Monday, June 25, 2007

Ha ha ha, it seems the Australian legal system is now climbing on the laughing stock bandwagon.

It's bad enough when some American klutz can sue Winnebago for not telling him he has to stay behind the steering wheel of his vehicle while on autocruise, and win the case.

But when an appeal court finds a bad restaurant review defamatory, then you know the whole system of legal justice has gone out the window.

The jury, it seems had more sense. They ruled the review was not defamatory. The proprietors of the restaurant, Coco Roco in Sydney, disagreed and had the verdict overturned by the appeal court. The restaurant has closed in the meanwhile, and the proprietors are seeking damages from the newspaper which published the review.

Well, I'm glad to hear the restaurant has closed. One that sues instead of trying to improve its food and service is not worthy to exist. What I'd like to know is the identity of the owners, so we can warn the world never to eat at any place they open. Or do business of any kind with them, actually.

But it's a worrying trend. I'd like to propose a suitable counter if it becomes impossible to publish bad reviews (what happened to this freedom of speech thing that used to be so popular in democratic countries, btw? Did it go out of the window when the war against terrorism came in?).

Perhaps the owners of crappy restaurants would prefer it if dissatisfied customers refused to pay for bad food and poor service. Just walk out. Or demand compensation for your wasted time, even better. I once knew someone who used to deduct 10% from a bill when the service was bad. I forget who it was, but the occasion I was with him the restaurant didn't complain.

I'm not sure what he did when the food was below standard. Perhaps we all need to become more aggressive about sending it back.

How about it, Coco Roco? Would this arrangement suit your bean-counting better?