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Groupon and On

All Things D reports that Groupon is “investigating” the incident and has suspended Johnston “from interacting with other merchants.” When asked for comment, a Yelp spokesperson stuck to basic corporate speak saying businesses can flag questionable reviews and reply publicly. Yelp also notes that consumers can see information about reviewers and use that to judge review validity.

While Yelp extortion is nothing new, it’s an extremely harmful sales tactic. Hosley tells All Things D: “even with a business account there does not seem to be a fast way for a small business to combat this type of threat and action by a disgruntled sales rep and see immediate action taken by the larger company (in this case either by Groupon or Yelp) in time to stop the damage.” Despite Yelp’s claims that they are improving at spotting fake reviews, this incident just goes to show how potentially harmful fake reviews can be. And now that Yelp offers people the opportunity to review from their phone, revenge reviewing will be easier for slimy sales reps than ever before.

UPDATE:: All Things D confirms that Groupon rep Andrew Johnston has been fired. Groupon says Johnston’s behavior was an “isolated incident,” and will not be changing their sales training programs.

· Groupon Suspends Sales Rep While It Investigates Thinly Veiled Yelp Review Threat [All Things D via ISSF]
· All Groupon Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Yelp Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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Mystic Maggie

All of the Mystic Maggie Posts are RSS Reader Feeds from around the web. All copyright remains with the original publisher. No copyright is claimed or intended. Where supplied, links back to the original article are included.

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