YELP ATTACKS THE PRODUCER OF BILLION DOLLAR BULLY

Producer Kylie Milliken is currently in production on documentary Billion Dollar Bully which is an  investigative documentary about Yelp that examines the claims by business owners of extortion, review manipulation and review fabrication.

Yelp, who is notoriously defensive, is not happy and has fired back in an unusual way.  Shannon Eis, vice president of corporate communications, went on CNBC’s “Fast Money,” where she went head to head with Milliken.  She revealed that she had several sock puppet accounts that she used to review her husband.   As you can see, they actually released a screen shot revealing her username, something they claim they don’t do as well as her husbands business name.   After looking at their privacy policy, turns out they are within their right to do this, because if you join Yelp you have no privacy.  They can do what they want with all of your information including giving it to 3rd parties and in this case use it to retaliate by releasing it to the public.

For a company who is trying to defend being called “mob like” and “Bullies” it is very surprising to see their reaction here.  What Yelp is telling people is that as long as you don’t upset them, you have nothing to worry about.  And its  telling us that they must be worried, otherwise why react at all.

The truth is I have more than one account.  If they looked at my IP they would see quite a bit.  Some are clients whose accounts I have created and claimed for them which is not against policy.  And some are accounts I set up to test out accounts I feel are blacklisted.

And I have a couple I have used for damage control.   I don’t feel bad about that at all.  When you have a website that is misleading your customers due to an admittedly imperfect filter system, we need to offset that damage.  If  Yelp removes valid reviews leaving up one fake negative one,  I personally feel a business has every right to do what they must to manage their reputation the way they see fit.

Notice how defensive Jeremy Stoppleman is when he feels anyone says anything incorrect? In fact Ms. Eis said they are responding to make sure that the facts are made clear.  Yet they tell businesses, so sorry, we realize our imperfect system has made you look bad, just focus on good customer service and move on.  And if you try to defend yourself in anyway, expect to be attacked.

Shannon Eis also accused her of ignoring all of the evidence that, according to Yelp, has long since discredited allegations of extortion, including a Harvard Business School study, a Federal Trade Commission investigation and numerous court cases in which federal judges found no evidence of wrongdoing.

First. The Harvard paper cannot be taken seriously.

One important fact that is left out is that Jeremy Stoppleman is a Harvard man.  If someone else from an entirely unrelated school writes a paper I might be more likely to trust it.

The Harvard Paper points out the power of a one star rating drop and also states that Elite reviewers are more trusted and are recognized as more reliable.  My previous post shows evidence that Elite are certainly NOT reliable and in fact can be quite damaging.

But if you combine the facts from the Harvard Paper and that of a Nielson Report you actually can see Yelps whole strategy.  The Nielson Report that was released prior to that which revealed “people are more than likely will leave a negative review than a positive one”.

So if businesses encourage satisfied customers to post positive reviews, the need to market their business via more traditional methods (advertising!) is reduced.  This explains why Yelp has to control businesses so much.

The FTC issue is also not to be taken seriously.  They have historically made mistakes and bad decisions or rulings.  The FTC ruling relating to Amway in the 70’s facilitated product based pyramid schemes.

They area also know to catch on slowly, and as CSPAN said “3 years too late”.  The FTC took forever to finally address all the complaints about DIRECTTV’s hidden charges. And they made numerous mistakes in regards to the Google complaints.

Even the FTC Chairman admits they aren’t perfect, “We’re not a regulatory agency. We’re an enforcement and policy agency, so it’s harder for us to set up rules in advance, so…you’re right…it’s a tricky question…responding to how do we make things better going forward as opposed to correcting mistakes a few years ago…we try our best using the tools that we have”.

And regarding the court cases, Yelp fails to disclose the whole story on some of these.

Yelp actually lost one case and was order to pay the plaintiff,  but then later after an appeal the judge dismissed the case.  Not because Yelp was right (in fact the Judge agreed they were like the Mafia) but because the terms say that you have to go through an arbitrator before court.  So the plaintiff simply made an error in how the case was handled.  The judge initially ruled against Yelp.

