Customer charged $350 over negative hotel review

A woman said she was charged $350 by a Brown county hotel and threatened with legal action after writing a negative review about her experience, WRTV reported.

The case has drawn the attention of the Indiana attorney general's office who filed a lawsuit on 15 December alleging the hotel violated the Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act.

Katrina Arthur and her husband, resident in Greene County, stayed at the Abbey Inn & Suites in Brown County in March 2016.

''We were just wanting to get away and have some alone time,'' said Arthur. ''It looked really pretty on the website.''

However, according to Arthur the problems started as soon as they arrived.

''It was a nightmare,'' said Arthur, WRTV reported. ''The room was unkempt, and it looked like it hadn't been cleaned since the last people stayed there. We checked the sheets and I found hair and dirt.''

She added the room also smelled like sewage, the water pressure was lacking and the air conditioner did not work.

''We didn't see anybody we could talk with, so I decided to call the number that goes to the front desk and it automatically went to a lawyer's or something weird like that,'' said Arthur. ''I actually had to clean the room myself.''

Arthur said when the hotel asked her to review her stay at the Abbey Inn, she made sure her experience was heard.

''I was honest,'' Arthur told WRTV. ''I wanted people to know not to waste their money because I know people save their money for special occasions."

After she had posted her review, she claims the hotel charged her $350 and threatened her with legal action. She then deleted her review.

She then contacted the Indiana attorney general's office.

The office filed a lawsuit on 15 December against Abbey Management, WRTV added.

As per the lawsuit, the Abbey Inn had a policy which allowed them to charge customers the fee for poor reviews, which the state of Indiana alleged violated the state's Deceptive Consumer Sales Act which aimed to modify ''deceptive and unconscionable consumer sales practices.''