While important, rules may sometimes create more problems than they resolve. Websites like TripAdvisor are valuable for tourism, providing businesses with greater exposure. The problem is not all reviews are positive. Recently a hotel in Blackpool, England, fined two guests £100 for leaving scathing comments on TripAdvisor. On enquiry, the hotel had reportedly informed them that this was a policy—to charge guests who leave bad reviews.52 The couple was later refunded. Another example is a Canadian hotel routinely criticized for its strict rules—guests required to go to sleep by 10 PM and a “no talking” policy in its corridors and public areas. After 11 PM, the hotel’s staff would patrol the site, threatening people with the non-return of their deposit. If noise was heard from within any of the rooms, the reception would call. Many reviews suggested that the reception was downright rude. Despite this, the hotel’s rooms were regarded as clean and the breakfast reasonable.

a. To what extent do you think it’s ethical for businesses to impose such strict rules on guests?

b. Would it be legal for the hotel to exclude some customers from the restrictions?

c. How would you react if a business imposed overly restrictive rules on you?

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