The Case Of The Extorted Critic: THIS Is A Good Ending?

"You want to give my store a bad review? Huh? You do? Ok, you do that! And Just wait until you see what I am going to do to YOU!!!"

“You want to give my store a bad review? Huh? You do? OK, you DO that! And just wait until you see what I am going to do to YOU!!!”

Washington Post writer Ron Charles sure has some funny ideas about what constitutes a happy ending, which is especially strange, since his is the Post’s fiction editor. (Insert joke about the role of such an editor at the Post here.)

He tells the story of a Brooklyn writer named D. Foy, who was awaiting the publication of his first novel and also  preparing to be married. He contacted a New York tailor shop, with the intention of having a custom suit made for the big day. The men’s shop wouldn’t accommodate his efforts to make an appointment, and in frustration, he left the following complaint on the consumer site, Yelp, quoting the shop’s promotional boasts:

“This is not ’24-7 white glove service.’ This is not ‘unparalleled service,’ nor anything close. Contract this ‘business’ at your own risk, ladies and gentlemen.”

This aroused the torpid tailor, who sent Foy a ominous e-mail: “I was just made aware of your Yelp review. We wanted to answer your questions but felt you were more interested in a fray. When your book comes out on Amazon, I will personally make sure our entire staff reviews in kind.”

Translation: “You dared to criticize our lousy service, and now we’re going to hurt you!”

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Ethics Hero: Grand Hotel Dallas

This is how it is done: the perfect way to handle organizational misconduct.

hotellobbysignConsumerist blew the whistle on the Grand Hotel in Dallas for blatantly attempting to bribe patrons into posting  favorable reviews of their stays there online. A reader had alerted the consumer hawk website to a sign displayed in the hotel’s lobby offering $3 to $5 to guests who wrote raves on travel sites like Expedia, Priceline, and others. The sign required “immediate proof of review,” said the bribe amount would vary according to the number of websites that posted it, and noted that all must be “positive, favorable” reviews” approved by mgmt.”

The web site soon learned that the whole scheme had never been “approved by mgmt.” The hotel’s representative sent this e-mail to Consumerist: Continue reading