Couple: Negative TripAdvisor Review Get Us Tossed From Hotel

A pair of vacationers in the UK say they recently got the boot from a hotel in the seaside town of Blackpool after the manager accused them of writing a negative review on travel site TripAdvisor.com.

The pair had been staying in Blackpool to celebrate the completion of the man’s chemotherapy treatments. And, two days into their planned 3-night stay, they tell the Blackpool Gazette they were unceremoniously ousted by hotel management:

We had been there a day when they said we couldn’t get back in our rooms because they were recarpeting, and we didn’t complain – all we asked was if we could have an extra towel.

Then, on our second evening, he banged on the door and told us to get out, accusing us of writing a review on Trip Advisor, and said he would call the police.

The police were called, reports the Gazette, though they say the couple committed no offense.

“I was shocked when the police arrived, and we just agreed to leave,” the man told the paper. “We asked for a refund but the hotel refused.”

The closest review we could find on TripAdvisor to the date of the incident was this one:

Nothing like the internet or owners description. Dingy room, very poor furniture, only 2 handtowels, when queried said they were waiting for them. people were arriving, looking at rooms and leaving. young man on desk refused to acknowledge or rectify complaints or refund deposits.Told that if you wanted the room cleaned you should leave door open.Went out and on return told by elderly gent that they had fitted new carpet in my room, on entering room possessions had been moved ( including very expensive laptop ) girlfriend found one of her rings on floor. Fan had been removed together with coffees and milks and not returned room hot and stuffy, strong smell of curry from restaurant in same building. definiteley DO NOT BOOK HERE.
I think onwers must have written reviews on own website!

We’re assuming this is likely the one that got the couple evicted, as the management replies:

This man was removed from the premises for his bad behaviour, the hotel promotes a child friendly behaviour and such behaviour that may affect the peaceful and friendly enviroment of the hotel can not be tolerated.

Man thrown out of hotel for writing review [Blackpool Gazette via USA Today]

Comments

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  1. iParadox{InLove} says:

    This is an outrage. We removed The Consumerist from the hotel premises because they were being unruly and we try and provide a family environment here. This site was just renovated and a lot of people like the new look! Gosh!

  2. backinpgh says:

    How do you say “chargeback” in British?

  3. DariusC says:

    Chargeback. File more bad reviews accross the internet. Send them a picture of you giving them the middle finger. Laugh, sit back, relax in another motel accross the street.

    • Gnort says:

      Yeah, I could SO see The Internets slapping this hotel with endless bad reviews for their bad behavior. Even if he needed to be removed (which doesn’t sound like it was the case), their response isn’t very endearing!

  4. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    It still doesn’t meet the timeline. They were due to check out on the 4th and the post is dated the 8th. In my experience posts are dated the day you submit them – not dated 2-3 days later when they are approved and posted.

    • lvlass says:

      nope. Tripadvisor doesn’t post reviews immediately. They have to be reviewed and approved before they get posted.

  5. Underpants Gnome says:

    Golden Beach Hotel, Meet Mrs. Streisand…

  6. Bohemian says:

    The pictures from another review are just gross. I wrote a less than flattering review of a hotel that was a total dump and none of the services were as described or were broken. A few months later I receive a scathing message via Tripadvisor from the hotel owner. It was really immature and spiteful that we should have “liked it anyway”.

    Hotel owners like the one in the article, that write nasty retorts about guests obviously valid complaints just cement that one should run screaming from said hotel.

  7. PLATTWORX says:

    What hotel conducts themselves in this manner?? I would need to hear what they claim this man did and why they did not meet with him to discuss. You just don’t lock guests out of a hotel. I was going to say who would be foolish enough to write a negative review of a non-chain hotel while staying there?

  8. soulbarn says:

    Just goes to show: don’t mess with Basil Fawlty.

  9. The Cynical Librarian says:

    Reading other negative reviews and what the management says back makes this a fairly unsurprising turn of events. Here are some of the management response highlights from the first few pages on top of the one quoted in the original article:

    This guest was asked to leave the hotel as their behaviour was unaccepteable, the hotel accomodates many families and couples and such unbecomming behaviour is unaccepteable. The hotel at all times pomotes a clean family fiendly enviroment.

    here’s another:

    It suprises me how some people can say such things knowing full well its is a complete fabrication. i am quite shocked and dissapointed that certain people can be so negative without any reason or foundation…shocking

    And my favorite:

    what a load of nonesense, this chap was in a lovely family room and was actually upgraded to a family sleep 4 a larger room with more extras. Room was in perfect condition as was the hotel . We where fully booked on that weekend and all guests enjoyed the wkend entertainment and the hotel facilities. We pride oursleves on good customer service and maintaing a well maintained hotel. We are constantly upgradeing all areas of the hotel to provide better value for money for all guests so that they have a great holiday experience. Quite frankly this review is absurd !!!

