Why yelp sucks – Yelp survival guide

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

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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.

yelp buying reviews Why yelp sucks   Yelp survival guide

 

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/

http://www.bosshi.com/yelp-sucks-3-now-they-lock-your-business-name/

 

FOR A STEP  BY STEP  go here: tips from mashable

Great links that tell the truth about YELP:

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About Dani Girl

Hawaii web designer/developer. Owner of BOSS Hawaii, professional photographer. Love animals, gaming, and ice cream for breakfast. Visit my Google+ profile here. View all posts by Dani Girl

156 Comments to Why yelp sucks – Yelp survival guide

  1. Here’s a review on Yelp from someone who didn’t receive his Elite badge. What is not mentioned is that oftentimes people who don’t receive their Elite badges, without knowing why, often leave Yelp and take all of their reviews with them. (Or Yelp closes their account even though they did nothing wrong without explanation)

    Steven M.
    Las Vegas, NV

    1/15/2013
    Today after 5 years of Yelping and 3 of those as an Elite on Yelp I was told the following;

    Hi Steven,
    We’re writing you today because we’ve received your nomination for the Yelp Elite Squad. We have reviewed your case and while we greatly appreciate all of your contributions to the site, unfortunately, we’re unable to welcome you to the Elite Squad at this time.
    Regards,
    Yelp Elite Squad Messenger
    San Francisco, California

    You’ll notice I have over 300 friends, many of them who rallied for me (thank you) and 675+ quality reviews, 2000+ check ins and 100+ photos. No, I don’t deserve a cookie….just my Yelp Elite status for 2013 would be nice or an explanation after 5 years of helping build content on this site as to why I didn’t make the team. I know I didn’t test dirty, I got my stuff from Lance Armstrongs guy.

    I am very active in promoting Yelp to small business owners who cry foul that they need more business. Advertise on Yelp I say, add a check-in discount on Yelp I say, ask your customers to write reviews on Yelp. And after this – my old butt can’t make the cut while some cute, skinny hipster chick whose 22 year old with 2 years on this site and 67 reviews and 1 photo makes the team, but not me.

    (This is the part where my inbox gets full as people throw me under the Yellow Yelp Bus).

    Of course I’m a little hurt I’ve spent a lot of time and effort to be here and all I wanted was the continued recognition of hey……nice work Yelper….here’s a little sticker for your profile so you can feel special like the paint chip eating, small school bus riding kid I was.

    Check out my reviews and if you think I’ve got a case…..let’s take this to Judge Judy….not really, but how about sending Yelp a message on my behalf. You can speak out at; http://www.yelp.com/elite. Just enter my Yelp account; http://srmvegas.yelp.com and tell em’, ‘Give that paint chip eating SOB his lil’ badge cause we are tired of hearing his whining’. This is what I mean….those Kadashians get everything!!!

    I STILL LOVE YELP AND I’M NOT GOING ANYWHERE BUT A LITTLE ELITE STATUS FOR 2013 NEVER HURT ANYONE. I JUST CAN’T IMAGINE I’M NOT WORTH IT WHEN THEY HAND IT OUT TO SO MANY WHO HAVE DONE SO MUCH LESS ON HERE.

    Your support is appreciated. Happy Yelping everyone!

    • Wow what a lame way to treat poor Steven. If Yelp starts running off contributors like that, they are going to have trouble.

  2. A major problem that I haven’t seen addressed here is Yelp’s utter and complete lack of monitoring content and users on their website. Instead, they expect users to monitor themselves. What has that created? Flagging wars. It only takes ONE user to dislike another, then create lies about him/her, in order to have their friends help flag another user off of the website. How is that a problem for businesses? They are using valuable content. Every time a user gets maliciously flagged off of Yelp the business loses their reviews. I have personally seen many Elite members flagged off. In less than a year over 40 users have been flagged off (or bullied off) in the L.A. area alone. Not to mention all of Miami, San Francisco and other cities were affected too. With good users getting flagged off it leaves only the bad users. If you have any doubt what type of users are left check out the talk threads in San Francisco, L.A. etc. Here is evidence for my claims. You can see the type of photos that are posted on Yelp. Plus, user Chad A. (an Elite member) not only posted a user’s personal information publicly, which is a direct violation of TOS, here he is willing to make things up in order to get someone he doesn’t even know flagged off. This demonstrates that not only does Yelp not follow their own Terms of Service (note: I didn’t repost the personal information) but they know that Chad A. was involved with “Yelp shenanigans” and continue to allow him to participate as an Elite member. https://picasaweb.google.com/104607094304782221445/ChadASFlaggingOffYT?authuser=0&feat=directlink Another thing that hurts business owners are business owners who have Elite status. There was a San Francisco Yelper who owned a restaurant and maintained his Elite status for years because he was loved by the local Community Manager. Here is another example: http://www.yelp.com/user_details?userid=hr8l47KjKwMVP69B2K0Qog He has admitted to Yelpers openly that he owns a sunglasses business. Yet, he claims that he personally knows Jeremy S., CEO of Yelp, and he keeps his Elite badge. TOS means nothing to Yelp. What a joke.

    • Yes you are right, as I have mentioned before, that they don’t follow their own rules. And my biggest issue with Yelp is that your business is in the hands of a filtering system and unqualified users. If Yelp had staff overriding filter mistakes or malicious flagging, it would be a much more fare system. But Yelp benefits from it being this way so why would they change it? Thanks for sharing these profiles. Knowledge is power!

  3. Lili

    Recently, I brought my daughter and her friend to Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant at Pasadena for dinner. The service was extremely poor. I made a review at Yelp. The company wrote me and requested me to rewrite my review and asked for my e-mail to send a personal apology. However, I have not received any apology e-mail from them. But instead I got a NO-REPLY e-mail from YELP stating that I violated their contract as a member of YELP. There wasn’t an explanation. My profile was deleted from the site without any warning!
    This is an unfair act! I believe that Yelp must be getting paid to do this type of harassment. I still have some gifts and deals I brought from that site. Now I don’t think I will be refunded my money! PLEASE BE AWARE PEOPLE IF YOU RECEIVE BAD SERVICE FROM YELP.COM OR BUCA DI BEPPO IN PASADENA MAKE IT KNOWN!!!

  4. Marc

    Here is some good reading and it suggests that if you advertise on Yelp, your good reviews might not be filtered. But how come bad reviews remain and good reviews are filtered out. It seems like blackmail to me.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jimhandy/2012/08/16/think-yelp-is-unbiased-think-again/

  5. Marc

    I tried using Yelp in the UK and to be honest, it would not work for my type of business. It might be ok for dentists and restaurants, but not so good for the building industry. I added my business to Yelp and the few reviews I have been removed.

    You can’t actively encourage people to review your site and I’m not paying the extortionate £120 per month, plus my other advertising commitments for something of this nature. The gimmicks of dukedoms and badges etc, just do not work for me.

  6. John

    Jeremy Stoppelman CEO of Yelp is a real winner. Well, no, not really. This man runs a company that not only thrives on negative attention, but refuses to respond to legitimate concerns.

    I am not sure how he can sleep at night knowing that he is running such a joke of a company.

    If any of Yelp’s investors or advertisers are reading this, I urge you to immediately pull out of Yelp while you still can. You do not want to be associated with a company that is being run in such a reckless manner. Yelp is a company with no core values. No core – period. Like an onion. Peel away the layers, and you’ll never get to the core. I can honestly say that I do not think Yelp will be around much longer. Jeremy obviously does not care about doing the right thing. He is unethical and unprofessional.

    • Somehow this ended up in spam. Sorry I didn’t catch it.

      I agree and hope the same.

