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General Discussion | Spat over negative review becomes abusive


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Girls Night Out
DineOut VIP
29th Oct 2014

A Christchurch man who wrote a negative online restaurant review says he is being legally threatened and abused by an IT security expert who dines there.

Christchurch man Paul Vallance wrote negative reviews of Rolleston's Cafe iZone on websites and on October 14.

On Saturday, Vallance received an email from IT security expert Daniel Ayers, saying Vallance was waging a "spiteful campaign of lies" against the cafe. Attached to one of the emails was a flyer with pictures of Vallance under the headline "DO NOT SERVE".

The flyer says members of Vallance's group "bullied staff" and "left without paying" and recommends that bars and restaurants do not serve them. Vallance denies the allegations.

In a separate email, Ayers stated: "At this point, I am confident that we will press ahead with distributing a warning notice, but the content of it will be carefully chosen so that any defamation action you bring against [my company] would not succeed."

In the emails, Ayers claims he has evidence of theft and defamation. He also states that a private investigator is looking into the review and events at the restaurant.

Ayers has appeared as an IT expert on consumer affairs show Fair Go. He wrote in one email that "due to my involvement in Fair Go, I am always on the look out for potential new stories the show might do in the future".

"This case would make great TV," he wrote.

In one email, he calls Vallance "astoundingly stupid" and "the sort of person who talks crap to people".

Ayers said in the email he was a "regular customer at the cafe" and knew owner Steve Trigg well.

When contacted by The Press, Ayers declined to comment but confirmed he was acting on his own initiative, not on behalf of Trigg.

Cafe iZone owner Steve Trigg said he had not asked Ayers to take the action. He said that Vallance's party was abusive to his staff.

The review claimed it took "close to two hours" for the group to get their food but Trigg said he had CCTV footage that showed it took an hour and 20 minutes.

"I don't know anything about what he [Ayers] is doing and why he is doing it," Trigg said.

Vallance admitted that one member of his party swore at a member of staff but he was not in the restaurant when it happened.

He said he forgot to pay for his partner's salad before leaving but another member of his party settled the bill.

Dineout co-founder Chris Dempsey said the review had been taken down until the dispute was resolved.
Danni Meow
29th Oct 2014
It all seems a bit crazy! I understand a bad review sucks but come on, taking it upon yourself to do this to a person? Not the best way to settle the problem!
Personally I have to be super displeased with somewhere to actually write something bad, more often than not I just wont mention it because somethings are just a personal taste thing.

Has anyone actually eaten there before? Was it that bad?
For me I wont ever bother now based on this article and whats happening not the bad review initially posted. I would be scared if I didnt rave the place up something similar would happen to me!
paul and helen
DineOut VIP
29th Oct 2014
i ate there, the only fault i could give it was the bacon was watery and lacked flavor, other than that it was fine.
Girls Night Out
DineOut VIP
29th Oct 2014
bad bacon should be a crime
Danni Meow
29th Oct 2014
I agree!! Badly cooked bacon is an actual crime!! Punishable by no customers.
Girls Night Out
DineOut VIP
29th Oct 2014

Seems to be a wide range of reviews smile :-)

[Edited 29th Oct 2014 10:44 AM]
29th Oct 2014
I think Ayers antics are completely out of order. He has nothing to do with the business other than "knowing" the owner. It's people like him that can ruin businesses and as someobody that has been in the public eye, he should know better. I see Fair Go have now dis-owned him.

I have never been to the Cafe but I always make my own mind up from these reviews sites unless it is absolutely scathing. Which it does not seem to be.

I feel sorry for the owner that his "friend" has resorted to such school girl thuggery.
Carol Barrel
29th Oct 2014
As SiFly says

DineOut VIP
31st Oct 2014
Its a good example as to why you do not use your real name as your posting name if that makes sense. Scary stuff can happen
Girls Night Out
DineOut VIP
31st Oct 2014
I had wondered how Daniel managed to track down Pauls email address.
Carol Barrel
31st Oct 2014
GNO: I had wondered how Daniel managed to track down Pauls email address.

A very good point!

Mozzie: Its a good example as to why you do not use your real name as your posting name if that makes sense. Scary stuff can happen

That makes perfect sense Mozzie! Anyone else here on Good Reads? Read what a well connected writer did to a reviewer here;

Girls Night Out
DineOut VIP
31st Oct 2014
Okay so obviously I can accept not using your legal name online - but to use your best friends image as your own is just creepy & dishonest.
Carol Barrel
31st Oct 2014
Well so far we only have Hale's word for it that "Blythe" did that. Blythe has apparently left GR & at one stage was frightened enough that she left her home.

For me, I can understand fake name & address - even fake age,(although you don't have to give your age) since she mostly read YA books & may have thought reviews by a middle aged woman wouldn't be taken seriously. I find it really weird that she allegedly invented a completely fake ID. But nothing excuses stalking.

I use a pic of an historical figure over there myself, so hopefully no one thinks this woman has risen from the grave! big grin :D

Carol Barrel
31st Oct 2014
& it looks like SiFly has changed his name to HeWhoEats (just so my first post in this thread makes sense)
Paul Vallance
31st Oct 2014
I posted a review of my experience at izone cafe. And when I say it was the worst dining experience I've ever had I mean that. Mr Aryes contacted me through facebook first. He had no right in what he did and I actually went to School with the idiot. He has not done any favours for the cafe or his own business doing what he did. If I posted all the emails from him it would really show this mans maturity.
DineOut VIP
2nd Nov 2014
Thanks for that link - it was a good read while pretending to work smile :-)

Honestly - I'd keep it on the low Paul - don't stoop to his level. He hasn't done himself any favours doing what he did but if you did post the emails then you have stooped to his level, the damage has been done to his profile.
Danni Meow
3rd Nov 2014
I agree with Mozzie, the guy has already made himself look like a fool. You reacting would just make people double think on you. I would just laugh at him, him "good deed" to his friend has just turned around and bitten him on the bum! What goes around comes around eh wink ;-)
Carol Barrel
3rd Nov 2014
No probs Mozzie! There is a far worse allegation against another writer, but innocent till proven guilty after all. smile :)

Paul I would change your name here too. Most of us use screen names for a reason!

Another tip - I read your review over at Trip Advisor & you gave environment a 1. To me, 1 means you ate at the Cafe 15 minutes before the health inspectors closed it down! It just makes the whole review look suspect. But your experience, your call. smile :)
3rd Nov 2014
"Paul I would change your name here too. Most of us use screen names for a reason!"

On the contrary - I would congratulate Paul. If he has the conviction to put his name to his comments - I say more power to him and it legitimises his experience.

It's especially more relevant to negative reviews.
Warehi Britton
3rd Nov 2014
If reviewers want to hide behind a pseudonym that is their business. Personally I think that that often denigrates the apparent validity of their review. New Zealanders are often loathe to put up their hand and be accountable for an opinion. So Paul don't change your name.
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