Was a Blackpool hotel wrong to fine a couple £100 after they left a negative review about their stay?
Though TripAdvisor is an online review site that allows customers to vent their fury at genuinely bad service, it is also a place where rival establishments and bitter trolls are shamefully able to wreck the reputations of perfectly good businesses. The story of Tony and Jan Jenkinson, a couple fined £100 for writing a negative review of a hotel they stayed at on the site, highlights another point.
Mr and Mrs Jenkinson from Whitehaven, Cumbria paid £36 for a room at the Broadway Hotel in Blackpool, Lancashire but later found that their credit card had been charged £100 extra as a fine after writing it was “a rotten stinking hovel” on TripAdvisor.
When the couple spoke to the hotel’s owner to question the charge, he pointed out that the booking form they signed states:
“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”.
Undoubtedly this policy is unfair and given 171 reviews out of the 256 TripAdvisor reviews of the Broadway Hotel mark it “terrible” or “poor”, it seems likely that Mr and Mrs Jenkinson’s experiences were not uncommon and that their reaction was perfectly justifiable. Here, for once, is a rare thing: A business that actually deserves the wrath of the ‘Trippies’.
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