LONDON — A British budget hotel that fined a couple $156 for writing a bad review about it online has agreed to pay them back and drop its policy of penalizing guests who do that, officials said Wednesday.
Tony and Jan Jenkinson told the BBC they discovered the charge on their credit card shortly after they called the hotel as a “filthy, dirty, rotten, stinking hovel” on the travel website TripAdvisor.
The Jenkinsons said that when they questioned the charge from the Broadway Hotel in Blackpool, a seaside town in northwestern England, it pointed out the “no-bad-review policy” in its terms and conditions.
Blackpool Council, which investigated the case, said the hotel has now complied with its request to remove the policy.
John Greenbank, a trading standards manager in the area, said he had “never seen anything like this” and that the charge could be deemed an unfair trading practice.
In a statement to the BBC, the hotel said it fined the Jenkinsons because it “felt extremely upset by their actions and insulting comments towards our staff.” Broadway Hotel acknowledged that it has room for improvement, but urged its “customers to be more realistic in their reviews” of budget establishments.