The Foodiegeddon 2010: Look Out, Yelper Skelter News Desk--which earlier whipped out hard-hitting posts on allegations in a Long Beach animal hospital's federal class action complaint against online-review site Yelp being eerily similar to accusations out of Oakland, and damning declarations from Team Doggie Doctor's Miami attorney--unleashes its third explosive revelation of the day:
The doctor at the center of the case is busy seeing patients all day and will have no comment.
Instead, your intrepid reporter and dine-and-dasher was told by super nice receptionist Michelle to phone Dr. Gregory Perrault's attorney, Elizabeth Beck, in the 305 area code, wherever the hell that is.
Pressed long and hard for comment on whether Perrault--Michelle's boss--or she herself has received much feedback or many phone calls today regarding the case, Michelle gave this telling answer:
"Not that I've been dealing with, no."
What the hell are you hiding, sister?
The set up: Perrault, who runs the Cats & Dogs Animal Hospital on Redondo Avenue, claims in the federal complaint that he received "frequent, high-pressure calls from Yelp advertising employees" after he tried to get the company to remove an outdated review.
The dog whisperer's bone of contention was not the hospital's four-star rating from Yelp users, but an excerpt from a review that states, "most inept/rude veterinarian I have ever met" whenever anyone does an online search.
Perrault's complaint alleges that he was told that for a yearly advertising commitment totaling $3,600, Yelp would push negative reviews to the bottom of its listing and make sure they don't get indexed by Google. Perrault refused and instead filed his complaint alleging extortion.
Gawker.com has the complaint.
Vince Sollitto, Yelp's vice president of communications, would not comment but provided this statement to the New York Times: "Yelp provides a valuable service to millions of consumers and businesses based on our trusted content. The allegations are demonstrably false, since many businesses that advertise on Yelp have both negative and positive reviews. These businesses realize that both kinds of feedback provide authenticity and value. Running a good business is hard; filing a lawsuit is easy. While we haven't seen the suit in question, we will dispute it aggressively."
So, who is this vet with the loyal fan base but stink-eyed, reappearing Yelp review?
Shut out over the phone, the Foodiegeddon 2010: Look Out, Yelper Skelter News Desk went somewhere no one would expect for answers: the Cats & Dogs Animal Hospital website.
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It states that Perrault attended Michigan State University as an undergraduate majoring in microbiology and public health and received his bachelor's degree in Veterinary Science. He received his doctorate from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1992.
A member of the American Veterinary Association, the California Veterinary Association, the Southern California Veterinary Association, the Association of Avian Veterinarians and the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians, Perrault donates his time away from the hospital as a commissioner on the Board of Health and Human Services of Long Beach.
He also writes a monthly article for the Grunion Gazette and provides first aid for many of Justin Rudd's events, such as the Halloween parade. Perrault lives downtown with his English Mastiff, Hamster, and his Chihuahua, Alejandro.
Whatever you think of him and his complaint, know this: the Foodiegeddon 2010: Look Out, Yelper Skelter News Desk can report without reservation that he hired a sweet-voiced receptionist.