  7. Yelp is the most pathetic site through which i come across i have placed my business on yelp and some one without taking my service post a false review on it now when i am asking to remove it those people are not helping me even not replying to my message in this situation what should i do any help will be so kind of you guys

  8. Mina

    We have to protest against Yelp and catch attention of authorities and congress. We must also sign petitions against Yelp such as http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-yelp-start-holding-yelp-accountable-for-the-reviews-written-on-their-website

    Many businesses have lost and gone out of business because of Yelp and others are operating fearfully! We are high-end highly skilled bridal studio in Beverly Hills, CA with great reputation. However, as of today, on Yelp we have 3 1/2 star rating with 76 all positive reviews filtered, and only 19 remaining reviews on the business page which includes all 7 negative reviews posted, We are in business for about 35 years. I only work in bridal and occasionally on evening gowns to keep helping my celebrity clients. We are very unique and also operate very uniquely, yet very small!. Our prices are higher than others because of our skill and the quality of the work we provide and the fact the we do not use low labors. All things considered, we are not able to help everybody, and not everybody can consider us. http://www.yelp.com/biz/mina-design-and-tailoring-los-angeles-3 We have tried to be as straight forward as possible on our website and do not create false hope and not to waste anyone’s time.

    On Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 6:14 PM, Bridal Design wrote:
    Thanks for decided to pay attention to this vital matter to all the businesses being the victims of unfair practice and manipulating the reviews. Many businesses have lost and gone out of business because of Yelp and others are operating fearfully! It would impossible to mention everything with in five paragraphs, but I try to fit as much as I can. We are high-end highly skilled bridal studio in Beverly Hills, CA with great reputation. We are in business for about 35 years. I only work in bridal and occasionally on evening gowns to keep helping my celebrity clients. We are very unique and also operate very uniquely, yet very small!. Our prices are higher than others because of our skill and the quality of the work we provide and the fact the we do not use low labors. All things considered, we are not able to help everybody, and not everybody can consider us. http://www.yelp.com/biz/mina-design-and-tailoring-los-angeles-3

    We have tried to be as straight forward as possible on our website and do not create false hope and not to waste anyone’s time. I received the first call from Yelp in late 2009. It was relativity a long call, after I told him that I did not need advertising because I was getting my clients through recommendations, the guy started that how much on line reputation matters even if I did not get clients through internet; and that for $299 could be in charge of my destiny and I would be able to manage my bad reviews and keep the positive reviews at the top. I told him, but I don’t have any bad reviews (before even finishing my sentence, I felt like something hard hit my head and I thought I gave him a bad idea). He said “You don’t have any now!” I said I hope I did not give you a bad idea and he laughed! from there bad reviews from those who clearly say in their reviews that they never used us keep coming as well as sales calls; and positive reviews from our real clients/brides (I have good record of that for three years) get filtered right away. We started to adopt “by email and through website only” just because of that!!

    On 7/14/11 Brittany Bassett,”Yelp W. LA Community Manager” emailed for a personal appointment, and we sent her (like anybody else) some info about our rates and fees, but she responded that was out of her budget. However, shortly after that Yelp broke habit and this time removed the positives reviews not by one, but by bunch. I made some complaints about that to Yelp, but as usual I was ignored. The very last incident happened on 9/7/12 that on one of the conversations on Yelp, I posted some of facts about my reviews and my opinion about Yelp manipulating reviews. In less then two hours after my post, some one I believe named Christine called from Yelp and offered me $1000 off if I start advertising with them, and I said no I don’t like Yelp because they manipulate reviews and they are not honest. She said but you still have 4 star rating and 21 reviews, and I said but I deserve five star and 71 of my all positive reviews are removed. She said reviews are different from sale! This was the first time that I heard them saying such thing! AS a record, I noted this call with a copy of my post on Yelp and emailed it to myself because I knew something was coming! And I was right, however, I did not see my page until 9/16/12 which by then number of filtered positive reviews was increased to 75, my rating was reduced to 3 1/3 and number of the reviews on page (although there were two reviews newly posted) decreased to 19 and on 9/12/12, a one star review was posted by M.O. whom I don’t know and the review dose not claim any experience either. There were two positive reviews after M.O’s review that are already removed which increases the number of the filtered positive reviews to 76 while they only allow 12 positive reviews on the page, but all the 7 negative reviews ever posted.

    • Marc

      Yes Mina I see you have a very negative 1 star review and was it really justified. We all can ave bad days and might not be helpful all the time. Sometimes you just clash with people too. I have had regular clients who I would bend over backwards to help and other I would never work for again. Yelp are trying to get a hold in the UK, but with the stupid badges and dukedoms, plus the useful, funny and cool replies to reviewers, it does nothing for me. We have hundreds of review sites in the UK and this is just another one to the list.

      Regards

      Marc

  9. Great post Boss…I have been recommending Yelp to many people(both clients and non-clients), after reading your post, I believe I will be removing them from my recommend list.
    Well, not entirely. Since they are supplying many local results for BING, I will probably inform my clients, but will also give them the bad.

    I myself never leave negative reviews of any place. If I dislike a place, I usually just don’t go back and don’t tell anyone either. I would have to be seriously mistreated to leave a negative review. That being said, my reviews probably are not showing up either…Have they always had the link at the bottom that allows you to see the filtered reviews?

    • Marc

      The last part of the message is great and I totally agree with you. If I have bad service, I just don’t go back.

  10. James Ross

    Hi! I’m a fairly passionate person, so when I really like a place, I like to go out of my way to advertise that. I have had the same troubles with yelp. All my bad reviews are still public, but NOT ONE of my good reviews show up. And those are the ones I am truly and genuinly passionate about. I can’t stand it. One in particular, the Webster Hall club in nyc, I have fallen in love with recently in comparison to other clubs and its past suckiness. I watch every day as 5-star review roll in because the place has gotten incredible, and then I watch them ALL disappear the next day. Mine is none existent as well, so all that shows up is the sucky reviews from years ago.

    Aka: I lack the “knowledge” of how to fight back against f#cking YELP, but I really want to help do something about it! Please contact me and let me know if there is anyone I can do or anyone I can write or anything I can join in on to help with this. Thanx, -James

    Jross2214@gmail.com

    • Thanks, in my next updated article I will post a list of people who are looking to join forces. Thanks for the post.

    • Marc

      Hi James

      That is crazy, the good reviews go and the bad stay. If one goes, they should all go. I hope they fail in the UK

  11. Check this out – unyelpme.com! – we found it and it’s fantastic – it will instantly fix your Yelp review stress like it did ours. It’s one thing to post some kind of frozen reviews site like was suggested in the comments here but quite another to have a proper reviews site that also ACCEPTS reviews too. We now have our own reviews site and did it all in a few minutes and never have to care again about Yelp ot any other review sites affecting our business.
    Just go to unyelpme.com and read the one page there and you’ll undertand in a few minutes.
    We did and it’s fabulous!
    Good luck all!

  12. Bob Manley

    Yelp, not a friend of small business. We started Hermit Woods Winery during one of the most depressed economies in 70 years. Today, being successful as a small business often means adopting the many newfangled technologies available to us in this modern world in order to reach potential customers. The newest and most powerful of these new tools fall under the category of Social Media.

    We at Hermit Woods Winery have done our best to use social media as a way to spread the word about our business, and with some degree of success. Through the use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Foursquare, and Yelp, Hermit Woods has reached tens of thousands of potential guests, many of whom have come to our winery.

    However, all is not good. Having signed up with Yelp early on, we waited patiently to receive our first Yelp review. Not wanting to sway opinions by reviewing ourselves or having friends review us, we waited four months for our first review to come from an objective guest of the winery. Unfortunately, a seriously unhappy customer whom the owners and staff of Hermit Woods never met submitted the first Yelp review. The circumstances that resulted in this review were very unfortunate, and every effort was made to prevent what happened (to learn the details, you can read the review and our response on Yelp). Regardless of our efforts to contact the customer, apologize, and explain the unfortunate circumstances, this person chose to give us a very bad review on Yelp.

