Thursday 20 November 2014


This story is unbelievable, not only in one establishment’s feeble attempt at penalizing a couple’s freedom of speech, but for their sheer audacity at thinking they can get away with it. A couple recently stayed in a ‘filthy dirty rotten’ hotel, their words not mine (mine would’ve been much more scathing) and posted a negative review of the hotel on Trip Advisor. They were soon to discover that the hotel fined them for posting negative feedback about their experience (imagine the precedent that would be set if one was fined merely from expressing a negative opinion on the Internet, esp as 98% of the Internet is negative opinions!).

In short, the couple described their jaunt to a seaside English hotel in Blackpool as essentially vile and disappointing on all levels (um, for starters, maybe reexamine your need to go to Blackpool! Just sayin’). Apparently they chose the hotel for its ‘ample’ parking but when they arrived there, the lot was full and they were forced to park at another hotel. Not a good start to one’s hotel stay, that’s for sure.

The couple went on to say that they were revolted by the state of the room. Just to give this some context, the room cost £36 a night. My first question would be, WHAT ON EARTH do you think you’re going to get for that amount of money?? [They are lucky they weren’t asked to pitch a tent in the parking lot and boil their own water to shower].  The drawer fronts fell off the furniture when they tried to open the drawers, the wallpaper was peeling off, the room was dirty, the sheets and carpet riddled with stains, and the mattress was deemed a health and safety threat…to name a few of their concerns. I would have run screaming from the room wrapped in a giant Wet Wipe.

Thereafter posting this review, the couple realised that they were fined £100 pounds on their credit card for 'negative feedback' in addition to the room charge. Clearly enraged by this farce, the couple complained to the local trading standards office (who stated they had never seen anything like this, but were probably in some strange way impressed by this ‘novel’ concept to deter bad reviews) who spoke to the hotel about this questionable  ‘policy’ and they are now carrying out an investigation. The couple as you can imagine is raving mad, not only because they had to stay in this sh*thole, but because they are now fighting to have the charge removed from their credit card for telling the world it was a dump.

In a statement, Trip Advisor said it deplored the practice of fining its users. "While thankfully such instances are very rare, it is completely against the spirit and policies of our site for any business owner to attempt to bully or intimidate reviewers who have had a negative experience.” You think?? Can you imagine the volcanic eruption of cr*p consumers would have to deal with if every time they put a negative review somewhere, they were fined for it? 

My husband is a Trip Advisor addict. He doesn’t book a thing until he’s exhausted every website, read reviews, and scoured photos – I wouldn’t put it past him to fly to the hotel just to inspect it before our arrival. The man is meticulous and my OCD tendencies greatly appreciate his attention to detail. But, I’m also confident that if he saw a room was going to cost under 40 quid, even in Blackpool, he’d convince me a weekend at home with the King hollering in our faces about his latest Lego building project was a far better option. That said, if we ever do stay in a dump again, I'm bringing my cleaning supplies and someone is going to hear about it.

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