Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dodge City dispute: dead at last?

For those who are new to the Dodge City v SweetViolet contretemps, a brief recap:

Ten days ago my husband and I tried to have breakfast at a local restaurant. The service was so awful we left without even placing our food orders. Later in the day I wrote an email to the management and copied that letter to my blog.

A day later the manager contacted me. He acknowledged the service was poor and, citing video footage, claimed my reported service time was in error. He further apologized for the poor service. I amended the service time in my next entry, then dropped it, assuming there was nothing left to discuss.

Two days later I received an email in which he says that his video footage suggests that my blog is in error…this is the same video footage that he cited as verifying my complaint just two days before, mind you…and ending with a thinly veiled threat of litigation if I don’t “amend” the blog. Of course, he didn’t give me a clue what he thought needed amending, which rather prevented my even taking it under consideration.

For the next few days we traded emails and then someone who apparently thought my correspondent was being something less than kind in his communication with me, posted a negative review on one of our local restaurant review sites…one I had mentioned in a blog post…and suddenly he abandoned his original bone and began chewing on that one. The fact that 100 million or more people have internet access and could therefore have read my blog…and posted the negative review…seemed to escape him.

We’ve traded a number of emails…and lately threats… (which you can find in earlier entries) over the past week and what follows below is today’s email exchange (his in red, mine in green):

Events that lead me to believe that you were, in the balance of probability, party to the filing of the Food24 review include:
1 The fact that no person had ever commented about Dodge City Diner on Food24 prior Friday 12th Sept.
2 Dodge City hardly ever has customer complaints.
3 The party filing the review clearly knew of the blogs that you had published on the web, how to find them and clearly wanted readers to find these and read them - as much as you seem to.
4 The party filing the review appears to share your view that Dodge City threatens Bloggers. An unusual interpretation of my correspondence and at the very least reflects a very unusual, and in-depth, interest in the content to your blog.
5 The party filing the review clearly had sympathy for your cause and that of bloggers in general - as you do.
6 Your knowledge of Food24 review filing procedures and apparent knowledge that I have not contacted the person that filed the review.
7 You appear to either know or are, at the very least, getting feedback from the the party that filed the review.
8 The style of, and apparent intent behind, the review was in reasonably line with that of your numerous blogs. The review made no attempt to describe the poor service incident and it appeared that the sole purpose of the review was to exact very deliberate, vindictive and unfair damage the reputation of Dodge City in the marketplace.
9 Your recorded understanding, prior to 12th Sept, that a negative review on Food24 would be very damaging to a restaurant's reputation.

I trust that you now recognise:
1 the reasons behind my suspicion that you are, in the balance of probability, party to the filing of the Food24 review
2 my right to sue you for damages suffered - a process that will allow for me to cross examine you under oath.
3 that I am not harassing you. I am simply excercising my legal right to recovery of unreasonable damages suffered

I didn’t respond and barely an hour later this arrived:

It is apparent that you have an unusually good working knowledge of how Food24 conducts its affairs, adding to my already very sound reasons to conclude that you were, in the balance of probability, party to the filing of the fabricated poor service review on Food 24 against Dodge City Waterfront. The onus of proof that I bear to succeed in a damages claim against you lies in proving your complicity "in the balance of probability".

I am entitled to sue you for damages and doing so does not constitute harassment. You are entitled to defend my action against you.

I responded:

I refer you to http://www.food24.com/Restaurant/0,,3630,00.html “We'll never display your email address however for your review to be posted it must be valid.”
One only needs to be able to read English to know as much as I do about how Food24 conducts their business affairs.

Within half an hour this arrived:

Unconvinced I'm afraid. Please refer to my counter arguments mailed a short while ago.

I would like to suggest that you consider the merits of ceasing all unreasonable and vindictive efforts to damage the Dodge City brand reputation at your earliest convenience.

I have no particular wish to engage in a legal dispute with your conduct is leaving me with no option

The extent to which our conflict escalates from here lies entirely in your hands.

I responded:

I have no need to convince you of anything. The truth is the truth whether you choose to believe it or not.

To what conduct are you referring? Be specific, please.

How do you define escalate? Do you mean my responding to your emails or something else? Be specific, please.

About an hour later, this arrived:

Please do not communicate with me on this matter any longer.

To which I immediately replied:

I am happy to oblige


Dare I hope this is finished? I guess if I haven’t heard anything more in the next week or so (I thought it was over after three days of silence but it turns out I was wrong) I’ll believe it is done.

It’s gratifying that it went out with a whimper and not a bang, though.


  1. Brilliant! I always thought Dodge was a bit dodgy but what a jerk to think he can intimidate you into retracting your complaint. He could have acknowledged the bad service, apologised and left it at that. Oh well, if he goes the legal route then the media will have a field day!

  2. OH MY WHAT A FREAKY MAN!!! He's downright incorrigible. I had a similar situation once. it was awful. I will NEVER EVER go to that place now!


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