A couple from Whitehaven have been 'fined' £100 for describing a hotel as a "rotten stinking hovel" on Trip Advisor.
The Broadway Hotel, in Blackpool, said it is their policy to charge for 'bad' reviews after Tony and Jan Jenkinson found their credit card had been charged.
When the couple discovered the unexpected charge on their credit card they contacted the hotel and the manager said they had a ‘no bad review policy’ in their terms and conditions.
The policy stated:‘Despite the fact that repeat customers and couples love our hotel, your friends and family may not. For every bad review left on any website, the group organiser will be charged a maximum £100 per review’.
The couple then contacted the council’s Trading Standards team to complain about the matter.
“I have worked for Trading Standards for many years and have never seen anything like this. The hotel management clearly thinks that they have come up with a novel way to prevent bad reviews, however we believe this could be deemed an unfair trading practice.”
Cumbria County Council’s Trading Standards say this policy could be deemed an unfair term under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 and therefore have passed it on to colleagues at Blackpool Trading Standards to investigate. The couple have sought a refund via their credit card company.
“Customers need to be free to be honest about the service they’re getting. Other customers depend upon it. Hotel owners should focus on getting their service right rather than shutting down aggrieved customers with threats and fines. People should have the right to vent their disappointment if a hotel stay did not meet their expectations and should not be prevented from having their say.”
Campaigners looking to ensure that acute medical services are not moved from Whitehaven to Carlisle have marched from Millom to the Cumberland Infirmary to make their point.
Campaigners fighting to prevent services at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven they claim are being downgraded will hand in a petition to Downing Street this afternoon.
The trust which runs the hospital has produced a series of options including moving consultant-led maternity services to Carlisle.
Managers say no final decisions have been made.
Two brothers from Whitehaven have been sentenced to a total of 12 years in jail for carrying out unprovoked attacks.
Martin Thompson, 29, from Patterdale Avenue, Whitehaven, and his brother Kevin Thompson, 33, from Dean, Workington, have been sentenced to over 12 years in prison at Carlisle Crown Court.
On the 21st November 2013, Thompson assaulted two people in Captain Senny’s, Whitehaven. The first victim, aged 30 from Whitehaven, was standing near the bar when he was punched by Thompson in an unprovoked attack. He fell to the floor and sustained three fractures to his jaw.
Later that evening, in an unrelated incident, Thompson punched another man, aged 45 from Whitehaven. This was again an unprovoked attack, which left the man unconscious with cuts to his head and bruising to his face.
Thompson pleaded guilty to GBH (grievous bodily harm) and ABH (actual bodily harm) at an earlier court appearance.
On the 27th June 2014, a man, aged 47 from Whitehaven, was with friends in a car park on Queen Street, Whitehaven. Martin and Kevin Thompson approached the victim and assaulted him in an unprovoked attack. They stole a pint of milk he was carrying and left him on the floor. He was taken to Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle with a broken cheek bone.
Martin Thompson was sentenced to seven years and nine months for his involvement in both offences. Kevin Thompson was sentenced to five years in relation to the incident on the 27th June 2014.
“Both of these offences were completely uncalled for and left two people requiring hospital treatment. The victims showed courage in reporting the matter to the police and Thompson has been brought to justice for these vicious attacks.”
Changes at North Cumbrian hospitals are saving lives, according to North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust.
Two years ago the Trust was recorded as having one of the highest mortality rates in England, and in 2013 it was visited by a review team who suggested a number of changes.
But since then, it says mortality rates at North Cumbrian hospitals have dropped. The most drastic reductions have been for people suffering from life threatening heart problems, who are now treated at the Heart Centre in Carlisle, as well as patients with broken hips.
"Our teams have been through a lot of change in the past 18 months but it is down to their sheer dedication and commitment to make things better for our patients that we have not only saved more lives but also given patients a better chance of making a fuller recovery and going on to live longer and healthier lives. This is something that each and every member of staff should be very proud of.
"We are under no illusions, however, that there is still a long way for us to go on our improvement journey.
"Our priority, quite understandably, was to focus first and foremost on fixing the very immediate problems related to mortality, but we still have much further to go to make the experience of care for our patients as good, if not better, than the best of the NHS."
'I Won't Survive' is the message from a man from Great Broughton, who's concerned about some services at West Cumberland Hospital being downgraded.
Adrian Davis-Johnston's performed a parody of Gloria Gaynor's 1970s hit 'I Will Survive'.
It's already got nearly 3,000 views.
A major milestone for both Whitehaven and Sellafield was reached today with the opening of an eighteen million pound office block in the town.
Albion Square will eventually have 1,000 Sellafield workers moving in, freeing up space at Sellafield for decommissioning.
A warning that flashing images feature in Lori Carnochan's report.
The new Albion Square development, which will house 1,000 Sellafield employees, opens in Whitehaven today.
It's hoped the £18 million project, comprising two four-storey buildings which take up one hundred thousand square feet, will bring more money into the town's economy.
Parents in Whitehaven have taken law enforcement into their own hands outside Whitehaven Primary School.
The group have been loaned a speed gun by Cumbria Police to record the registrations of anyone breaking the speed limit.
Our reporter Joshua Shrimpton Dean was outside the school this morning.
Parents in Whitehaven are so fed up of motorists speeding outside a primary school that they've taken law enforcement into their own hands.
The group have been loaned a speed gun by Cumbria Police to record the registrations of anyone breaking the speed limit as they pass Hensingham Primary School. The information is then passed on to police, who will write to the driver telling them to slow down.