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A full-blown war of words is narrowly averted.
In the future, we’ll be able to rate people directly, attaching insults and negative feedback to, say, an offending individual’s Facebook page. For now, though, we’re stuck attacking each other via Yelp and Amazon—provided we’ve got something up on one of those sites to review.
That was the form of mutually assured destruction invoked in a Brooklyn brawl between a debut novelist and a bespoke tailor. D. Foy, whose book Made to Break is scheduled for release mid-March, had hoped to secure a wedding suit from the hands-on Park Slope boutique Bindle & Keep. But after repeatedly trying and failing to get in touch with them, he did what no one with a smattering of common sense would do: He bothered to write a Yelp review.
“This is not ‘24-7 white glove service,’” Foy wrote. “This is not ‘unparalleled service,’ nor anything close. Contract this ‘business’ at your own risk, ladies and gentlemen.”
Someone at Bindle & Keep named Daniel replied rather swiftly to this affront, writing in an email, “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.”
Daniel had done his research, it seems, and although there was a bit more back-and-forth sniping between he and Foy, the author eventually relented and took down his Yelp review in order to keep his book from being review-bombed next year (he also got a free shirt in the bargain). If only all dissatisfied customers were so easy to extort!
We’re guessing Daniel had some more trouble influencing the angry Yelp posters who said he didn’t live up to a refund guarantee for poor work and was the “MOST UNPROFESSIONAL person I have ever dealt with.” Maybe in lieu of the “deluge of awful reviews” he promised Foy, he could just do the old-fashioned thing and send dozens of pizzas to their homes. Or call in a SWAT strike. Anything, so long as he doesn’t have to take stock of his business practices.
Or wait—was this all just a ruse between friends to virally advertise each other’s goods and services? That tears it: I’m never reading a book or wearing clothes again.
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'