Dentist Who 'Invoiced' Patient For Negative Reviews, Getting Slammed On Yelp

from the these-things-have-a-way-of-coming-back dept

You may recall that, yesterday, we wrote about the class action lawsuit filed against dentist Stacy Makhnevich. Makhnevich used ethically and legally dubious forms from the organization Medical Justice, to demand the future copyrights on any reviews a patient might write about her. Then, she used the DMCA process to try to take down negative reviews on Yelp and DoctorBase. When that didn't work, she threatened the patient, Robert Lee, with a lawsuit, and started sending him invoices for infringement, at $100/day. None of this addressed Lee's original complaint -- that Makhnevich failed to submit the documents he needed to get reimbursed from his insurance company for an expensive procedure.

Of course, as with any typical Streisand Effect situation, all this ended up doing is leading to a hell of a lot more attention to the situation and the negative comments. But, these days, things can go even further than just driving more attention to content someone wanted disappeared. It can lead to even further backlash -- especially on sites involving reviews -- as we've seen with authors who get dinged for questionable actions. If you go take a look at Yelp's page for Stacy Makhnevich the one star reviews are flowing in... many of them calling her out for what she did. Oh, and Robert Lee's review, which kicked this whole mess off... is Yelp's "featured" review at the top of the page. Her current total review rating is at a star and a half. It used to be much, much better.
Some of the reviews are entertaining. I liked this one, which notes "I heard you have to bring your lawyer with you to the dentist's office."
For future reference, if you're that concerned with your online reviews, perhaps just do the best you can and respond to customer complaints promptly. Trying to whitewash complaints seems likely to backfire in big, bad way.

Filed Under: class action, copyright, dentists, dmca, doctors, reviews, stacy makhnevich
Companies: medical justice


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  1. identicon
    Glenn T, 2 Dec 2011 @ 10:44pm

    Yelp solution

    ANNOUNCEMENT: 

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

    The technique below has worked VERY WELL for us and some of the other budinesses who have already done what we have. 

    *** this works best for retailers, not restaurants***


    Step 1- first of all, if you’re currently advertising with yelp, stop doing so and shift that money to optimize your own web site for keywords that people will search for 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 yelp 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 on google 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.

    Now, all your reviews (filtered or not) will be visible to all your web site visitors. 

    5- put a note on the top that says, “for your convenience we have placed all our filtered and unfiltered reviews on one page to see. If you’d like to go to our live yelp page, click here …………”

    Make the whole page clickable to your live yelp page  so no-one will think you’re trying hide something or to be dishonest 

    Advantages of doing this: 

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

    2- Your visitors can’t click on your competitors 

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

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

    5- This whole process cost us less than $150 to implement 


    This technique WILL NOT work for your business if your web site is not SEO optimized. 

    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 along

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