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Couple Charged $177 by Broadway Hotel for Posting Negative Hotel Review on TripAdvisor

It seems like some business owners are terribly afraid of receiving negative online reviews… such that they would go to great (and ridiculous) lengths just to prevent them.

Just a few months ago, we shared the story of one Hudson, New York hotel whose management tried to fine guests $500 for every negative online review. Its customer-offensive review policy generated a significant amount of bad publicity (and understandably so), and a bunch of people began to post fake negative reviews on the hotel’s Yelp page.

This week, another hotel is in the spotlight. According to reports, the Broadway Hotel in Blackpool in northwestern England fined guests £100 – approximately $177 – for writing a negative online review describing the property as a “filthy, dirty, rotten stinking hovel.”

(Check out: “Look on the Bright Side: 4 Ways Bad Online Reviews Can Be Good For Your Business”)

Here’s what went down. After a one-night stay, Tony and Jan Jenkinson decided to leave a not-so-pleasant review of the Broadway Hotel and post it on travel review site TripAdvisor. Mr. Jenkinson wrote that “the wallpaper was peeling off the walls, the carpet was thin, dirty, and stained… the bed was something else, it must have come out of the ark. This place should be shut down.”

Shortly after posting the negative hotel review, the Jenkinson couple, who had paid £36 for their room, discovered that their credit card had been billed for £100. The charge was for the bad review.

According to reports, the Broadway Hotel’s booking document includes a clause that reads: “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 organizer will be charged a maximum £100 per review.”

“I have worked for trading standards for years and never seen anything like this,” commented area manager John Greenbank. “The management clearly thinks that they have come up with a novel way to prevent bad reviews, but we believe this could be deemed an unfair trading practice.”

Added Councilor John McCreesh: “Hotel owners should focus on getting their service right rather than shutting down aggrieved customers with threats and fines.”

This hasn’t stopped previous and succeeding guests from criticizing the Blackpool hotel. The Broadway Hotel’s TripAdvisor page has already collected (as of this writing) 146 “Terrible” and 24 “Poor” reviews, ranking 858th out of 894 Blackpool B&Bs and inns.

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Migs Bassig

Migs is the Content Manager for ReviewTrackers. He's a creative writer who has helped numerous companies communicate more effectively online, and he loves sharing his local marketing knowledge to help brands and business succeed.

Discussion

  1. Hans Anders

    Is there a law against charging for a bad review? It should be. Everybody has a right to have an opinion.

    Reply
  2. Almira Keefe

    Anyone heard about the freedom of the voice and personal opinion? This is not acceptable. They should try to change something and make the visitors change their mind and give a good review and not suit them for being as bad as they are. Hopefully they will get shut down.

    Reply
  3. NicMoon

    This is why you should pay with cash. That way they can’t charge you for leaving a bad review. Also, this doesn’t mean that you should leave bad review unless it is deserved. People, pay with cash and leave a review freely.

    Reply
  4. Fiona Wong

    I would pay $177 to them upfront and tell them that they will get the worst possible review that they can imagine, just to see how would they react to that. These kind of acts should be fined by law if you ask me.

    Reply
  5. Nicole Burns

    For $£100 a night the hotel can provide much better service. Maybe they should warn their guests that they are investing in hotel’s future 😀

    Reply

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