When I teach new mediators, we have a section on the causes of conflict. While there are many and many conflicts have more than one root cause, a breakdown in communication can play into many conflicts (and their escalation). One that is making the rounds is typical of many that end up in my office for mediation. It involves a dispute over a difference in the prices posted on a restaurant’s website and what the customer was actually charged. Details can be read here, but the interesting part is the series of emails that went back and forth between the parties (posted below). The customer, a Harvard business professor and attorney, is taking a lot of heat on the internet for how he handled this. Would you have handled it differently?