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Back Alley Waffles Owner Calls Groupon Response 'Willfully Misleading'

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Well just in case you thought that whole Back Alley Waffles issue was over, no, it is not. Earlier this week, owner Craig Nelsen accused Groupon of killing his business with their "bloodthirsty" practices. Then Groupon responded by laying out an argument why the math does not support Nelsen's claims. And now Nelsen has provided his own line-by-line response to Groupon's statement on the Back Alley Waffles website — including the argument that Groupon has sent Nelsen two-thirds of his revenue share to date:

Ms. Mossler knows very well that by the time we had to shut our doors we still had not received the second third of our money. They had only sent us one third when we buckled. For Groupon to continue to cite that two thirds number is willfully misleading.

Nelsen also disputes the deal site's claims to have encouraged capping coupon sales and scheduled the feature on his terms — arguing that he had difficulty getting them to change the start date considering that "[o]n the date Groupon selected for the campaign to start, I was in California visiting my sister who was dying of cancer."

Plus, in a bonus sidebar to the anti-Groupon argument, Nelsen also takes on those who have questioned why he has blamed Groupon for the Back Alley Waffles shutter rather than, say, an obscure location or bad product. Here it is in full:

In response to yet another diatribe claiming my lashing out at Groupon is just a way of avoiding blame, I wrote:

You know, I don't get guys like you, and I'm not thinking about your impoliteness.

If I said, "Because of our lousy location, my restaurant failed," would you attack me for blaming the location for my poor restaurateur abilities? If I wrote, "Back Alley Waffles failed due to awful waffles," would you publicly denounce me for blaming the waffles for my poor management? But let me write that the reason we went under was a corporation's business practices, out you come and off come the gloves.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it was the lousy location, or the awful waffles that put us under, but I don't think so. I think it was our entanglement with Groupon. Whichever it was, lousy location, awful waffles, or Groupon, the share of the blame for the failure that is mine remains the same--100%--since I alone chose the location, determined the waffle recipe, and signed the Groupon contract. But only in the case of the latter do people who know nothing of the circumstances of our situation think nothing of chiming in to denounce me shrilly for putting the blame squarely where I think it belongs.

What's up with that?

· Back Alley Waffles Rebuttal [Official Site]
· All Previous Back Alley Waffles Coverage [-EDC-]

[Photo: Rima K./Yelp]

Back Alley Waffles

1209 10th St NW, Washington, DC