As the story goes, the owner of the restaurant was concerned because the patron's service dog had left a "dustpan full of (dog) hair" on the floor during the last visit. The owner asked the owner of the service dog to "keep the dog hair down please" to show respect for the other customers of the restaurant.
According to reports about this story the owner was trying to protect other customers of his restaurant from getting dog hair in their food and simply wanted the dog not to be petted while in the small restaurant to prevent additional hair from being shed.
The blind patron said the owner of the restaurant made him feel "very unwanted" and so in retaliation for having his feelings hurt he took his beef to Facebook.
Although the business owner and witnesses to the dog hair incident noted the owner did nothing wrong, uninvolved Facebook participants started attacking the owner and implying there had been a violation of laws protecting the blind. Even though this was definitely not the case.
In essence the restaurant owner was attacked on Facebook because he tried to protect the dining experiences of his other customers by asking the blind patron to please control the dog hair that was being shed in his eating establishment. According to the owner and witnesses of the event, he did not ask the blind patron or his dog to leave nor did he refuse them service. He simply asked that the dog hair be contained.
Using Facebook For Retaliation?
By posting the incident on Facebook the blind patron basically was retaliating against the business owner who was simply trying to offer a hair free eating experience for all of his customers. Was the blind patron trying to destroy the business and reputation of the business owner by using Facebook against him because his feelings were hurt? The blind patron admitted that neither he nor his dog were asked to leave the restaurant and the he was not discriminated against in any way.
Sadly more and more customers of all types of business who don't get their way are using Facebook and social media as a threat against business owners.
Even though there are always two sides to every story like the one about the blind restaurant patron, a disgruntled customer can say anything they want to on Facebook, Twitter or other social media avenues. They don't have to offer proof.
Unfortunately many people may forget that there are many different opinion about what actually happened in every story and may not realize that the business if being victimized for not being willing to be held hostage by the unreasonable demands or expectations of a customer.
Being Taken To Task On Social Media
I recently heard of a business owner being taken to task on social media for shipping out a very expensive custom made wig to a customer who proceeded to wear it and then send it back without the owners agreement. Since it was a custom made wig it could not be resold.
Even though the customer knew the policy and had signed an agreement when purchasing the wig, they demanded all of their money back including shipping charges. When the business owner politely reminded the customer of the no return policy on custom wigs and that they had previously agreed to this policy, the customer blasted the business on social media channels twisting the situation to look like the business owner was a con artist and had stolen the client's hard earned money.
Ultimately the wig maker lost money and business because he wouldn't do what the customer wanted him to do even though she knew from the beginning the no return policy on custom made wigs.
It used to be when a disgruntled customer didn't get their way they would threaten to tell all their friends. Now they threaten to post on social media, whether they are telling the whole truth or not.
The incident involving the blind restaurant patron and his dog raises a more important question. Is it right for customers to use Facebook and social media to unjustly punish hard working business owners in order to get their way, whether their way is fair or not? Should uninvolved bystanders in a situation comment on social media posts like the blind patron made when they don't know both sides of the story?
Even more importantly? Is this behavior of posting on social media just another form of bullying and intimidation being directed against businesses?
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