Thursday, March 7, 2019

Yelp, Is it a real review site?

Getting to the Bottom of Yelp Reviews

With more than 10 years in business we have had the pleasure of providing parts and service to thousands of customers and received excellent reviews from our customer base. While we really try to go above and beyond for all customers, we have received 1 bad Yelp review and for some reason is the only one that is showing. In fact this one bad review is misleading to the public and unfortunately is the only one showing to future prospects. Not good!

We were contacted in October of 2018 by a Yelp advertising member asking us to be part of their advertising program, and they were relentless in trying to persuade us of the benefits of advertising on Yelp. We truly just didn't see the benefit of their platform vs engaging with our customer base on social media platforms and declined their proposal. Next thing you know, ALL of our positive reviews are gone, and only the negative review remains. We have contacted Yelp about this, and they were simply and utterly rude and disrespectful showing no type of professionalism, patronizing the owner of LCR, acting extremely childish.

Upon further investigation, we found we were not alone in businesses who have declined Yelp's advertising program and then had all positive reviews removed. Seems the FTC has been involved, the CA Attorney General as well but for some reason to no prevail..

As quoted from Wikipedia under the "Billion Dollar Bully" listing that is directed towards Yelp:
" 2014 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that businesses do not have a pre-existing right to have positive reviews, and that "threatening economic harm to induce a person to pay" therefore was not extortion under California law. In its primary ruling, the court held that, "We conclude, first, that Yelp’s manipulation of user reviews was not wrongful use of economic fear, and, second, that the business owners pled insufficient facts to make out a plausible claim that Yelp authored negative reviews of their businesses."

CA courts decided threatening economic harm to induce a person (business) to pay was not extortion... REALLY? It seems that is the very definition of extortion..

Just in case anyone else would like to read more cases of business owners experiencing this same thing, we thought we'd make it easy for you and compile a series of links discussing these practices.

So, we leave you with the question.. Is Yelp a real review site or do they in fact manipulate reviews in order to cause economic damages to businesses who refuse to pay for their services?


Last fact to note but definitely not least, one of Yelp's largest investors says their patience has "worn out" and urges corporate management changes or to sell the company: