An Indiana woman says a hotel charged her $350 after she wrote a negative review online of her experience.
Katrina Arthur and her husband were on a getaway retreat in March last year but after arriving they quickly realized the hotel was gross. Arthur says she smelled sewer when they arrived and the air conditioner and water pressure were defunct.
"So I checked the bed, and I found hairs, dirt, so I wasn’t crazy about that either. I was disgusted," Arthur said. When She got home, an email arrived asking for a review of her experience and she didn't hold back.
"I was honest and I wanted people to know not to waste their money, not to go there because I know people save their money for special occasions," Arthur explained.
Soon after writing the review, she received a bill for $350 and a letter from an attorney threatening legal action against her. "That scared me to death. So I went ahead and took it down," she continued.
Although Arthur took down the review, she contacted the Indiana Attorney General’s Office who has filed a lawsuit against the hotel's management group for dishonest practices violating the state's Deceptive Consumer Sales Act.
The lawsuit against the group says the hotel had a policy in place that allowed them to charge customers for negative reviews but a copy of that policy was not provided to customers.
Arthur just wants to get her $350 back and she says she hopes the state's lawsuit will show consumers it's OK to tell the truth in online reviews. "There’s nothing wrong with being truthful."
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