    We were horrified. Our first and only review was devastating and we were about to close for the season without possibility of a new review for six months. After a month had gone by, we made our next mistake. We suggested to our many friends of the winery that it would be really helpful if they reviewed us on Yelp, and they did. Within 24 hours, 11 of our winery guests and friends posted outstanding reviews on Yelp. Our excitement was quickly dispelled during the course of the next few days as each and every new review was removed from public view and the only remaining review was the bad one.

    This is where we learned about Yelp’s famous algorithm! We were informed that Yelp employs a highly sophisticated computer algorithm to seek out and hide from view any review that is suspected of being generated in any way by the business itself. We had learned our lesson, and even though we didn’t like the outcome, agreed that this was in the best interest of both businesses and consumers to ensure that reviews on Yelp remain unbiased and true to customers’ experiences.

    That was nine months ago. Since then, we have become model Yelp users following all the guidelines provided by Yelp. Never requesting or even hinting that guests should review our business, we have simply posted that we are on Yelp in our tasting room and on our website. At Yelp’s suggestion, we have also posted Yelp deals for our customers to get discounts. We have done everything right to correct the problem, and we still only have one public review, and it remains very bad.

    During the course of the nine months since learning the folly of seeking reviews, we have received ten more outstanding reviews by random Yelp customers who have visited our business. All ten have been removed from public view. We have contacted Yelp over a dozen times in those nine months to inquire about why all of our reviews continue to be removed. We get the same canned answer every time: “We have a computer algorithm that makes that decision. We understand that the decision is not always correct, but we are not able to make any changes to it. Please follow Yelp’s guidelines with regard to reviews.”

    Hundreds, if not thousands, of Yelp users have seen our listing on Yelp over those nine months, all of them seeing our one-star rating and drawing their conclusions, whatever they may be. Fortunately for us, despite Yelp, we have attracted lots of new and very happy customers during our first year in business. In fact, outside of the one customer on Yelp whom we have never met, of the over 3,000 people who have come through our doors since we have been open, we have not had a single complaint or unhappy customer that we know of.

    Regardless of how we run our business, how many satisfied customers we may have, or how hard we work to provide the highest degree of customer service, on Yelp we rate one star. We continue to be seen as a business that most people would more likely avoid rather than risk the experience of a business with such a poor review. And it is a computer algorithm that has made the decisions that have resulted in that first review being the only two out of 25 reviews that our customers are allowed to see, 23 of which are all five stars. The two negative reviews are both from people who have never actually been in my business. Even worse, one of the reviews was written by my business partners jilted girlfriend! In the world of Yelp, my business is doomed!

    • Your comment is one of the best ones I have had on this site to date. You so clearly capture the true issue and your situation is so unfortunate and this is a prime example of what Yelp is doing to businesses. I am sorry this has happened to you and glad you shared here so others can relate. It is so important that we all speak out about this and take back the power. I get so angry to see that businesses like yours who have been around long before some of these people at Yelp were born, can be damaged by an irresponsible, damaging system that is in place to make money, NOT provide a service as they would lead you to believe. Thanks again for your comment!

  13. Troy Chantland

    Great article with some very helpful comments. Thanks!

    Also, I think you mean allowed when you’re using aloud.

    (just trying to help)

    • Dani

      haha thanks, I am a crappy speller!

  14. alex

    HERE IS A WAY TO FIGHT BACK YELP !!!

    Yelp is a website that claims to offer people a fair reviews of buisness, when in fact, they mislead people by only showing negative reviews, while ‘filtering’ all good reviews, UNLESS, that bussiness pays them money, then the show good reviews and ‘filter’ bad ones.That is very unfair to the public
    To fight back against this injustice, everyone should file a complaint against Yelp at the Better Business Bureau, https://www.bbb.org/file-a-complaint if enough people file, something can be done!!!

  15. Gen

    Nice article. Here’s my problem and Yelp is being total BS about it. I have a local computer related business that doesn’t get any traffic from Yelp. I avoided yelp until I found my listing there, so I claimed it and signed up. Playing around on the website I somehow posted something about my business (i know, against the policy) in the wrong city. One gal got upset and gave my new listing a 1 star. I asked her nicely, explained and she took her review off. Then comes this prick from the same area giving me a 1-star and would just not respond to any messages, not even a “no”…. Nothing at all. So now I’m desperate because yelp is showing up all over the place on google with one star from a person who’s never visit my business, doesn’t even live in the same country for crying out loud. After failing all attempts to gain contact with this guy I ended up contacting yelp. They told me the review will not be removed even if it is false, fake and even the review itself contains a joke about the review being fake by the reviewer himself but Yelp will not remove the review. So I tried gaming the system, asked my customers to leave me a review and they did, based on my service levels – all 4 and 5 star reviews disappeared. The only one that’s not filtered is this guy’s fake. Not to mention, I was contacted by Yelp’s advertisement team and I said no to premium listing crap they were selling. I’m to the point thinking I’ll pay some elite to leave me a review. It is just so frustrating having a micro business of one person “me” providing for my family. I don’t care about yelp’s listing because there is no business coming from it but it’s the organics on google and such that’s killing me. Unethical has it’s limits, Yelp doesn’t. I hope their servers burn down and take the CEO in hell fire with it.

    • Bob Manley

      Gen, this is precisely what is happening to my business, we have 25 reviews, 23 5 start reviews and two one star reviews by customers who have never visited our company! One by the jilted girlfriend of one of my partners who was just trying to get back at him. She has never even been to our business! I have followed another commenters advice and filed a complaint with the BBB of california. It probably won’t amount to anything but I have to do something! Good luck to you.

  16. I’m really sorry about these complaints you all have because review sites like this are necessary for both consumer and businesses to gauge client satisfaction which is a mutually desirable end.

    What have you done about it since learning about this, it can be frustrating but throw your support behind and honest and thought out start-up or even an existing service like it of your choosing. I’m sorry google hasn’t developed that and faacebook is not a solution either.

    This might appear self-serving but note this, I decided to start RaveOrBash because of my deep concerns for consumer issues being one.

    This fall, we will change the face of consumer reviews, we’ll tackle fraud and cliquey memberships among others.

    i’ll keep you posted but follow us on twitter for more updates and throw your support behind us now on facebook.com/raveorbash by liking us and sharing with your network.

    A balanced consumer review site for all is on it’s way to being your destination on the web for all consumer reviews.

    Raveorbash.com
    raveorbash.ca
    raveorbash.co.uk

    This Fall

  17. brian

    Hello people & Boss,

    Thnx for this blog, it’s very informative. My biggest problem with yelp is that, after a sales person from yelp came into my friend’s business & tried to get her to sign a contract with them, calling her on a daily basis to her business & cell phone which he pestered her employee to give to him; in the end she declined the $325 per month contract, next thing she knows, all her positive reviews were sent to the filtered section. This has affected her business & extra source of revenues. She has had clients canceled appointments from seeing only the negative reviews. Other businesses declined to do business with her as well, citing the bad reviews. She felt like she was blackmailed, extorted! She told me her positive reviews were up on her site for a good 6 weeks before ever encountering the sales person. We are considering filing complaints to the BBB, NYS Attorney Generals Office, Consumer Affairs? & the FTC, do you think Yelp will try to retaliate in some wayif we proceed with filing the complaints? Also what else can we do??? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  18. Bettina

    Hi there,

    I just wanted to say that a Yelp employee or Yelper once came to my yoga class and, after class, asked me to join a Yelp promotion, where I’d have to discount my class severely. I thanked her for the offer and ultimately declined, because it was not in my business interest.

    A few weeks later, she listed me on Yelp and gave me a 3-star review. Even though she gave all the yoga places who participated in the promotion 5 stars, I’m fine with her review–it is her opinion.

    A few weeks later, I decide to respond to her review as a business owner, addressing her points one by one.

    Also, I mentioned this to my star student who comes every single week, and she wrote me a 5-star review.

    Now a month later I don’t see my response nor my 5-star review, which I find totally unfair. The Yelper who reviewed me was just as biased if not more biased as me and my regular student.

    • Report it. Indicate that its a violation of their policy. If they don’t remove it, document it and share it here.

