Hotel 'fines' couple £100 for posting negative Tripadvisor review

Hotel 'fines' couple £100 for posting negative Tripadvisor review

A couple say they were 'fined' £100 by a Blackpool hotel for leaving a negative review on Tripadvisor.

Tony and Jan Jenkinson, from Cumbria, were on their way to visit family in Oxford, and decided to split their journey up. They chose to stay at the Broadway Hotel and paid £36 for the double room.

After being unhappy with their stay, they left a scathing review on Tripadvisor, which complained of wallpaper peeling off, thin, dirty carpet, kettle and hot tap not working, and a dirty bed.

It described the breakfast as a "joke" and, according to the Guardian, finished: "This place should be shut down, I don't know if they are ever inspected, but if so, I don't know how this place has passed!!

"If you are offered this place to stay for a fortnight for 10p, you are being robbed!! STAY AWAY!!!"

They later found £100 charged to their credit card by the hotel.

According to the BBC, the couple didn't see the hotel policy of charging for negative reviews, which is contained in a 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."

Speaking to the BBC, John Greenbank, north trading standards area manager, said it was a "novel" way to prevent bad reviews.

He said: "I have worked for trading standards for many years and have never seen anything like this.

"The hotel management clearly thinks they have come up with a novel way to prevent bad reviews, however we believe this could be deemed an unfair trading practice."

Cllr John McCreesh, Cabinet Member for Trading Standards, told the Daily Telegraph: "This is outrageous behaviour by the hotel concerned and an attack on free speech. The couple say they posted an honest review about the hotel which they feel was below par and they were stung for £100 as a result.

"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."

But the couple can now breathe a sigh of relief, because they have been told their £100 will be reimbursed.

Blackpool council said on Wednesday that the couple will get their money back and the hotel will scrap its policy.

Gillian Campbell, council cabinet member responsible for public protection at the local authority, told the Guardian: "Our trading standards team became aware of this issue last week. As a result, we have spoken to the hotel owner and asked for the policy to be removed, which has now happened.

"This is a unique case and not one that we have come across before."

Britain's best hotels 2014
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Hotel 'fines' couple £100 for posting negative Tripadvisor review

Top spot goes to the Milestone Hotel in London, overlooking Kensington Gardens. The grade II listed boutique hotel offers a 24-hour butler service and exceptional facilities including a heated resistance pool, cocktail bar and chauffeur-driven Bentley. "Decadent luxury from and age gone by… worth every one of its five stars and possibly more," says one reviewer.Double rooms from £450.

Rudding Park is set against beautifully landscaped gardens and woodlands. Tripadvisor reviewers rave about this privately owned AA 4 Red Star Harrogate hotel, with has a spa, gym, private cinema and an 18 hole golf course. "All hotels shoud be like this," raved one reviewer. Double rooms from £233.

Within walking distance of historic Windsor Great Park, Coworth Park is a gateway to the breathtaking views and heritage sites that make the southeast of England such a fascinating and rewarding region to visit. An eco-luxury spa and horse riding are just some of the offerings to keep you occupied. "Gorgeous setting, fabulous staff... little extra touches that make it extra special... totally professional and efficient yet the atmosphere is completely tranquil and relaxed," says one reviewer.

Double rooms from £285.

Swinton Park, the former ancestral seat of the Earl of Swinton, provides castle accommodation set in 20,000 acres of the rolling Yorkshire Dales. The emphasis here is on good food and the hotel runs a cookery school where you can be taught all the tricks of the trade. "This venue is second to none in its hospitality and customer care... Take a walk through the sprawling grounds and see wildlife and nature close up. The views are stunning," says one reviewer. Double rooms from £165.

Minutes from Buckingham Palace, 51 Buckingham Gate, Taj Suites and Residences is a five-star hotel exuding luxury in prestigious surroundings. A butler service, the Michelin starred Quilon Restaurant and an exclusive spa, 51 bills itself as the luxurious home away from home. "A real treat - and a classic case of really getting what you pay for - and worth every penny," says one reviewer. 

Stay in Alderney's only four star hotel and eat delicious food while overlooking the ocean. Braye Beach Hotel is "Probably the best hotel we have ever stayed in. Service was excellent ... All of the staff have been trained to a high standard and we had no complaints at all," says one reviewer. Double rooms from £75.

