Hotels live for reviews since many guests are coming in from out of town and those guest typically rely on reviews. When those reviews are negative, it is a good opportunity for the hotel to address the issues and make improvements for guests’ comforts. Or, they can do like this hotel and just charge people $350 for the bad review and threaten legal action.
Couple Charged $350 By Hotel for Negative Review…
Back in March of 2016, a couple stayed at the Abby Inn in Indiana. They had many issues with their stay, including a room that looked like it hadn’t been cleaned (hair still left around the room), a nasty smell of sewage, poor water pressure, and a non-working air conditioner unit.
When they attempted to call the front desk, it went to what they said was a “lawyer’s [number] or something weird like that.” After they finished their stay, they received an e-mail asking for a review about their stay and they gave a negative review, highlighting the issues they had.
The hotel retaliated by charging their card an additional $350 and the hotel’s lawyer contacted them to threaten legal action. The couple took down their review with that threat. Later, when they learned that others had faced this, they filed with the Indiana Attorney General’s office who is now investigating the hotel and owners (though the hotel is in the process of being transferred to a new owner).
… Per Policy
Here is the weird part – the hotel was actually acting against the couple per their own hotel policy! It was not a policy that was visible anywhere around the hotel or made aware to customers at the time of making reservations yet it was buried in the hotel’s policy page (the hotel website has since been taken down but I retrieved a cached page from around the time of the couple’s stay in March of 2016).
“Guests agree that if guests find any problems with our accommodations and fail to provide us the opportunity to address those problems while the guest is with us, and/or refuses our exclusive remedy, but then disparages us in any public manner, we will then be entitled to charge their credit card an additional $350 damage. Should guest refuse to retract any such public statements legal action may be pursued.”
Obviously, that is just ridiculous and it appears that the Indiana Attorney General’s office agrees as they pursue an investigation against the owners.
Have you ever seen a policy like this at a hotel?
Source: The Indy Channel