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Unhappy Guest Charged $350 for Negative Review

Katrina Arthur posted an honest account of her stay at Abbey Inn & Suites and said that she was threatened with legal action and a $350 fine for her review.

An unhappy customer who stayed at an Indiana hotel says that she was fined and threatened with a legal suit after leaving a poor online review regarding her experience as a guest at the property, CBS affiliate WTVR-TV reports.

Katrina Arthur and her husband stayed at the Abbey Inn & Suites in Brown County back in March of 2016. The couple say that they noted serious problems with the room upon arrival.

“The room was unkempt, and it looked like it hadn’t been cleaned since the last people stayed there,” Arthur said.

Despite attempting to find a member of staff, “We didn’t see anybody we could talk with, so I decided to call the number that goes to the front desk and it automatically went to a lawyer’s or something weird like that,” she added.

After their stay, Arthur says that she was prompted via e-mail for an online review. Speaking of her review, she said, “I wanted people to know not to waste their money because I know people save their money for special occasions.”

Arthur then says that she received a letter from the property’s attorney, which threatened legal action against her for her review. She was also charged $350.

Frightened, Arthur says that she deleted her review, but, in an effort to reclaim her $350, filed a complaint with the Indiana Attorney General. This office, in turn, filed a lawsuit against Abbey Management, the owner and operator of the hotel at the time of Arthur’s stay.

The lawsuit states that, during the period of September 2015 and November 2016, the hotel did enforce a policy that enabled it to levy this fee against guests. The state says that this policy was “unfair, abusive, and deceptive.”

It is reported that the hotel did not attempt to make guests aware of these rules and Arthur said that she didn’t receive any paperwork regarding the policy.

The hotel has yet to provide an official statement on the matter and Arthur is still looking to recoup her $350. Speaking of her comments, she said, “There’s nothing wrong with being truthful.”

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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2 Comments
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gunsar December 22, 2017

U.S. Congress has a bill to stop businesses penalizing negative reviews. Search online for "Consumer Review Freedom Act"

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strickerj December 21, 2017

This is weird... How’d the hotel collect the $350 “fine”? If it was charged to the customer’s credit card, then why not dispute it? There’s no way the merchant would win that one. If she paid it when the hotel’s lawyer sent the letter demanding it, then why? Otherwise, I’d say sue this management company for all these illegal “fines” they assessed. This sort of thing is absurd.