Yelp also was sued by a group of its own shareholders. They  filed a class action lawsuit against the company alleging that the Yelp executives sold of more than $81 million in “artificially inflated stock” while deceiving shareholders.

I for one am more than a little interested to see this film.  Anyone who has followed me over the years knows I have heavily disagreed with Yelp as I have witnessed the damage first hand.  It is frustrating to see Yelp dump huge amounts of money into legal fees and creating systems that hurt businesses rather than simply making some changes to the User Operations department so they can fix the issues they know the filter creates.  The problem is that it is hard to get review issues fixed even if it violates policy.  They don’t fix the issues they know exist.

They have an  imperfect computer system that they have had to spend a lot of money defending, that is responsible for our economy and our communities.

If they truly care about businesses like they say they do, they would find a way to integrate  a better system to offset that damage rather than fight against it.

My follow up articles on YELP:

 

YELP EXPERIMENT – IF YELP WAS IN THE REAL WORLD

This video attempts to demonstrate how harmful the Yelp business model is by showing what it looks like in real life at an actual business.   This is no different then what they are doing online. If this isn’t ok in real life, then why is yelp allowed to do this online?

 

Why yelp sucks – Yelp survival guide

I continually update this article based on new information. Check back or leave a comment to share your story.  UPDATED 1/30/2013

LIKE me on Facebook for more YELP tips and news and to get notified when I update this or post more articles:

WHY YELP SUCKS

I used to be a die hard Yelper. I was one of the people who jumped aboard early, and was quickly on my way to being a Yelp elite.

So why am I now anti-yelp?

This article lists all the reasons as well as gives you insight as to the problems and what you can do to protect yourself because the way YELP is set up now, it is damaging to businesses and people’s reputations.  Yelp has made the system impossible for businesses.   Bad reviews are bad for your business which is good for YELP.  This article goes into why.

The FILTER

The “Review Filter”.   The dreaded filter, that Yelp defends.   Reviews that reflect perfectly legitimate experiences getting filtered out by the “review filter’s algorithmic processes”.

This means as a reviewer you could write hundreds of reviews, and suddenly they are no longer showing because the filter decided, for whatever reason, you are no longer review worthy.

As a business you could suddenly be cheated out of your positive reviews,  leaving only negative ones or none at all.

As a YELPER you often don’t know you have been filtered because when you are logged in, you can see your reviews fine.  But log out and look at check and you may be surprised to find out that your reviews are not showing.  NO ONE but you is reading your reviews.   For those who haven’t figured it out, they continue to make reviews like jerks, thinking people can see it but lo and behold you are only talking to yourself!

This is what happened to me.  For no reason I could see, my reviews were not showing anymore.  It made the whole process of reviewing seemed pointless from then on out.

Yelp CEO, Jeremy Stoppelman, insists that it’s automated system filters out untrustworthy reviews (there’s a program that can determine that?).  But many find that this system is inconsistent.

I contacted YELP and also my local rep EMI about how I was being filtered.  How can I continue to promote YELP as a positive tool for businesses in my workshops if I can’t use my own account as an example?

I prepared for battle.  But when Emi contacted me, I was very annoyed at myself because I liked her.  I didn’t want to.  But it is hard not to.  She is beautiful, charming, talented…all the things Yelp looks for in a leader.  What is worse is I think she genuinely believes YELP is wonderful.  She defended YELP  not really addressing my concerns directly or about YELPS legal predicaments and seemed unconcerned that I was threatening to UN recommend YELP to the thousands of businesses I had previously convinced to join YELP in the first place.

You can hardly blame her, she has spent years building up her ELITE status and gets to go to all the parties.  Its pretty hard to see the truth, when you are basking in the YELP benefits.

At the end of the day, nothing happened, my complaints were for nothing just like my reviews.  But after that day my business listing could no longer be found in YELP searches.  It is still there….but only if you have a direct link.   And my positive reviews are all……well…..GONE.

Touche Yelp.  Touche.

