A family-owned convenience store business has fought back against a customer's negative review in the ultimate act of revenge.
The Friendly Grocer Nobby Beach, based on the Gold Coast Highway in Mermaid Beach, published CCTV footage of the encounter on YouTube. The footage shows a customer on her mobile phone tapping the plastic bag section while being served by the owner. An angry exchange takes place, leading to a negative review of the business on Google Maps.
"I just feel the review she's left is a lie," the store owner told news.com.au. "She said she hopes this business shuts down, that's ridiculous".
The incident happened at approximately midday on Wednesday and the family says a one-star review "can affect our livelihood". They've asked the Australian public to treat convenience store owners with respect.
"The shop is good but the new owner is horrible," the review begins. "I went there on my break to buy something for lunch and I was on the phone in a very important call, could not hang up to pay for my groceries." The reviewer only identifies themselves as "XXX".
"So I paid it while I was on the phone. The owner started to scream like a crazy saying that I was being rude, that I should hang up the phone. He even did not know if the phone call was urgent, if he paid attention to me, he would see that it was something serious, however he kept screaming!
"Unbelievable and disrespectful. I hope this place will shut down soon. Never will come back."
After seeing the review, an angry Alistair Grist, the son in the Grist family business, uploaded the footage and told news.com.au customers who use mobile phones while getting served need to be more aware of their surroundings.
"When my dad told me about it, I looked on the video because I know sometimes my dad can be a bit over the top when he explains a situation, but I checked the video and I thought, 'I'd do the same thing in that situation, I would pull someone up who was treating me like that'."
The CCTV footage shows an unidentified brunette woman, wearing a ponytail and a khaki coloured collared dress, in the store on her phone at the counter. She looks at Alistair's father, who was serving at the time, and gestures towards a credit card, with a smile. She goes back to her call while Alistair's father rings up the bill.
But it's when she taps the plastic bag holder, indicating she needs one, that Alistair's dad had had enough.
"She came to the counter on the phone already, we're quite used to it happening, it's normal to a degree, some people will stop talking on their phone before they get served but she just seemed to not be interested in conversing with my dad at all," Alistair said.
"She stayed on the phone the whole time and tapped the counter for a plastic bag.
"Dad was like, 'I'm happy to serve you if you're on an important phone call but if you start not taking the time to treat me with as bit of respect that's sort of crossing the line'."
There is no audio available on the footage and the identity of the woman is not known, but Alistair said he was positive it was the same woman that left the review.
"That's how I knew it was her, because she basically says what happened in the review.
"All Dad said was, 'I think you're being very rude, I don't appreciate it, and I'd prefer it if you got off your phone while you're being served'.
"It's clearly not the case even if you can see without audio.
"She basically said 'I'm on an important phone call and I cannot hang up', which is fair enough but have your phone call and then go shopping."
Alistair told news.com.au the store received a threatening phone call after the altercation from a man who said, "you've just lost 15 customers".
"They said they were going to tell all their friends and stuff because of the altercation."
The Friendly Grocer is relatively new in the neighbourhood. Alistair and his father took over the business, formerly an IGA, last November. The reviewer posted the review on the former Google Maps IGA business listing, which is still live - but the problem is Alistair has no right of reply because he is not the owner of the listing.
"That's not really fair because I don't have a say, I can't respond and it's going to be there forever.
"The only thing I can do to that comment is report it as inappropriate, but there's no foul language so Google probably isn't going to flag it as inappropriate.
A spokesperson from Google told news.com.au: "We're aware of an issue regarding a Google My Business listing and are currently investigating it."
But for Alistair, the issue isn't necessarily the phone, it's the lack of manners, which he says is getting worse day by day.
"I'm happy to serve someone that's on their phone, it's not something I do personally, I get off my phone when someone's serving me but I understand people do it and it's becoming more common.
"I feel that when you start treating the person that you're not even conversing with tapping on counter to do something for you, that's extremely rude."