Yelp Angers Its Merchants By Deleting Their User Accounts

from the yelp-me-rhonda dept

Review site Yelp caused quite a ruckus this week when they deleted a bunch of user accounts that they deemed to be gaming the system. Many of the users whose accounts were deleted were business owners -- Yelp accused them of trading positive reviews with other business owners, quid pro quo. Yelp has had a tumultuous relationship with its merchants in the past because of negative reviews from Yelpers; some merchants had even tried to ban Yelpers from even visiting their establishments. This tension is unfortunate, since Yelp makes its money from selling these very merchants their services. That said, hopefully Yelp has not overlooked the larger problem that still exists on their site: an overwhelming number of reviews per establishment without any good tools for filtering or determining trust. Furthermore, Yelp has become quite a target for "Foodies," who complain that the reviews from users are pedestrian and inconsistent; Eater has an entire column devoted to the "shortcomings and nuances of the Yelp empire." Despite all of the negative attention that Yelp has been getting, the most important factor is whether or not it continues to grow as a useful resource for users. Yelp just recently surpassed Citysearch in number of users in March of this year, so perhaps they are on the right path.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Overcast, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 4:21pm

    If there is too much 'spam' of review type sites - like other things, their value will drop to nil, because they are no longer unbiased - not that they are unbiased now...

    But some seem credible.

    Seems like things are cool on the web until the mass of 'dumb users'/spammers manage to find it, heh

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Me, Jul 8th, 2008 @ 8:38pm

    I was told by a coffee shop owner that I should be shot in the face and that if he sees me in his store he'd break my nose.

    My review wasn't as bad as the coffee that I had there that I reviewed. After his whining and threatening, I went back. Apparently I went there on a bad day and the coffee the first time was completely undrinkable. Much better the 2nd time and I know that he's venting on me for his failing shop. But still. Maybe I should post his yelp mails to me as a new review.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Richard C Haven, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 11:02am

      Re: coffee shop owner

      Yeah, post his messages, and maybe file a police report for assault. He can tell you to leave his store, but he cannot threaten you, especially because you said something that he did not like.

      Any honorable merchant, especially in food service, would ask you what he could do to improve.

       

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    identicon
    John Kreuzer, Aug 9th, 2008 @ 10:21am

    Yelp

    Interesting information about Yelp. I do not use the Web site very often but have been reading about it quite a bit recently.

    I wrote a blog posting about Yelp and their supposed "strong arming" of businesses earlier this week.

    http://kreuzer33.wordpress.com/2008/08/07/yelp-in-trouble/

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Melinda Yang, Aug 23rd, 2008 @ 5:46pm

    Yelp Executives: Confused , Panicked & Immature

    Here's another blog with quotes from Nish Nadaraja and Stephanie Ichinose , both executives of Yelp. Makes you wonder what the hell is going over at Yelp. Is anyone in charge over there?

    http://phillips.blogs.com/goc/2008/07/the-yelp-mess.html

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Alberto D, Aug 23rd, 2008 @ 10:05pm

    Yelp Elite Party ...Total IQ of all in building = 97

    Here's a site with pictures from a recent Yelp Elite party.
    This is an event where Yelp wastes $100,000 of their investors money rewarding those unemployed and uneducated Yelpers who have enough time to write 500 or more reviews.
    Check out the obscene picture on the bottom right . Two slobbering Yelp Elite ( one is breastfeeding another , and stupid enough to allow a picture to be taken).
    Yes indeed, these ARE the Yelp Elite.
    Nish Nadaraja and Stephanie Ichinose are also in attendance.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Alberto D, Aug 23rd, 2008 @ 10:05pm

    Yelp Elite Party ...Total IQ of all in building = 97

    Here's a site with pictures from a recent Yelp Elite party.
    This is an event where Yelp wastes $100,000 of their investors money rewarding those unemployed and uneducated Yelpers who have enough time to write 500 or more reviews.
    Check out the obscene picture on the bottom right . Two slobbering Yelp Elite ( one is breastfeeding another , and stupid enough to allow a picture to be taken).
    Yes indeed, these ARE the Yelp Elite.
    Nish Nadaraja and Stephanie Ichinose are also in attendance.

    http://valleywag.com/photogallery/yelpeliteatmighty/

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Alberto D, Aug 23rd, 2008 @ 10:05pm

    Yelp Elite Party ...Total IQ of all in building = 97

    Here's a site with pictures from a recent Yelp Elite party.
    This is an event where Yelp wastes $100,000 of their investors money rewarding those unemployed and uneducated Yelpers who have enough time to write 500 or more reviews.
    Check out the obscene picture on the bottom right . Two slobbering Yelp Elite ( one is breastfeeding another , and stupid enough to allow a picture to be taken).
    Yes indeed, these ARE the Yelp Elite.
    Nish Nadaraja and Stephanie Ichinose are also in attendance.

    http://valleywag.com/photogallery/yelpeliteatmighty/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    Penny, Aug 29th, 2008 @ 9:30pm

    yelp is pissing a lot of people off

    As you can see, yelp is pissing off a lot of people. Hate breeds hate. The hateful reviews on yelp are propagating more hate against yelp. Yelp is finally getting a dose of it's medicine.