Independently owned and managed, Longueville Manor boasts 30 bedrooms and suites, a renowned restaurant and perfect surroundings. It is the island's sole member of the world's finest collection of small hotels and restaurants, Relais & Châteaux. "I would recommend this hotel if you are planning a break to recharge your batteries and experience exquisite surroundings and excellent service," says one reviewer. Double rooms from £100.

The ideally positioned Soho Hotel, just off Oxford Street, is a modern, chic hotel with dramatic urban design and furnishings. Rooms are luxurious and spacious with great views of London. "Perfect location for walking everywhere. Very attentive service from front desk and restaurant staff. Rooms are large and well designed and equipped. Most comfy beds and pillows ever," says one reviewer. Double rooms from £354. 

The cubist, modern facade of Casa in Chesterfield doesn't look like it hides a top rated hotel. There isn't a claw-footed bathtub or oil painting in sight: instead you'll find rain showers, LCD TVs and the Cocina restaurant where the chefs use Spanish charcoal-fired ovens to create Mediterranean dishes."We always stay here when we come to Chesterfield, it is brilliant in every way! Couldn't fault it!" says one reviewer. Double rooms from £99.

Situated in the beautiful countryside with wonderful views of the parkland golf courses, the AA 4 star luxury Derbyshire hotel, Morley Hayes is worthy of a top 10 position. From the Penthouse Suite to the Executive Room, the Honeymoon Suite to the Family Room you will be spoilt for choice. "Hotel is first class, the food is excellent. Well worth every penny. You would not be disappointed," says one reviewer. Double rooms from  £200.


Top 10 hotels in UK for customer service
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Hotel 'fines' couple £100 for posting negative Tripadvisor review
The 5 star Egerton House is a boutique hotel conveniently located in London's fashionable Knightsbridge. The hotel has been meticulously refurbished with style and flair and offers luxury accommodation. Guests will find themselves just a short walk from Harrods and some of London's best known museums. 
Lauriston Court is, not only, one of the best hotels in the country for customer service but it has also been voted one of the best in the world. The hotel is ideally located opposite the pier on Llandudno promenade making it one of the best positioned hotels in Llandudno North Wales. The family run hotel prides itself on cleanliness and good service. 

This five star coastal hotel is situated in beautifully landscaped gardens and commands magnificent views over St. Aubins Bay, Jersey, just a few minutes walk from the delightful yachting harbour and village of St. Aubin, where you can enjoy a wide range of cuisine.

The Chester Residence in Edinburgh offers accommodation in luxury hotel suites across three elegant townhouses providing all the benefits of a serviced apartments in Edinburgh combined with the luxurious glamour of a five-star hotel. Each apartment features the latest technology and security, fluffy robes, and a range of tempting toiletries, combined with the freedom of staying in serviced apartments in Edinburgh.

The Atholl Villa Guest House is a 3 star GOLD B&B situated in the heart of Pitlochry and offers 10 en-suite bedrooms, designed with comfort in mind. The 150-year-old house offers character and original features.
Grasmere Hotel is a small Victorian Country House Hotel and Restaurant set in the heart of the English Lake District and on the edge of Grasmere Village. Breakfast and dinner are served in the conservatory restaurant overlooking the secluded garden and the river Rothay.
Castlecroft bed & breakfast is situated right below Stirling Castle with stunning views over the Carse of Stirling and the mountains. The B&B is conveniently located on the Lower Back Walk which is a public footpath right from Castlecroft into Stirling Town Centre (about 8 to 10 minute walk) with the castle woods on one side and the King's Knot on the other. 
The Clarence Hotel is Portsmouth and Southsea's newest and most exciting luxury boutique hotel. The Edwardian residence has been stylishly converted to create eight individually and professionally designed bedrooms and bathrooms with the emphasis on quality and luxury. The award winning hotel is situated only a few hundred yards from the seafront.

Portsmouth's Number Four Boutique Hotel offers stunning individual rooms walking distance from the town and seafront. The hotel aims to offer exemplary service, stylish surrounds and modern design flair. 

The Elmdene Bed and Breakfast offers 5 star guest accommodation in Torquay. The family run hotel takes pride in offering all of its guests high standards of service and attention.

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