View Full Version : Basil Fawlty.....2014 version

Krystal n chips
19th Nov 2014, 05:14
It would seem Basil is alive and well ! .....

TripAdvisor couple fined 100 by hotel for bad review | UK news | The Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/nov/19/tripadvisor-couple-bad-hotel-review-charged-blackpool-broadway)

One thunks m'learned friends may spot an opportunity here.....

19th Nov 2014, 05:40
Having seen the other reviews of that hotel I am not surprised they complained!.... Tripadvisor is unfortunately a double edged sword. As a GM I realise its' benefits but it can also be used by individuals with an axe to grind to assault your business. As it is anonymous you cannot even confirm that the guest making the review actually stayed there or is a member of staff either 'bigging' you up or slagging you off as you have just dismissed them.

In the past it was relatively easy to have a negative review removed on the basis that it might be naming a particular member of staff (not allowed in Tripadvisor rules) or if it didn't actually review the facilities/amenities of the hotel and jaunt complained without substance. This is now harder.

Krystal n chips
19th Nov 2014, 06:01
Tolsti.....fair comment.

It's the minor detail, cough !...of bunging a 100 on your bill "for saying nasty things about us " that becomes, erm, problematic.

Rwy in Sight
19th Nov 2014, 07:01
You can still put that in the review (like it was a good hotel .... and I was warned about a fine if a put a bad review) just before you cancel the credit card you gave it to them. Obviously that requires some organization.

Rwy in Sight

19th Nov 2014, 07:06
When I was overcharged by a hotel in Madrid, part of a large Spanish chain, and they refused to sort it out, I told the GM that I would be putting it on TripAdvisor, and I gave him my TripAdvisor username so that he could see it, and his extraordinary response was that if I did so, I would be 'prohibido de por la vida' (banned for life) from all their hotels.

Whether the ban was enacted or not I have no idea, as I have never tried to book again in one of their hotels, and have no intention of doing so.

19th Nov 2014, 07:58
Reading the other reviews of this hotel on Tripadvisor I reckon they are probably making more money from the 100 "fines" than they will be from the 36.00 they are charging for the rooms.

That said, what exactly do you expect (in UK) from a hotel charging so little? Surely at the price alarm bells ring at the time of booking. I would have thought that at those sort of prices the local council would be using it's facilities for B&B accommodation for the homeless - which might go some way towards explaining the allegedly abysmal standards.

Problem is that so many people seem to know the price of everything, but the value of nothing - especially here in UK.

19th Nov 2014, 08:33
With some careful wording, it should be possible to get the facts across without the hotel being able to describe the review as 'bad':

"Although we had failed to mention at check in that we would like to be undisturbed, the hotel had thoughtfully ensured that the room service phone referenced in their literature wasn't actually there."

"Clearly out of concern for the environment, we were pleased to see the hotel makes sure as many guests as possible use a set of sheets before they get washed."

"The bed made us feel young again, reminding us as it did of those we tried, but were unable to sleep on, as impoverished students. We thoroughly enjoyed playing Twister as we sought the positions that allowed us to miss the projecting bedsprings."

"My husband is easily bored when staying away, so the challenge of repairing the inoperative kettle and trying to get the front to stay on the chest of drawers kept him amused for hours."

19th Nov 2014, 09:24
Isn't Trip Advisor as a concept already dead in the water? I would never believe anything on it - negative comments can easily be put on by competitors, positive ones by the owners themselves, or their family and friends.

These days I'd only go on a personal recommendation, but for short UK stopovers I tend to use one or other of the big chains, which are predictable, and often cheaper than nearby "cosy" B & Bs.

As ATNotts says, at 36 a night I'd expect little better than a doss-house!

19th Nov 2014, 09:39
I reckon they are probably making more money from the 100 "fines" than they will be from the 36.00 they are charging for the roomsYou got that right; when you look at the first 7 reviews, just in the last couple of weeks, they were all bad, so that's 700 in the cash box in two weeks, same as selling 19 room/nights.

19th Nov 2014, 09:49
The credit card companies may have a problem with them, and the Trading Standards people are looking into it........

Presumably, the 100 was put on the cc after the 'guest' had paid and departed, so the cc company should not be paying the hotel as the charge had not been authorised.

A complaint to the local fuzz about fraud would be worthwhile, too.....

Loose rivets
19th Nov 2014, 09:55
Mmm . . . but they're saying they've built it into the contract.

19th Nov 2014, 09:56
Unfortunately, since the charge for negative reviews is mentioned in their T's & C's then they can claim the payment was authorised. However, it is still totally unethical behaviour and quite possible against some law or other.

19th Nov 2014, 10:35
Isn't Trip Advisor as a concept already dead in the water? I would never believe anything on it - negative comments can easily be put on by competitors, positive ones by the owners themselves, or their family and friends.