    If I were running yelp, I would do the following:
    1. Restore all positive reviews.
    2. Reinstate banned members.
    3. Issue a public appology.
    4. Remove reviews that are inflammatory, personal in nature, or legal disputes. Yelp should focus on reviews and not as a means for people to attack legitimate businesses. Also, they should remove disputed accounts.
    Perhaps by following these steps yelp can gain a little credibility.

     

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    identicon
    Penny, Aug 29th, 2008 @ 9:32pm

    yelp is pissing a lot of people off

    As you can see, yelp is pissing off a lot of people. Hate breeds hate. The hateful reviews on yelp are propagating more hate against yelp. Yelp is finally getting a dose of it's medicine.

    If I were running yelp, I would do the following:
    1. Restore all positive reviews.
    2. Reinstate banned members.
    3. Issue a public appology.
    4. Remove reviews that are inflammatory, personal in nature, or legal disputes. Yelp should focus on reviews and not as a means for people to attack legitimate businesses. Also, they should remove disputed accounts.
    Perhaps by following these steps yelp can gain a little credibility.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    usedtolikeyelp, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 3:56pm

    Yelp is going down hill

    Yelp actualy just closed my account because I wrote a negative review of yelp. I had over 100 fun reviews and like that they killed my account. What a horrible site. Its all people hanging out on message boards loooking to fight and the reviews are as fake as fake can be.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    usedtolikeyelp, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 3:56pm

    Yelp is going down hill

    Yelp actualy just closed my account because I wrote a negative review of yelp. I had over 100 fun reviews and like that they killed my account. What a horrible site. Its all people hanging out on message boards loooking to fight and the reviews are as fake as fake can be.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    DisillusionedAboutYelp, Sep 15th, 2008 @ 1:36pm

    Yelp Employee Confesses

    Below's a thread about someone giving a company a bad review, and then a Yelp employee going out of their way to contact and eventually harass the reviewer. When the reviewer blocks the employee's communications to avoid further harassment, the employee then opens a public thread, and divulges private emails.



    The employee at first vehemently denies being paid by Yelp, but later gets caught confessing to the whole thing:
"yelps pays me a lot of money to protect its sponsors. its a good racket. dont blow it for me."
The fact that this same employee who began the harassment has also given the other company a glowing review, is completely unethical to say the least.

    

See for yourself, and quickly, before Yelp pulls the thread down to cover up their tracks:

    http://www.yelp.com/topic/san-francisco-calling-you-out-atlas-plumbing-review

     

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  •  
    identicon
    MissPinkKate, Nov 24th, 2008 @ 8:50am

    Yelp Removed My Negative Review of a Paid Sponsor

    Check out my blog posting on the subject- my negative (2 star) review of a restaurant was removed after less than 7 days, and after I know that the restaurant owner saw it (because a mutual friend told me so). I'm done supporting Yelp. Back to Citysearch I go.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      sqpantz, Mar 5th, 2009 @ 5:43pm

      Re: Yelp Removed My Negative Review of a Paid Sponsor

      Same happened to me. Once realizing that negative reviews could be removed by the business reviewed, how could anyone take them seriously as a review site?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    Sandra, Feb 26th, 2009 @ 5:24pm

    my reviews don't even show up sometimes...especially on the sponsored results. i'm done too... Citysearch, here I come...but I will check this out...might as well help the anti-yelp movement: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090225162712AAoCqYF

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Jon, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 8:06pm

    Yelp People are just stupid people...

    Its a website were people have nothing to do and are trying to be a food critic. I was a yelper and I didnt like it. I left and cancelled my account.
    I also went to meet some of these yelpers and they are all just weird looking people "geeks" is the word. Stupid people bcs they spend hours trying to write a review for free, like its very important....
    At the end you get nothing out of it. To all those yelpers keep on working for free and put your pics and your personal info like stupid is and stupid will always be....

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Graham Morfitt, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 11:08pm

    KudosWorks is much more merchant-friendly

    I was looking into the Yelp phenomenon, and the math is discouraging for merchants... A happy customer tells an average of 5 people, while an unhappy customer will tell an average of 10. Seems like a losing scenario for merchants, and in this economic climate, we need all the positive energy we can find.
    I use KudosWorks.com with my business, and I find it very handy. Other sites can be customer forums for reviews (good, bad, & very bad), but for posting testimonials on my site from real customers, being able to control how many and which ones are displayed, and provide ways for happy customers to spread the word with their friends, KudosWorks is excellent.
    Costs next to nothing too.
    Just a merchant-centric comment, hope all you honest reviewers out there won't mind.

     

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  •  
    icon
    drbone (profile), Jul 14th, 2009 @ 12:14pm

    yelp.com

    I agree that yelp.com sucks. Their internal search is also hard to use and you can't find anything with it! Yelp is just too aggressive in pushing their business model.

