Bad Reviews And People Power Only Work Against The Small

An inn in Hudson, NY has gotten itself into Internet trouble by posting ridiculous rules for its guests. The Union Street Guest House had this gem on its website:

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.

Needless to say, this is very low hanging fruit for the Internet. After getting blasted online USGH now says it was a joke. Right. Sure. Whatever.

The Internet can gang up on this little inn. Maybe it was deserved.

Alas, our Internet mass seems powerless against huge companies which often impose the same kind of ill spirited conditions in their terms of service.

Are Verizon and AT&T’s cell contracts any less dickish? What other business requires so much commitment from you, so little commitment from them, with terms more well hidden than Jimmy Hoffa.

Many companies, the former two included, impose arbitration clauses. You can’t sue your cable company, cell carrier, bank, broker, etc. except under limited circumstances. You go to an arbitration board that depends on your opponent for a significant piece of its business.

So, yeah, Union Street Guest House will pay a very dear price for being putzes. There are so many more deserving of our ire.

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