  19. DB

    EIGHTY PERCENT of the reviews on Yelp are 3 stars or more. That makes eighty percent of them positive reviews. What’s “statistically impossible” about that? Stop complaining about the filter. Negative reviews get filtered out sometimes, too. What’s more, filtered reviews can still be seen by any user that wants to look at them.

    Stop blaming other people for your problems. If your business is getting a bad reputation, it’s probably because you deserve it. Maybe you should start paying attention to those bad reviews and find out what you’re doing wrong, instead of acting like one of those owners on “Kitchen Nightmares” who insists he’s doing everything right and all the people who don’t like his business are wrong. Have you ever tried RESPONDING to one of those bad reviews, so the unhappy customer knows you’re aware of the issue and are trying to fix it? Everybody who sees the bad review will also see your response. A simple “we didn’t know this was a problem, thank you for telling us and we’re fixing it” makes a big difference. People who vowed they’d never visit your establishment again might actually come back and give you another shot. People who haven’t even tried it yet but see the negative review AND your acknowledgment of it will be more likely to give you a shot anyway.

    It took me about 30 seconds to find dozens of sites on the web – blogs, news sites, et al – where small business owners are talking about how great Yelp is, because it helps customers know they exist and it helps them understand what the customers want…and what they don’t want. Those other business owners don’t blame the customers for their mistakes and they don’t blame a website for getting the word out. They’re better than you. Get it?

    • You aren’t getting it and you aren’t listening. You are just repeating what Yelp is saying. All the yelpers are so opinionated and want to argue and be right, yet they don’t even bother to look into the things they are saying, just repeating what Yelp is telling you. If you want to argue about this great, but don’t come at us with the crap from the YELP FAQ section, or its not worth my time to debate with you. Have an opinion great, but make sure you check your facts!

      80% is the number Yelp reports. Do you believe that? Independent studies done by Harvard and Nielson to just name 2, have published facts that say this cannot be statistically true. Look for yourself. And it doesn’t matter anyway, what matters is the balance on an individual’s business. No one is arguing that positive reviews aren’t good and don’t have a huge impact on someone’s decision because they do. The issue here is how negative reviews are affecting businesses. You all continue to ignore what people are saying. Most will say they don’t mind the negative reviews, as long as they are legitimate and that their legitimate positive reviews are shown. The review filter doesn’t work. Yelp even admits that. Over 10 million reviews are filtered.

      Bottom line is that YELP makes money on advertising. If people were happy with their yelp page, they wouldn’t advertise.
      Here is the facts on that, the bottom line and what it is all about. Yelp needs the dough. Their balance sheet shows they’re running out of working capital, going from reserves of $29 million in 2010, to $19 in 2011. http://newsfeedresearcher.com/data/articles_b18_2/yelp-million-company.html

      http://harvardmagazine.com/2011/10/hbs-study-finds-positive-yelp-reviews-lead-to-increased-business

  20. DB

    What a pitiful little whine-fest here. Oh boo hoo, someone had a bad day and said something mean about my business. Ever think that maybe YOU had the bad day, and gave a customer a miserable experience without even realizing it?

    More than half of the reviews on Yelp are POSITIVE reviews. If you think you’re being singled out for negative reviews, it probably really IS your fault. I review every business I go to, and the average rating for my own reviews is over 3 stars. Most other users are just like me. Stop blaming your customers and Yelp for your problems, and look at yourselves and find out what you’re doing wrong that’s attracting so much negativity.

    Why would you think that trying to placate a customer by comping the bill will absolve you of a bad review? I don’t want a bunch of free mediocre product that comes with bad service, I’d rather get good product with good service and pay the bill. I prefer a customer be honest about what I can expect.

    • David, I appreciate you coming on here and voicing your opinion. I think you would have a much different one if you were a business owner. This is a typical response by Yelpers who are not business owners. You assume that everyone is reviewing fairly and responsibly. Half the reviews on YELP are positive? Even if that is true, which statistically it can’t be, it really means nothing if people can’t see them. You forget that many of those positive reviews are filtered out. How do you feel about writing reviews that may not show? These Businesses don’t have a problem being fairly reviewed. They do have a problem with having only the negative ones showing. Yelpers like yourself don’t understand how badly reviews affect people’s livelihoods and a leaving that up to an automated filtering system that doesn’t work is irresponsible and I am looking forward to the day that someone will get the courts to see that doing this is just as bad as someone who drives a car through a business. Yelp’s system is directly killing businesses and that is wrong. That is the issue here.

  21. David decomo

    Carrie,
    YELP is helping nasty malicious customers blackmailing businesses like you. These people are the only one that can change or delete their reviews. I bet you that YELP will not do anything even after you provided your full refund and free products.

    I have a new business and got my very first review by a malicious Yelp user who had only two reviews, both on the same day. The nasty review was for my business, and a 5 star review for another business 400 miles away. Clearly, this person knows how to pass the filter by providing two reviews to keep the malicious review about my business to stick. I contacted YELP about the review but they don’t respond. I think YELP is full of flaws and it is a platform for attacks by competitors and blackmailers.

    • Exactly. The biggest thing we all need to fight is the automated system. The system, which they admit filters out legitimate reviews, is one of the biggest problems and a lawyer who can make the court see how this is irresponsible and negligent, will finally force YELP to have to change it. There is enough statistics now that show the affects yelp reviews have on actual business. That is a very powerful thing, and can affect our economy. At some point, they are going to have to force them to start manually monitoring reviews. I mean, how do we know what their algorithmic process is? How do we really know they are not using the system to purposely sway the reviews in their favor to boost advertising? Yelp needs to be forced to be more responsible not be free to wield this power freely and to their own benefit.

  22. Carrie

    We have a terrible situation with Yelp! We have 1 unhappy customer who posted a long and very nasty Yelp review. Her review comes up as the third organic listing in Google for our main search terms, with our business name boldly highlighted! This is like extreme negative advertising for us, as we get most of our customers from Google searches. We don’t have a lot of Yelp reviews and this is the only negative review (there are a few positive ones that were filtered.) Incidentally, we gave this customer a full refund and over $150 of free product, but she still trashed us on Yelp. This is just not right.

    Is there anything we can do?

  23. Amit

    This is my story as of last week.
    We are a ten year old company with solid reputation. We have been rated “A” by the Better Business Bureau of the Silicon Valley for seventh year in a row with no customer compliant whatsoever. Our company is older than yelp and we know how to take care of our customers.
    Recently one of our customers was so happy that without our request she gave five star ratings on yelp. That followed two more five star ratings by real customers. We are a BBB “A” rated company and we do not need to spam yelp for customers. No company can survive for ten years by spamming review sites.

    Immediately I received a call from yelp account executive. She was a smooth talker and explained why yelp ad would help us grow our business. I though agreed to spend money on yelp advertisement but did not sign up right away.
    Guess what? All the positive reviews were removed within 12 hours.
    I followed everything by the book but did not purchase ad and their so called review filter raised eyebrows of the positive reviews from the customers who were sincere, genuine and impressed by our service. It took us ten years to build that kind of reputation and one little decision to delay spending money took away everything within 12 hours.
    Yelp is good as long as you pay them money. They are nothing but extortionists like mafias of third world countries who want protection money.

    • Amit, would you mind if I published your comment to WeHateYelp.com ? It’s a new community where business owners can share their experiences about Yelp. Sorry about your bad experience. Sadly, it’s a common story I hear from just about every business owner I talk to.

  24. Julius

    Yelp sucks. We had a legal dispute with a client and it went into arbitration. Judge found us correct on all counts and passed judgment on client. Client goes onto Yelp and posts her opinion (the same opinion and logic that was found to be faulty by the judge). This review contains blatantly false statements.

    We contacted yelp saying that we already went into arbitration about this issue and the judge ruled in our favor (which the review itself states) but Yelp refused saying it was “her opinion” and we should just post a response.

    Why? If you post a response, the review moves to the top. Fuck Yelp.