SO what does YELP say about the filter problem?

“We agree this can be frustrating”.

Yep. Frustrating not only as the Yelper but the business, who suddenly and conveniently has their legitimate reviews filtered, just to be left with the negative ones, often by people who are competitors, or out to intentionally discredit your business.

But Yelp has the answer for you!

You can claim your listing as a business, and add your own information and images.  Of course, during the sign up process you are offered to create deals and advertise which allows you to control your account and in a sense, your reviews.  Businesses desperate to repair the damage these negative reviews are doing, often give in and pay for these upgrades and advertising.

As seen in this recent report,  advertising and deals is vital to YELP’s bottom line.

Yelp now denies that upgrading your account allows you to control your reviews, but upgrading your account does allow alter how listings appear on your page. (this has yet again changed, as time has gone by they have had to concede to public complaints)

Cats & Dogs owner Greg Perrault claims that Yelp offered to hide negative reviews if he advertised with them. He decided to not advertise with the company and a week later negative reviews that had disappeared mysteriously reappeared.

Yelp denies that they every offered to hide negative reviews because they got in trouble for it, but Currently Yelp is involved in a class action suit for extortion.  Those who have initiated the law suit have claimed they were told if they paid, that Yelp would remove their negative reviews.  Yelp did offer this at one time, and have since changed this service.  They now offer you the ability to control the reviews by featuring them or changing the order. (this has also recently changed)

Reports are still being made by companies who get calls from Yelp sales and imply that their reviews will be fixed or improve if they pay for advertising.  If you read the comments in this article you will see several people say that they received these calls and a couple of people who actually bought advertising and the agent restored their filtered positive reviews.

WHY YELP doesn’t want you to encourage people to write reviews.

Recently Harvard Business School assistant professor Michael Luca release this report that has some very interesting facts.  One I found particularly interesting was where he refers to Bayesian learning. He confirms through this model, that people are more influenced by Elite reviewers and he also find how significant a 1 star rating drop is.

A 2010 Nielson Report shows the huge influence reviews have on consumers.  They also said

“People are more likely to leave negative reviews than positive.”

In fact specifically 41%  were more likely to share a negative review online than a positive one.  So if businesses encourage satisfied customers to post positive reviews, the need to market their business via more traditional methods (advertising!) is reduced.

So with these facts we can run a scenario:

There is an open review site with no one controlling it.  Since we know Negative reviews would outweigh positives (based on statistics) a businesses would need to encourage satisfied customers to leave positive ones just to keep things balanced.

With balanced reviews, why would anyone need to advertise?

YELP knows this.

So YELP encourages mass reviewing to give their advertising dollar value.  They cultivate Elite who support advertisers, and let the negative review statistics work its magic and then by controlling the businesses from preventing them from any kind of balance on the review system, they are able to spin things in their favor for advertising and deal revenue.

If a business complains about their unfair reviews or tries to do anything to attempt to encourage customers to leave good reviews,  YELP will encourage the business to claim their listing (which promotes check in offers, advertising, and deals, all things that YELP benefits from) and here is my favorite…..”the best way to succeed on Yelp is by focusing on great customer service“.

Great customer service is commonly achieved by surveying customers and asking them for feedback.  This includes reviews!

But really, it annoys me to no end that YELP is telling us how to succeed.  As if somehow the fact that we are unhappy with our reviews means that we are lacking customer service skills.  Our issue is fairness and balance.  I think most businesses agree, they are fine with constructive negative reviews.

“Telling people this is all they need to do and the rest will take care of itself, is frankly, dangerous business advice.  I’m not sure if it was Google who started that lie or someone else, but it time for it to die a painful death.  It doesn’t matter how great your restaurant is or how awesome the experience you’re creating – if you don’t encourage people to SHARE the experience, if you don’t TELL them to share it, they very often won’t.”

Also inviting someone to try your business and leave a review (any review)  is not the same as asking for a good review…if you are willing to take the good with the bad, what is wrong with that??

