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This Hotel’s Customer-Offensive Policy Will Fine You $500 for Every Negative Online Review

In today’s edition of “How to Drive Away Customers in the Digital Age,” we present to you a Hudson, New York hotel’s new policy for managing online reviews.

According to a report by Page Six, a hotel near Catskills in Hudson, NY called the Union Street Guest House has begun to implement a policy that the management hopes will keep guests from writing negative online reviews on sites like Yelp.

But there’s one problem: it’s the worst review policy ever.

Please know that despite the fact that wedding couples love Hudson and our Inn, your friends and families may not…. If you have booked in 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/event.

If you stay here for a wedding anywhere in the area and leave us a review on any Internet site you agree to a $500 fine for each negative review. Please NOTE we will not charge this fee and/or will refund this fee once the review is taken down.

online review management

Needless to say, the hotel generated unnecessary negative publicity after word about the policy had spread online. The most prominent reviews on its Yelp page are negative. Even worse, Yelp itself decided to slap the page with a consumer alert that reads, “Your trust is our top concern, so businesses can’t pay to alter or remove their reviews.”

(Also check out: “You Wouldn’t Believe How This Hotel Manager Responded to Negative TripAdvisor Reviews”)

Apart from the customer-offensive policy, representatives of the hotel seem to respond very aggressively and mean-spiritedly to the bad reviews that do make it online.

In response to a review that complained of bad customer service in a situation involving a bucket of ice, a hotel representative said: “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.”

Here at ReviewTrackers, we’re committed to helping you apply the best practices in online review management. If you’re looking to achieve the exact opposite, we guess there’s no better lead to follow than this hotel.

Migs Bassig

Migs is the Content Manager for ReviewTrackers. He's a creative writer who has helped numerous companies communicate more effectively online, and he loves sharing his local marketing knowledge to help brands and business succeed.


  1. Hans Anders

    😀 😀 😀 I can’t believe my eyes. I would be ashamed to put such policy on paper or on my website. lol

  2. Hans Anders

    At least they provided an option of money back, if you take the negative review down :). That is a big advantage and people will certainly take down their reviews.

  3. Richard Pascal

    This is shameful. Why can’t they handle a negative review? If their place is excellent, why are they afraid that they are going to end up with a bad review? Make your place the best, deal with people with care and provide top service. If you can do that, you will gather only great reviews. I certainly would never sign in to this hotel, once I have read the policy.

  4. Amanda Eicher

    This is the most absurd policy I have ever heard of and shows the customers that they are not concerned with improving upon problems they may have with their business. A business should not essentially blackmail its customers into not leaving negative feedback it should respond to these complaints and learn from them