A woman posted a TikTok video sharing how a New York City-based business allegedly harassed her after she left a negative Yelp review about her experience.
On Oct. 15, Chloe Tong, who goes by @UrbanBling on social media and owns a bedazzling business, posted a TikTok saying she took in two pairs of Christian Louboutin shoes to Vince’s Village Cobbler for resoling and was unhappy with the results. The video has over 700,000 views.
In the TikTok, she said she initially shared her experience to social media in September, but did not publicly share the name of the business.
On Oct. 14, she left a Yelp review saying that they were “resoled improperly” and “several pairs were clearly knicked [sic] / accidentally sanded and repainted.”
The business manager, identified as Vincent R. on Yelp, responded saying that a normal customer would have brought up the issue to have any mistakes corrected and that “it is hard to believe” that the cobbler ruined her shoes. “Your review literally makes it sound like you were targeted by us and we intentially [sic] ruined everything,” Vincent R. wrote. Then they accused Tong of being sponsored by another cobbler, Leather Spa.
In the TikTok video, Tong said she felt “completely baffled by their unprofessionalism” and that’s when she decided to post their Yelp response to her Instagram stories. She added a video of her shoes and sent the business a direct message so it knew it was her who left the review. In the direct message, she added that her review was not sponsored by Leather Spa.
Vince’s Village Cobbler responded asking to resolve this in person rather than “jumping to writing an extremely negative review about a small business.”
From there, Tong said the business wouldn’t stop messaging her on Instagram until she blocked them. Still, she said they continued to call and contact her.
Then she said the business sent her a text that it amended its Yelp review. The amended review, posted on Oct. 15, was signed by someone named Alayna, exposed her identity (she posted on Yelp under the name of Angela), and called her names, like “a completely crazy, horrendous person” and “rabid teenager.” Alayna also wrote Tong was “disassociated from reality.” By posting to her sizable Instagram following, she was going to “make [them] close up shop” and send people after them. As of Nov. 1, the amended review has been removed.
At the end of her TikTok video, Tong called the exchange “unacceptable.” In comments, she asked people to not threaten the business.
On Vince’s Village Cobbler’s Yelp page, there is a history of Vincent R. responding similarly to other negative Yelp reviews from customers, asking them to remove their posts or criticizing them for writing them in the first place. There are also one-star reviews from people review bombing in defense of Tong, causing an “Unusual Activity Alert” to be displayed on the business’s page.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Vince’s Village Cobbler for comment.
Update 4:00 pm CT Nov. 2: In a statement to the Daily Dot, Tong said she feared for her security in real life because of the interaction she had with the business online.
“[The experience was] honestly horrifying,” she said. “I waited two weeks before leaving a review because I didn’t want to hurt a small business but at the same time I didn’t want what happened to my shoes to happen to other people.”
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