The owners of a San Francisco-area restaurant are using surveillance footage to fight back at a customer they claim wrote a false review on Yelp.
Yelp user who goes by the name of Dan W. claims he visited wonderful in Millbrae, Calif. last Wednesday around 7:30 p.m. In his initial review, Dan wrote that he was ignored by staff, prompting him to give a one-star review-- even though he left without eating, reports Ratter.com.
"The waiter came up and asked how many," Dan wrote in his first review. "I said one, I had planned to sit at the bar or get the food to go. She said "one? no, one?" and then ran off. I waited a minute at the door, and then left. They were busy and potentially understaffed. It's not that classy of a place, but they refused to seat me."
You You Xue, the son of wonderful’s owner Johnson Xue, spotted Dan’s review-- which stuck out amid mostly four and five star praises--and reached out to his father to see if he had in fact treated a customer badly.
Xue decided to review the restaurant’s surveillance cameras for any episodes of wrongdoing but when he came to the day Dan claimed he had visited, saw nothing out of the ordinary. He posted several video clips to wonderful’s website, calling out the reviewer for making up a claim about not being seated:
“In the interest of being fair to what you said, I am posting video of our service from 18:45 to 19:30 on 18 March 2015. If at any time you see yourself walk in and talk to the server, let me know, and I will gladly post a large banner that says "I'm sorry Dan for calling you a liar,” Xue writes. “Otherwise, you must be hearing voices, because I sure don't see you talking to anyone in the restaurant.”
Not only does the video show Dan walking into the restaurant around 7 p.m.—about a half hour earlier than posted—but the figure waits for only 22 seconds before leaving the restaurant.
"I was very upset to see a 1-star review, and that turned to anger and frustration when I saw what he had wrote," You You Xue said to Ratter.com. "We really have tried very, very hard to cater to our customers' needs, and it really upsets the staff when someone leaves a comment like this."
Instead of backing down, Dan updated his Yelp review, calling out the owner’s son for bullying him.
The irritated customer posted: “Aftermath: the owner put an inflammatory response with video of someone else claiming it was me. I also did not give you permission to put video of me on the internet. After that people start harassing me and threatening to tarnish my reputation online if I did not remove this review. I'd love a ceasefire, take down your BS and I'll gladly take down this review (which again is not fake). That response and situation of only further shows you character. Perhaps they cyberbully and threaten anyone who rates less than a 3?”
Though his son is still upset by the negative review, owner Johnson Xue told Ratter.com that if Dan chooses to come back to wonderful he will “shake his hand and take care of his meal.”