d'oh

Internet Tough Guy Fired for Threatening to Leave Nasty Remarks About Restaurants on Yelp

Customer dis-service.
(Photo: Flickr)

(Photo: Flickr)

A Groupon employee and certified Internet tough guy who threatened to have his friends write disparaging Yelp reviews about a small business owner has been fired.

Last week, proprietor Trip Hosley posted a note on his restaurant’s Facebook page of an email exchange between him and Groupon sales rep Andy Johnston. Apparently Mr. Johnston was displeased with Mr. Hosley’s habit of hanging up on him, so he threatened to unleash his “huge network of friends that are all extremely active on social media” to post negative remarks on Yelp about the bistro.

Mr. Johnston was briefly suspended during the company’s investigation, and now AllThingsD reports that he is no longer with the daily deals site. Calling the incident isolated and unacceptable, the company doesn’t plan to alter its training or employee rules. Mr. Johnston has been with Groupon for a year and a half.

AllThingsD obtained a statement from Groupon:

“As a company that has featured more than 500,000 merchants, we take our relationships with every business very seriously and do everything we can to ensure they have a great experience with Groupon. We have personally apologized to the merchant.”

Hope there’s a half-off massage coupon for Mr. Johnston to deal with all that stress.

Follow Jordan Valinsky on Twitter or via RSS. jvalinsky@observer.com