Crazy Hotel Threatens to Charge People for Saying Bad Things About Them

Union Street Guest HouseNot enjoying your stay at a hotel is one thing, being threatened by management to keep quiet about it is quite another. But that's exactly what some guests say happened to them after sharing a negative Internet review following a visit to the Union Street Guest House.

Catapulting itself out of utter obscurity, the guest house, located 120 miles north of New York City, is gaining notoriety for allegedly telling people it will charge them $500 (deducted from their deposit) for each derogatory review posted on the web. 

Say what? After a firestorm of negative reviews filled Yelp, TripAdvisor, and the inn's Facebook page, the proprietors posted a notice saying that its policy was made "tongue-in-cheek" years ago following a wedding and was never enforced.

Still, who does this and thinks, even as a joke, that it's good for business? 

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Many people turn to online reviews to get a feel for what a hotel is really like beyond the flawless photos posted by its owners. Are the rooms clean? How's the service? Is the breakfast buffet so unappealing, it will remind you of eating in your high school cafeteria?

Sure, both positive and negative critiques could be embellished or, in some cases, complete works of fiction. But when there are enough of them, and they all have a similar take on a hotel, you get the impression that the reviewers may be on to something. 

Whether you're traveling out of state or out of the country, online reviews may be all you have to go on before booking a stay. The rampant backlash against the Union Street Guest House, where rooms start at $250 a night for a Saturday stay this fall, has been far worse for the inn's image than a few measly negative comments would have been. 

But some feel it's karma after trying to stifle guests by threatening to hit them in the wallet. 

Do you look to online reviews before booking a hotel room? If so, do you find the reviews to be typically accurate? 

 

Image via Union Street Guest House/Facebook

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