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Jun 15, 2011 08:32 AM

Why Yelp Sucks!

So I was talking to a co-worker about why I wasn't really a big fan of Yelp, but mentioned I had posted a couple of items on the site. She asked about my reviews and I gave her my name on the site and she couldn't find any of my reviews. We then found out my reviews (all four of them) had been "filtered out."
Yelp says it filters reviews from lesser known reviewers until there is "trust" established, so my reviews do NOT show up and are not counted in the tally of the restaurant.

I think Yelp has it all wrong. If the reviewers cannot trust Yelp, why bother?

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        1. re: scottca075

          Two plus years later and I just stumbled upon such brilliance . . . .

      1. so if u have had a post deleted here on chowhound (and i dont know of anybody who hasnt at one time or another) would that make CH suck too?

        and they at least filter them...they dont delete them outright unless they are against tos or are obviously bad or self yelps..

        i post on yelp as well as here...u can pretty well filter out the bs posters on either site..

        7 Replies
        1. re: srsone

          Yes, they DO filter. That does NOT mean that they never delete. That, or persistent-hide even when told "show all", same case as far as the user is concerned, and yes they absolutely do engage in this shady practice.

          1. re: tj442x

            They filter AND Delete. I had a review up about a company that owed me and others thousands of dollars, and was involved in what has turned out now to be 2 multimillion dollar lawsuits.

            My review was up for nearly a year. They deleted it suddenly and the account.
            I received a flippant email telling me it was because i didn't use my real name.
            I posted it again with real name, and they deleted it and the account again a few days later.

            I asked why.

            They emailed me a week later saying it wasn't a "personal" experience. LOL.

            I re posted it and used citations, dates, quotes, copies of email correspondence with the company CEO and his underlings. A week later they deleted it and sent me an email saying it wasn't a real customer experience review and said not to review this company anymore or they would delete me. Shady behavior.

            Now here is the kicker.

            About 2 minutes later an email came into my inbox from the same Yelp manager but the letter was addressed (Dear xxxxx) to another woman (at the company I reviewed/criticized or perhaps a PR person hired by that company).

            The email was mistakenly sent to me, probably by pasting in my address by accident and hitting send. sometimes when you do a copy-paste you don't hold down the Ctrl-C long enough to pick up the new copy.

            The email basically was kissing arss and letting that person know that she had removed my review again.

            I responded back asking why she was apologizing to this person and who is it? I asked if Yelp claims to be real reviews..etc.. why are they removing legitimate reviews with full documentation, dates and times at the whim of a third party.

            They wrote back a few days later saying it was a mistake, i wasn't supposed to get that email and then told me i couldn't review this company or might get banned...etc.

            My review was clean, documented and legitimate and reached the third spot in the big g00g search for that company. The company must have paid them something or Yelp was anticipating a paying relationship with them in the near future. I don't have a problem with that as long as they spell it out.

            1. re: oxymoronent

              While I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, Yelp does delete (or tries to keep up with deleting) any & all supposed "reviews" that aren't reviews so much as rants about legal proceedings. And it's completely within their rights to do so - especially if the legal proceedings are still in process. In this libelous day & age, I don't really blame them.

              1. re: Bacardi1

                @B If that were the case they would or should have communicated it. They did not.
                They gave different reasons as it progressed which added to the frustration and suspicion.
                I do understand that issue though, the BBB follows this policy.
                Thank you.

                1. re: oxymoronent

                  I definitely agree with you there. The Yelp admins are SEVERELY lacking in member service/communications.

                  One does have to wonder what they do all day, because it certainly isn't updating business statuses ("closed", "moved", etc., etc.) or responding to member queries. I & other members have repeatedly advised them of status changes that months - in some cases YEARS - later, still haven't been updated.

                  1. re: Bacardi1

                    Just to be clear here. This is not about a lack of communication skills. This is about clear cut dishonesty, deception. It appears that this admin/mgr lied repeatedly, .

                    Looking back at the company page now and they have allowed the company to add their own "self review" so to speak, the company line about who they claim to be. Of course it is all positive. Meanwhile they disallow negative reviews.
                    Again, this is not about member service/communications but about deception for based on some hidden personal (financial?) relationship. Interesting enough, the only negative review that wasn't removed is one that is still filtered away from public view. I suppose if or when that one gains, it will be deleted.

              2. re: oxymoronent

                Probably happened because the company was being legally aggressive and was large enough to pose a threat.

          2. Wow I did not know that. My friend likes to post on yelp to help local businesses and maybe he isn't helping as much as he thinks. Was thinking of jumping to yelp as my own Philly boards are filled with posters who insist on adding two or three question marks to the end of the title of their thread just so you know their query is more urgent than the rest. /sigh.

            5 Replies
            1. re: givemecarbs

              Hilarious carbs. I had to take a peak and I see what you mean. Very funny. I stopped reading Yelp a few years ago when I read a post of someone ripping to shreds one of the my favorite restaurants here in Charlotte. Based on his/her comments on items on the menu, the decor and a few others things that had been written, it was clear the reviewer had never stepped foot in the restaurant. Not sure what yelp could have done to prevent it, but I immediately lost interest.

              1. re: southernitalian

                Apparently it is becoming a more common business practice to hire people to write reviews on yelp and similar websites to either dis the competition or praise the one paying. The funny thing is since these people tend to post more, they also tend to become 'trusted' rather than 'filtered' by the logarithms used by many comment driven websites. It's an interesting conundrum.

                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                    While yelp might use logarithms in their algorithms, I think you mean the latter.

                1. re: givemecarbs

                  Uh oh Carbs, I just realized I am guilty of that on the Philly Boards. I actually use two or three explanation points alot too, I think to point out that my comment is more exciting and enthusiastic that the rest ;)

                2. I wouldn't say Yelp sucks, but I'm always leery of reviews on Yelp, especially Elite reviews.
                  I do like Yelp for its search function and mapping.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: dave_c

                    The "elites" are easily the worst, at least in the bay area; so glad yelp tags them upfront and makes it easy to ignore them.

                    1. re: tj442x

                      I have to agree with you. I turned a friend on to Yelp and she instantly reviewed every place she'd ever been and became an elite member after throwing her jaded "hipster wisdom" (which is at best a huge oxymoron) at almost everything both here and where she came from.

                    2. re: dave_c

                      I like Yelp for its format and searchability. Chow lumps Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange County and more, almost 15,000 square miles of land, into one board. If you heading to an area like Santa Monica you have to sift through tons of garbage to find places.

                      I use Yelp to find "best restaurants" in an area and then search the top results in Chow. It would be nice if Chow would update the software.

                      I do agree that the "elites" are insufferable, but then again, that is not exclusive to Yelp.

                      1. re: scottca075

                        I use Yelp the same way. The phone app is great when I'm away from the house and need a place to eat too. It's not my end-all resource - I think it's extremely useful when used in conjunction with other resources. I find the reviews to be rather useless for the most part when taken individually, but you can suss out some interesting truths if you read a bunch of them.

                        1. re: scottca075

                          Yelp is a tool. Use it carefully and thoughtfully and you can get great results. Misuse it and it is about as effective as using a golf club for planting daffodils.

                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                            I mostly agree but I would argue that it's not a very high quality tool.

                            1. re: virtualguthrie

                              we've had about 5000 years of agriculture to bring us to a garden trowel. Only about 50 with computers and about half that with the internet. So yeah, the tools are often blunt, clumsy, and inefficient.

                              1. re: KaimukiMan

                                Your response.... it's so.... beautiful.

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