City Paper is not for tourists
Bonnie Roskes’ publisher usually takes care of shipping the software books she writes, but sometimes she has to ship them herself. When she does, she often goes to the post office. Occasionally, she goes to Parcel Plus in Cleveland Park.
Parcel Plus isn’t Roskes’ favorite place. She thinks the owner is rude and the prices are high. She even said so in a March 2006 post on the Cleveland Park listserv.
But on Nov. 9, Roskes had a packed schedule, so she went to Parcel Plus, which is close to her home. As procedure dictates, she filled out forms with her name and address and handed them to an employee. “The guy typed my name into the computer and said, ‘Oh, you can’t ship here.’” Confused, she asked why, but the employee told her to contact the owner.
The next day, Roskes did exactly that. She assumed there was a glitch in the system. There wasn’t. The owner explained that because of Roskes’ listserv post, she had been banned from the store.
“My view was she had gone out of the way to damage my business in a public forum,” franchise owner Mike Finley says. “So I just basically told her she should take her business somewhere else.”
Roskes went home and fired off another angry e-mail to the listserv informing her neighbors about the blacklisting. Several of them wrote back pledging to boycott the store. “Obviously, I’ll never go back there,” Roskes says.