A hotel in Hudson, NY has begun to charge couples who have posted negative reviews online–$500 a pop.

The hotel, Union Street Guest House, began to fine customers who began to post reviews on Yelp and show the hotel in a bad light. Even a few short sentences can lead to the fine.

“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.”

If a negative review is deleted from an online review site, the customer has an opportunity to be refunded the cash.

In news that should surprise absolutely no one, the internet has not taken kindly to such a policy.

Negative reviews have begun to the flood the hotel’s Yelp site.

Says Johnny M, from Las Vegas:

Shame on you for enacting such a disgusting policy: charging customers (including wedding parties) $500 for each negative review on Yelp. If you want good reviews, provide good service. Full stop.

By taking part in the extortion of the very people who’ve chosen to patronize your establishment, you’ve tainted the Yelp mechanism and attempted to rig the game undeservedly in your favor. In doing so, you have earned the onslaught of negativity you’re now receiving.

Rethinking this despicable policy seems to be in order, should you ever actually desire a relatively “true” barometer of your establishment’s merit on this site.

One user gave the hotel five stars, stating:

Five stars crafting a rule that shows you believe in your product and not letting irrelevant internet commenters damage your reputation.

People do not understand wedding overflow bookings and the reason why this hotel felt the need to protect itself. Yelp can financially hurt businesses in some cases but the second the business tries to protect themselves they are scolded?

Business is a relationship. Businesses are not slaves to the consumers.

What are your thoughts on such a policy?

About 

Martin Ackerman is a freelance writer and current editor originally from Staten Island, NY. His university schooling focused on English education and Japanese. He has a (not so secret) passion for art history and political science. When he isn't writing or editing you can find him at sci-tech conventions, building the latest LEGO city or pampering his cat, Tea. You can follow him on Twitter @MarMackerman.