Social Media Roundup: Lessons From a Customer Service Fail

A hotel learns the hard way that you can't strong-arm people out of posting negative Yelp reviews. Also: the growth of National Night Out, an anticrime event that started big and has gotten even bigger.

It’s not fun to get a bad review. But that doesn’t mean you can disregard the feedback and punish people who make negative comments on your customer service. How one hotel learned this the hard way in today’s Social Media Roundup:

How Not To Handle Bad Reviews

The customer is always right, unless they’re saying bad things about you on Yelp, in which case it’ll cost them $500 a pop.

That’s the apparent strategy used by the Union Street Guest House, a hotel in Hudson, New York, that has taken to fining couples who hold weddings at the property $500 for each negative review left by someone in their wedding party. The hotel’s reasoning: The property is “historic” and therefore does not offer a traditional lodging experience.

“Please know that despite the fact that wedding couples love Hudson and our inn, your friends and families may not,” the hotel states on its website. “This is due to the fact that your guests may not understand what we offer—therefore we expect you to explain that to them.”

Naturally, the attention to the policy brought by Business Insider and New York Post stories has led to the hotel’s Yelp page being flooded with 1-star reviews.

The lesson here, of course? Don’t put the blame for a negative experience on the people complaining, because they might have a point. (ht @JonNelsonJDN)

Big Night Out

Every year since 1984, the National Association of Town Watch has held a National Night Out, highlighted by community gatherings led by local police departments, neighborhood watch groups, and other crime prevention organizations. The idea: Bring the community together to encourage safety and show a unified front against crime.

As the association prepares to celebrate its 31st annual National Night Out on Tuesday night, its growth since that first year is clear to see.

An estimated 2.5 million people in 400 communities over 23 states took part that first year, but that was only a starting point. The scale had mushroomed by 2013, with an estimated 37.8 million people and 16,124 communities in every state as well as in U.S. territories taking part.

In other words, it’s a really big deal.

Curious to find an event near you? Hop over to the NATW website to learn more.

The Union Street Guest House, known for its unique look and tough stance on Yelp reviews. (photo by Alexander R. Wilcox Cheek/Flickr)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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