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The Union Guest House in Hudson – NY will charge you $500 for posting a negative review in Yelp

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Last Updated: Jan 18, 2016

If you book wedding in the Union Street Guest House in Hudson, New York, be careful not to post any negative review on websites like Yelp, otherwise they will charge you $500 for any such review. This is a very strange policy.
On their Events and Weddings page they have a section called reviews which clearly affirms this policy. It states in part:

“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 If you stay here to attend a wedding anywhere in the area and leave us a negative review on any internet site you agree to a $500 fine for each negative review. (Please NOTE we will not charge this fee &/or will refund this fee once the review is taken down). Also, please note that we only request this of wedding parties and for the reasons explained above.”

The reasons they are referring to include the fact that USGH & Hudson are historic and therefore the buildings are old but are restored, their bathrooms and kitchens are designed to look old in an artistic vintage way, etc. and these, they believe will attract negative reviews.
The policy was brought to the attention of the world on Monday through a post on The New York Post.

The hotel currently has one-star rating on Yelp which might be as a result of a series of poor rating it is receiving because of this policy.

But how can the establishment expect a better rating with such a policy in place? It is also interesting to note that in their policy, the hotel says you will not be charged once you remove the negative review from Yelp yet they are fully aware of the Yelp’s policy of not allowing their users to bring down the comments that they have posted.

This means once you are slapped with the fine, you will find it very difficult to get you money back once you are fined.
The negative comments the hotel has attracted on Yelp will haunt them for a very long time and still more are being posted. Unless they liaise with Yelp to help bring down the posts, they will remain a permanent thorn in their flesh. The revelation about this policy may force them to take some steps towards saving their face.

The hotel has not commented on this revelation. But one thing remains; it has ruined the hotel’s reputation. And the longer they take to remedy the situation the more damage will be done. This is because so many people are now posting about this ridiculous policy on their social media and the news is spreading like bush fire.

One may wonder whether the amount they have collected from these fines will be enough to help then rebuild their reputation. That is a question that on the hotel management can answer.

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