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New York hotel charges guests $500 for bad online reviews

- August 5th, 2014

Before you post that less-than-stellar hotel review online, you may want to check the hotel’s website for their policy on charging for negative reviews.

It sounds unreal, but a hotel in New York state has come under fire for just that. As Page Six reports, the Union Street Guest House in Hudson, N.Y. had posted a policy regarding wedding guests on their website, stating “that despite the fact that wedding couples love Hudson and our inn, your friends and families may not. If you have booked the inn for a wedding or other type of event… and given us a deposit of any kind… there will be a $500 fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review… placed on any internet site by anyone in your party.”

Union Street Guest House’s owner Chris Wagoner said the policy was meant as a joke, though Yelp.com user Rabih Z. said the hotel had emailed him twice in 2013 threatening to charge him $500 for a bad review posted by a wedding guest.

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The Union Street Guest House has since edited their website to remove the policy, but this hasn’t stopped the people of the Internet from posting a slew of mocking, negative reviews to the hotel’s Yelp page.

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10 comments

  1. Elizabeth | August 5, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    So people aren’t allowed to voice opinions without being charged for it now?
    Our world is a sick, sad place.

  2. Dan | August 5, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    So a hotel can screw up royally and the customer cannot warn the next potential victim??

    This stupid hotel might try to charge for a bad review, but the customer could simply not pay it … or have the credit card reverse the charge.

  3. Sase | August 5, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Apparently Yelp is now removing reviews as well….

  4. A. Gordon | August 5, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    So do the same hotels offer a $500 credit for positive reviews? I thought not. Talk about censorship. Such policies should be made illegal.

  5. Dave | August 5, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    This just proves that you can’t fix stupid!!

  6. Dennis Woodman | August 5, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    We all should have a right to our opinion, and if you invite a hundred people to your wedding, why or how should you be responsible for them. I’m sure this hotel policy will end up having more of a negative impact than the comment itself. Looks good on them…

  7. Teresa | August 5, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Note to self: never, ever stay at this place. Customer service is evidently not a priority, otherwise they would not be so afraid of bad reviews! Any business worth its salt would ask a guest how they enjoyed their stay, and if there were any problems; if there was a problem, was it resolved to the guest’s satisfaction? A little proactivity and follow-up can go a long way when it comes to leaving a lasting (good!) impression!

  8. Jeff | August 5, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    I’D love them to charge me, I’d be suing them I’m allowed to voice my opinion if I got crappy service, I’m letting my friends & family not to go there or eat at a place maybe i’ll post something now as they don’t have my CC info how can they charge me Morons that run & own this hotel

  9. Mr. Bawkbagawk | August 5, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    SASE: Yelp is a scam, they have back door deals with a lot of companies that lets said companies report “offensive” reviews and have them removed… for a nominal fee, of course.

  10. Amelia | August 5, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    I would notify my bank and report this charge as fraud

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