Hotel's Yelp rating plummets to ONE star after it's revealed they charge wedding couples $500 for any guest that leaves a negative review - China Key Consulting

5 August 2014
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A hotel in upstate New York’s Yelp rating plummets to one star after guests learn that they’ve promised to charge couples who book weddings $500 for every negative review a guest posts online.
The Union Street Guest House in Hudson, NY is known for its historic decor, strict cancellation policy, and its hatred of bad reviews, reports The New York Post.
The hotel has 572 reviews online, 554 of them were posted today and most of them are negative.

‘Please know that despite the fact that wedding couples love Hudson and our inn, your friends and families may not, ‘says the hotel’s website.
‘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.’
Their policy goes on to explain how they charge for bad reviews because the wedding guests who are obligated to stay at the hotel may not understand what the hotel is like and therefore their negative reviews shouldn’t be taken into consideration.

The hotel says that their bathroom and kitchens are designed to look ‘vintage’ and that their furniture is ‘hip’ and ‘period’ other than the beds which are new.
‘If your guests are looking for a Marriott type hotel they may not like it here,’ says the website under their review policy.
For every negative review a wedding guest leaves, the couple will be charged $500.
If the review is taken down then the amount is refunded. The negative review policy is only for wedding guests.

Ever since media outlets have been highlighting the hotel’s negative review policy, an influx of even more negative reviews flooded Yelp.

‘This was the worst hotel I have ever encountered. Rude customer service, unclean, terrible odor. Then they had the audacity to tell me they would charge me $500 from my deposit if I posted a negative review online….have they heard of freedom of speech? You cannot charge someone for stating their opinions in an open forum. Think twice about spending your money at this place,’ wrote Yelp user Michael G.

The Post reports that the hotel responds to Yelp reviews by responding with things like, ‘mean spirited nonsense’ and ‘she made this all up.’

After someone posted a review about bad treatment over a bucket of ice, the hotel wrote back: ‘I know you guys wanted to hang out and get drunk for 2 days and that is fine. I was 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.’

There are 700,000 Chinese living in Australia and 750,000 Chinese tourists every year. How do they choose where to eat? Where to stay? Which businesses to use? They rely on reviews. Infact, 44% of Chinese shoppers say they RELY on Social Reviews to make purchasing decisions, twice the rate of most western countries. (A China Key owned website) is the Chinese equivalent of Urbanspoon/Yelp/Truelocal, for the Chinese audience. Get a listing and start attracting Chinese customers from $50 a year!

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