  10. humphrmi says:

    I always wondered what would happen if I wrote a bad hotel review while I was staying in the hotel.

    I wonder if they thought that the ousted guest would just keep quiet about the experience? A review about a dingy room and a shortage of handtowels would get a “meh…” from most budget travelers, but a story about getting thrown out pretty much nails their coffin. This just makes them look so much worse.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      I always wait a week before wring a review. It gives time to calm down & get perspective & balance. Otherwise you can get mired in minutia. When you get off a long plane ride to visit family you want to tell them everything about the horrid trip but a week later the story gets pared down to the essentials.

    • dreamfish says:

      It does seem to suggest Tripadvisor is now *the* place for hotel reviews and understandably hotel owners/managers/etc. monitor it closely (in this case, daily).

      • Crunchbones says:

        Oh yeah. I’ve been in hotels were their high TripAdvisor rating is proudly displayed at the front desk. It’s a badge of honor to be #1 for your city.

  11. tbax929 says:

    I wrote a negative review about my apartment complex after being treated horribly by the new management folks (the old ones were awesome). It was a very specific incident, so they knew I was the one who’d posted about it. Anyway, the new property manager demanded I remove the review. I told her if she wanted to release me from my lease, I wouldn’t fight her on it. She refused. So I politely told her to kiss my ass.

    • Venality says:

      What did the property manager possibly think would happen? “Oh certainly, I have no problem censoring my legitimate views for you, I am very sorry that I even thought to warn people. Please forgive me.”

    • jesirose says:

      I had a similar experience with an apartment complex. The management was always going on and replying to reviews.

      Since we went to the property’s parent company to complain about how awfully we’d been treated over the 4 months we’d been there so far, we were actually released from our lease with 60 days notice. We moved out in less than 30 and paid the extra month anyway, just to NOT have to live there anymore.

  12. dush says:

    Lesson learned: don’t write a review while you’re still staying at the place.

  13. DarrenO says:

    I left a review on TripAdvisor once about a hotel in Ireland that was very nice, but when we returned to our room at midnight it was overrun with spiders. There were about 20 of them, big and small. There was nobody at the front desk as it was a small place, so we just roughed it for the night. Management didn’t want to do much in the morning, told me it was because we left the lights on when we left the room. We didn’t. Anyway, I left the review saying the hotel would have been great if it weren’t for the problem we had with the spiders and this caused the owner of the hotel to start contacting me via phone and email consistently. He told me I was damning his business with my review and kept asking me to remove it. At that point they offered, and did, refund my credit card for the full amount of my stay but I still didn’t feel comfortable removing the review as I used TripAdvisor’s ratings to make my choices and I felt like this was nothing more than a business owner trying to buy his way to a better rating. After about 15-20 phone calls he finally stopped calling. Crazy stuff!

    • yusefyk says:

      So he gave you an entire free hotel stay, but you did not remove your post about the spiders, because you “didn’t feel comfortable?”

      • jesirose says:

        I’d rather know about the spiders, than go and have the same experience. For me, a refund is not the same as not having experienced it in the first place. He should leave the review about the spiders up, and add that he was refunded.

        • FerretGirl says:

          Yeah, that seems like a good solution to me. They gave you the money back after you complained, you should let Trip Advisor know that as it is something important regarding your stay.

      • DarrenO says:

        Yes, but “entire free stay” needs to be explained. We showed up at around 4PM, checked in and went to an event in the area and came back to the room around midnight. We left first thing the next morning. So, I guess that is technically yes, entire free stay. And no, didn’t feel comfortable removing an accurate review.

        • consumerfan says:

          Add to the review that management listened to your complaints and refunded you the money. You don’t have to pretend it didn’t happen but it would be good to know which companies listen and which don’t.

      • Phil Villakeepinitrreal says:

        Yeeeeaahhh. Just because the owner gave him a refund doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. The review the owner was upset about is still legitimate, assuming it was factual. Why should he remove it because he got a refund?

  14. tmac40 says:

    Why would they not be given a refund? I hope they put a review of their experience up now. No way I would stay at a hotel that kicks out guests for possibly being the ones who wrote a review. Why do some businesses struggle so much when consumers have some of the power?

  15. scouts honor says:

    From the looks of the other reviews on TripAdvisor, it was just a matter of time before the manager went crazy on a customer and did something like this.

