Skip to comments.A Scandalous Documentary Will Examine Whether Yelp Exploits Small-Business Owners
Posted on 03/22/2015 9:33:30 PM PDT by nickcarraway
It's long been debated whether Yelp has the right to manipulate the order and appearance of its own listings. Many restaurant owners, of course, think it's horribly unfair and go as far as to classify the practice as extortion.
That's where Billion Dollar Bully comes into play: Prost Productions is crowd-funding an investigative documentary to spotlight how Yelp takes advantage of small-business owners. Fifty percent of the project has been filmed, and from the looks of it, the documentary could be quite damning for the company's image.
In the teaser, the owner of a small Oakland restaurant says: "It is a racket, what they do. They forcibly make you pay for their services, or you get more and more negative reviews." There are also a few mafia references, so it's clear where this is headed.
EXTORTION. I had them come to me, sidelining 5 positive reviews for my company saying I must have written them myself. Then suggested if I paid for advertising, the reviews would get proper recognition.
I have never like Yelp. I travel all the time and find it pretty useless.
What is this “Yelp”?
We pay for their services and get quite a bit of business from their site at our restaurant.
We look at it as advertising that works
I have found tripadvisor dot com pretty reliable. I don’t do yelp.
“I have found tripadvisor dot com pretty reliable”
Concur, about Trip Advisor especially for Hotels and Restaurants. The thing about yelp, at least in Southern California, are that all the smug little Asian female hipsters whom think they are Food review critics for the LA Times. Some of the reviews are so obviously plants. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least of a scandle involving Yelp paying employees to plant bad reviews then shaking down those businesses for their service.
Sorta of a net variation on the YELlow Pages. People can check their site or an app for, for example, Italian restaurants near the theater they’re going to, or look for a service in any area that they aren’t familiar with.
Trip Advisor has refused to print several of my reviews, all of them negative and pointing out some serious flaws in hotels and their service. I don’t trust it anymore.
I know a small business owner who has been approached by Yelp.
Seemed to be totally overpriced....they avoided Yelp like the plague.
I prefer Urban Spoon.
I don’t bother with any of them. In all fairness, anyone with a mouth that can eat is a food critic. The difference is the writing course in college.
Best review I ever read went something like this: “These are the dishes our party ordered. Each dish with the exception of the appetizer was delicious. Service was very good. Wait time was long but worth it for a Saturday night. Dessert was ok and the coffee that came with the dessert was hot. Overall, we will go there again.”
Frankly, I don’t give two hoots about the 5 dollar adjectives used to describe a piece of chicken.
I had recommended a local small business via Yelp back in 2010 or so.
That business owner later told me that Yelp had approached her with the same extortionate approach mentioned here.
I then did a little online research and turned up a WSJ blog post that echoed the business owner's experience.
I then posted a review of Yelp, on Yelp, complaining about their skeevy practices, based on the above.
That review is now -- surprise! -- missing at Yelp.
I’ve had really poor results with Yelp.
I prefer Trip Advisor or even Google. What I do on Google is scan quickly for the restaurants with a lot of reviews. Only then look at the ratings.
Works pretty well. Better than Yelp, anyway.
Yelp seems to be disproportionately overloaded with overly critical restaurant reviews posted by losers and dimwits with an inferiority complex. Their only sense of power in life comes from trashing the last fast food place who served them a taco.
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