A Harvard law graduate and associate professor at Harvard Business School has bombarded a family-owned Chinese restaurant with emails, demanded damages and reported them to “authorities” after being overcharged US$4.
Ben Edelman ordered a takeaway from the Massachusetts branch of the Sichuan Garden restaurant.
After looking at the prices on the restaurant’s website, the professor expected the bill to come in at US$53.35.
But to his utter horror, after picking up the takeaways and bring them home, he saw on his receipt that he’d actually been charged US$57:35 – an entire $4 more, reported RollonFriday
Edelman knew something had to be done to fix the disaster of a situation, so emailed the eatery to complain.
Owner Ran Duan swiftly replied, apologising profusely and explaining that the web menu was out of date.
Not good enough for our esteemed law professor, he responded:
The subsequent email exchange seemed like a never-ending rampage, but in a nutshell it consisted of Edelman refusing to let the matter go, and Duan continuing to apologise, getting the website updated and offering whatever refund the professor deemed appropriate.
Highlights included Edelman (evidently forgetting what he’d haughtily requested in his initial email) rebuffing the offer of a refund, claiming that it would be “an exceptionally light sanction”.
He went on to explain that he had "referred this matter to applicable authorities in order to attempt to compel your restaurant to identify all customers affected and to provide refunds to all of them".
The baffled Duan replied, "you seem like a smart man, but is this really worth your time?"
Apparently so, because Edelman carried on…and on.
When the unbelievable correspondence leaked and was swiftly picked up and shared by social media (and pretty much the entire Internet accused Endelman of being a prize jerk), he decided to apologise.
“It's clear that I was very much out of line", he said. "I have reached out to Ran and will apologise to him personally as well.”