Miserly Harvard Professor Harasses Chinese Restaurant Over $4
If a restaurant overcharges you by $4, there are two reasonable options: You could 1) not worry about it—it's only four dollars, after all, or 2) politely ask for your money back. If you're a huge asshole, there's a third option: You could write five emails—totaling hundreds of words—over three days demanding a refund of $12, a price increase you calculated using your dick-ish understanding of obscure Massachusetts law.
When Ben Edelman, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, realized the Sichuan Garden in Brookline had inadvertently overcharged him by $4, he went with option number three.
Edelman's emails, and the responses from Sichuan Garden's Ran Duan, are below, via Boston.com:
Duan told Boston.com he responds to every complaint about his restaurant, which his parents founded in the early 1990s. "I have worked so hard to make my family proud and to elevate our business," he said. "[Edelman's emails] just broke my heart."
For his part, Edelman told Boston.com this isn't something he regularly does. "I mostly look for malfeasance by larger companies," he said. "It certainly seems like a situation that could call for legal redress. But this is a small business in the town where I reside."
Edelman plans on giving town officials in Brookline a "few more days" before making a decision about legal action over the four dollars owed to him by a small, family owned restaurant.