Balance Hotel am Blauenwald - Balance Hotel Badenweiler - Abusive Managers write Rip Off Report about us
Update by user Mar 19, 2015
As an update - this was a booking made with Booking.Com.
Original review posted by user Mar 17, 2015
This is a true story about how a hotel abused and threatened us with legal action and other unpleasant consequences for writing true reviews.
It started when me and my wife went on our wedding/honeymoon trip in 2012. We passed through Germany before going to the Canary Islands after our wedding.
I am also a Spiritual Teacher/ Master and the author of four books with a website . We stayed here for two nights and I found the dinner unsuitable for vegans. Cold chips were provided and there was a very long wait between courses. As I only spoke English, my German wife Alexandra complained to the manager. From then on – the abuse started. She was called a liar after having to wait 25 minutes to complain and Maria Gruninger - aka Mary Green Ingersoll (the hotel owner) started insulting me behind my back – referring to my name in a derogatory manner.
After our wedding my wife wrote a true 2 star review on Google and also complained to the hotel about the in person abuse and the apparent attitude problems. She then received the first of many abusive emails where we were referred to as sick and she was told to clean up herself (for making a complaint and challenging abuse!?)
“Hello Mrs. Dittmann
About Your mail can only shake his head is sick what you publish here for the second time. Who are you going to do this anyway? How can you say, I would have asked with a grin on his face, that your “Free Spirit” was probably angry? About him we have not even talked when you have approached your complaint to me. I knew immediately what your aims and apparently try this anywhere you are quartered. You’re wasting your time trying to attack people unnecessarily due to their own dissatisfaction and that is unfortunate….
…..I’ll give you some good advice. Start with the cleanup of yourself and do not criticize other constantly for something that is not happened.
Mary Green Ingersoll
So after my wife tells me about this abuse I suggest we ask for a refund. We also wrote reviews on Booking.Com which were then removed by them, even though what we said was true. My wife courteously asks for a refund and gets this email (for writing two reviews and requesting a refund due to abusive conduct from hotel staff!). In this email – the unjustified attacks on my own work begin. What hotel in their right mind would start criticising the work choices of their guests. Of course, it was totally inappropriate.
“Good evening, Mrs. Dittmann
It amazes me how powerful your efforts are made to destroy us. If reading all the emails and publications you read through strikes me here is that you contradict yourself in many ways and entangle. Your personal perception makes you believe that I’m the one who YOU bothered with letters but just the opposite is the case! How many emails you have received from my side and how many times you have me and Booking.com written? I’ve left a mail with this, however, you use a lot of time on it, to keep me up to date on your actions against us! I now ask you politely and your free spirit who dwells in us all, who here who harassed, insulted and accused? Is this action consistent with your philosophy of a loving togetherness and a new world order? Can you simultaneously stand behind your thoughts and words than pursue along with your wedded husband the spiritual path and a new world domination look forward to? Who governs this new world? What you want to promote or defeat – the inner freedom and the struggle with the ego? I have looked at your husband’s website shortly and there is nothing strange to me, as far as this flow. However, what is foreign to me and does not match the content that is your reckless approach.
In each of your publications and / or e-mails to me and Booking.com something new is wanted and added. One might almost say that it is an absolute dump is in the description “of your unloved hotels”, which is a disgrace for everyone.
I think that there is now enough with all the threats and blackmail under falsified facts. I will send you and your husband still plenty of light and love and wish you the peace that you have given up for something that it is not worthwhile.”
Mary Green Ingersoll
I then insisted on a refund and explained that next time I passed through the area I would visit the hotel, be vocal and insist on a refund. Any right minded husband would not allow a hotel to verbally abuse their wife.
We then received a legal bill for 400 euros for writing a true review. If it was not paid a court judgment for 5,000 euros was threatened. I told the lawyer we would not pay and that was the end of it..
Fast forward just over two years to 2015. One day my wife felt something was still out of balance in this matter and thus she decided to write a review on Facebook about this hotel. I updated mine as well. After all, that is what the review function is for. The same day and in the days following I received very insulting emails from Marc Gruninger (their PR manager). I was called mindless, delusional, sick and twisted and more.
Here is part of one email (unedited) which begins a campaign of threats and intimidation for us to remove the review (the bit about think about removing the review – are guests not allowed to write reviews?):-
Free Mindless Spirit -
I’m shaking my head as I’m receiving ( I am the Balance Hotel’s owners son, and manage the Hotels FB page..) yet another review almost three years after I had an email exchange with you. Make a long story, short: Think about removing that review ( which isn’t really based on true facts but merely your perception of what you think happened..). It really baffles me that YOU, a self-proclaimed ‘spiritual teacher’, can hold on to so much misery and anger – for years, and years..
On the business page of the Balance Hotel, Marc then began to insult my wife and I, calling us delusional, twisted and worse – using the Hotel Page to degrade and insult us beyond comprehension (we have many more screenshots and emails).. He then uploaded a You Tube video about us saying we were sick and twisted. He pokes fun at my wife Alexandra telling her to get a life. He posts the video on their business page underneath a picture of their dinner.
