Yesterday, an email chain sent by Harvard Business School professor Ben Edelman chronicled the educator's escalating blow-up over a $4 discrepancy between a printed menu price and what he was charged. After the entire internet weighed in over Edelman's requests and threats to Boston's Sichuan Garden (in which Edelman "referred this matter to the applicable authorities" and asked for $12 in compensation), the professor has now taken to his blog to acknowledge "I was very much out of line." The mea culpa, in full:
Many people have seen my emails with Ran Duan of Sichuan Garden restaurant in Brookline. Having reflected on my interaction with Ran, including what I said and how I said it, it’s clear that I was very much out of line. I aspire to act with great respect and humility in dealing with others, no matter what the situation. Clearly I failed to do so. I am sorry, and I intend to do better in the future. I have reached out to Ran and will apologize to him personally as well.
Edelman's blog post comes after he went on the record with Business Insider to defend the original email chain. Edelman told BI that he was acting as a consumer watchdog, as most consumers take for granted that restaurant menu prices reflect the actual charges. "I've been pretty diligent in holding large companies accountable for their false statements of price and other attempts to overcharge passengers," he says. "Should all small businesses get a free pass?"
In yesterday's Boston.com article (which printed the email exchange in full), Edelman told the site he would "take a few days" to decide whether or not to pursue legal action. Perhaps his recent "reflection" suggests he'll let Sichuan Garden off the hook.