We’re constantly amazed at businesses that just don’t know how to take criticism. No, it likely doesn’t feel good to read negative reviews about your establishment on the Internet, but getting revenge by posing as a customer on a site for adults looking to hook up is not only childish, it’s going to have some legal repercussions. Just ask the co-owner of two eateries who retaliated in this manner against a customer she felt she had maligned her.
A judge in Canada convicted the co-owner of defamatory libel yesterday for sending lewd e-mails and posing as the customer in a racy online profile. She was found out because the profile closely echoed emails that she’d also sent to the woman’s employers. The customer says she’s suffered two years of “harassment” at the business owner’s hands, ever since a bad meal in May 2009.
“I am open to anything — couples, threesomes and group sex. Am especially into transsexuals and transgenders (being one myself). I am … a tiger in the bedroom,” read the e-mail that was circulated in her name, with similar words on the adult site under “men seeking men.”
The customer says service was slow at the restaurant, the waitress was rude and her food had olives all over it, even though she had explained she couldn’t eat them. She says she went to the other restaurant owned by her harasser to tell her about what had happened, but she wasn’t there and didn’t respond to her phone calls.
When her bad review hit a restaurant industry site, she says a deluge of posts followed using her full name and address. Site operators shut down the reviews for both restaurants. The co-owner then complained of a “vendetta” against her businesses, and apparently launched a vendetta of her own.
The customer seems pretty satisfied with her win over the business, telling Sun News after the verdict: “When you’re in the business of owning a restaurant and serving the public, people have a right to express their opinions.”
Learn your lesson, businesses. Your customers are going to review you and bad or good, you’ve just gotta roll with the punches.