Harvard Business School professor goes to war over $4 worth of Chinese food



Privileged asshole is privileged.

And an asshole.


Ben Edelman is a creep who trolls small businesses around Boston for fun. I’m really glad this story is getting more attention; I hope Mr Edelman’s legacy is “that asshole lawyer who tried to get the city to cite a much-loved mom & pop restaurant for $4”.

Harvard Business School is not at all happy with how this reflects on them. They almost immediately started a “give $4 for the hungry” campaign to deflect the bad press.


Couldn’t he instead go after a more deserving target? Picking on a small restaurant owner seems like dick move.

If instead he decided to use his legal/financial kung-fu against the predatory billing practices of Verizon, Comcast, or AT&T, that would be heroic.


Is “Christ, what an asshole.” still a thing? Because, Christ, what an asshole.


didn’t see the tag at the bottom of the post, so I came here to leave it myself #christwhatanasshole


For some reason, every person I encounter from Harvard is an entitled asshole in one way or another. Maybe there’s something about the place that attracts the type… maybe…


Christ what an asshole, indeed. Sexy chef with big arms, meet exceptionally punchable face.

We don’t have the full details, but it seems like he’s asking for 50% off the total bill in response to the error? Does anyone know where that figure comes from (besides his pompous derriere)?

It’s perfectly reasonable to realize you’ve been overcharged and ask for your money back, or even to return the food and ask for a full refund. Any reasonable person in this position would just call them up, ask for the difference to be refunded, and let them know the prices on their website are out of date. Done, 5 minutes out of your life and you’ve helped someone out.


Oh my god, I’m so pleased that the restauranteur is just going to wait for the authorities to arrive and handle the situation. Edelman got owned.


He initially wanted triple “damages”, per Massachusetts law.

And also, he’s an asshole.

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First he asked for the overcharged amount to be refunded (which the restaurant immediately agreed to). Then he decided that he was owed “treble damages” – $12 – and ‘notified the authorities’. Then he decided that he was owed 50% because of his time and trouble.

Totally. This is how I saw the situation. There was no dispute here, they guy said “OK, I agree you should get a refund and we will correct the menu prices”. I would consider this matter finished.


it probably won’t hurt the restaurant’s business, and a lot more people will come to know who the asshole is.


Ha ha, tenured Harvard professor tries to shake down a small business owner for a few bucks. Soon to meet 4Chan.


Streisand, we summon thee!


That said, small businesses running shitty websites is a huge frustration and I’d love if they could all do a better job keeping them current. If not that, I’d be content with “functional.”

I get that most folks just plain don’t (and don’t want to) understand HTML but if you’re gonna spend the money to put one up you really ought to treat it with some kind of seriousness.


Apparently, he’s in the department that is supposed to be teaching negotiations…So we know what kind of “I WIN! But these people won’t ever answer our phone calls again,” negotiators they’re trying to graduate.


Edelman is wrong on the law here. It doesn’t apply if the restaurant immediately offers restitution, which it did. The law is like this because if it wasn’t people like Edelman would go around looking for shops making small billing errors and bury them with frivolous lawsuits.


From the article: “His uncle Peter, a law professor, was an assistant secretary of the Health and Human Services Department in the Clinton administration before resigning to protest a law that required welfare recipients to work. His father, Daniel, is a civil rights attorney specializing in employment discrimination; his mother, Toby, is a lawyer who focuses on preventing abuse in nursing homes.”

His family must be so proud.

And yet…the article goes on to mention “…his friend Aaron Swartz, the programmer and free-information activist who killed himself last year while facing charges that he broke into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s network to download millions of research articles. Edelman and Swartz worked at Harvard’s Berkman center and were protégés there of legal scholar Lawrence Lessig.”

Does Edelman just have no sense of proportion?