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

NASHVILLE, Ind. - A Brown County hotel is in some hot water after a woman says she was charged $350 for writing a negative review after her stay last year.

Now, the Indiana Attorney General's Office is suing the business, claiming that Abbey Inn deceived guests by not making patrons aware of a policy.

Katrina Arthur told us that the hotel smelled like sewage and the room was gross during her March 2016 stay.

"The beds, the linen and everything looked like it had been used and dirty," said Arthur. "You could tell the people that maybe had stayed before us had left their items, there was like used shampoos, used soaps. The tub was filthy.”

At the time of Arthur's stay, the hotel's website said if any guest writes a negative public review without giving proper time for employees to fix it, they could charge a guest an extra $350.

The Attorney General's lawsuit says that violates Indiana's Deceptive Consumer Sales Act. Arthur said she was never told about the policy and wants her money back

“I was angry. Angry because that was money I had set aside for bills," Arthur said.

The current owner, Amanda Sweet, told our news gathering partners at the IndyStar Wednesday that she's receiving death threats.

Sweet said the lawsuit is against the previous owner. "I have nothing to do with it," she said.

The lawsuit by the Attorney General's Office is seeking $5,500 total for the deception violations they believe Abbey Inn committed.

“People have the right to truthfully complain about bad service,” Attorney General Hill said. “They certainly should not be afraid they might be penalized for exercising this right. If you believe you have suffered retaliation or been threatened as a result of posting a truthful review, please contact our office and we will investigate your complaint.”

In Indiana, individuals may file consumer complaints with the Office of the Attorney General by going online to indianaconsumer.com or by calling 1-800-382-5516.

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