    I think it's better just to stick to established sites like citysearch, and a lot of newer review sites are cropping up like fairplayreviews.com

     

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  •  
    icon
    jehova (profile), Oct 2nd, 2009 @ 1:31am

    yelp in hell

    We pray YELP goes bankrupt and sinks to the bottom of hell, and takes its MAFIA YELPERS with them. We pray that GOD shows no mercy for all the personal damage and EXTORTION they have inflicted upon small business owners and the children they support. YELP is a den of snakes and deserve to BURN for the lies and slander they spread on the world wide web.
    Say 10 times..."We pray to Archangel Michael to swiftly destroy YELP!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Abu Jihad (profile), Dec 12th, 2009 @ 12:40pm

    I was Abu J. on Phoenix Yelp.

    I wrote over 593 popular reviews and earned 10,900 compliments and 24000 Useful, funny and cool votes. I had 139 First To Review. I Got Review of the Day on November 11 2009.

    But all my reiews, compliments votes and even my ROTD were deleted without warning. In part because I was unfairly accused of something that never happened, and in part because the community manager and her real life friends didnt like my name: Abu Jihad.

    Yelp users should care because they want yelp to be reliable and because you dont want your reviews to disappear as mine did.

    The elite system and the ROTD system is corrupted by the community managers incompetence. There is no incentive for anyone still on Yelp to point this out, as being elite is a good deal...free food and drink at least monthly, and the favored few make up the bulk of elite. But the facts remain: There are numerous elite yelpers who dont qualify. There are numerous elite yelpers who have written only a few dozen reviews over years of elite status. And there are numerous elite yelpers who write like children. But Yelp closed MY account.

    The ROTD process in Phoenix is corrupt--its mostly a few elite friends over and over. Yes, I got one for George and Dragon out of my 593 reviews and I was very pleased and grateful-but its gone now. On the other hand, the brother of a local Community Manager has three ROTD out of 20 some reviews. Is that fair? Is that ethical? No. And dont start with the algorithm nonsense. There is no algorithm.

    Finally, about my reviews. I had 593 reviews up. Of those I had 139 FTRs (none for events), 15 reviews over 100 UFC votes each, and two reviews over 150 UFCs (Macayo and my ROTD). My reviews were the most UFCd for almost every establishment I reviewed, and not only in Phoenix. I wasnt elite, and it wasnt because I didnt have a pic (I did). Its because I am Abu Jihad and peoplejust didnt like it. Nobody can gainsay that.

    Its sickening to have all your reviews deleted without a TOS violation. Without a warning. With no recourse. Its probably more sickening for you to be writing with the prospect of your reviews being taken down. At least I know what yelp can do to me.

    I have never yelped under another profile before Abu J (my real name) and I wont yelp with any other profiles. I am a real person. I wanted to make a contribution, and many people---at least 85 fans and 600 plus friends--thought I did. Others, well, others differed.

    I had a lot of fun. Now its over.

    If youre after getting the honey then you dont go killing all the bees, like Joe Strummer says.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Yelp Is Dishonest, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 9:39am

    Our business has had 5 reviews so far. One is a negative review from a man who is lying about being a client; the other four are very positive. Yelp keeps only the dishonest negative review on our Yelp page, and filters out all positive reviews. Then, after complaining about this, they start hitting me up to set up a "business" account. I will never trust Yelp, again.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    ronn k., Jan 22nd, 2011 @ 11:44am

    Helping Businesses Restore Their Names

    Yelp customers have really nothing better to do with their time then try and ruin small businesses and restaurants because they are nasty people. Thats why we set up our reputation defender and repuation management services to help businesses out restore their good name! Its called the review buster. Please link to us and facebook friend us as we are trying to get this service off the ground. also please don't hesitate to send us any comments or suggestions!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    JAY F, Feb 12th, 2012 @ 9:19am

    REMOVE YELP FROM FACEBOOK .LOOOK SEEE...IT'S EASY REMOVE YELP FROM YOUR FACEBOOK !

    I also was removed... so i removed them from MY Facebook page. two can play this game
    Go to the Yelp fan page on Facebook.com by clicking here and click the "Remove App" link on the right hand side bottom of the page.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    rick bogdanyi, Feb 14th, 2012 @ 4:01pm

    close my account

    There should be an easy way to close your account and I am tired of looking through yelp lawyer crap.

    Do me a favor and cancel anything you have on my folded company.

    Bogdanyi Services

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Tom, Jun 1st, 2012 @ 1:56am

    yelp online system is pretty much allow low budget shoppers to leave unfair comments

    most of BAD people like to leave negative comments on business account and owner pretty much SOL of defense them self. in my experience, people tried to get discount and/or free service and use yelp to threat business that they will leave bad comments. I think yelp should or at least professionally work with business owners and allow them to some what defense to non-sense, UN-truthful comments.

    Tom from Austin

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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