  25. Does anyone know what the Yelp alternatives are? Someone had mentioned Merchant Circle and Google Places. Does anyone know if there are others and what the pros and cons are of each? Thanks.

    • Yes both merchant circle and google places/business listing reviews are great. And they overpower Yelp sometimes so well worth it. The best thing you can do is get your website strong, and get lots of reviews out there on reviews sites, social media, etc so that you bury your yelp results in search engine results.

  26. Thanks so much for this blog. I am getting so screwed by Yelp. I have 30 5-Star reviews but Yelp is only showing 3 of them! They are hiding 27 of my reviews! All of these reviews are perfect and glowing from my long-time clients but most of them are not very active on Yelp. It kills me to be so great at what I do and to have all of these great reviews but no one knows about them. My average client is 40-50 years old and is extremely busy and doesn’t have time to write reviews all day on Yelp. So everytime someone writes something about me it just gets hidden. Ihave a very small business and see the same clients over and over again. So it is not high volume so I don’t have a lot of opportunity to get a large number of reviews organically. It seems like if you only see a few clients and the clients are not young, techy types who have active Yelp accounts, there is no way to get ahead.

    Luckily I don’t have any bad reviews, but I live in fear. With only 3 reviews showing, all it will take is for one crazy, mean person or one competitor to write something bad and I am wiped out. I am really feeling like I just want to steer clear of this thing. I am trying to get my website optimized so several of my pages come up first. Right now, my website comes up first, then yelp, then facebook, then linked in. I would really like to not have Yelp show at all on the first page of Google when people search for my company name. Other than optimizing the pages on my site, do you have any other ideas of other pages or profiles that I can create to outrantk Yelp? Do you think my 27 hidden reviews will ever come back? Do you think it would do any good for me to call Yelp and complain? Do you have any idea why all of the class action lawsuits have been thrown out? Any other advice would be greatly appreciated.

  27. red

    Yelp sucks because it is extortion. Its business model is predicated on it. Remember they don’t make money from reviews they make it from users. They see their job as getting as many users as possible (like cattle) content, accuracy, and motive are not a concern. A little social science, people are more likely to go out of their way to make a negative comment than a positive one. So the likelihood is the first comment on a listing created by Yelp will be bad. To enter the bad review the user (writer) has to create an account (che-ching, there is one). But that’s not the big pay-off. The way Yelp works is the simple rating system; stars being awarded basically by a percentage of bad over good reviews. So a single entry that gives one star shows in Google searches as extremely bad. This may be one customer with a grudge out of 10000 but that is not presented in Yelp. Sociology lesson two, most people will assume if they see nothing bad about a company then it is good company, or at least a good risk. If they see something bad they are less likely to engage the company whether the comment is accurate or not. Now the only way the business owner can address this is to solicit good reviews in Yelp from customers. Because the rating system is based on an average with a range from 1-5 it will take more than five perfect entries to increase the average to something approaching where your business was before Yelp created the listing. Each customer will have to create a new user account (che-ching). Further Yelp then solicits the business owner to open a business account which will “allow the owner to address the comment or filter” (che-ching). When coupled with the use of advertising money to Gloogle and the use of methods to manipulate Google searches the owner (victim) is left with no recourse but to participate in Yelp because in a search by prospective customers, the bad review is more likely to show up before, or will show up with, your own business website. Social science 3, the “Elite” we know them, these are personalities that have to pathologically be engaged regardless of what is coming out of their mouth or Word doc. These are Yelps little minions. Yelp by creating a special “Elite” class for them have endeared them and made them functionaries of the company. They will be loyal and defend Yelp as long as Yelp strokes them. That is important to Yelp. It gets more time online, which they can also sell and this has the secondary benefit of providing an army of Yelp defenders and promoters. Why businesses? Why not review people or politicians? Several reasons: A) the extortion would be more obvious, B) people are less likely to respond because unless they are being searched, most people aren’t that popular that they are being searched often, and most individuals don’t have the resources to reach as many people to solicit participation, C) the money isn’t there and Yelp is all about selling its participants (users, i.e. cattle’s milk) and inflating its stock value. Yelp serves no real socially legitimate purpose but exploits libelous and defamatory statements for profit. That I think is a pretty good match (4.9 out of 5 stars) for extortion.

  28. I cannot thank you enough for the article.Really looking forward to read more.

  29. New business owner.. The first time I heard of Yelp It was after my first negative comment went live on there site. Within about half hour from the actual post, I was contacted. I was questioned .” Did you know we can fix all your Negative reports, even delete them permanently from Yelp. For a SMALL FEE of $299 per month (which is detrimental to your business) We can even post positives to bring you new clients. I was offered with the $299 fee ” Your positive posts which are currently FILTERED will be visual vs filtered. We will even include ad Advertisement of your own and include a video on your Ad.” I was asked to enter into Yelp and view my reviews. I was advised that Yelp will place my competitors Ads on my page, adjacent to my reviews, unless I join and PAY the $299 per month. As of today I have 6 total reviews, They filtered my positives. Only post live are the 3 negative reviews. Because I didn’t like how Yelp does business I have all my competitors promotional ads on my page. This is a horrible thing to do to people! It is all about the money. If you pay the fee you will always have great ratings. I did ask if I tried it; carried it for 6 months and could not afford it, would those negatives still stay off my reviews..? I was told we would just have to wait and see, but there is no promises made to keep negatives off your review page unless you JOIN.
    My opinion is: This is call Blackmail….by Slander UNLESS YOU PAY, That’s what it is… I can’t wait for Yelp to crumble.

  30. I want to take a moment to talk openly and candidly about what I love. Making people smile and happy by serving good food, and helping people forget about the bad day they may have had, by giving guests a place to have a great cocktail and relax. I was especially touched recently by a father who was so excited he was able to bring his family in because of the Groupon offer. It brought tears to my eyes that I was able to make his night special, and it’s for reasons like that that I love this business.
    Like every business we have our ups and downs, we’re humans that’s how it works. But I can promise that I always try my hardest. I think of everyone that steps through the door of one of my restaurants as a friend and family. So with that in mind I’d like to mention Yelp. I personally read all online reviews from sites like Open Table and Yelp and try to learn and improve from what I read. What strikes me about Yelp though, is that good reviews seem to disappear because of their “Filter system” while bad ones remain. Even if they’re incorrect or misleading. On Open Table and Google we retain a 4 out of 5 star rating while our Yelp is just 2 ½. Reviews are a great tool for feedback, and I learn allot from them. But I ask that people remember what’s one persons trash may be another mans treasure. Try things yourself before making a decision. I’m truly proud of my staff and love my guests. Thank you

  31. Kat

    This just happened to me several days ago. I was treated very poorly by the owner of an establishment. Before going to this particular business I had gone online & read the reviews, a lot of them said this guy was a real jerk but that his work was ok. I wanted to try him out in spite of the reviews, and yeah, you guessed it, the guy was a total jerk. I was fuming, came home and posted a negative review on Yelp. At least I THOUGHT I did. It doesn’t show. I think I made a mistake and posted it a second time. Again, it shows that everything went through ok. But not so, my review doesn’t show. I’m really ticked. I posted a comment on Yelp that basically said I thought their methods sucked. Lo and behold, at least 10 people responded to my post, slamming me. WTH?? And some were nasty comments…it makes me wonder if these people aren’t from Yelp.

  32. anon

    can anyone explain to me if yelp ever un-filters reviews? that is, one day the review is filtered but later, it becomes unfiltered and viewable?

    i ask because all my reviews are filtered and i need to know if i should stop wasting my time and make a new account or if i should keep trying?

    please email me!!! artists4peace [at] gmail com

    thanks

    • Hi Anon,
      Yes the review filter works both ways its can suddenly filter reviews for no reason then unfilter them as well. At one time, I had multiple accounts on YELP and one account was being filtered but I continued to post and after a couple of months my reviews showed again. I am pretty sure that their system includes tracking your IP address so if you create a new account with the same computer, you will most likely find that you will have issues with that one as well.
      dani

  33. Me

    I used to be an account manager at Yelp. I would be the person you dealt with and complained to if you had any issues (only if you were spending money on advertising :) It was a tough job, I knew every time my phone rang, it was another business owner complaining about filtered reviews or nobody is mentioning Yelp or something else. It was just damage control. We do not have have any solutions to your troubles, there is nothing that we can do. An account manager, or any other manager cannot take reviews out of the filter, nor can they make people say “Yelp” in your store.

