Woman fined $350 for writing negative hotel stay review

Posted December 21, 2017

Later she learned the hotel charged her a $350 fee and the management company threatened her with a lawsuit.

Katrina Arthur and her husband stayed in the Abbey Inn hotel in Brown County in March 2016.

"I never got any paperwork", said Arthur.

Arthur, who quickly realized the room had no water pressure or working air conditioner, was ultimately left to clean the room herself since hotel staff were nowhere to be found. She told WRTV that they are attempting to improve the hotel.

"We started checking the sheets in the bed and we found hairs and dirt".

More news: 2 militants killed in Shopian gunfight

The policy, which neither Arthur nor any of the other guests who stayed at the facility were privy to, went to state that any guests refusing to take back negative comments will be entitled to legal action.

"That scared me to death", said Arthur to Call 6.

"I was honest and I wanted people to know not to waste their money, not to go there because I know people save their money for special occasions", she said.

The state of IN is suing a Brown County hotel, saying a policy to charge customers who leave negative reviews is unfair. She then deleted the review out of fear, ABC reported.

But Arthur soon filed a complaint with the Indiana Attorney General's office, which is suing Abbey management for violating Indiana's Deceptive Consumer Sales Act.

More news: GasBuddy projects that United States gas prices will be most expensive since 2013

The lawsuit alleges the policy was located on the second page of a seven-page document, which guests were not given a copy of. "Should the guest refuse to retract any such public statements legal action may be pursued". "So I went ahead and took it down", she toldWRTV.

The lawsuit claimed that Abbey Inn & Suites had no right to draw up such a policy because reviews are protected under free speech, something that customers can not be penalized for. She said she felt the hotel was punishing her "for being truthful".

"Fuming, the Arthurs brought the case to the attorney general's office, which after digging around discovered that the inn had a policy which gave it the right to penalize guests for negative reviews". So Arthur wrote what happened, according to the attorney general's office.

The email requesting customers leave an online review did not warn consumers of significant consequences for posting a disparaging or negative review, the lawsuit said. "This question has always been settled and it is unbelievable to me that any business in this day and age would think that they could constrain a consumer in such a way".

More news: Twitter suspends accounts of British far-right group leaders