My issues with The ELITE Squad

The ELITE squad.  These are Yelpers who have achieved ELITE status and whose reviews cannot be filtered.

There are ads on Craigslist from businesses offering to pay for reviews and even ads from the ELITE themselves who are offering to write reviews for your business….for a price.

Elites are not allowed to be business owners.  Why?  Because YELP knows that people who don’t own businesses can’t relate or care how damaging bad reviews are.  YELP also does not want businesses to have any control or understanding of the inner workings of YELP.

This blogger does a great job at explaining how it used to be before reviews sites, that when someone was upset they came to your face and told you so and you could offer to make it right and all was well.

Studies I reference earlier show how Elite impact a consumer’s decision to buy.  The Elite are the true driving force behind the Yelp empire.  And they are carefully programmed and cultivated to follow that program which supports advertisers.

Yelp is hypocritical

  • Yelp tells business to NOT encourage reviews.  You are allowed to place one of their authorized YELP stickers on your business window, but they do not want you asking for customers to leave reviews or offer any kind of freebies or incentives as thank yous for reviews.  Recently I got a popup asking for me to review the YELP app.  I thought that was quote funny because YELP is a business…..and they are asking for a review….on their own site that tells me I am not allowed to?
  • Businesses are discouraged from trading services for reviews.  YELP does not condone this and its a violation of their policy.  HOWEVER,  Businesses sponsor YELP Elite parties where everything is FREE and the Elite review the business.  Obviously the only reason the business does this is to get reviews.  So isn’t that considered trading services for reviews?
  • Yelp’s terms of service say  that as a reviewer you are liable for your Content. If it contains material that is “false, intentionally misleading, or defamatory; violates any third-party right, including any copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, moral right, privacy right, right of publicity, or any other intellectual property or proprietary right”.  But if you complain to YELP about a review that is false the often don’t remove it and wont provide assistance in identifying the reviewer, so how can anyone hold a review liable?

And they continue to find more ways to destroy your business

Businesses seeing the impact of  bad reviews on their business, have become desperate.

As I mentioned earlier, it is not a balanced system and businesses have been trying anything they can do to get a fair balanced profile for their business online.  And Yelp continues to cut businesses off at the knees by changing the system to prevent this from happening.

So it comes as no surprise when ABC recently reported that Yelp is now playing private detective to find businesses paying for reviews and outing them publicly.  By using a computer filter (yes , they are trusting your image to yet another computer filter!!)  they are uncovering companies that purchase fake positive reviews,  then showing the world its evidence.  (full article here)

Yelp now found a way to scare businesses from planting or paying for reviews.

“One jewelry store was paying someone $200 [to write a positive review],” said Vince Sollitto, Yelp’s vice president of corporate communications. “It kind of shows that this is an ongoing cat-and-mouse game. People are always going to try to game the system.”

The computer filter that Yelp uses is so top secret the company will not talk about it for fear of giving away too many clues to businesses looking to post phony reviews.

“This is not acceptable behavior,” Sollitto said. “Frankly, it’s not just unethical, but it’s probably illegal. And we think we need to let business owners know you can’t go out there and try to mislead your consumers.”

Who gave YELP the right to police your business and report to your customers?  They are not trained, approved government or state run organizations without agendas.  This is a business, making money on this system and even worse, they are trusting these decisions to filters that they admit aren’t perfect.  They create an unfair environment then call out people for trying to avoid the damage it creates.

He says there are a couple of ways to help spot the real reviews from the fake. Truthful reviews talk about physical space and use specific details like “floor” and “small,” while fake reviewers tend to talk about themselves and their companions more than the actual business. Words like “husband” can be red flags.

Really?  This makes NO sense to me whatsover.  Most reviews I read and write all discuss who we were with and what they did.  “I want with my husband to so and so, or my mother had the hamburger and I had the steak”.  Yet this is a red flag?

Below is an example of what will popup on businesses who are caught.  Doesn’t the wording on this just seem immature and unprofessional?

