SC restau­rant sues cus­tomer for bad re­view af­ter a coupon dis­pute

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - News - BY ALEX LANG [email protected]­sun­news.com Alex Lang: 843-297-0659, LangSunNews

A woman who posted a poor re­view of a North Myrtle Beach restau­rant on Face­book is now in le­gal hot wa­ter as the es­tab­lish­ment has ac­cused her of li­bel.

The restau­rant, Buoys on the Boule­vard, claims the bad re­view con­tained false al­le­ga­tions and stemmed from their re­fusal to honor a coupon.

On Oct. 30, Doreen Gale-Al­fano vis­ited the North Myrtle Beach restau­rant with a friend. She tried to use a coupon that would have cov­ered din­ner for two peo­ple up to $30, ac­cord­ing to the law­suit.

Buoys says the staff told her they were un­der new own­er­ship and could not honor the coupon. In March, the restau­rant changed own­er­ship and had a slight name change from Buoys Beach Bar & Grille to Buoys on the Boule­vard.

The wait­staff at­tempted to comp the cou­ple’s drinks be­cause they would not honor the coupon, the fil­ing states.

Gale-Al­fano threat­ened to “de­stroy you on so­cial me­dia” and hurt Buoy’s rep­u­ta­tion, the law­suit states. Gale-Al­fano left and checked in on Face­book to an­other area restau­rant seven min­utes later.

She then posted a re­view on Face­book, one that was still pub­licly avail­able as of Tues­day af­ter­noon. It reads: Aw­ful food.... found a worm in my sushi. Also had a fast crawl­ing bug on the wall.The Junga game is a germ car­rier.Go and en­joy if you don’t care cuz the new owner doesn’t at all.

The restau­rant, through its of­fi­cial page, re­sponded to the com­ment and wrote:

Hi Doreen, your visit last night is on our cam­era and you never or­dered any food. NO SUSHI was made for you. You and your fa­ther came in last night with a $30.00 off coupon dated Oc­to­ber 2017 from Grand Strand Din­ing Group. We bought the busi­ness in March 2018 and are not af­fil­i­ated with Grand Strand Din­ing Group. We tried to ex­plain that and you were livid be­cause we would not ac­cept the coupon.

We did comp out a Grey Goose Mar­tini, a beer and a coke. We also let you know to go to Duffy Street to re­deem the coupon. I did see where you went there af­ter you left here. I can post the video of your en­tire visit on our cam­era play­back and see where only drinks were at your ta­ble. I find it re­ally sad that you would stoop so low to post lies about a busi­ness be­cause of your anger. You did let the staff know that you would get on so­cial me­dia and ruin our busi­ness. Those are your own words.

A fol­low-up post by the restau­rant’s owner then threat­ens le­gal ac­tion.

The law­suit says Buoys’ rep­u­ta­tion was hurt by the so-called li­bel post. Buoys also al­leges Gale-Al­fano slan­dered the busi­ness by mak­ing false state­ments. The law­suit asks for an un­spec­i­fied amount of dam­ages. At­tempts to reach Gale-Al­fano were un­suc­cess­ful in time for this re­port.

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