Marisol Simoes, 42, who co-owns two trendy eateries in Ottawa, Ontario, became incensed when diner Elayna Katz criticized her restaurant in Ottawa for bad service.
To get revenge, Simoes used Katz’s wedding photos to create a fake profile for her on a sex site. The restaurant owner’s bizarre reaction was reported by several news sources, including the New York Daily News.
Canada’s QMI News claims Simoes used Elayna Katz’s name and photos to create a bogus adult profile, which touted Katz as a tiger in the bedroom, who liked transgender mates and group sex.
The profile was set up using a log-in with Simoes’ information. Simoes was implicated because the phony profile closely resembled emails that she’d also sent to Elayna Katz’s employers.
“I am open to anything — couples, threesomes and group sex. Am especially into transsexuals and transgenders (being one myself)” read the e-mail that was circulated in Katz’s name.
Katz claims she suffered two years of “harassment” at the business owner’s hands, ever since a bad meal in May 2009.
Katz complained that the service at Mambo Nuevo Latino was rude and slow, and that her server brought her a pasta dish with olives when she’d asked for it without olives.
According to the Ottawa Citizen, Katz said staff at the Mambo Nuevo Latino also tried to charge her for two dishes even though she sent the first one back.
Investigators noted the similarities between the language in the emails, profile, and some of Simoes’ online postings, and also tracked her using her IP address.
The Consumerist notes that when Katz’s 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.”
At the trial, Simoes argued that her husband or one of her employees may have used her computer to create the profile and send the emails.
Katz felt vindicated by the judge’s decision. “It’s slightly ironic that the (bad press) she was trying to avoid was the one thing that came out of all of this,” Katz told the Citizen.
Simoes was found guilty of criminal libel, and is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov 8.
Clearly not all customer complaints are valid, but they should be viewed as a possible opportunity to make changes that will enhance a customer’s dining experience, not as wicked fuel for a personal vendetta.