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New York Hotel Allegedly Charges $500 Per Bad Yelp Review

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A New York hotel has found a way to keep wedding guests from writing negative Yelp reviews about the Hudson valley venue.

Union Street Guest House in Hudson charges newlywed couples who book the hotel as a wedding venue $500 for every bad online review written by their guests.

“Please know that despite the fact that wedding couples love Hudson and our inn, your friends and families may not,” says the hotel policy, according to Page Six. “If you have booked the inn for a wedding or other type of event … and given us a deposit of any kind … there will be a $500 fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review … placed on any internet site by anyone in your party.”

The hotel, situated near Catskills estates built by Rockefellers and Vanderbilts, reportedly says it will refund the money if the bad review is taken down.

In 2013, a Yelp user said “management of this hotel” resorted to “intimidation” because they didn’t like their stay in the “Treetops suite.”

“The management of this hotel had the gall to email us twice to threaten us financially about the negative review!” wrote Rabih Z. “Here is an excerpt from their first email: ‘please note that your recent on-line review of our Inn will cost the wedding party that left us a deposit $500. This money be charged via the deposit they have left us unless/until it is removed. Any other or future reviews will also be charged to the wedding party (bride & groom) from the guarantee they have provided us.’”

The Post says the hotel didn’t respond to their request for comment and its website doesn’t appear to list the policy on its Events & Wedding page any longer.

The hotel's responses to the Yelp reviews also appear to be gone. Here's one quoted by Page Six:

“I know you guys wanted to hang out and get drunk for 2 days and that is fine. I was really really sorry that you showed up in the summer when it was 105 degrees . . . I was so so so sorry that our ice maker and fridge were not working and not accessible.”

Sources: New York Post Page Six, Venture Beat

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons / Steven & Courtney Johnson & Horwitz

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