David Segal’s pro­file of an unscrupu­lous online oper­a­tor in the New York Times is the most fun story I’ve read in a long time. Deeper impli­ca­tions aside, how can a story with lines like this one not be fun?

Do you think I would think twice about uri­nat­ing all over your frame and then return­ing it? Com­mon.” [NYT]

The vil­lain of the piece is Vitaly Borker (“thug­gish Rus­sia born Brook­lynite”) who runs his online oper­a­tion in a man­ner fami­lar to any­one that has shopped for gro­ceries in India. It is a hilar­i­ous read that leaves you feel­ing slightly queasy at the end.

The cus­tomer is always right — not here, you under­stand?” he says, rais­ing his voice. “I hate that phrase — the cus­tomer is always right. Why is the mer­chant always wrong? Can the cus­tomer ever be wrong? Is that not possible?”


The next day, a man named Tony Russo called to say that DecorMyEyes had run out of the Ciba Visions. Pick another brand, he advised a lit­tle brusquely.

I told him that I didn’t want another brand,” recalls Ms. Rodriguez, who lives in the Chelsea neigh­bor­hood of Man­hat­tan. “And I asked for a refund. He got rude, really obnox­ious. ‘What’s the big deal? Choose another brand!’ ”

With the con­tacts issue unre­solved, her eye­glasses arrived two days later. But the frames appeared to be coun­ter­feits and Ms. Rodriguez, a life­long fan of Lafont, remem­bers that even the case seemed fake.

Soon after, she dis­cov­ered that DecorMyEyes had charged her $487 — or an extra $125. When she and Mr. Russo spoke again, she asked about the over­charge and said she would return the frames.

What the hell am I sup­posed to do with these glasses?” she recalls Mr. Russo shout­ing. “I ordered them from France specif­i­cally for you!”

I’m going to con­tact my credit card com­pany,” she told him, “and dis­pute the charge.”

Until that moment, Mr. Russo was merely ornery. Now he erupted.

Lis­ten, bitch,” he fumed, accord­ing to Ms. Rodriguez. “I know your address. I’m one bridge over” — a ref­er­ence, it turned out, to the company’s office in Brook­lyn. Then, she said, he threat­ened to find her and com­mit an act of sex­ual vio­lence too graphic to describe in a news­pa­per. [NYT]