Restaurant struggling due to misleading voicemail


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– A local restaurant missed out on holiday sales due to a voicemail claiming it would be closed until March.

The owner of Capital City BBQ normally looks forward to the holidays every year. But just a week before Christmas, someone sabotaged her business. She is still trying to pick up the pieces weeks later.

“I’m trying to survive,” says Linh Lee, who opened the restaurant in 2015. “I keep coming here every day, 12 hours, 13 hours per day.”

Lee wants nothing more than to feed people. It keeps her going.

Normally the phones would ring at the restaurant all day, but in mid-December she noticed things got quiet.

“We had [a] dial tone but we could not get incoming calls,” Lee said. “And I always assumed that the service provider [was] having issues.”

A customer called the number listed on the store banner but the store’s phone didn’t ring. After several rings, they heard the following voicemail:

“Happy holidays from Capital City Barbecue. Due to the holidays, we will be taking an extended leave until March 1st. We look forward to your business and seeing you after March 1st. Have a happy holidays. Thank you.”

Lee says her ex-boyfriend made this deceiving message, which has ultimately sabotaged her business. He worked with her at the restaurant and still had access to the phone number after they broke up earlier this year.

6 News attempted to reach out to Lee’s ex-boyfriend before airing this story– but we didn’t hear back.

Lee had no holiday break planned–and the voicemail is still there.

“Truly inside me, I don’t know how to fix that,” Lee says. “But I have to tell them we will fix that, and we will fix together.”
She got a new number for the store (517-721-1500), but the damage is done.

“The store is really slow, slow like never seen in my life,” Lee says. “It just takes so much away from me. It makes me [not] want to cook no more.”

In spite of it all, Lee plans to push forward and hopes to bounce back in the new year.

“I, truly, am not giving it up. I’m not giving up.”

Lee says she’s incredibly grateful for the community support that she’s gotten so far. And she looks forward to continuing to serve people in 2020. She says she has reached out to local authorities and she’s working to get the new number posted on all social media sites and on the restaurant itself.

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