Many of us do it. Have a bad experience, hit up Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, etc and post a review.
Then you get the email from the location or the booking service (hotels.com, trivago, et al) and they ask for a review.
In both cases, you think, “Honesty is the best policy”, after all, you want to let the company know they have some work to do and to warn other travelers that this place has issues, so proceed with caution.
— Action News on 6abc (@6abc) December 20, 2017
In the case of one woman, Katrina Arthur, her trip to The Abbey Inn, just south of Indianapolis was less than pleasant and her review DIRECTLY TO THE HOTEL, cost her an extra $350 and letter from their lawyer.
According to Ms. Arthur:
“I was honest,” Arthur told WRTV. “I wanted people to know not to waste their money because I know people save their money for special occasions.”
“The room was unkempt, and it looked like it hadn’t been cleaned since the last people stayed there. We checked the sheets and I found hairs and dirt,”
While she tried to find employees to fix the problems, she said there were none to be found…and she had to clean the room herself. Add to that, the smell of sewage and no water pressure.
Her exact word was: “Nightmare”.
So the hotel sent her an email to review her stay, so she told them the truth, and for her consideration of telling the hotel directly, she was automatically charged an extra $350 for her stay the Abbey Inn filed a lawsuit against the Arthur family claiming “deceptive and unconscionable consumer sales practices” which is a law and they hotel claims they have a stay agreement that any bad reviews will result in both an extra charge and a lawsuit filed in the county against the offenders (guests with bad reviews).
According to the Abbey Inn website:
“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 be entitled to charge their credit card an additional $350 damage. Should the guest refuse to retract any such public statements legal action may be pursued.”
However, this is not provided to guests who stay at the location.
Something to make sure of, if you are planning any holiday travels. Check the review policy. This isn’t the first time something like this has occurred, so caveat emptor.