A video of a rude hotel owner insulting and kicking out a mother and her kids out after she reported that her bathroom was flooding is being widely circulated on social media, prompting users to flood Yelp with negative reviews.
Jennifer Biela took to Facebook to share the details of her "terrible" encounter at the Crown Choice Inn & Suites in Mackinaw City, Michigan. In her May 20 post, Biela said the incident took place over Spring Break but she waited until last week to share her story.
Biela noted that she, her friend and their five kids decided to go on an "adventure" and chose the Crown Choice Inn and Suites for their trip. Just an hour before midnight, Biela discovered that her bathroom was flooding and ran down to the front desk to seek assistance. The hotel's owner, who was at the desk, asked her if she shut the valve off and she worried that she might do it wrong, she said, "No, I am coming to you for help."
The owner then state that since she refused to turn the water off, it was her responsibility and he was going to call the police to charge her with malicious destruction of property. Biela, her friend, and their kids were then asked to pack their bags and leave the hotel.
After he started calling her an "idiot" and "dumbass," she pulled out her cellphone and started recording halfway through the conversation. The group left the hotel after midnight and struggled to find vacant accommodation in the middle of the night. They decided to drive down to Gaylord the following day.
"Please feel free to share as I do not want anyone to go through this experience. There are so many beautiful places in Michigan and unfortunately this is one that's not worth your time or money," she wrote on Facebook.
'You Rented the Room, It's Your Bathroom Now'
The video starts with the owner asking Biela to stop recording but that doesn't stop her from explaining what happened. "I was laying in bed with my children and your bathroom started flooding," she says. The owner interrupts her by saying with, "you rented the room, it's your bathroom now."
"You are responsible for that room," he adds. "No, I'm not," Biela responds.
The owner then berates the woman by calling her an "idiot" and a "dumb Democrat" before asking her to pack her stuff and leave. When Biela asks the man if she owns the hotel, he says, "Yeah, it's family-owned. Get your stuff and get out."
'I'm Charging You'
Biela then points out to him that she will not be paying for the room. The owner responds by saying, "Okay, you're all set, then leave. If you think I'm not going to charge you then leave. I'm charging you."
"For what?," Biela asks.
"For rent and for damages, if there are any damages. I asked you to shut the water, you refused." Biela argues that she did not refuse, she just did not know how to do it. "I also told you that, you idiot," the owner replies. Watch the video below:
The owner of the hotel was later identified as Enzo Lieghio. Enzo and his brother Joe Lieghio own a series of hotels in the area.
Hotel Review-Bombed on TripAdvisor and Yelp
The clip has now gone viral on Twitter with more than 176,000 views and thousands of retweets on the platform. Social media users also flooded the hotel's pages on TripAdvisor and Yelp with negative reviews, calling out Enzo over his rude behavior and bringing down its rating to 2.5 stars and 1.5 stars, respectively.
"This place is nasty and the front desk is rude. Avoid this place. DO NOT stay here. This guy is rude and cheating people out of money for staying at this dump," wrote one user on Yelp.
"Never seen a owner/operator so rude to customers in a long time. This is no way to run a business. I hope you are not in a situation where you have to stay here and put up with this man's horrible attitude and disrespectful way of treating people," commented another.
The sudden influx of negative reviews and increased media attention forced the websites to temporarily suspend review submissions on their respective pages.