Indiana woman charged $350 for negative hotel review

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (WCMH) — A woman in Indiana says a hotel charged her $350 after writing a negative review of her stay.

Katrina Arthur and her husband were just trying to enjoy a getaway trip in March of 2016, but soon after arriving at their hotel things took a turn for the worse.

Arthur tells an Indianapolis television station, soon after arriving she could smell sewer, and the air conditioner and water pressure weren’t working.

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

After arriving home she got an email from the hotel asking for a review. Arthur 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,” she said.

But soon after her review, Arthur says the hotel charged her $350 and she received a letter from an attorney threatening legal action.

“That scared me to death. So I went ahead and took it down,” she told the Indianapolis television station.

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. “There’s nothing wrong with being truthful.”

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