Didn’t enjoy your last hotel stay? Keep your opinions to yourself — or you could be forced to pay for it.
That’s what the Union Street Guest House, an “historic” hotel in Hudson, New York, warned its guests. On the hotel’s website, guests —specifically wedding parties— were told that their credit cards would be charged $500 for any negative reviews posted on Yelp or any other Internet forum.
“If you have booked the Inn for a wedding or other type of event anywhere in the region and given us a deposit of any kind for guests to stay at USGH there will be a $500 fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review of USGH placed on any internet site by anyone in your party and/or attending your wedding or event.”
The controversial policy was — ironically enough — removed from the hotel’s website following a barrage of criticism on Yelp.
Yelpers with strong opinions from all corners of the globe ganged up on the guest house to decry its policy and chastise the owners. But it’s doubtful that any disgruntled guests were actually billed $500 for their online criticisms — most of the negative comments were posted by people who have apparently never set foot in the hotel.
Fusion asked the guest house for comment, but they copy-pasted a reply that they had already posted on their Facebook page.
“The policy regarding wedding fines was put on our site as a tongue-in-cheek response to a wedding many years ago. It was meant to be taken down long ago and certainly was never enforced.”
Here’s a sampling of reviews currently gracing the top of the hotel’s page from Yelpers who clearly didn’t get the so-called joke:
(via The Verge)