Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Blackpool hotel fines couple £100 for scathing Tripadvisor review of "rotten stinking hovel"

broadway-hotel.jpg

The whole point of travel review website Tripadvisor is that you voice your opinion and write what you really think.

But one couple ended up with a £100 fine for doing exactly that.

Tony and Jan Jenkinson wrote a scathing review of Broadway Hotel in Blackpool after staying there for one night in August.

The retired couple, from Whitehaven in Cumbria, paid £36 for the night but later found they had been charged an extra £100 to their credit card. The hotel said it was its policy to charge for bad reviews.

Its booking form contains the clause: "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."

tripadvisor review

An extract from the review

The couple's review, posted on 30 August, described the Blackpool hotel as "a filthy, dirty, rotten, stinking hovel".

They claim the hot tap in their room didn't work, the kettle was broken, the front of the cupboard drawer fell off when they opened it, the carpet was dirty and stained and "the mattress attacked you in the night".

Breakfast was apparently "a joke" with "plastic sausages".

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

Other reviewers on the site were also unimpressed, describing the Broadway Hotel as "lacking basic cleanliness", "horrific" and "a disgusting place".

A total of 147 Tripadvisor guests rated the place as terrible, but a handful thought it was excellent. 

"A warm welcome on arrival , shown to room which had a clear view of the seafront. Linen was fresh and changed daily," reads one review from April this year (the writer had 54 reviews to his name).

Blackpool couple

Mr and Mrs Jenkinson speaking to the BBC

Mr and Mrs Jenkinson were on their way to Oxford when they decided to split the journey by staying in Blackpool. They said they only chose the hotel because it had parking space. Mrs Jenkinson didn't have her glasses on so she signed the booking form without reading the review clause.

"Annoyed isn't strong enough for how I feel about this, what happened to freedom of speech?" Mr Jenkinson told the BBC. "Everybody we have spoken to says they [the hotel] are not allowed to do this."

Trading Standards are investigating the case. 

Regional manager John Greenbank said the clause was a "novel" way to prevent bad reviews. 

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

The hotel owner has not returned requests for comment. 

Blackpool

Blackpool

What do you think? Have you ever received any response from writing a negative hotel review on TripAdvisor? Or maybe you run your own hotel - in which case, how do you deal with negative reviews? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Related

rexfeatures_948033a.jpg

20 opening lines from our favourite Christmas books

porridge.jpg

Your seven day gluten-free meal plan: delicious daily recipes

rexfeatures_411192c.jpg

Colin Farrell makes heartfelt plea for marriage equality in Ireland

Comments

More

Why embracing the great outdoors makes Norwegians happier

And how it can work for you, too

by The Stylist web team
30 Nov 2016

The 10 most inspiring cities in the world have been revealed

And guess which British city has made the list?

by Kayleigh Dray
25 Nov 2016

This airline’s flights could be completely free within a decade

Um, what?

by Moya Crockett
22 Nov 2016

Study reveals where in Europe your job would make you the most money

Want to exit post-Brexit?

by Moya Crockett
22 Nov 2016

Dream home? This couple have built their own DIY island

And it’s ridiculously beautiful

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Nov 2016

Stylist’s Instagram travel competition: the winners

18 Nov 2016

Everything you need to know about Airbnb Trips

The website has introduced a major new feature

by Amy Swales
17 Nov 2016

“I went travelling after being jilted - here's what I learned”

After she was left heartbroken, Katy Colins set off to explore the world alone.

by Moya Crockett
17 Nov 2016

10 great light art festivals around the world

From Amsterdam to Australia, brighten up the dark winter with these dazzling shows

by Anna Melville-James
16 Nov 2016

Museum of Happiness hosting series of free events to cheer us all up

From free yoga sessions to feel-good movie nights

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Nov 2016