This article that goes more into the  companies who were busted.

courtesy searchengineland.com

 

Competitors can manipulate reviews to their advantage

Black Hat SEO people know how to manipulate the YELP reviews to benefit their clients in both Yelp and SEO and YELP is doing nothing about it.

Say their client is XYZ so they go to the competitors of XYZ and plant a negative review.   They say something like “this person did a terrible job so I went to XYZ of XYZ company and they helped fix my issue”.

Then they go to their client’s page and say “Bob Smith of Bob Smiths Designs LLC did a terrible job so I went to XYZ and they fixed it”

What this does is manipulate the searches for both YELP and google, so when people search for Bob Smith, lo and behold XYZ comes up first in the YELP search. And if someone searches BOB Smith on google, XYZs yelp page comes up showing the negative comment.

How do you make it so that your competitors name doesn’t show on your yelp page?  You guessed it.  Advertising!

This is a big problem and Yelp needs to make a rule to prevent people from mentioning competitors in their reviews.  Since we can’t control the YELP rankings its impossible for us to do anything about it.

YELP tips

For me, all this is just too much.  As for someone who advises clients on ways to leverage their business online, I no longer felt right supporting YELP and I have since made sure to provide information to them, and of course warn them.

Unfortunately because YELP can affect your business,  Yelp isn’t just an option  you can ignore — it’s a necessity at the very least to control damage reviews can do to your business.

So if your business is local, you need to curate  and carefully monitor your Yelp page.

If your business has been around long, you probably already have a page; you’re just not holding the reins yet. You’ll want to step in and take control of it as soon as possible to prevent any negative word of mouth from hindering your growth and success.

Claiming or creating your Yelp business page is easy; just fill out a couple of online forms and answer a quick, automated phone call. It takes less than five minutes. Once you’re signed up, you’ll have access to tools.  Add a photo, your link, some information about your business, a special, whatever you want.  The important thing is that you control your listing.  Anyone can add a business to YELP and you don’t want a listing that has negative or incorrect information.

You also will be able to respond directly (Privately or publicly) to any reviews that may already be on your page.  I advocate responding publicly, in a positive and helpful manner to any negative reviews.

You can also report any reviews you think are in violation of the review policy or that you suspect could be planted.

After you have your business account under control, you can make the choice how involved you want to be with the YELP community.  I personally have boycotted any further activity until they make some serious changes to their business practices, and get rid of that dreaded CENSOR, I mean REVIEW FILTER.

But that is just me.

Like me on Facebook for more updates on YELP and other things to watch for online!

 

My follow up articles on YELP:

http://www.bosshi.com/more-on-why-yelp-sucks/

 

FOR A STEP  BY STEP  go here: tips from mashable

Great links that tell the truth about YELP:

YELP Sucks 3 – Now they lock your business name

So if you  haven’t already read my other posts from my YELP SUCKS series I suggest you check them out as they go into pretty much everything people complain about on YELP.

This post is about the latest issue I was told about.  I just got done checking it out and wow, it is really bad.

SO as most of you know, YELP encourages your business to claim your business listing so you can make sure your information is correct, monitor traffic and respond to reviews.

A client of mine went to change her business address to the new address and decided to change the name to something that didn’t contain similar search term as her competitor.    She actually legally changed her business name because of YELP.  The reason why is because when you Google her name, her Yelp business listing shows up but so does her competitor, right underneath.  And she has 1 less star than her competitor.  This started to happen when her competitor starting advertising on YELP.  She had hoped that if she changed her business name to remove the similar keywords, this would fix this issue.  (incidentally I tested this, and it doesn’t which I will go into later)

After about a week she noticed her info was all changed back and this time she had little LOCKS on the top of the fields and is no longer allowed to edit her own business listing!

SO now she has a listing with the wrong address and business name and they wont let her change it.

So I realized why they are doing this.

Businesses who do not want to be on YELP figured out by changing the name and info, they would no longer be found on YELP.  This is YELPs way of forcing you to keep your listing.

Problem is, that much like their auto filter, the good guys get caught in this.  And once again, it conveniently lends to benefiting advertising and here is how.

