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Customer charged $350 after leaving negative review for hotel, lawsuit alleges

Customer charged $350 after leaving negative review for hotel, lawsuit alleges

For her honesty, Arthur said the hotel slammed her with a $350 credit card charged and threatened legal action from the hotel's attorney.

Katrina Arthur and her husband, from IN, stayed at the Abbey Inn IN March 2016 but she was less than satisfied with her stay, NBC4 reports.

"The room was unkempt, and it looked like it hadn't been cleaned since the last people stayed there". "So we start checking the sheets and the bed and we found hairs, dirt, so wasn't insane about that either, of course I was disgusted", she said.

Between September 2015 to November 2016, the Abbey Inn had a policy that allowed them to charge customers $450 for negative reviews, according to the lawsuit.

Moreover, their accommodations allegedly smelled like sewage, prompting the couple to try and find someone at the front desk they could speak with about the multitude of issues.

"I was angry. Angry because that was money I had set aside for bills", Arthur said. "I actually had to clean the room myself".

It's when Mrs Arthur received an email from the hotel asking from an online review that she gave some "honest" feedback.

An Indiana hotel has reportedly charged a woman $350 after she left a negative review, according to reports.

Attorney Andrew Szakaly, who owns the hotel, wrote a letter to Arthur on April 2, 2016 telling Arthur that her negative review included "false statements" that had caused "irreparable injury" to his business, according to Indiana's attorney general.

Although it "looked really pretty on the website" Arthur says it turned out to be a "nightmare" stay. "There's nothing wrong with being truthful". Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that guests were not warned of the hotel policy beforehand.

Online reviews are an important factor for consumers when deciding where to spend their money, and the lawsuit alleges Abbey Management used the reviews as a sales tool.

When she tried to locate hotel employees, Arthur alleged that they were nowhere to be found.

There are federal protections for consumers posting negative reviews, too.

She deleted the review but took to the state's attorney general to file a complaint.

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

"Reviews have always been an area where free speech has been protected and promoted", said Blumenthal.

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