News Provincial

'You have a mental disability'; Ont. woman trolled for posting Facebook comment about diner's 'rude' staff

John Law

By John Law, Niagara Falls Review

The Flying Saucer restaurant on Lundy's Lane took heat on Facebook Thursday after a Niagara Falls woman posted the response to a negative review she left last year. PHOTO: Harley Davidson / Special to Niagara Falls Review

The Flying Saucer restaurant on Lundy's Lane took heat on Facebook Thursday after a Niagara Falls woman posted the response to a negative review she left last year. PHOTO: Harley Davidson / Special to Niagara Falls Review

The Flying Saucer restaurant was the focus of a Facebook firestorm Thursday morning after a local woman shared the response to a negative review she left on the company’s Facebook page.

Last year, Niagara Falls woman Meliya Baker said she posted about her experience with the Lundy’s Lane restaurant, claiming she “ordered something for delivery, and got the wrong thing completely. When I called to tell them of the mistake, they were rude and hung up on me, two times.”

On Wednesday, she received a message from a Facebook user named Nicole Aleks calling her a “dumb ass” and asking to meet in person.

“My family happens to own this business and you are 100 percent offensive in your comments here to the public,” Aleks wrote. “How would you like it if someone posted things like this about your family’s business huh???”

Confused about the message, Baker asked “what on earth you are talking about,” to which Aleks replied: “Your beautiful comments about the Flying Saucer restaurant.”

During the exchange, Baker said she didn’t have time for “this petty silliness” because she was a mother of three, one with a disability.

“You have a mental disability,” Aleks responded, adding “what comes around goes around, I’m glad.

“Keep posting rude comments about other people and as far as I’m concerned you got what you deserved.”

Within moments of posting the exchange Wednesday, several of Baker’s friends replied with shock and anger. As of Thursday afternoon, the post had been shared nearly 2,500 times and had hundreds of responses, many vowing never to eat at the Flying Saucer again.

Baker deleted several responses, however, and added to her original post: “This is NOT anyone working at this establishment or the owners … this is a relative, that isn’t doing them any favours. My intention was not to ruin this business.”

Baker has since deleted the entire post, but tells The Review she insists on a public apology.

“My intentions were not to ruin their business, (I) just wanted this woman to ‘fess up and apologize.”

As of Friday, the Flying Saucer’s Facebook page was also inactive.

When contacted Thursday, Flying Saucer owner Lillian DiCienzo said she was not aware of the online drama unfolding about her business.

“I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about,” she said.

When asked about Nicole Aleks, however, she responded “that’s my daughter.”

DiCienzo and husband Henry built the unique, sci-fi themed restaurant in 1972. Its circular design and spacey decor makes it one of the most recognizable landmarks in the region.

In 2007, Review readers named it the Top Wonder in a Seven Wonders of Niagara Falls contest.

Henry DiCienzo died in November, 2012. His obituary says he was the “ever-loving father” of Nicole Aleksiejuk, who is also registered with the Ontario College of Teachers. Among her qualifications is Religious Education and Special Education.

Several responses to Baker’s post were outraged at the apparent mocking of a child with a disability.

“If I was the business owner I would be so angry and embarrassed that a family member did this,” wrote Becky Ferro. “So unprofessional.”

Others posted their own experiences with Nicole Aleks, including Erin Visentin who was told “if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all” after she posted about a poor experience last September.

Visentin said management was “rude” when she voiced her concerns, and was dismayed to see the online “harassment” Wednesday from someone claiming to be part of the family business.

“It’s creating a bad name for our restaurant industry, especially as a local hot spot that (has) been around and known for years.”

The Review sought comment from Aleksiejuk for this story. Instead, her husband Paul responded to insist the posts were “completely not true,” and said legal action would be pursued against people sharing them.

jlaw@postmedia.com

 



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