I started to notice that when a competitor advertises, their glowing listing with 5 stars shows in searches right along side their competitors who often don’t have as good as a rating review on YELP.   When you advertise, YELP will make it so your competitors no longer show on your YELP page.  And they optimize it so google will index the advertisers YELP page (your competitor) right next to you.

YELP benefits from this in 2 ways.

THE Advertiser is happy because they see their 5 star review next to  your 4 star in Google and will most likely get the business as those will think they are better.

And you the person who looks bad will be pressured into advertising so your competitor will be removed from your YELP page, and you will hopefully get your positives unfiltered so you get the 5 start pretty Google search result too.

And once again, the benefit comes at your expense.  You either lose business from looking bad, or have to pay them to fix it.

Sounds to me like YELP is still in the business of extortion, they are just finding less obvious ways to go about it since they keep getting busted on it.

Once again, you have to speak out about this. HERE is a great page on all the things you need to do.

 

 

More on why Yelp Sucks

This is part two of my original post WHY YELP SUCKS.

By the way, I totally predicted this.

Yelp sent a message out warning businesses about reputation management companies.  To me, they are  trying to put a stop at people’s only line of defense against YELP which is reputation management efforts.  What do you think? Is it legitimate concern, or another attempt to prevent businesses from doing damage control?

The message:

We’ve recently seen an uptick in reports about “reputation management” companies that claim to work with Yelp to remove your negative reviews or otherwise boost your ratings… for a fee (of course!). If you’re wondering how these companies can make good on this offer, the answer is simple: They can’t. There’s never been any amount of money one can pay — to Yelp or any third party — to manipulate reviews.

If you’ve been contacted by someone offering something along these lines, we’d love to get the details so we can prevent them from preying on others. Please use this form to loop us in. For general questions, contact our user support team at www.yelp.com/contact.

Finally, as we’ve said in the past, the best strategy for reputation management is to provide great customer service, and respond diplomatically to your reviewers.

To me this message is under the guise of trying to help you, by discrediting reputation management companies so you wont use them.  Granted there might be a few of these businesses making false promises, much like fixing a credit report.  People cannot promise to remove reviews.  Unless they are some kind of insider, this just isn’t possible.

HOWEVER,  DO NOT DISCOUNT THIS SERVICE AS A WHOLE!  There is many things that can be done to help you.  Many legitimate reputation management services available,  You still have options!

The legit companies simply  understand the system and can help by using perfectly legal ways such as report reviews violating terms of service, investigate reviewers and prove they are competitors, link build to bury bad reviews from searches, create or strengthen your website or web presence,  help claim your listing and optimize, and much more.

Always be wary before hiring a company to help you.  But don’t discount that there is help out there.  Be sure to stay tuned, I am working on some tips on how you can do your own reputation management.

bad online reviews

How to respond to negative Reviews

I have written about this several times in detail and have been on the news talking about it.  I still see people making big mistakes when responding to reviews.  Rather then go through all the details again I am simply going to give you 2 examples below that I feel will make the point.

REVIEW # 1 FROM TRIPADVISOR

The cabins of Volcano Village Lodge are located right in the middle of a rainforest, very close to Volcano National Park. Our room was small but adequate with a large closet/small kitchen (microwave & small fridge for breakfast. My husband and I have travelled to hundreds of B&Bs, lodges and inns in the USA and abroad, so I was rather surprised to find that when we arrived at about 4:00PM, there were no innkeepers. There was just an envelope with our keys and a note about where to find things.
Breakfast was put in the refrigerator each day to be warmed up in the morning. The next day an innkeeper was there but hospitality was at a minimum. Also because breakfast was in the rooms, there was not an opportunity to meet the innkeeper or other guests.
Our main problem was with the heating and lighting. The room and closet/kitchen was very dark and very cold. There was a small electric heater and a small stove, but the room was quite cold. Slippers were left to prevent wearing of shoes in the cabin which I agree with, but they were slippers quite well worn by other people. I do not prefer to wear used slippers, so I used my own inside the room. I was also surprised to see that the roll down shades were quite stained even though the lodge is only a few years old.
Because of the inadequate heat, darkness in the rooms and no diningroom facility, the next time we come to Volcano, we will go back to Kiluea Lodge where breakfast is served in their lovely restaurant by a roaring fire.

