Lessons from a hotel’s ill-advised attempt to discourage bad reviews

The Union Street Guest House in New York threatened to charge couples $500 for bad reviews pertaining to their wedding. Now it’s blowing up in the owners’ faces.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

You cannot control the Internet. You can’t even hope to contain it. You can only hope that its collective ire never trains its attention on you.

The New York Post recently ran a short piece about the Union Street Guest House in upscale Hudson, New York. It detailed the hotel’s policy of fining wedding parties $500 for every negative review posted by their guests.

Its policy reads:

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.

Had there been someone on the hotel staff with any social media savvy, they probably would have known right away that such a policy would have a much farther reaching, deleterious effect than any negative Yelp review.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.