Wednesday, June 4, 2014

May god yelp us all!

I often question my sanity. I don't know what I was thinking.
I've had a business account with Yelp for sometime now. But I often heard this rumor that if you closed your account, Yelp would retaliate.
And I didn't want to believe it!
Not until it happens to you, you realized how contentious a company can be, and how much strife they can cause in your life.
After measuring results from the Yelp campaign, I decided that I wasn't getting what I wanted from the exchange. When the contract was up, I called them and email them with termination notices.
A funny thing happened,,,,,
Every possible unflattering review I had, dating back to 2011 was now on position one page one. It didn't matter I had many other great reviews recently. The only ones Yelp wanted to show were those that didn't help my cause. Now! Yelp could fix that right away. All I had to do was pay them a monthly fee with a yearly contract and then, they could certainly make sure those pesky poor reviews never saw the light of page one. They would be relegated to a page so deep and profound  that no human being could ever find.

So here is where the business and moral dilemmas clash for me.
One one hand, paying them $75.00 or so per month it's not going to make a dent in my life.
One the other hand, paying them that fee is tantamount to protection money. it's a racket! It's wrong!
I know that in paying the monthly, poor reviews would be buried and thus I would be able to get more clients to come to our business. It does however feel dirty, tainted, bought. But hey!, all is fair in business right?
Truth is, I know I can pay Yelp for a near perfect rating that would allow my business to grow. But I would feel empty, I would feel sold for a few dollars.
I know the right thing to do is to stand firm against the tyranny of the Yelp oppression. It's just that I wonder how alone I'm going to be standing against them.
Make no mistake!  Yelp is not our friend. They ask for what amounts to protection money from business's while allowing postings that they shouldn't.
They claim to filter thru all the postings to catch the fake ones. But they only delete good reviews if they feel they are insincere. They do nothing about poor or bad reviews even if they think are bogus.
Ill post an epilog to this column, hopefully in about a month after I go through all the data from analytics.
I'll know by then the effect of the decision taken today and report it.

May god Yelp me!


  1. Lee, love your blogs...keep it up my man!

  2. Perfect Lee! I really can't stand Yelp at all. They are extortionists to the highest level. I guess I'm a bit fortunate that their presence out here in the East Coast isn't as dominating as it is out your way. But their tactics are all the same. What bothers me most is that Apple and Siri search has them nested in iOS. That's a huge mistake by Apple and the one relationship that I think should be broken up either by agreement from the two parties or the courts. It's not fair when you think of "honest search results". Please keep us posted on your journey. Thanks again.