Unless you went to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, you’ve probably never heard of Suburban Express. It’s a fairly typical bus line that largely caters to college students looking to spend a weekend at home. It is also owned by a man, Dennis Toeppen, who hates the UIUC subreddit. A lot. Meet the company that’s trying to make Reddit stop saying bad things about it, and damn the torpedoes.
At issue is the fact that commenters on the UIUC subreddit dislike Suburban Express. We’d offer more detail, but that’s pretty much it. Toeppen seems to take every single complaint personally, which is the best explanation for his being disgruntled.
Looking at the facts, it would seem that customers in general are less than happy with the company. The Yelp page for the business is… less than glowing. In addition, Suburban Express has recently become rather prone to filing lawsuits against its customers, and the company tends to be rather hostile towards customers they don’t like or who criticize their employees. Note that most of the Yelp reviews feature customers mentioning they’ve been banned from the service for giving it a negative review.
So, naturally, it went to Reddit, where it got to the point where the moderator of the subreddit was sued, and although that suit was dropped, yet another one is apparently in the works. If suing Reddit weren’t enough to draw the Internet’s ire, there are accusations that Toeppen has started over 100 dummy accounts on Reddit specifically to troll the moderator and for a brief period of time, the Suburban Express site was claiming to be tracking IP addresses and URLs.
It’s bizarre not least because Toeppen hasn’t really achieved much beyond angering students and causing the UIUC subreddit to put up a warning banner. In the end, the moral of the story is really this: Suing the Internet for talking about you is probably not a good idea.
Bus crash image courtesy sixintheworld on Flickr