not meet their expectations and should not be prevented from having their say."

TOPICS:   Consumer Advice   Travel

1 comment

  • Mad B.
    There were in Blackpool, OF COURSE THEY DIDNT HAVE A GOOD TIME. In all seriousness, I booked in to a 5* hotel in Blackpool a few years ago and thought I had stepped through a time warp into the 70's; the room was dirty, dingy, had cigarette burns in the sheets and 30 years worth of dust and cobwebs on the outside of the window -NOT IMPRESSED.

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