When consumer Elayna Katz went to the trendy restaurant Mambo Nuevo Latino in Ottawa, she was less than happy with the service she received there and criticized the eatery in a pair of online reviews on the website restaurantthing.com. In the reviews, Katz explained that she had specifically asked for no olives and yet her pasta dish arrived containing diced olives. She also said that asparagus the dish was supposed to contain had been replaced with celery and peas and that staff at the restaurant were slow with drinks service and tried to make her pay for the meal she sent back as well as the replacement.
The ByWard Market’s restaurant co-owner Marisol Simoes was so angry about these negative reviews that she felt compelled to exact revenge and started a two-and-a-half year campaign harassing Ms Katz which included sending highly sexualized emails to her bosses and setting up a fake sex site profile. In some of these messages, Simoes marauding as Katz, claims to be ‘tiger in the bedroom’ and describes herself as a transgender who likes group sex and threesomes.
Simoes repeatedly sent messages laced with sexual content of this nature to the CEO and board of directors at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities where Katz works in the human resources department. One of the emails read: “’Am especially into transsexuals and transgenders (being one myself ). I am … a tiger in the bedroom.”
This statement was also posted alongside a picture from Katz wedding on an ‘adult’ site under ‘men seeking men.’
The reviews on the website Restaurant Thing were taken down because they became too abusive and because Simoes also sent a letter demanding that the website remove any mention of her company. Restaurant Thing did so, however they left up Simoes letter as a means of explaining to their users why there were no reviews of ByWard Market’s restaurant on the site. Simoes letter read as follows:
As you are both well aware of by now the situation with the customer has not simmerred at all. She is responsible for ‘every’ derogatory posting against Kinki and Mambo since May.
She has used may different names and has gotten her friends to do postings as well. I am more than fed up with this lady slandering us. And i have to say i am particularly appalled that you are letting her.
I have been recently fighting back to prove a point to her and to hopefully scare her off, and you guys turn around and take away my postings of defense and leave her postings of pure lies and malintent!
You will see that there is no end to this war. She has pushed me to my limits and i will not allow her to further damage the reputation of my businesses. Nor will i allow you guys to continue to allow her to do so.
If you feel it unwarranted that we post messages of defense against her attacks and remove them then you must equally remove her postings which are based on untruths. She has not visited my venues since May yet writes postings of ‘suppossed visits’ that she has had there and in some of her postings insinuates the most ridiculous things like my staff being drug users while working, or us calling the police on our customers, etc…i mean her postings are downright stupid! Yet you leave them there and take away our postings of defense!!!
These recent actions of yours almost show that you support what she is doing, which is basically using your site as her vedetta tool. Its amazing that in the spring when i pleaded with you guys to take away my sights because i knew that she was going to embark on this path that you did not help me, but now that so much damage has been done by her you dont allow me to defend the honour of my venues.
(and i am sure that she has played a role in this ommission. you seem to have no problem submitting to her demands!)
All i can say is that you have shown very bad judgment to date, and if you continue to remove my postings of defense but leave her postings of lies and attacks I WILL FILE A LAWSUIT AGAINST YOU!
I HAVE SERIOULSY HAD IT WITH HER AND WITH YOU GUYS FOR ALLOWING HER TO COME THIS FAR.
I HAVE A VERY STRONG CASE AGAINST YOU SO BE SMART AND DO WHAT I ASKED OF YOU BACK IN MAY, PUT AN END TO THIS ONCE AND FOR ALL AND TAKE KINKI & MAMBO OFF OF YOUR SITE.
THIS WAY YOU WILL NOT SHOW FAVOURITISM TO HER OR ME, IT IS THE ONLY OPTION AT THIS POINT AND THE ‘HUMAN’ THING TO DO.
AND I’M SURE YOUR READERS WOULD APPRECIATE IT TOO.
CONSIDER IT AN X-MAS GIFT TO ME, AND IT WILL NOT GO UNAPPRECIATED!
Ontario Court Justice Diane Lahaie described the material written by Simoes in the guise of Katz as “venomous”, she said that Simoes actions were “not just inappropriate but criminal.”
Simoes had tried to argue that the restaurant manager or her husband who co-owns the establishment also had access to the computer and could have been the ones who harassed Ms Katz, however Simoes was found guilty of defamatory libel and will be sentenced in November.
After the trial Ms Katz said she would probably reconsider her decision to post the reviews if she was given the opportunity, however she said that she still feels strongly about consumers rights to post online reviews of restaurants they visit.
(Via Daily Mail)