An email war has been launched by an associate professor at Harvard Business School against a local Chinese restaurant owner after the later mistakenly charged USD 4 on a carry-out order.
Ben Edelman, an associate professor who teaches Negotiation, Organizations & Markets unit at Harvards, has last week visited a Boston-area restaurant, Sichuan Garden, and placed a order worth USD 53.35 of Chinese food.
After Edelman received his order, he noticed that the restaurant has prepared a total bill of USD 57.35, with USD 1 added to each of the four items that he ordered.
Claiming the move as a breach of Massachusetts General Law, Section XV, Chapter 93A, Section 9, Edelman demanded the restaurant owner, Ran Duan, to pay him back triple the overcharge, i.e. USD 12, for damages.
“Under Massachusetts law it turns out to be a serious violation to advertise one price and charge a different price,” Edelman wrote.
Harvard Business School prof @bgedelman — this is over $4 — is awful. #TeamRanDuan http://t.co/xPt3BNhD4Y pic.twitter.com/wgPF4XukFk
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) December 9, 2014
Initially, Duan apologized before the Harvard associate professor and eventually agreed to reimburse him the original USD 4.
Duan also said that his restaurant’s website has not been updated with the current menu prices.
“We will get the company that designed the website to make the required changes at the earliest,” he added.
But Edelman does not back down from his stance despite the original USD 4 reimbursement offered.
“I have already referred this matter to the appropriate legal authorities in order to attempt to compel your restaurant to identify all consumers affected and to provide refunds to all of them, or in any event to assure that an appropriate sanction is applied as provided by law,” Edelman wrote.
The restaurant owner has immigrated from China with his parents when he was 3-year-old.
Duan took over the charge of Sichuan Garden since the early 1990’s.