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Yelp targeted by class action lawsuit

jgg13 Feb 24, 2010 11:14 AM

http://techcrunch.com/2010/02/24/yelp...

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    StheJ RE: jgg13 Feb 24, 2010 01:03 PM

    Wow... This sounds exactly like the allegations posted in a previous thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/537312

    I'd really like to hear what the elite yelpers have to say about this... I mean class action. That implies a whole bunch of folks with the same problem, doesn't it? Elite yelpers: What's up?

    1. j
      Johnny L RE: jgg13 Feb 24, 2010 01:52 PM

      I hope what they say sbout Yelp is not true!

      It's a great site to find places to eat, I've found so many great places to eat because of the site and I usually know what to order too because of it!

      But if that is true about the extortion-ist thing then I am disappointed in the website.

      1. i
        itsonlyfood RE: jgg13 Feb 24, 2010 02:51 PM

        I have a non-food business and what is described in the techcrunch article happened to us--
        high pressure calls from Yelp to pay them $300 a month on an ongoing basis and then a negative review about us will get buried. We had over 150 very positive reviews and wondered if the bad review was not actually a plant by their sales dept to help push their $300/month program. Yelp reviews have value but this sort of stuff---borderline extortion---has to stop.

        7 Replies
        1. re: itsonlyfood
          ChinoWayne RE: itsonlyfood Feb 24, 2010 04:48 PM

          In my view this demonstrates the biggest difference between Yelp and Chowhound, the fact that Yelp has no integrity. The culture at Yelp, in their management or with their forum participants is to encourage shakedowns. A far difference from the Chowhound ethos.

          1. re: itsonlyfood
            alanbarnes RE: itsonlyfood Feb 24, 2010 05:31 PM

            "Indeed, Yelp does pay some employees to write reviews of businesses that are solicited for advertising. And in at least one documented instance, a business owner who refused to advertise subsequently received a negative review from a Yelp employee."

            http://www.eastbayexpress.com/eastbay...

            1. re: alanbarnes
              g
              Gourmetguy5757 RE: alanbarnes Mar 28, 2010 07:33 PM

              One out of how many total reviews? 2 or 3 million....? inevitable and so VERY human that somebody would try this .. How many fake releif organizations sprangup overnight after the Haitian Earthquake. Unfortunately, Its human nature for some people to take the easy way out and extrort, threaten and lie, rather than do it the right way.
              THis is why there are laws and legions of lawyers and police.. to enforce laws and morals. WHat CHOWBABY axe, does the EastBay Express have to grind?

            2. re: itsonlyfood
              j
              Johnny L RE: itsonlyfood Feb 24, 2010 06:43 PM

              wow for real? That is bull!

              I mean since the site is mostly user submitted reviews if your restaurant/business has 100+ reviews a few bad plants even then wouldn't keep them down and most of the time people ignore the bad reviews of those who only have several and don't detail their complaints.

              This would suck for small restaurants but I assume Yelp would rather extort money from big restaurants that could afford it.

              1. re: Johnny L
                s
                StheJ RE: Johnny L Feb 24, 2010 07:15 PM

                I disagree...it seems like they would target smaller and less established restaurants because they're more vulnerable. A larger restaurant would have more power to fight back and/or would get more legitimate positive reviews to drown out the sock puppets.

                It seems like typical mob tactics... Tony Soprano doesn't demand protection money from Walmart and Rite Aid, he takes it from the mom and pop drug stores and groceries.

                1. re: StheJ
                  j
                  Johnny L RE: StheJ Feb 24, 2010 08:27 PM

                  hmm that makes sense actually well either way hopefully more light is shed on this upon the lawsuit.

                  Considering how fast the website is growing its so shady for them to be doing this.

                  My hope is that this is the actions of a few who got too greedy within the company.

                  1. re: Johnny L
                    s
                    StheJ RE: Johnny L Feb 27, 2010 07:42 AM

                    "My hope is that this is the actions of a few who got too greedy within the company."

                    I don't know... From reading the comments on the link above, it sure seems to be happening a lot in many different places. I guess we'll have to wait and see what trial reveals to know what the story really is.

            3. s
              small h RE: jgg13 Feb 24, 2010 06:08 PM

              Hah! I realize that's not much of a value-added contribution, but...Hah!

              1. jfood RE: jgg13 Feb 24, 2010 06:25 PM

                Maybe an AG or two will look into criminal charges as well.

                1. southernitalian RE: jgg13 Feb 25, 2010 07:38 AM

                  No surprise here. A few years ago I visited yelp for the first and last time. There was a review of a Mom & Pop Thai restaurant in my city. I've been a huge fan of this place for years. It was very clear to me that whoever wrote the review had never visited the restaurant based on the comments. I became immediatelt suspicious and never looked at it again.

                  1. j
                    janeh RE: jgg13 Feb 25, 2010 01:39 PM

                    Given what Yelp has to say about restaurants in my town, I am pretty sure that they are using other methods to rank businesses than just by customer reviews.

                    1. thirtyeyes RE: jgg13 Feb 27, 2010 10:52 PM

                      I wish Yelp would allow you to sort reviews by date and/or by stars. I know they have some kind of "secret" algorithm, but it sometimes seems like they front load bad reviews on some places and bury bad reviews on other places. Is this an advertising tactic?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: thirtyeyes
                        alanbarnes RE: thirtyeyes Feb 27, 2010 11:33 PM

                        Yelp does allow you to sort reviews by date or stars. Problem is, the default is the "Yelp sort," which ostensibly considers "recency, user voting, and other review quality factors."

                      2. s
                        StheJ RE: jgg13 Apr 29, 2010 04:27 PM

                        Interesting Miami New Times article: http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2010-04-...

                        "They're the modern-day Mafia. Maybe they're not holding a gun to my head, but they're playing the same game," says Taylor, who is also a plaintiff in the lawsuit. "It's too late for policy changes to help out. I just hope all this negative publicity finally tarnishes the company."

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