Hell hath no fury like a brownstoner scorned.
An online lynch mob is forming around a longtime Park Slope kitchen and bath supplier who allegedly rubbed (robbed?) a vocal segment of Brooklyn residents the wrong way.
In an epic-length post on Brownstoner, a very unhappy customer minces no words about Brian Ackerman, the proprietor of Brooklyn Kitchens and Baths:
“In the past it appears he has used deposits received from new customers to satisfy the orders for prior customers. There’s a phrase for that--it’s called a Ponzi scheme. And as we know, when the money stops coming in, the scheme collapses. With the recent downturn in the economy, the money stopped coming in.
[…] Today I attended a meeting in the office of a Manhattan law firm with the attorneys of a number of defrauded clients. The attorneys will be meeting with the Attorney General in the next couple of weeks. The objective will be to press criminal charges against Mr. Ackerman, not just civil charges.”
The commenter, who uses his full name and describes his own “close call” with the apparently defunct kitchen and bath store, implored other victims to help build the case against the store’s owner.
He also referred readers to Whybrooklynkitchens.com, a "grudge site" he started to warn other customers. One page consists solely of nightmare testimonials drawn from unhappy renovators.
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The store’s own website, meanwhile, appears to have gone dark: In its place is a collection of unrelated links anchored by an erotic photo.
Meanwhile, the GoogleMaps listing for Brooklyn Kitchens and Baths serves up a festering assortment of angry customer reviews. So does Citysearch.
(On Yelp.com, a lone reviewer praises the company for coming through on a countertop. The reviewer, whose Yelp ID places him/her in San Francisco, roughly 3,000 miles from Park Slope, distinguishes his/her experience from “those terrible reviews below.” Oddly, those reviews seem to have gone the way of some customers’ money: Poof!)
We think everyone who has ever been fleeced by a contractor or supplier will appreciate this story of a community rising up in arms. Brooklyn, and particularly the Park Slope area, has a strong community identity, and this is a good example of the power that comes along with that.
We hope more Manhattan neighborhoods will take a cue from Park Slope in leveraging their collective voice to stop unscrupuous businesses.