    Not surprisingly, that hotel runs a dirty kitchen. Someone should post this article on TripAdvisor:
    http://www.cieh.org/ehn/hotel_owner_fined_over_poor_hygiene.html

  16. Egat says:

    Was the hotel perhaps called Fawlty Towers?

  17. JiminyChristmas says:

    TripAdvisor reviews are a double-edged sword. If I’m looking at a place with a lot of good reviews and a couple of bad ones, I’m usually willing to discount the bad ones. I figure there are plenty of unreasonable people out there who will have a hissy fit over something that likely wouldn’t bother me at all.

    By the same token, you read a few bad reviews and you start distrusting everything you look at and ask yourself if it’s really worth leaving home at all. Back in the good old days before the interwebs you took your chances with what little information you had and you headed out. Now you can drive yourself nuts trying to absorb all the information out there, in an effort to assure yourself you’re making a good choice.

    • humphrmi says:

      I’ve usually found on the balance, the majority of TripAdvisor is pretty accurate. I went to a hotel / resort in Wis Dells last month that had mostly good and a few bad reviews. One review stated that the place had bedbugs. I’m paranoid of bedbugs, but not one other review mentioned bedbugs.

      Went, stayed, no bedbugs, and the place pretty much lived up to its reviews. The other (non-bedbug related) bad reviews were about how horribly gauche the interior design was (old paint, out of date fixtures, etc.) which was true, but I didn’t care. The better reviews talked about how nice the staff was, the rooms were clean, and the place was generally kid friendly. All true.

      So the moral? Yeah, take the one-bad-review-in-a-million with a grain of salt, and read the majority, and if it’s not to your liking, pick a different place.

  18. mikeP says:

    I am surprised nobody is screaming Lawsuit. After taking your money, I am pretty sure they cannot kick you out of the hotel without at least refunding your money. They had no cause at all to do so and there is now a police report that backs this up.

    • BrazDane says:

      Likely because this happened in England. There, like in many other European countries, you most likely have a consumer protection agency or some similar entity which can often sort things like this out. It is sad that here in the US, in many cases, your only recourse is a lawsuit, which businesses know most won’t want to engage in over minor amounts of money.

  19. shoop008 says:

    If I was a hotel owner and someone left a negative review that I felt was not warranted, I would kick them out too. I see nothing wrong with what the hotel owner did. I also don’t feel the patron should receive any money back except any days charged after being kicked out.

    • syzygy says:

      Let me know if you ever open a hotel so I can avoid it.

      You’re most likely trolling (poorly), and I should know better, but…responding to negative criticism with petulant hostility is…stay with me here…not good customer service. There is no way such action can result in a positive outcome; things will likely only get worse, as the OP proves.

    • Marshmelly says:

      I think its safe to say….do not feed the troll.

  20. Dave says:
    • Anathema777 says:

      Thank you! I could have sworn I’d read this earlier, but could not find the post. I was questioning my sanity.

  21. sopmodm14 says:

    wow, saves them the trouble of a bad experience getttting worse, but i’d do a chargeback for sure

    and spread the word out on this place

  22. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    I think its hilarious his defense is “they obviously didn’t stay at THIS hotel”

    What an asshat.

  23. kennedar says:

    What I thought was hilarious was that almost all the positive reviews on tripadvisor are from people with only 1 contribution. I don’t know about anyone else, but I trust the people with only 1 contribution and it is negative more than the positive ones. If its negative, I figure that it was so bad, they had to comment. If it is positive I figure that it is fake from the owners.

    • invisibelle says:

      Agree – I’m always SUPER wary of TripAdvisor reviews that gush a bit too much, especially if the user has only 1 contribution. A lot of people are using TripAdvisor to make a living these days.

  24. Disappointed says:

    I would think that the best way to respond to negative reviews of your establishment would be to look at the complaints, see if they have any merit, then do your best to fix anything that’s wrong.

  25. rookie says:

    From the article-
    “Mr Healey, who was due to check out on September 4, was forced to drive back 280 miles the evening before. He said: “I couldn’t believe it when we were asked to leave.”

    I thought this happened in England?
    280 miles?
    Which planet are we on this week???

    • Anathema777 says:

      I’m assuming they meant 208 instead of 280 since that’s how many miles it is between the hotel and Croyden where this man lives.

      But there are places in England that you’d have to drive 280+ miles to get to. Not sure why you find that so unbelievable.

  26. varro says:

    Our goals do not include helping you get a towel. Sorry

  27. Leah0509 says:

    If you take a look back at the last 4-5 pages of Tripadvisor reviews you can see that a lot of the positive reviewers just happen to have joined on the same day that they posted, and many seem to share the exact same profile picture… Coincidence? I think not.