Oh, Groupon. So annoying. But if you thought all those emails about knitting classes you don't want were getting excessive, get a load of this story of a frustrated Groupon sales guy who lashed back with the threat of bad Yelp reviews at an S.F. restaurant owner all because he hung up on him. So now restaurants have to fear the threat of extortion via bad reviews from both Yelp and Groupon!?

Groupon Area Sales Manager Andrew Johnston got on the horn to Sauce restaurant last Friday, and spoke with partner Trip Hosley, a co-owner of Sauce's two locations. As the Inside Scoop reports, Hosley was busy at the time of the call and had had enough negative experiences with Groupon to not want to waste another minute on the phone with a salesperson.

Johnston, though, took things in a pretty unprofessional direction, however, when he shot off an email to Hosley right after the call threatening to bring down the wrath of bad Yelp reviews on him in response to his rude hangup. To wit:

Hi Trip!

I sincerely appreciate you hanging up on me. As a resident of San Francisco for over 25 years, I have a huge network of friends (ages 25-40) that all are extremely active on Yelp as well as other social media. I will gladly let them know how you treated me as well as my feelings about the people who run Sauce.

Go Giants!


Obviously no one likes to be hung up on, but come on, dude. You make cold calls for a living. This is highly uncalled for — and just another reason to always take good and bad Yelp reviews with a grain of salt.

Hosley went on to explain that the restaurant was so thoroughly unhappy with their previous two experiences with Groupon that he never wants to deal with them again — he tells the tale that many business owners tell of getting a slew of one-time patrons in search of deep discounts, and no upside in the way of new business.

According to All Things D, who first reported the story on Sunday, Johnston has been suspended by Groupon while the company investigates the situation.

The company, meanwhile, has not been doing so well over the last year, with sad earnings reports and early investors jumping ship.

[Inside Scoop]
[All Things D]