    This is my take on things after working for Yelp for a little bit and dealing with business owners. Reviews get filtered for a reason, I wish I could tell you why and how (they don’t share that information with anybody). You can say its predatory, but it’s not. You are doing something to trigger the algorithm. It can be writing reviews, or asking customers to write reviews, or something else. You cannot manipulate the system. They have geniuses that all they do is work on the review filter. The restauranteur or hairstylists are not going to outsmart the computer engineers that design the filter.

    Another thing, here is a tip, if you are having a lot of filtered reviews from trying to game the system, you are going to be even more closely scrutinized by the filter. Why wouldn’t they watch you more closely? Then you will start to see more reviews, maybe even legitimate reviews getting filtered.

    One of my clients was a dentist and they were a newer account, their CRM which sent reminder emails and such had a template that said “Help us out on Yelp, leave a review”. They did not have a lot of activity. They were a 5 star business and had 3 reviews. All of sudden they had a huge influx of reviews. Mostly from people that never even used the site. They received 100 reviews in three days. Of course all of these reviews were filtered. Yes, they were probably from legit customers, but still it is incredibly suspicious. Even their true reviews (the three 5 star reviews) were filtered out. Now they had zero stars.

    My advice to any business owner, advertising or not, is just let things happen organically. You cannot do anything about it. You cannot magically make people find your listing or have people leave you a ton of great reviews. It will either happen or it won’t. You cannot force it. You guys can complain all you want, but it is not going to change anything. When it really comes down to it, millions of people come to Yelp everyday. It is a popular site. You, as business owners, want a piece of that action. You have to take the good as well as the bad when dealing with Yelp.

    • I appreciate your comment here. Its always good to get an insiders take on things.

      I don’t think we are saying its predatory but what we are saying is that the system does not work. If they had people dedicated to at least supporting the situations where the system does fail, it would be much better. I have been testing the system, and its the inconsistency of it that is a big problem. It does not work. I have created a business account and posted a review from the same computer for myself from a new account created using the same password, and it posted. It should have been filtered and it wasn’t. I can give you 50 examples of how I have tested the filter and it made no sense.

      here is why businesses can not let things happen naturally. As I pointed out in this article, the statistics show that people are more likely to leave negative reviews then positive. If YELP does not allow businesses to encourage reviews, people wont think to say something nice once in a while, and there is no balance.

      You are also not factoring the issue of competitors or people with malicious intent. This is a very common issue and one that the filtering system does not help with. I have just seen too many cases where a person gets a negative review from a competitor, and when they try to flag, all their positive reviews go away only leaving the one bad one.

      If you had your own business on YELP you would understand this more. I think that all the people defending the system can’t possibly understand until you have your own business and its being destroyed by a company who doesn’t care.

      But thanks for explaining your side of things!

  34. R.M

    I think businesses have to come together and do something about this! No other sites are as questionable and harmful as Yelp is. I am all for freedom of speech, but what about freedom of speech of those posting positive reviews and being filtered in a few days? The shocking part is that the reviewer is never notified and still can see her, or his review, and may never even notice it was filtered! I like to thank them, but some time they are filtered before I see them!

    I hate when government regulates things, but this one area that some regulation is really needed. I would have perfect rating if it wasn’t for the bad review from some who never used me, and I never met or know them. I am really the best in the industry, and that has made me a target. Being on Yelp is as if we are in a bad neighborhood with a lot of violence and corrupted authorities! We are here all visible and whole bunch crazies sit in the dark and attack us with the full support and incourgement of Yelp.

    Small businesses are the heart of the economy, and it’s the congresses and government to protect us on line, as much as we are protect fiscally at and around our locations. At least those leaving fake bad reviews must be held accountable. Announcement reviews without submitting proof, should not be allowed.

  35. Dan

    Well, I thought I was alone out there dealing with this problem of Yelp not posting my positive reviews. I have tried different avenues to deal with this from having a website to hiring a reputation company to lower the ranking on my search. They (Yelp) are still the first thing people see when they search me. I am tired of throwing money away, and I have no idea what to do. Yes my practice is deteriorating as a result. I am a dentist by the way. So, if you have any solutions please let me know.

    • No one can really lower your Yelp ranking. They need to be upping your website ranking and other review sites so you bury YELP. Get on things like Merchant Circle, Google business reviews, Yahoo etc. They need to link build for you you get lots of other tings coming up in searches. About the only thing you can try to lower your YELP search is a little sneaky but sometimes you can get away with it. I am assuming you claimed your business listing? Change the name on your listing to something that people wouldn’t search for. It has to still be close to your business name or YELP will just change it back and lock you out so you can’t change it. If you can change it to something generic like Smith Street Dentist or whatever. That way the yelp review wont show in search results. Hopefully no one reports it. The other thing you can do is something else mentioned here. Copy and past your positive reviews and put them on your website then link to them on your home page. At least you can showcase your positive reviews. I hate to give YELP credit but you can mention they are from YELP to see if you can get that page to outrank yelp review.

  36. i have had the same issue for the last 6 months. was contacted by yelp shortly after a negative review. asked to advertise for $575 a month and ‘move’ bad reviews. i agreed, but no such agreement was honored. as soon as i called and emailed to complain, 30 5-star reviews are filtered (active users), and that single negative 1-star review is clearly visible (a non active user, 2 posts). i demanded proof from both the user and yelp for documentation if this is an actual client at our shop. but not is avaible.

    i have sinced canceled my ads, and every single new 5-star review is filtered immediately. can someone hack and delete yelp.com!?

    yelp sucks.

    • this is a big problem I have with Yelp. Their terms warn reviewers to be honest because they are responsible for what they say and can be held liable, however Yelp sure isn’t going to provide you information about them and I am sure they aren’t using their real name. The YELP system allows for people to commit libel, slander and defamation of character and we have no recourse, no way to defend against it.

    • Lisa

      The same thing happened to me. A Yelp! representative called me over a year ago to suggest that I spend $2,500 with them so that I would get a account representative from yelp who would listen to my concerns and help me with my yelp presence. When I said no they filtered out my good reviews and they filter any good review that comes in. They maintain my rating at 3 1/2 stars.

  37. I’ve been doing my reviews on Google Places now, don’t know how that will play out and, frankly, I don’t care. The best thing for a business owner is to have a strong web site that plays properly with the search engines (just think Google). The last thing a business owner wants is to have some Yelp review show up first in a Google search. Your web site should show up first provided proper search criteria have been entered. Example: Google “villa amalfi”, that’s a restaurant in Cliffside Park, NJ (there’s also another one in Toms River, NJ). What shows up first, aside from paid ads for renting a villa on the Amalfi coast in Italy? Their web site, not their one Yelp review and 4 or so filtered Yelp reviews! Okay, I’m their web master, and I’m not a brain surgeon at doing this either, but if I can get them showing up right below the paid ads, that’s not bad! Do, not, do not, ever, use places like Yelp for your only web presence. Web sites are not terribly expensive to create or maintain. Be sure you have a web site, and be sure it is optimized for Google.

    • Yes you are totally right. The website is so important. Yelp reviews rank high and I have helped several clients by building them websites to show up first before the reviews. However there is a new issue that has created a problem in this area. I have come across an issue with Black Hat SEO people being hired to manipulate the YELP reviews to benefit their clients in both Yelp and SEO. 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. This is a big problem and Yelp needs to make a rule to prevent people from mentioning competitors in their reviews. We can’t control the YELP rankings so its impossible for us to do anything about it.