He then accuses us of threatening him and of blackmail whereas really he threatened us all along not to write true reviews. Marc also threatened to write a rip off report about me – if I did not stop writing reviews. Seriously!?
The hotel manager Maria Gruninger sent insulting emails as well containing vulgar language. My wife experienced similar as the hotel used their Facebook Page to totally humiliate and ridicule her. When I complained to the owner she writes:-
I have no Idea whats going on between you and Marc, since I never use Face book at all! But I am sure that you have caused the whole problem.
From what I`ve heard, you started the whole *** again just to get money. So please take responsibility for that and don’t blame anybody else then yourself!
This says enough about you and your spiritual sources.
She then writes this in response to my complaint:-
You are not worth it to even think about it. Dark people disturb them selfs that’s the law and sets us free…..
So the hotel owner stood by and let her son maliciously defame us and insult us on the business page of her hotel. Seriously!?
Ok, so I try and make peace with the hotel and suggest a very reasonable settlement of EUR 500 (for my time and for a refund because of this appalling conduct).
I also sent the hotel owner an email on the 11th February 2015 reminding both of them of the disclaimer on my website, written for these kinds of scenarios. In simple language it means that abusing spiritual teachers is unwise and rescinds your right to all legal claims, regardless of the consequences or subsequent financial damage.
Insulting, bullying or ridiculing Spiritual Teachers or Masters is ill-advised as the teacher will act as a strong and undiluted karmic mirror. As a result a small insult or ill-deed can appear to have an unexpected or disproportionate karmic effect that in some instances can cause a complete karmic meltdown and extreme healing crisis.
Those who choose to insult or try and bully Free Spirit in any form or make false accusations are fully responsible for their actions and any subsequent monetary losses or legal scenarios that may manifest. Keys to Immortality.Com or Free Spirit cannot be held legally responsible for the consequences of such actions however extreme, inconvenient, embarrassing or expensive (either energetically or monetarily).
They both received the disclaimer (sent for my own legal protection) and then days later Mr Gruninger then made a rip-off report about us accusing me of extortion and blackmail. Note in the disclaimer above the word choose. So he chose to act as such, rescind his legal rights and by doing so ruined his reputation (I can now tell the truth without being sued) because of the disclaimer.
Thus I decided to make a website about it. The amazing thing is that I had to do this once before (Power Places Tours) and Mr Gruninger was made aware that losing lots of money is not funny.
I told him as an act of compassion as I knew how bad it would be if he crossed the line and I knew that then there would be nothing I could do to mitigate the karmic consequence. So I told him this in an email:-
Power Places Tours lost US $750,000 by insulting us. It started small and they kept making the same choice to screw up and so it got worse (although they did it to others as well so it was worse). Losses like that are not funny. It ruins businesses and ruins peoples lives. That is what a lack of integrity will do to you.
You have to ask yourself if you want to experience suffering by making these same decisions to bully us, spread lies about us and so on. Because if you continue to do so there will be suffering. Suffering that you will create yourself for you and your family.
Note ‘create yourself’, just so that people do not misinterpret my email. I do not threaten people’s families, but point out likely consequences of certain choices. As a Spiritual Teacher I have that duty. If people then ignore it – it is their choice.
So he knew I had done this before to a company that abused us (out of public interest), knew that this kind of PR causes massive losses and still decided to cross the line and abuse us again!!
Other people reading this may have the opinion that it is the Gruninger family that are delusional.
Even worse, he implicated himself in stalking us for many months. I found him following me on Facebook with phantom profiles. He posted on the business page that we were delusional and other similar insults. He took screenshots of my wife and posted them in inappropriate locations, screenshots of my webstore/websites and insulted my work in front of others. He labelled me delusional and worse on Rip Off Report. He also totally degraded my wife with insulting language. Seriously!?
Seriously, what kind of hotel would write a permanent rip-off report about their guests falsely accusing them of serious crimes after totally insulting them again and again!?
Of course we would never yield to such intimidation (lesson here – stand your ground regardless of how intense it looks!). So we did not give in. The hotel then made another You Tube video about us calling us sick and twisted as well as accusing us falsely of crimes that could give me 10 years in jail (seriously!?) and hurled insults at me and my wife on the same page.
So I suddenly found myself presented with a malicious adversary of monstrous abusive proportions in my life ***-bent on warfare. Several offers of peace and reconciliation were responded to with more abuse. One day I was driving and I felt a strong malevolent energy enter my field. Minutes later a 50 tonne truck speeding at over 80kph almost slammed into us at a junction. Had we have been hit we would have both been killed outright. I might have brushed it off, however the last time a hotel manager insulted me (another one!) – I also had a near miss as well – so the coincidence was a big red-flag to get really serious about metaphysical self-defense!
Suffice to say this individual and his mother will most likely find themselves brought in front of a London court for malicious defamation, stalking and intimidation – and his hotel will be hit with a massive damages bill plus significant legal costs. Once the legal case gets under way there will be more updates on my blogs about how things are going.
This is also a classic case example for hotels reading this how not to treat your guests if you value your reputation.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.
I didn't like: Their attitude, Abusive behaviour.