Ben Edelman, Harvard Professor, Apologizes For Rant Directed At Chinese Restaurant Owner

Ben Edelman has offered his sincerest apologies after “flipping out” at a Chinese restaurant owner over the weekend. The recently published e-mail exchange in which Harvard professor Edelman went on a tirade directed at restaurant owner Ran Duan was all due to his being overcharged by $4 for his order.

Edelman was ready to right the restaurant’s wrong for “the greater good” as he termed it. gave the unnecessary written condemnation international attention by publishing the email exchange between Edelman and Ran Duan of the Sichuan Garden and the Baldwin Bar.

In this exchange, Edelman, a professor of the Harvard elite school of business, demanded a $12 refund, citing the “Massachusetts consumer protection statute, MGL93a, wherein consumers broadly receive triple damages for certain intentional violations.” Edelman, as Inquisitr indicated recently, had only been overcharged by $4, yet he deemed this infraction worthy of triple the amount of compensation by citing the statute.

The Washington Post quoted Edelman’s words from the email in which he stated that it is “a serious violation to advertise one price and charge a different price,” and continued to note that he had appealed his case “to applicable authorities.”

Edelman has clearly had a change of heart or perhaps he was set straight by associates and the public sneers directed his way after his unnecessary rant went viral this past Tuesday. On his own website yesterday, as the Boston Globe indicates, Edelman posted an apology in which he demonstrates remorse for the needless exchange.

“Having reflected on my interaction… 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.”

The 34-year-old professor “who has been called the ‘Sheriff of the Internet’ for his militant policing of companies who commit online consumer fraud” has a long list of academic successes. He has been on the faculty of Harvard since his mid-20s and has raised disputes against Facebook and Google over issues of online privacy.

Benjamin Edelman was clearly acting from his own natural tendency to eliminate fraud from all avenues of consumerism in his exchange with Duan, yet it is also quite evident that he has come to see that he must choose his battles more carefully.

[Feature image courtesy of Boston Globe]