Hotel charged couple for a bad review

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Negative Hotel Review Costs Couple, But Is That Legal?

Tony and Jan Jenkinson had a bad stay at their hotel and decided to let the online world know about it. The Broadway Hotel, where they stayed, reportedly charged them the equivalent of $157 for said review. To put this into perspective, the couple only paid $57 for the room.

Their bad review doesn't seem unwarranted either: "I went to turn on the tub, there wasn't any water came out ... pulled the chest of drawers open, they're caved in," hotel guest Tony Jenkinson told the BBC. Jan Jenkinson told BBC, "We knew it was cheap, but you expect it to be clean and you expect it to be habitable -- and it wasn't."

Now, the hotel says it'll pay the couple back and won't penalize people for bad reviews anymore. Before that announcement, many media outlets were asking if this practice is legal. "I think this is completely out of order, refusing people the right to give their fair comment," a guest on the BBC said.

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The hotel says it made its review policy clear in its terms and conditions, but people seem to be speculating it's not legal. The actual regulations make these accusations a little more fuzzy.

The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading document has regulations against aggressive and unfair commercial practices, but it's hard to tell if the hotel did anything that would be considered illegal.

Either way, it's really bad publicity, which is likely why the hotel has announced it won't be doing it anymore.

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