Woman charged £260 for leaving negative hotel review

A woman has told how a hotel charged her £260 after she left an honest review about her 'nightmare' stay.

The Abbey Inn & Suites in the US state of Indiana actually had a 'policy' that allowed them to charge guests for bad reviews between September 2015 and November 2016.

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Katrina Arthur and her husband found this out the hard way after she received an email from the hotel inviting her to leave a review - so she did.

She told of how the room was dirty with hair in the bedsheets, the smell of sewage in the air, the air conditioning didn't work and how the water pressure was poor.

She later received a letter from the hotel's lawyer stating she'd breached hotel policy by leaving a negative review.

According to the Mirror, a lawsuit filed by the local prosecutor said: "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.

Woman charged £260 for leaving negative hotel review
Woman charged £260 for leaving negative hotel review

"Should the guest refuse to retract any such public statements legal action may be pursued."

After finding complaints from other customers about this policy, Katrina filed a complaint with the Indiana attorney general.

The attorney general's office called the hotel's policy "unfair, abusive and deceptive."

According to the Indy Star, the lawsuit also alleges that Abbey Inn regularly did not have employees on site to resolve guest issues and that there was a sign that stated if guests called the overnight phone number for a non-emergency, the hotel would charge an additional $100.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction to stop the hotel from initiating or threatening legal action if "a customer makes a non-defamatory or negative statement" regarding a stay.

Indeed, Ms Arthur claimed there were no visible staff to complain to at the time, and that calling the number at the front desk didn't work, meaning she had to clean the room herself.

According to TIME, the hotel's policy was located on the second page of a seven page document that guests weren't given a copy of.

Ms Arthur also said the email she received inviting her to leave a review didn't warn of any consequences.

The hotel is reported to have closed since the story first broke.