I still find it quite useful. A bit of commonsense is required, of course, as is probably a dash of cynicism. Read the last 10-15 reviews, disregard any that are clearly ludicrously positive or negative, give the greatest credence to those that are well written, informative and objective, examine the posting history of reviewers, and maybe be a bit cautious of first time reviewers. On the whole, of the hotels I've stayed at in recent years, my own experience has been consistent with the broader sweep of Tripadvisor reviews.

As for the 100 fine, I simply can't see how that can possibly be legal. The hotels T&C's don't take precedence over the law.

19th Nov 2014, 10:38
BBC News - Trip Advisor bad review 'fine' scrapped by Blackpool hotel (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-30111525)

It seems the hotel in question has dropped the "fines" after a call from Trading Standards.

At a guess I'd say this was probably because such a "fine" constituted an unfair contract condition in law, so the charge wasn't lawfully made.

Those who've been charged (and judging by the mountain of negative reviews on Trip Advisor that could be quite a few) should be entitled to get their money back, although being entitled to the money and actually receiving it may well be two different things, as this seems hotel to be run on a shoestring so may well not have the funds to repay the charges made.

19th Nov 2014, 10:53
I have the impression that the card companies must refund an illegal charge, and getting it back from the hotel is their problem. It's not so difficult for them, as any merchant would tell you, unless and until the business and its owner go into receivership, which this hotel certainly should and probably will.

PS Which illiterate teenager in California decided that whenever someone writes its it's not intentional and the writer meant to write it's not its, so every its must be changed to it's? It's its which is the possessive, not it's; it's a crime to make people go back through what they write and change it's to its when it's its that you wrote in the first place.

19th Nov 2014, 12:24
Broadway Hotel 2-4 Burlington Road W | New South Promenade, Blackpool FY4 1NY

Ranked #858 of 894 Blackpool B&B and Inns

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Broadway+Hotel/@53.7877501,-3.0548864,17z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0000000000000000:0x326484579f159845 (https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Broadway+Hotel/@53.7877501,-3.0548864,17z/data=%214m2%213m1%211s0x0000000000000000:0x326484579f159845)

Broadway Hotel (Blackpool, England) - Hotel Reviews - TripAdvisor (http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g186332-d554701-Reviews-Broadway_Hotel-Blackpool_Lancashire_England.html)

19th Nov 2014, 13:46
What if all of us who haven't had the misfortune to be there posted a crap review on behalf of those who've suffered? What would the spiteful little losers do then? :E

19th Nov 2014, 14:34
It could be difficult. As I understand it you are invited to comment on a hotel by the website that you booked it through. You would not be able to comment if you had not been their customer.

There may be independent hotel reviews but I don't know of any.

19th Nov 2014, 15:11

It could be difficult. As I understand it you are invited to comment on a hotel by the website that you booked it through. You would not be able to comment if you had not been their customer.Not so.

I have contributed to Travel Adviser, both critically and complementry.

I have never booked through Travel Adviser.

19th Nov 2014, 16:04
It could be difficult. As I understand it you are invited to comment on a hotel by the website that you booked it through. You would not be able to comment if you had not been their customer.

That's true for sites like Booking.com, but Tripadviser is open to anyone who registers with them. Nothing to stop anyone posting a review regardless of whether they'd stayed at the establishment in question. There was a controversy a while back when it was discovered that some hotels had solicited favourable reviews, either from ringers or their own staff, in order to improve their rankings.

I've noticed that some hotels actually append responses to Tripadvisor reviews, so they can have a right of reply, although I suspect they have to pay some sort of subscription for the privilege.

19th Nov 2014, 17:43
As stated, anyone can post on TripAdvisor, regardless of how they booked the service. I suppose most people are honest most of the time meaning that most reviews are genuine. If you see a review like this, you can be pretty sure the place is dire (Britannia Grand Hotel Scarborough)

Traveler rating

Excellent 4
Very good 4
Average 10
Poor 9
Terrible 53

Whereas with one like this (Mill Hotel Chester), the likelihood is that it's good :

Excellent 436
Very good 455
Average 219
Poor 48
Terrible 29

It's about using common sense to interpret the reviews, and I find, based on that, TA to be quite useful.