  38. I’m not one who depends on Yelp for my business, and do not depend on the web so I can have a life, but I do like to write, interact, and try to be as honest as I can be. I never had an issue at Trip Advisor as to my reviews, but Yelp filtered all of my reviews. That really got under my skin, so I joined the Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/WeHateYelp?sk=wall. I don’t like some flawed algorithmic filter judging me. I’ve seen Yelp pages for restaurants I have dined at that have more filtered reviews than posted reviews, and having read them all, I could see that most might be accurate, even the 2 star ones, when I rated them 4 stars! Just post them all, and let the customer decide. Caveat emptor.

    Also, these events for the “Elite” Yelpers, where they receive free goods and services; is that not compensation? It is! Thus, Elite Yelpers will be compensated if they attend these events. So, as an Elite Yelper you do get compensated, or at least offered such.

    I admire those businesses that take their Yelp door sticker and put a “hate” sticker over the “love” graphic. Also, take screen shots of the good, filtered reviews and post them on your web site. Just be ethical and be sure they are not ones you posted or had friends post.

    The FTC will do nothing, just as the SEC did nothing after they investigated Bernie Madoff, and they investigated him, but he had his bases covered then. The next thing you know, $60 billion plus is down the drain.

    How do you play with Yelp? Easy, you don’t play their game!

    • Yep, don’t play! And that is the only way people will take Yelp down. I already see people leaving and other companies are coming out with better systems already. I have seen a few with promise. I didn’t like Merchant Circle at first but I am starting to see potential there. Google is also a great place for reviews and I feel its much more reliable and it has no stupid censor filter that doesn’t work!

  39. romac

    I was a conscientious reviewer until this week. I’ve been adding reviews, and updating statuses on businesses in my area (like when a business I know closed or a new one opened etc.). I saved my extreme ratings of 1 star and 5 stars for really extreme experiences added updates to reviews when I needed to, and added photos of new businesses and all that stuff.

    Then this week I noticed some of my reviews are getting filtered. I knew they filtered out users that had only one review, or something that was suspicious, which seems fair. But when I find that all my work and time that I put into it is being wasted I just gave up. Why in the name of heck should I waste my time because Yelp is capricious in enforcing its own standards? I’ve been trying my best to be realistic and provide accurate info and going the extra mile to update their out-of-date records, donating my time to help “the community”. Well it seems the community is an elites only club.

    I also noticed that a number of the yelpers I had been following suddenly went silent over the last year. The fog has cleared and I see why now. Really this blog entry about why Yelp sucks was the final nail in their coffin. I had no idea about the inherent conflict of interest in Yelp’s business practices at all. Thanks BOSS Hawaii, I’m glad you posted this. I can save my time for something else that matters. I’m leaving my ratings up on Yelp in case anyone decides to get interested enough to check the filtered stuff, but I won’t be entering anything else new.

    My Yelp rating of Yelp: -100,000 stars.

    • your welcome and glad this helped you. It sucks and makes you feel like an idiot the day you find out your reviews are not being seen. There are just so many things wrong with the system. There are so many people leaving, its just a matte of time before their practices but them in the butt.

  40. FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION PHONE NUMBER 1-877-382-4357
    i am a small business owner who has run afoul of a competitor.
    the competing business has bombarded me (using YELP) with out and out fabrications, libelous accusations, and outrageous drivel via what i can only assume to be one writer with several pseudonyms or one (very unethical) ‘on-line presence’ service with a stable of (fiction) writers masquerading as unhappy clients.
    i have written to yelp on many occasions to explain. you have a better chance of finding God. i haven’t found a phone # you can call (unless, of course, you want to buy advertising), and all my letters have elicited only (the same, word for word), boilerplate answers generated by some robot.
    i finally got so angry i called the FTC (federal trade commission), at 877-382-4357.
    they filed a complaint, and said if they see a pattern (meaning a lot of angry businesspeople filing complaints) they will go after them (yelp).
    the gentleman i spoke with seemed particularly interested in the “extortion for advertising” angle.
    so what are you waiting for??? if yelp has wronged you as it has me, CALL NOW AND FILE A COMPLAINT!!!
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION—- 1-877-382-4357

    • Yes, they have had many complaints. I have talked to the FTC and I know they have quite a few. The problem is they have not acted and I don’t know why. I will update my post to contain the number though because you are right, we need to get more people complaining. Thanks for sharing the number! Sorry to hear about your experiences.

  41. Min Kim

    I know yelp is some sort of search engine, like yellow pages, but there should be a way to unlist our business names from the site. If we can do it, the powers will return to the small business owners, and abusing from yelp might slow down. Serioulsy, unless you have a small business, you do not understand what we go through with some of rude customers. Customers are always right? before I owned a business, that is how i used to think as well. now, I understand why we have the RIGHT to refuse serving to anyone. however, if we do, we will get one star from yelp, and there is nothing we can do to defend our self…..

    • exactly, this is my argument. If you read this YELP talk thread, you can see where I make these very same points about how Yelpers are not qualified to defend Yelp when they have not been on the other side. http://www.yelp.com/topic/honolulu-freebies-and-stuff#PTzE2nA41rVhmPdHhUbibw

      Notice how they are all coached to say the same thing. They defend Yelp, saying its a positive tool and a few negative reviews don’t make a difference and that businesses should be focusing more on improving than trying to control their reviews. Even after I show them facts that prove how much Yelp affects businesses, they still wont listen. You can also see that they chastise a business who tries to encourage people to leave reviews by offering freebies or discounts yet they say its ok for them to partake in freebies at sponsored yelp parties.

      unfortunately I don’t think there will every be an opt out option. What we need to do is continue to expose and complain about the issue, educate businesses about Yelp and try to discourage them from buying advertising.

  42. tomkay

    Wondering if there might not be some legal/class-action-like claim potential against Yelp. If one were to lose his/her job as a result of negative comments on their posts, might there be a claim? Many restaurants (like the one I work for) put an inordinate faith in Yelp’s value. After all the 6th ammendment guarantees a right to cross-examine. Though I understand that Yelp is not a court of law, people’s lives are being affected in a legal sense & Yelp has no accountability. I cannot, on Yelp, answer my accusers if they say I provided bad service. In most cases these disgruntled customers have some axe to grind & they decide to take it out on their server because that customer had a bad day or their steak was overcooked, or any number of reasons which have nothing to do with service.
    Either way, they get to tell their side of the story & we do not. It is not a fair system by any measure.

    I’ve been in this industry for 20 + years & most of my cusomers shake my hand. look me in the eye & thank me for my good service.
    Yelpsters, too often are ‘cavalier’ with their power.

    No accountability. No one to call bullsh***t.

    Yelp looks fair on the surface, but no one questions the process.

    Most ‘positive’ reviews are fanatics…seriously 7 paragraphs about your dinner?

    & most negative reviews are exaggerated because something went wrong up front & the customer cant let it go & loves the “yelp” forum to vent

    …I know that bad experiences happen. I am a customer as well as a server.

    But, again, no accountability….

    I have a college professor who talks about the website “rate my professor.com.” they call it RAPE my professor.com because any student who gets an “F” has an equal voice compared to those students who get an “A”

    Who do you think is more likely to go on that website & comment, the “A” or the “F?”

    • That is a very good point and yet another reason why I have an issue with Yelp. These Yelpers are not business owners and its a social network that rewards and even pays them for mass reviewing. And you are right, its a statistical fact that people are more likely to leave a negative review than a positive one. I just replied to another comment here and provided a link to a Yelp talk page where I was arguing with some Elite about this same issue. I posted some links to facts about this, and notice how they didn’t address them at all.

      I am working on an idea to to protest Yelp. I will create a landing page and encourage businesses to claim their listing and rather than putting their info and website link, everyone pastes the same petition against yelp, the same BOYCOTT YELP image, and same link that directs people to a landing page that explains the businesses refusal to participate and ask people to not rate them at all and if they do, to only give 1 star. If everyone had a business listing with no information, and all 1 stars then the power of the review and the site is taken away.

