We’ve written before about companies offering free stuff or discounts in exchange for positive online reviews — or for removing negative comments — but a restaurant in California says a disgruntled diner tried to use the threat of a scathing Yelp review to squeeze a $100 gift card out of the eatery.
The restaurant tells CBS Sacramento that the diner claimed he had food poisoning after eating there and was looking for a refund.
But the restaurant doesn’t offer refunds. It did, however, offer to refund the customer’s money back in the form of a gift card that could be used at any area eatery.
That’s when the man allegedly told the restaurant, “I’ll be doing a scathing review on you on Yelp… and I’ll report you to the health department. But if you give me a $100 gift card, then I won’t do it.”
The restaurant owner calls the demand “flat-out extortion.”
In the end, the restaurant chose to call the man on his bluff and the negative Yelp review has not materialized.
“I hope this inspires other retail establishments and restaurants to push back on extortion,” he said.