Then there's this :

Super VC-10
19th Nov 2014, 18:53
Ranked #858 of 894 Blackpool B&B and Inns

You mean there's worse? :eek:

19th Nov 2014, 19:18
About the worst I've seen is the Europa at Gatwick/Crawley, also a Britannia property. I had to fetch a friend there once and just walking into reception made my flesh crawl. She'd ended up there after a cheapskate airline put pax up there after an overnight delay, she said if she'd known how awful it was she'd rather have slept in the toilets at the airport. It was so bad that she decided to abandon her flight and on the way back to her house we passed a car wash and she said she felt like running through that to get clean after that filthy place.
It's Ranked #25 of 25 Hotels in Crawley (http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotels-g187051-Crawley_West_Sussex_England-Hotels.html)

Excellent 55
Very good 200
Average 303
Poor 244
Terrible 694

A couple of recent reviews from victims :

Ghastly, disgusting and completely awful hotel.” (http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g187051-d192259-r239100162-Europa_Gatwick-Crawley_West_Sussex_England.html#CHECK_RATES_CONT)
http://c1.tacdn.com/img2/x.gif Reviewed 1 week ago
We stayed here as part of a National Holidays break.
The hotel has an overpowering stench of mould and damp, the doors are sticky with filth, there are inappropriate nude sketches above the beds in the rooms, (we had 2 rooms, that's how I know). The curtains are strung up with wire and are filthy, horrible stains on the carpet, mould and mildew in the bathroom, filthy bathroom floor.
We expected a carvery style buffet, there wasn't a carvery style buffet on offer, just slices of gammon. None of the food is labelled and it ought to have been because we couldn't identify most of it. Sloppy brown matter in serving dishes, cold tasteless soup, no salad. Breakfast was terrible.
Staff were disinterested and the ones we met were difficult to understand.
There are many refugee/asylum seeker types loitering in the lobby and many non English speaking workmen at the bar. The hotel refers to them as our 'international guests'. The furniture in the bar and the 'restaurant' was damaged and chunks of leatherette peeling of chairs.
The hotel is very old and dilapidated and in my opinion, not at all suitable for families. We will never, ever stay here again.
Room Tip: Stay somewhere else.

“Filthy place” (http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g187051-d192259-r238867803-Europa_Gatwick-Crawley_West_Sussex_England.html#CHECK_RATES_CONT)
http://c1.tacdn.com/img2/x.gif Reviewed 1 week ago
Is this a hotel, a homeless unit, a meeting place for asylum seekers? Yes, it is all of the above. What a filthy place, the first room we were given was so dirty with dead skin on the floor and cob webs everywhere. The second room was only marginally cleaner. The food was nearly edible and the staff could not care less about the customers.

Avoid this place like the plague, you would be better sleeping in your car.
Room Tip: To get a good room stay in another hotel

“Vile! Vile! Vile!” (http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g187051-d192259-r238482100-Europa_Gatwick-Crawley_West_Sussex_England.html#CHECK_RATES_CONT)
http://c1.tacdn.com/img2/x.gif Reviewed 1 week ago
Your are warned! You know it's bad when the wall paper looks so sad it's peeling off the walls in an effort to run away! This hotel was booked pre flight and was the worst 5 hours I have spent! Blood stains on sheets, dirty carpet, dirty bathroom, dirty every thing! This place is simply 2 VILE for words. Sleep in your car!!

“take a tent instead!” (http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g187051-d192259-r237947843-Europa_Gatwick-Crawley_West_Sussex_England.html#CHECK_RATES_CONT)
http://c1.tacdn.com/img2/x.gif Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile (http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/apps)
where to begin? Whilst eating breakfast one of the staff was coughing her guts up, whilst laying cutlery, when she noticed I was looking she nudged other members to join in! Yuck! The hotel is like a time warp, it's like something out of the shining! The bed was dirty and bathroom was disgusting! The parking is a nightmare! We had to squeeze in to a tiny space. There were cars parked on the grass! I have stayed in a lot older, cheaper hotels, which have been 100% more cleaner! The staff were rude and unhelpful! This is not the start to the holiday you want! Don't do it, unless they pay you to stay there!

19th Nov 2014, 21:17
Went up to Blackpool one November day, cold. Cold as in weather and with no accom planning. Cab dropped me off on seafront and I went into a likely looking B&B in the driving rain. "How much of for the night?", says I. "GBP79" say they. "No thanks", say I.

Walked in downpour to next one down the road and ask for the rate. GBP26. Perfect. I don't ask to see the room. I ask where the nearest places to buy an umbrella , food and a bottle of scotch are.

Room was just fine, nice bed, TV with channels, clean, breakfast was ok - a little luke warm.

Spent a day investigating trams, Fleetwood, fish and chips, trying to keep cameras dry and rain.

First place tried to charge me summer rate I discovered later.

No tripadvisor entries were done.

Nice place was Blackpool even in November weather, first time there - since 1955

19th Nov 2014, 22:09
Love the fact the muppet from Trading Standards enjoying his 15 seconds of fame on TV said that this "was totally unacceptable in the 20th century" Maybe he was referring to when the hotel was last upgraded...

I do love going to Blackpool for brief occasions, but I also love leaving it...