Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Yelp: what can you believe?

I am one among the many business owners annoyed about the power of Yelp,  and their review filter.  Although I have been operating my business in Portland for more than 9 years, the last review that Yelp shows is from 2011, which probably leads some to assume I am no longer in business.

Recently, one of my fabulous clients wrote a lovely review for me  on both Yelp and Angie's List.  Angie's accepted it without question.  Her Yelp review, after a day or two, got dumped with the all of the others into my "filtered" wasteland.  So only two reviews appear, and all of the others have "disappeared."  Hopefully, folks know to click on "Filtered" to get the whole picture.

Are you aware of all the controversy around Yelp?  If a business pays to advertise, they will resposition the reviews.  Suddenly, good reviews will reappear, and the bad are filtered.  For those of us who refuse to cave into that type of extortion, we are in review limbo.

There is only one review of my business that deserved to be filtered - from someone who expected me to undergo a criminal background and FBI check before I even met him - which I declined to do.  With more than 99% of my clients indicating their trust in me at first meet - this was a red flag for future trouble.

How has Yelp gained so much power? More importantly, why hasn't there been (successful) legal action to stop this?

I used to research Yelp reviews before patronizing a business.  Not any more.

What has your Yelp experience been?  Feedback appreciated!  

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