The Union Street Guest House in New York has worked out that the best way to keep negative reviews off Yelp and other sites is to fine guests who complain.
The hotel charges couples who book weddings at the venue $500 for every bad review posted online by their guests. The online police reads:
“Please know that despite the fact that wedding couples love Hudson and our inn, your friends and families may not. “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 you take down the bad review, you will get your money back.
Just in case anyone posts a bad review, the hotel owner has been aggressively posting “mean spirited nonsense,” and “she made all of this up.”
For example in one case a reviewer complained of rude treatment over a bucket of ice, the proprietors shot back: “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.”
As Basil Fawlty once said: “Have you seen the people in room six? They’ve never even sat on chairs before.”
After the outcry the Hotel pulled its policy from the web, but it can be found on Go-Back. You can just remember this rant from Fawlty Towers which is more or less similar.