Hotel Threatens $500 Fine for Bad Reviews, Then Backpedals


Built by the Rockefellers and the Vanderbilts, you’d think Union Street Guest House in Hudson, NY would be a bastion of fine service, serving strawberries and champagne dipped in gold and aristocracy as check-in treats. But this “vintage” joint prides themselves on snark, according to the New York Post. As part of their “About Us” page, Union Street stated guests will pay if the hotel doesn’t like their user reviews:

“Please know that despite the fact that wedding couples love Hudson and our inn, your friends and families may not,” reads an online policy. “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.”

Over on the hotel’s Yelp profile, there are piles of negative reviews from disgruntled customers and trolls alike. Union Street asked for it, but honestly who wants to give their hard earned coins to an establishment that responds like this when a guest couldn’t get any ice during the dead of summer:

“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.”

Fantastic. Also if you cancel your wedding date because someone gets sick or you and your partner break up or Life Happens, Union Street reserves the right to keep all of your money. Refunds are at their discretion, whatever that means, in addition to the crappy service all of their Yelp reviewers are griping about.

Now, after innumerable negative reviews on Yelp and Facebook, the hotel tried to backpedal saying their $500 fee was just a joke. But even that drew the Internet’s ire.

Union Street has since removed their Facebook clarification also but the bride who said she was threatened to by the hotel in the Yelp image at the top of this post never replied to say “Just Kidding.” So, it seems their “tongue-in-cheek response” was pretty serious.

So here is today’s hospitality lesson: Be nice to your customers, especially brides who probably bring in (or used to) a sizable chunk of your annual profits with their ceremonies, receptions and guest lists.

But, you know, book me a Union Street room immediately, and by immediately, I mean never.

Images via Yelp and Facebook.

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