A “nightmare” stay at a hotel was reportedly just the tip of the terrible iceberg for an Indiana guest.
According to Katrina Arthur, the Brown County, Ind., hotel she and her husband stayed at in early 2016 charged her $350 and threatened to take her to court after she dared to complain online about a bad experience.
Arthur stayed at Abbey Inn & Suites in March with her husband to “get away and have some alone time.” The hotel “looked really pretty on the website,” she told WRTV, but it was nothing like it was advertised when they actually got inside.
“It was a nightmare,” she said. “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 hairs and dirt.”
“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.”
According to Arthur, the room smelled like sewage, and the air conditioner didn’t work. When the hotel asked her to leave a review, she pulled no punches. For her honesty, Arthur said the hotel slammed her with a $350 credit card charged and threatened legal action from the hotel’s attorney.
“I feel like they were punishing me for being truthful, and I don’t think that’s fair,” said Arthur. “I was very angry they had done that.”
She deleted the review but took to the state’s attorney general to file a complaint. As it turns out, Arthur was one of many who’d had complaints about the Indiana inn. The Abbey Inn reportedly had a policy stating that they would essentially fine people for negative complaints. According to the lawsuit the attorney general hit them back with, the hotel illegally maintained an “unfair, abusive and deceptive” customer review policy, reported CBS News. Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that guests were not warned of the hotel policy beforehand.
As for Arthur, she’s out to get her money back, and she’s hoping this lawsuit sends a harsh message to any hoteliers who think they can go after customers for their reviews.
“There’s nothing wrong with being truthful,” she said.