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Sun Apr 9 2017 21:34:06

The Yelp Trap: Educate Your Staff

By: Ina Steiner

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Yelp can help or hurt your business, and sometimes it can happen in unexpected ways. National Jeweler describes such a case that took place in Massachusetts. 

"A jury has ordered a Massachusetts jeweler to pay $34,500 to a competitor for posting a fake review on the latter's Yelp page."

The reviewer - the son and employee of a jewelry store owner - allegedly posted a negative review on Yelp about competing jewelry store, advising other Yelp users to "go elsewhere."

Some people may think of leaving negative reviews for competitors as simply "marketing" - but here's a tipoff: lying is never good marketing.

What's also interesting about this case was the fact that the jeweler subject to the bad review was able to determine the identity of his rival by monitoring his behavior on Yelp over the course of 2 months!

Yelp is a two-edged sword for local businesses, and National Jeweler reports that a new documentary about the service called "Billion Dollar Bully" that examines the practices and review system of Yelp will premiere at a film festival in June.




Comments (10) | Permalink

Readers Comments

The Yelp Trap: Educate Your Staff   The Yelp Trap: Educate Your Staff

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 9 21:59:50 2017

Once  upon a time  YELP was a semi decent place to  find  fairly honest  reviews;  now?  LOL!  YELP can be paid off to remove  Neg  reviews; they HIDE  even Pos  reviews--it's  now a joke.

For  restaurant  and hotel  and  some other business reviews I like TripAdvisor.    

The Yelp Trap: Educate Your Staff   The Yelp Trap: Educate Your Staff

This user has validated their user name. by: MJRock

Mon Apr 10 00:32:39 2017

Who says the reviewer was "lying" . . . how do you even prove that?  We get TONS of FALSE reviews, are we supposed to sue each one for being false?

Yelp smells like a scam to me . . .


The Yelp Trap: Educate Your Staff   The Yelp Trap: Educate Your Staff

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Mon Apr 10 04:22:50 2017

A "competitor" once came over to Etsy and harassed me endlessly, wasting my time with wise a$$ convos. My only option was to go to Yelp and call them out. In the end, Yelp erased my statements, and the offending morons stopped their attack. To this day, they don't present any competition. The field is mine  :o)

The Yelp Trap: Educate Your Staff   The Yelp Trap: Educate Your Staff

by: rover This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 10 05:22:11 2017

I am completely cynical of these so called ''review communities'' and of the craze for posting so called reviews. It seems every pathetic snitch wants to whine and have their voice heard nowadays.  

The Yelp Trap: Educate Your Staff   The Yelp Trap: Educate Your Staff

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 10 08:15:53 2017

Yelp is a service that's mostly good but can be abused like others.  I use yelp to find businesses, not only to get reviews.  Also reviewers post pictures which is helpful.

The Yelp Trap: Educate Your Staff   The Yelp Trap: Educate Your Staff

by: redd60 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 10 11:10:54 2017

I had a bad review posted on Yelp.  The person making the review was either hiding their identity or had never done business with me.  I keep very accurate records of appointments so know this to be a fact.  Yelp will not remove the review, stating, it is good for the community to have this information.
There is also a place on my yelp review page, in light print where they say ''Reviews that are not recommended''.  Here you find 2 VERY GOOD reviews. It should be illegal for Yelp to choose to post a bad review but hide the good reviews.
This is my life and reputation. All reviews should be posted. Very upsetting.

The Yelp Trap: Educate Your Staff   The Yelp Trap: Educate Your Staff

This user has validated their user name. by: IDKwhoIare

Mon Apr 10 11:47:01 2017

Yelp...blech.  

I guess I am probably still a member, but I was only active for a short time.  Once I figured out that they were suppressing reviews...some good, a few bad and the criteria to be suppressed was god knows what...I quit using them.  How can you trust anything posted on the site?

I will be interested in seeing the movie/documentary...hope they put it up where everyone can see it.

The Yelp Trap: Educate Your Staff   The Yelp Trap: Educate Your Staff

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Apr 10 19:20:19 2017

I use Yelp mainly to find restaurants, and places with lots of PokeStops. As concerning restaurants, if a bunch of people are posting the same thing (staff rude, place dirty, long wait to get food, etc.), then I figure those are legitimate problems. I really appreciate it when people post photos, especially when they're complaining about small portions or badly cooked food.

The Yelp Trap: Educate Your Staff   The Yelp Trap: Educate Your Staff

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 10 19:36:56 2017

If some stranger came up to you in the street, pointed to a local restraunt and urged you to never eat there, how would that 'review' taste?

Yelp notwithstanding, (because the subject issue holds true everywhere), always consider the source (for trust) when considering the message.

And don't blame the messenger for lack of censorship if you truly value free speech.  

The Yelp Trap: Educate Your Staff   The Yelp Trap: Educate Your Staff

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Apr 10 20:40:02 2017

I forgot to mention that one thing I really dislike is that they mix up the reviews and do not show them by newest date first. If a restaurant had an issue two years ago, and then corrected that issue, why do they show those old reviews on the first page, and not the newest which would be more relevant?



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