  43. tomkay

    how about a discussion regarding employees?
    I have had my job put in jeopardy because of negative yelps which singled me out specifically. I know that these comments are, at the least exaggerated. customers who are for a variety of reasons disgruntled, but take it out on their server. I am good at my job, and, for the most part have positive interactions with my guests. But, all it takes is someone on the the other side who has had a bad day decide to take it out on their server….

    • teresa

      I too have been singled out by a disgruntled customer who did not like the answer she got. I was only following the policy of the company I worked for. I have asked Yelp to remove my full name twice and they declined both times. I feel I was attacked personally. In addition, the customer made slanderous comments about what happened. I have witnesses in my defense, proving this customer wrong. I told this to Yelp, but they did not want to listen. Who can I turn to?

  44. I’m trying to educate myself on the in’s and out’s of Yelp and with my recently gained knowledge of their advertising schemes, which many seem to have experienced, how exactly is this not a blatant case of extortion, and why/when will someone nail them on it?

    • good question. Mainly because Yelp has a lot of money and most businesses can’t afford to take them to court. People would have to get together and file a class action lawsuit. Even then, it would be very hard because Yelp has done a great job of creating a system that doesn’t make their intentions so obvious. However, there are many people out there compiling information and I believe that very soon, they will be forced to change the way they do business. Here is a great article. http://yelpscam.com/negative-yelp-press.html

  45. Glenn T

    ANNOUNCEMENT:

    We have recently implemented a system to outsmart yelp from hiding our filtered reviews:

    Step 1- First of all, if you’re advertising with yelp, we suggest you stop doing so and shift that money to optimize your own web site instead

    Step 2- Have a graphic designer make a yelp badge that is placed on your web site. It should say “we have …… filtered and unfiltered reviews on yelp”.

    Step 3- When a visitor clicks on the badge, it will go to another page ON YOUR OWN WEB SITE (instead of going to yelp’s. (why help them get traffic and rank higher anyways)?

    Step 4- On this page have your graphic designer get a screen capture (picture) of all your filtered and unfiltered reviews and have them pasted together onto one page (in 2 sections, the top section to be unfiltered reviews, leave a space, and then the lower section the filtered reviews). 

    Now, all your reviews (filtered and unfiltered) will be visible to all your web site’s visitors.

    5- Add the following words on the top: 

    “for your convenience, we have combined all of our filtered and unfiltered reviews on one page for you to view. If youd like to go to our live yelp page, please click here ——-”

    This is done so that your potential clients will not feel like you’re trying to hide something or trying to cheat the system. 

    6- Be sure to update your unfiltered yelp page every few weeks. 

    Advantages of doing this:

    1- Your visitors will stay on your web site instead of being re-directed to yelp’s

    2- Your visitors can’t be redirected to your competitors page (unless they choose to go to your live yelp page). 

    3- No more being a slave to yelp’s algorithm

    4- Yelp would not benefit from getting traffic from you and higher rankings on google. 

    5- This system cost us only $150 to implement 

    Just be sure to shift that $300 per month on yelp advertising and put it into KEYWORDS that people will search for. 

    **Please pass this on to all small business owners that may benefit from this. 

    • Love it!!! Very good idea and thanks for sharing. I think I am going to post this in my blog. Can you reply with a link to your page that shows an example of what you did? I am happy to share it on my post.

      • Glenn T

        Hi, thank you for reading my suggestions, but at this time I’d prefer to stay low-key. Nothing personal – I’m sure you understand where I’m coming from. Thank you :)

        • Understood. We know Yelp retaliates!

    • Dan

      Brilliant idea. I am going to implement this for our iPhone Repair company. Most of our 5* reviews are also filtered. In addition, we rank very poorly ranked on Yelp “organic searches” since we have a URL that has no keywords in it. Silly us – we played by the rules, kept our business name exactly as it is, and got burned with a Yelp permalink that sucks. Thus our “organic” Yelp search results suck.

      I just got call today (Octboer 11, 2011) from Yelp’s advertising team. I explained how we figured out what was causing our poor rankings and asked how we could get on a level playing field with our competitors. You will never guess what they suggested would fix our poor Yelp organic rankings? Yep – Adverstise!! At least on Google the Organic search is basically fair – and Adwords are just icing on the cake. At Yelp – they NEVER acknowledge that their organic rankings are screwed up. Could it be intentional? Awwww – how could it be?

      If anyone thinks that they Yelp extortion game has ended – think again. They are still up to their same old antics.

      • Yep, the entire system is quite brilliantly set up for that one purpose. It starts by enlisting the Elite army of drones who have contests like 365 which you review one business a day, just further encouraging reviews for the sake of social media and not actually reviewing. Of course the more reviews, the more likely for bad ones because what better way to be useful, funny and cool. Most good reviews aren’t funny or cool. So the more bad reviews, the more desperate the businesses become for help to fix it, hence the answer which is…wait for it…. ADVERTISING! I noticed the other day that you are not allowed to join the Elite squad if you are a business owner or know anyone in a business. I believe this has NOTHING to do with fairness, it has everything to do with them no wanting the businesses to have any control or knowledge of the process. I think I would be a little less anti – yelp if they educated their Elite more about the impact reviews have on businesses and to be very careful and selective about how and who they review.

    • 007

      I sign up to Yelp’s monthly advertisement it has been almost 4 months have not seen any positive results. I want to stop the advertisement, any suggestion on how I can do it without getting penalize? I am locked in on a one year contract. However I do fill that they lie to me to sign with them. They told me that my investment would pay for itself in a month its been almost four months have not received but one call.

      • So sorry you are unhappy but you are not alone. Proof is in the pudding check out the reviews on Yelp’s advertising on Yelp. It is not looking good.

        I will be honest, I have not seen a Yelp advertising contract in the last 8 months and I know they have made some changes. If you can email it to me so I can take a look that would be great. Yelp does claim that it takes a while to see results. However they also guarantee certain impressions I believe but not click through. Check to see if your activity is what they promised, if not you should be able to cancel. Read what this guy did when he wanted to cancel and how he got Yelp to work with him on it.

        If Yelp has breached its contract, and you pay on a periodic basis, I would suggest you write them a certified letter, with Return Receipt stating that you are withholding payment until they repair the breach. Contracts are written that way for a reason, so everyone knows what is expected on both sides of the agreement.

        In general with any contract, if you can determine a fraud was perpetrated in the execution of the contract, say the contract was entered into based upon fraudulent representations, I believe the document is not valid and can be legally voided.

        I am not a lawyer, so these are just suggestions. If it were me, I would cancel whatever payment method I provided, notify them in writing, and make them call you. They will take you seriously when you they know you aren’t going to pay. It sounds like they have some collection efforts internally and most collection people will work things out, especially if you can prove your case. They don’t want to initiate collection procedures or go to court, its too expensive. Especially if they think you have a good case.

        Just be careful, as these links mention, they do try to pressure you into staying. Maybe you can make a deal where you try 1 more month and if you don’t get results they let you leave.

    • Lili Salmon

      Recently, I brought my daughter and her friend to Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant at Pasadena for dinner. The service was extremely poor. I made a review at Yelp. The company wrote me and requested me to rewrite my review and asked for my e-mail to send a personal apology. However, I have not received any apology e-mail from them. But instead I got a NO-REPLY e-mail from YELP stating that I violated their contract as a member of YELP. There wasn’t an explanation. My profile was deleted from the site without any warning!
      This is an unfair act! I believe that Yelp must be getting paid to do this type of harassment. I still have some gifts and deals I brought from that site. Now I don’t think I will be refunded my money! PLEASE BE AWARE PEOPLE IF YOU RECEIVE BAD SERVICE FROM YELP.COM OR BUCA DI BEPPO IN PASADENA MAKE IT KNOWN!!!

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