RESPONSE

“Dear Guests, We sincerely appreciate your taking the time to point out the areas of concern during your stay.

We sincerely apologize for not greeting you personally upon arrival, and not paying more personal attention to your wellbeing during your stay. There is no real excuse for this, especially at our lodge where we so delight in providing the best service we can.

As you may have noticed from our other reviews, our staff receive tremendous accolades for their services and helpfulness. This was an exceptional situation, and we hope will not happen again. Your stay was during the holidays. Our main innkeeper was on vacation, and, I learned later that the assistant innkeeper was very sick. The assistant innkeeper tried to handle the management duties, rather than calling in sick. Not feeling well enough, she apparently took many long breaks away from the lodge. I do not believe that was the appropriate way to handle the situation.

As for the slippers, we have already ordered a new batch. We buy the more plush types that can be washed everyday, rather than use the throw-away types. The frequent laundry tends to wear out the slippers, and we should have been more vigilant about replacing them.

We are checking the blinds in all rooms to make sure every one functions properly and are clean.

Again, thank you for your stay and the effort of writing a review that helps us do better. While some may consider these rather minor issues, we take our guest concerns seriously. Please be assured that we will continue to improve our services.

 

REVIEW #2 from YELP

This restaurant is awful.  Compared to the others in the area, it is embarrassing and worst yet, very overpriced.  The place is cramped, and very loud!  The service is good because they have more people working there than dining there, but the food is so bad, my dog wouldn’t eat the leftovers.  The fish was way to fishy, the braised short ribs was pretty much pot roast, the salad was a uncut wedge with all the stuff on the side it was so weird.  They cut and toss it in front of you like your are 5.  What the chef couldn’t be bothered to cut up the lettuce before it comes to your table??

They had to make by strawberry smoothy 3 times to get it right and the shrimp scamp appetizer was way to buttery.

Also there was weird maggoty things in the salt!  We didn’t see it until we were done, now I am  freaked out and afraid I have a tapeworm now and I felt SO sick for 2 days after I ate here.

Do yourself a favor, if you value your life don’t go here.

RESPONSE

Wow, this review boggles the mind and is really just blatant stupidity.   Our place is small for a reason, we want an elegant personal dining experience for our customers with excellent attentive servers.  If you don’t get it and can’t afford it, don’t come.  There is a Chilis just 2 blocks down, I suggest you go there as it sounds like that is your caliber dining experience.    I don’t eve know how to respond to your comment about the fish being fishy?  Really?  And clearly you know nothing about food, because braised short ribs is another term for pot roast.  The salad wedge, which is clearly explained on the menu and by the wait staff, is cut fresh so that you get the crispest freshest salad rather than pre-cut lettuce that begins to wilt after cutting.  It also adds to the personal touch our high class customers understand and value.   Yeah, and we don’t serve SMOOTHIES.  Idiot.

Oh and I really did laugh out loud at the maggoty salt comment.  I have shared that with all my friends and we all just laugh and laugh at the stupidity.  Honey, people put rice in the salt to absorb humidity and stop the salt from clumping.  It is not maggots and you don’t have a tape worm, it is all in your mind like the fictional smoothie you supposedly had.  Really, how you even got through the door is a mystery to me. Don’t come back.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Let me ask, as a consumer, which place would you more than likely disregard the negative comment and give it a try anyway?  This is a good example of how a well written response can change your perception.

Keep in mind, you aren’t really responding for the sake of the person who left the review but for the numerous other people who are reading it.  Your goal is to show them that you are a responsible, classy business who cares and if they do have an issue, they know they will be treated with respect and care.  If you respond like he did in number 2, future patrons know they can expect to be berated and attacked if they complain.  This is not how you want people to perceive your business!