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A grandmother and granddaughter were recently thrown out of a hotel in the middle of the night by police – allegedly for giving the hotel a lukewarm review on a website.
Susan Leger, 63, and her granddaughter, 6, were in the middle of the first of their three-night reservation at the Baymont Inn in Helen, Georgia in September when she got a wake-up call she hadn’t requested: the police at her door. The police forced the pair out, who then had to walk in their pajamas to a new hotel, reported 11Alive WXIA.
The alleged reason for the abrupt expulsion in the middle of the night is a review Leger left on Hotels.com. Her review, 3 out of 5 stars, complained that the property looked “run down,” that the toilet in her room didn’t flush properly, and that the pool was closed.
Leger also said the hotel manager had called beforehand to tell her she had to leave, at approximately 8:40 PM, and said he was furious.
“The man is screaming at me. He was saying, ‘You get out now. I call the police. You get out … You lie, you lie. You gave me bad review,'” she recounted.
Leger told WXIA that the ordeal was “scary” and “horrifying.”
At first, Leger says she believed it had to be some kind of prank call. It wasn’t, however, and the manager, Danny Vyas did deliver on his threat to get the police, calling 911. Audio of the call obtained by WXIA does contain Vyas making clear and direct reference to the hotel review as the reason for wanting the pair out:
“Yeah, we are getting ready to refund because they have reviewed that the room is dirty and the place is rundown. I told them, ‘ma’am, we are going to refund your money because I know that you didn’t like the room and you have reviewed us. So we have all the right that you can leave the place and we are going to refund in full.'”
The official police report also corroborates the motive, and it states that the manager wanted her out because she “had given the hotel a bad review.” The refund did happen, but only after Leger had gone to the media and reporters started poking around, and it was from Hotels.com, rather than Vyas or the Baymont, contradicting the police report, where Vyas says she was refunded.
For his part, Vyas originally claimed in September that Leger never told him or his staff about any issues: “We can fix that, right? If you let us know, but she never let us know anything.” Then, interviewed again this month, Vyas claimed the opposite, that she was bombarding him with complaints: “they called me at least 10, 11 times in maybe one hour … everything is not right.”
Hotels.com said it temporarily removed the Baymont from its listings while they looked into the matter.
“Hotels.com has a zero-tolerance policy regarding retaliation and we will remove any guests, hosts and/or properties from our website who exhibit or promote such behavior in-stay or offline,” the website told The Daily Mail in a statement.
Georgia law permits hotels to evict guests, but only “with cause,” which it defines as “failure to pay sums due, failure to abide by rules of occupancy, failure to have or maintain reservations, or other action by a guest.” The “other action” clause is so vague it can amount to anything – even a poor review on a website, apparently.
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