Going Postal on the Web: More Lessons From the CrazyAmy Saga

Categories: Laudig

When I called it a "shit show," I had no idea just what kind of vague de merde was heading our way.

My jaw dropped yesterday when I noticed a local restaurant owner's name-calling tirade in response to a negative Yelp review, and when I wrote an impromptu blog post, readers responded in droves. They're still commenting, in fact.

Why would Amy Bouzaglo, owner of Amy's Baking Company in Scottsdale, react to local food fanatic Joel LaTondress' one-star review by accusing him of working for the competition, and worse, using the public forum to call him a loser (among other things) because he didn't like her pizza?

If it seemed like she'd already gone off the deep end, the spectacle grew worse as Bouzaglo posted even more angry comments on Chow Bella. Then a link to court documents detailing Bouzaglo's criminal history turned up in one of the comments. Business owners, bloggers, social media and marketing people, and even the New Times music editor, Martin Cizmar, chimed in. Bouzaglo fed the flames with further venom. I've never seen so many people turn out to comment on a local fiasco.

But wait, there's more.

The digital equivalent of "going postal" has now been renamed to "going #crazyamy" -- courtesy of a Twitter hashtag someone created to document the ensuing social media dialogue. 

Now there's mention of a #crazyamy t-shirt. And somebody just created a Twitter account called @CrazyAmyB.

Others have joined the conversation, including blogger Matthew Petro. According to a Twitter poll he created, more than half of respondents called Bouzaglo's handling of the incident "complete self-destruction" for her business. Blogger Tyler Hurst wondered, "Is Amy Bouzaglo Really Bat-Shit Crazy?"

Marketing and social media whiz Amanda Blum, a passionate foodie, referenced the drama in a new post on the Valley PR Blog, with useful customer service advice for any business owner who encounters unhappy customers, whether online or otherwise.

On Twitter, @AZVibe accused me of starting a "witch hunt" (I beg to differ), while food blogger Dominic Armato defended my right to report on the incident. He was later inspired to write a lengthy and thoughtful post about the role of online criticism on his blog, Skillet Doux.

And earlier this afternoon, LaTondress -- who elaborated the incident on Yelp Talk -- told me he was just contacted by 3TV.

Slow news day? Maybe so. Then again, how do you define news?

In any case, I still stand by my original thoughts about how business owners should deal with this kind of thing. But in light of all the endlessly entertaining fallout over the last day, I realize how much the bigger point here is one of community. If we were connected by word of mouth before, it's all been amplified and sped up thanks to social media. I certainly don't take it lightly, and I know restaurant owners shouldn't, either.

Like I said before, you never know who's paying attention.

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5 comments
christy
christy

She is crazy. I would NEVER eat there. In fact that place should closed because of all the food has to be throw in the garbage because its nasty or not cooked or over cooked. and what worker would want to work for a boss that is pycho. and keeps all there tips ??? And I think her husband is afraid of her or he would of left her phyco ass.

Mademoiselle
Mademoiselle

LMAO, are you seriously trying to diagnose someone by proxy?

Mademoiselle
Mademoiselle

Everyone deserves another chance. Yes, the comment Amy made in reply to a bad review was not very professional or very polite ,but I don't think one bad experience should mean that people should never go there and try the food.

I had been to Amy's about a week before this whole incident even occurred. I had lunch there with a friend and Samy was really nice and attentive. The Monte Cristo sandwich was really good and so was the chocolate cake. Yes, they are a bit pricey but anyone can see that it is due to the demographic and the quality of ingredients used. The interior of the restaurant was beautifully done and the music was calming. I enjoyed my experience there.

So many people on here are judging Amy so harshly. Haven't any one of you said anything out of hurt or anger and then later regretted it? I know I have. It's a part of life. Yes, Joel L. wasn't treated the nicest after a bad experience and no doubt should have been offered something for his negative experience,like a free desert or something. But for so many to dismiss Amy's entirely is dumb. Everyone has a bad day. Give this charming restaurant another chance.

larrberr
larrberr

@Mademoiselle  "but I don't think one bad experience should mean that people should never go there and try the food." 

If it were just the ONE BAD, you would have a valid point. She has continually doubled, tripled, quadrupled, infinitied down on it. She and samy have continued to post equal responses for reviews. "
Haven't any one of you said anything out of hurt or anger and then later regretted it?" Clearly she doesn't regret it as she keeps doing it, and also still defends doing it to that original review. She actually thought that ramsay was going to do the same thing. She said that she thought he was there to take care of the yelpers. When you do something you later regret..... You don't usually do it a hundred more times. Then there is all the stuff on KN, so again, not just ONE BAD. 

Then there is the facebook meltdown. Yes she clearly regretted the abusive response to the review, so she amped it up to 11 in abusive responses on facebook, twitter, reddit...... 

So you've got the one bad experience you mention. The dozens more just like it. The stealing tips, the facebook meltdown, the turnover of over 100 employees a year, the abusing and firing a waitress for asking a question (Are you sure? After having been told 3 times the wrong table to take an order to), The abuse and even assault on customers, the continual posting on FB with attacks on Ramsay and KN. And recently announcing that they only have one employee (a dishwasher) and they do the rest themselves, after a month ago saying that business is great. 

Saying that it was only "one bad experience" is like saying the problem with Hitler was that he made one bad painting. 

burt
burt

@Mademoiselle So, how's your opinion of Amy now?

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