Woman claims hotel charged her $350 for bad review

An Indiana woman who stayed at the Abbey Inn in Nashville Indiana was reportedly charged $350 and threatened with legal action for writing a negative review

A woman in IN says she was "scared to death" when a hotel charged her $350 and threatened legal action after she wrote a negative review about her and her husband's stay in March 2016.

That's when the hotel charged her and sent their threat of legal action, prompting Arthur to remove the review.

Arthur said she cleaned the room herself. "We checked the sheets and I found hairs and dirt", Arthur said.

"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 told ABC. "I actually had to clean the room myself".

"I was angry. Angry because that was money I had set aside for bills", Arthur said.

Speaking of the review she wrote, she added: "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".

Though the Abbey Inn's website is down as of Wednesday afternoon, its policy about charging for bad reviews was apparently posted online, though guests weren't provided with copies nor was it featured around the hotel itself.

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A few days later, her credit card was charged $350 because of the negative review, it says.

Now, the Indiana Attorney General's Office is suing the business, claiming that Abbey Inn deceived guests by not making patrons aware of a policy.

"Fuming, the Arthurs brought the case to the attorney general's office, which after digging around discovered that the inn had a policy which gave it the right to penalize guests for negative reviews".

The policy, which neither Arthur nor any of the other guests who stayed at the facility were privy to, went to state that any guests refusing to take back negative comments will be entitled to legal action.

Amanda said she was unaware of the lawsuit, but said they are working to improve the hotel.

The room, she said, smelt like sewage and was left to Arthur to clean up. She said she was working to get in touch with Szakaly who still owns some of the property until the transfer goes through.

Since the lawsuit was filed against Szakaly, however, she said the hotel has faced "hundreds of trolls who've taken over all our review sites" and she's also received threatening phone calls.

Consumers should not be afraid to leave a negative review of a business if warranted. If consumers encounter any attempts to penalize them for reviews - or encounter contracts seeking to prohibit them from leaving reviews - they should report the incidents via consumer complaints to the Office of Attorney General online at indianaconsumer.com or by calling 1-800-382-5516. Arthur was also forced to retract the review or face legal hell. "Currently only Yelp warns consumers of this this practice".

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