Woman Leaves Negative Hotel Review and Sees a Surprising Charge on Her Debit Card

Question: Do you plan your annual vacation without first looking up online reviews of airlines, hotels, restaurants, and attractions?

Wait— are those crickets that we’re hearing? Yep, it’s been at least a good decade since we were forced to build a trip itinerary sans online review, too. It’s been such a long time, in fact, the mere thought of doing so now practically makes our blood pressure spike.

We certainly know that we’re not alone in this habit—those crickets confirmed that you check those reviews, too!

Now, just imagine that you planned a romantic getaway to a rustic country inn. Of course, you do your due diligence by perusing the inn’s website first, but when you arrive, you find your room to be subpar—so subpar, in fact, you decide to leave a bad – albeit completely constructive – review.

Reasonable thought process, right? Now imagine that after leaving the review, you get a $350 charge on your debit card from the hotel, just because you decided to warn other guests of what they might be walking into.

Well, that’s exactly what happened to Green County, Indiana resident Katrina Arthur and her husband in the spring of 2016. In an interview with Indianapolis news station RTV6, the woman says that she initially booked a room at the Abbey Inn as a romantic getaway, but once she and her honey arrived, they quickly found that the hotel had some serious issues with cleanliness.

Arthur described walking into her room and immediately catching a whiff of the unmistakable smell of sewage. What’s worse is that once she pulled back the sheets, she says she was met with a bed full of hair and dirt. Yuck!

Like any reasonable guest, she did her best to try and find a manager or employee to handle the issues, but apparently, there was no one around to help. Feeling defeated, she cleaned up the room on her own and she and her husband stayed for the remainder of their reservation.

Once home, Arthur received an email from the inn, asking for a review. Well, she did what was asked of her, and she didn’t hold back. It was an honest review that ended up costing her 350 bucks that she has yet to get back to this very day—and it all has to do with a supposed “anti-social media blackmail” tactic on the hotel’s part.

Watch the video below to meet Katrina Arthur and learn about how her ordeal has prompted an investigation by the Indiana Attorney General’s Office.

OK, we get the idea that businesses have to protect themselves against potentially slanderous allegations, but that doesn’t mean good customers should be charged for simply sharing their experiences.

This twisted tale of would-be hotel blackmail doesn’t end here. To hear statements from both the old and new owners of this defamed inn, be sure to watch the update below. Interesting stuff!

You guys must have a lot of opinions on this one! Do you think that the Abbey Inn was justified in charging the $350 fee? Have you ever been charged a fee for leaving a bad review? Are you a business owner who feels that you have been left with a bad review that you don’t deserve?