Woman charged $350 after posting negative review of Brown County hotel

Hotel charges Indiana couple $350 for bad review

Customer charged $350 after leaving negative review for hotel, lawsuit alleges

She's also been threatened with legal action.

IN native, Katrina Arthur and her husband stayed at the hotel Abbey Inn & Suites in March 2016.

"The room was unkempt, and it looked like it hadn't been cleaned since the last people stayed there", she said.

Arthur said there was no one present during her stay who she could complain to.

Arthur tells WRTV, soon after arriving she could smell sewer, and the air conditioner and water pressure weren't working.

A hotel customer was hit with a higher bill because she left a bad review about her stay. She said she found hair and dirt in the sheets.

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It was also 6 cents cheaper than the national average but notably more than Georgia's $2.29 average and Tennessee's average of $2.22.

Arthur, who said "there's nothing wrong with being truthful", said she wants her $350 back from the hotel.

She told the television station that she cleaned the room herself.

Although it "looked really pretty on the website" Arthur says it turned out to be a "nightmare" stay.

"I was honest. I wanted people to know not to waste their money because I know people save their money for special occasions", Arthur told WRTV.

Katrina Arthur's bad online review riled the Abbey Inn and Suites in IN, which then charged her debit card and threatened legal action if she didn't remove it. She then deleted the review.

Arthur took the matter to the Indiana Attorney General's office, who filed a lawsuit on December 15 against Abbey Management, which owned and operated the Inn.

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The state alleges the hotel violated Indiana's Deceptive Consumer Sales Act by enforcing a customer review policy that is "unfair, abusive, and deceptive". "Should the guest refuse to retract any such public statements legal action may be pursued".

Mrs Arthur said the letter frightened her so she took the review down.

"Fuming, the Arthurs brought the case to the attorney general's office, which after digging around discovered that the inn had a policy which gave it the right to penalize guests for negative reviews".

"You have the right to post truthful negative experiences online and Congress is saying that right can not be taken away from you, even if a company has required you to sign something that takes away that right", Bradley Shear, a Bethesda, Md. lawyer specializing in social media and privacy, told NBC.

Call 6 was also unable to reach Andrew Szakaly, owner of Abbey Management.

The Abbey Inn did not immediately comment to Fox News.

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The lawsuit, filed against Abbey Management, the owner and operator of the inn, states that owners have no right to attack reviews as they are protected under free speech.

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