Hotel hits guest with $350 charge for negative review

Dianna Christensen
December 21, 2017

Katrina Arthur stayed at the Abbey Inn and Suites in 2016 and wrote a review online complaining about the hotel's conditions. "The room was unkempt, and it looked like it hadn't been cleaned since the last people stayed there", Arthur told Call 6, the investigative arm of a local ABC news affiliate, the Indy Channel.

"We didn't see anybody we could talk with, so I made a decision to call the number that goes to the front desk and it automatically went to a lawyer's or something weird like that", said Arthur.

According to Arthur, the room smelled like sewage, and the air conditioner didn't work.

Arthur and her husband chose to stay at the establishment because they wanted some "alone time", the International Business Times reported. She said she found hair and dirt in the sheets.

But what Arthur and her husband found was far from pretty, they said.

She told the television station that she cleaned the room herself.

"That scared me to death", she said. "I was honest, and I wanted people to know not to waste their money", she said.

Katrina Arthur's bad online review riled the Abbey Inn and Suites in IN, which then charged her debit card and threatened legal action if she didn't remove it.

Before writing the review, though, Arthur had tried to make the best of the situation, she told WRTV.

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However, she did contact the Indiana Attorney General's Office, who has now filed a lawsuit against the hotel's management group for violating the state's Deceptive Consumer Sales Act. Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that guests were not warned of the hotel policy beforehand.

The lawsuit filed against the Abbey Inn alleges that it had an "unfair, abusive, and deceptive" policy between September 2015 and November 2016 of charging guests for leaving negative reviews, the Indy Channel reported.

She ended up deleting her review.

The policy was listed on the hotel's website, but it was on page two of a seven-page document, the lawsuit claims.

"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".

Abbey Management has yet to release a statement on the matter.

"There's nothing wrong with being truthful", she said.

Based on the protections of IN and federal law, consumers should feel comfortable leaving truthful reviews about their experiences.

Arthur says she just wants her $350 back and hopes the state's lawsuit will send a message to consumers who post online reviews.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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