Woman charged $350 for negative hotel review

(KRON) — State officials are filing a lawsuit after an Indiana woman says a hotel charged her 350 dollars for writing a negative review of the business.

Katrina Arthur and her husband needed to get away from Greene County so they booked a trip to Abbey Inn in Brown County for March 2016.

But when they arrived, Katrina says the problems started.

Arthur told WRTV that her room at the Abbey Inn was unkempt, it smelled like sewer and the air conditioner and water pressure wasn’t working properly.

“So we checked the bed, and I found hairs, dirt, so I wasn’t crazy about that either,” Arthur said. “I was disgusted.”

Arthur says she cleaned the room herself, and when it was time to leave she couldn’t find a staff member to complain to so when she got an email from the hotel asking for an online review, she didn’t hold back.

She soon received a $350 charge from the hotel on her debit card and a letter from an attorney threatening legal action, she said.

“That scared me to death,” Arthur said. “So I went ahead and took it down.”

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. The lawsuit claims the hotel had a policy in place that allowed them to charge customers for negative reviews, and a copy of that policy wasn’t provided to customers.

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



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