On their way to visit relatives in Oxford, Tony and Jan Jenkinson had to spend a night at the Broadway Hotel in Blackpool. They were less than impressed by their service and were prompt to give a negative review on the travel review website TripAdvisor.
They called the hotel a “rotten stinking hovel run by Muppets.”
Extremely dissatisfied, they didn’t stop there and gave vent to their disappointment in great detail. “There were instructions on how to make a phone call, we would have had a job as there was no phone!! 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, the base was all scuffed and dirty and the springs in the mattress attacked you in the night,” they wrote.
The couple ended their review with a warning: “If you are offered this place to stay for a fortnight for 10p, you are being robbed!!
Their acerbic comments came back to haunt them when they later realized they had been charged an extra £100 on their credit card.
The hotel maintains it was their policy was to charge for "bad" reviews.
To be exact, it goes something like this: "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."
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Mr. Jenkinson, who is a 63-year-old van driver, said his wife did not have her glasses on and signed the form without reading the small print.
He, however, added that he intends to fight the charge. "Annoyed isn't strong enough for how I feel about this. What happened to freedom of speech?" he asks.
"Everybody we have spoken to says they (the hotel) are not allowed to do this."
This is not an isolated incident; there have been stories of people getting harassed and penalized for writing bad reviews.
Makes you want to think twice about penning a negative review, doesn’t it?
Or, at the very least, staying in a hotel that strips your freedom of speech more often than it strips bedsheets.