Well that's one way to handle a bad review.
Marisol Simoes, the owner of two trendy eateries in Ottawa, Canada, created a fake sex site profile of a customer who wrote negative online reviews of Simoes' Mambo restaurant. The 42-year-old restaurateur also pretended to be the customer in lewd emails sent to the customer's bosses that said she was a “tiger in the bedroom” who was transgender and who liked group sex, according to the Ottawa Citizen.
Simoes, who coincidentally owns another restaurant named Kinki, on Thursday was convicted of two counts of defamatory libel, a rarely laid charge in Canada. She will be sentenced on November 8th.
In the 2009 review that drew of the ire of Simoes, the diner, Elayna Katz, criticized the restaurant for slow service and for serving a pasta dish that contained olives after she asked for it without.
“It’s slightly ironic that the one thing [Simoes] was trying to avoid was the one thing that came out of all of this,” Katz told the Ottawa Citizen, referring to how much media attention the trial has attracted, compared to that of the original reviews. Katz added that she would probably rethink her decision to post the reviews if she had to do it again.
“I hope this is used as an example to people so that they recognize how severe the Internet can be,” Katz added. “It can be used as a weapon.”
Lawsuits arising from negative online business reviews aren't just a Canadian thing. In Chicago earlier this year, a wine store owner sued an unhappy Groupon-wielding customer after the customer slammed the store on Yelp and created a blog in the owner's name featuring the review. (Studies have shown that businesses that offer Groupons tend to see their Yelp rankings fall.)
Correction: A previous version of this report incorrectly identified The Leader-Post as the original source for several pieces of information cited. The report has been updated to include proper attribution to The Ottawa Citizen, which is the original source of the information.