When does a private business have the right to refuse business and where is that fine line drawn and how far can it be drawn out? Any private business has the right to refuse service to anyone who has proven themselves to be a disruptive entity. The nasty drunk who constantly harasses customers, the customer who sneaks out without paying, the customer who preys upon others for a free drink or a hand- out, the male who hits on single female customers, the one who promises to come back and pay but never does. They are legion and lessons are hard-earned and learned in many aspects of business.
It's certainly no secret that for several years now I've been most outspoken about Jeffrey Prosser's Virgin Islands media monopoly. His takeover of Cable TV, Daily News, Island Trader, telephone company, etc., were takeovers which I always felt were unproductive to the community.
And the Public Services Commission is now under fire for apparently secretly allowing VITELCO's assets to be used as guarantee for Jeffrey Prosser's bankruptcy melee when Holland Redfield as Innovative counsel, just a few months ago, assured the community that Vitelco/Innovative Telephone would never be involved in any of Prosser's dealings. Voila!
Over a year ago, I questioned the Island Trader's new billing policies and I have a whole file of letters relating to that subject. Simply by questioning the billing policies, I was dubbed as anaethma and personae non grata. I owed them no money but any mention of my business has been totally banned from any sort of advertising, as was again evidenced yesterday.
Every few months I host a Community Yard Sale at my place. No fee for sellers, just a good day for sellers and I might make a few dollars at the bar, while anything left over at the end of the day is donated to the Humane Society of St. Thomas. A friend of mine just went to put in the ad to the Island Trader (on HER account) and was nicely told that the ad wouldn't be accepted because it mentioned The Toad and Tart, and the Daily News/Trader wouldn't accept ads mentioning same.
Does any of this make sense? Not to me. I have no legal recourse because any business, as any other, is entitled to refuse business from anyone and I understand the legalities involved. But what severely irks me is that this is a community affair and has very little benefit to me; it simply gives back to the community.
The Prosser Empire prevails for now but us small people will eventually prevail! J. Lowe Davis should be truly ashamed of herself in dunning me so badly, especially after I housed her after hurricane Marilyn on STT.
Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to email@example.com.