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Tell Your Yelp Story

Everyone wants to be heard. That seems to be the #1 complaint on Yelp is the lack of transparency in the filter, the lack of response to real business issues, and the seeming lack of care that real businesses are being destroyed by fake reviews while real good reviews are filtered out.

It’s time to share your story… stories will be chosen from the comments below to be profiled on the site with the truth of how Yelp has done you wrong.

If you really want to help, read through the comments and thumbs up or down the stories to help the media select the best stories to profile. This is a community to support local businesses, so please help each other, comment, and lend an ear/shoulder when needed.

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Permanent link to this article: http://yelp-sucks.com/tell-your-yelp-story

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  1. Mitch

    Oh Yelp. Were a thriving moving company on the west coast. The highest/most rated company in the area. We have a love/hate relationship with yelp. On one hand, our revenue jumped 10k per month just from our yelp listing. Were we advertising during this period? No, not for one second. We did purchase the photo package which allows you to adjust and list your photos in the order you desire. We'd received calls from the hyenas over at yelps headquarters in San fran. I'll admit, we never flat out turned them down, because we were semi interested, but we wern't ready to pull the trigger just yet.

    Now, organically we rank #1 in yelps organic search results under our industry. You can literally search for a keyword thats remotely related to our industry, and we will pop up in every category as number one. Sounds pretty good right? Almost too good to be true? Let me explain further. The magic number seemed to be 160. That number stands for 160 reviews. No one in our industry was within reaching distance of us. December comes along, I decided I'd give the yelp pay per click campaign a shot. After all, it never really made sense for us because we were raked at the top in the organic search results. I set the limit at $250/month. Within a matter of days $100 had already been spent. I hadn't noticed an increase in calls, which was strange. However, I did notice that some filtered reviews began to become unfiltered. Hmm, odd. I start paying yelp and all of a sudden some reviews begin to come out of the filter. Shocker. Not that we were hurt by these filtered reviews, but it did raise a point of interest. Out of our now 155 reviews, we maintain a 4.75 star rating. Business is good. I did notice that anytime a new review is left by a customer, another one is deleted.

    I'm not here to bash yelp, I'm here to offer a little insight to others who might be struggling with the 1 star only review. Here's a few things I have learned over the past year or so.

    1. Urging customers who don't have a seasoned Yelp account to leave a review, does almost nothing. The review will almost certainly be filtered within a few days (if positive)
    2. How do you find out which customers have old/active yelp accounts? Sign up for a personal yelp account with your business email. Go to "find friends" on the yelp dashboard. Allow yelp to browse your email contacts. This will create a list of everyone in your email who has a yelp account. Scroll through these and see which user have multiple reviews. I'd avoid the ones with no reviews, because once again odds are the review will be filtered.

    Would I ever advertise with Yelp? I certainly won't do the $300/month campaign that the vultures call us about. If my reviews kept disappearing, I would sign up for the PPC again. $200-$250/month is a small price to pay for a net of 120K per year just off of yelp. Theres no hiding the fact that yelp is a monster for small businesses. Whether good or bad.

  2. mick

    yelp is complicit in defamatory accusations and complicit in ruining peoples businesses. they should cease and desist publicizing unwarranted complaints about small businesses. The people who complain are avid complainers and make a field day ruining peoples long earned reputations.

  3. Tuca

    YELP IS RUINING MY SMALL BUSINESS AND CONFUSING MY CLIENTS. I CHANGED ADDRESS AND BUSINESS NAME, AND OPENED ANOTHER BUSINESS WITH A SIMILAR NAME AND DIFFERENT ADRESS, BUT SAME STREET, I DIDN'T WANT TO LOOSE MY EXISTING CLIENTS THAT'S WHY I DID WHAT I DID AND ALSO I DIDN'T WANT TO DEAL WITH YELP HORRIBLE PHONE CALLS, AND EMAILS SAYING THAT THEY COULDN'T REMOVE REVIEWS (YELP PEOPLE SHOULD BE IN JAIL) ALL THIS HAPPEN INSIDE THE YELP SITE. YOU GUYS WANT TO KNOW WHAT YELP DID; WITHOUT MY PERMISSION AND MY APPROVAL. THEY POSTED A LINK IN GOOGLE SITE SAYING THAT MY PLACE IS CLOSED, AND BECAUSE MY NAME IS PART OF THE OLD BUSINESS, MY NEW CLIENTS GOOGLE MY NAME AND POP UP….IS CLOSED. THIS IS NOT NICE AND VERY BAD, SINCE I HAVE PROMOTIONS GOING ON… IS GETTING IN MY NERVES THIS VERY BAD YELP PEOPLE, I HATE THEM AND I AM FURIOUS WITH THEM. WHO THEY THINK THEY ARE TO CONTROL MY OWN BUSINESS.YELP CANNOT INVADE OURS LIVES AND TAKE PLACE. I HOPE THAT COURT CASE, THEY ARE HAVING PUT ALL IN JAIL, PLUS REIMBURSEMENT FOR WE ALL BUSINESS OWNERS . THAT WOULD BE THE JUSTICE FOR ALL.

  4. StopStoppelman

    After reading your article about Yelp I thought you may enjoy the story we have. It is our desire to get this story out as it is quite unique.

    Three years ago we did some daily deals with Groupon and Living Social. We did well on those deals but ran afoul of something quite unexpected regarding their clients.

    The coupons we sold had limitations on passenger weight and days the coupon could be used. Although these limitations were quite clear we had a very large number of people that purchased the coupons threaten us with bad Yelp reviews if we did not make exceptions to the weight limits or days they were valid.
    We went from five stars with two reviews in five years to 3.5 stars with over 100 reviews. What is unusual is that nearly every single (all but two) of the one star reviews were from people we refused to honor an invalid coupon with.

    Looking at California's definition of "customer" indicates that people with invalid coupons are clearly not my customers until they use our service. Yet, Yelp claims they are my customers. Both Groupon and Living Social refunded every single one of their clients that we turned away.

    Currently we are seeking an attorney willing to argue that Yelp has damaged our business by allowing non-customers to post reviews which is clearly in violation of their own policies.
    We are trying hard to get this Yelp story out. Please feel free to contact us directly at 888 359-0484 or by email. Also feel free to forward this story to anyone you think may care.

  5. RTD

    Well after starting my comment and realizing I would need to spend some time just trying to convey our frustration with yelp as a new business I decided to start over with my comment. It's like where do you start and end. I can just say Dido to all the above comments. It's like fight them or join them, erroneous bad reviews, filtered good reviews, bogus pictures, etc…..
    We finally claimed our page just so we could comment on our reviews but now we have Yelp reps trying to get us to advertise with them. Yelp rep says one thing their site says another regarding the terms. It almost feels like we're being extorted in order to have any control as to how we come across on their site.

    First we were angry and then we decided we would just ignore yelp because we believe in our business and product. Then we thought maybe were not being business wise to ignore yelp and join them with advertising but after having a yelp rep continuously call us and getting conflicting information we are backed to being pissed and ignoring them. We would love to be part of any group taking on yelp to expose their business practices.

  6. diana

    our yelp page was made by a customer whom gave us a bad review. now all of our other customers that are writing good reviews are not recommended and you cant see there posts. we have 7 reviews and you can only see one that's negative with a 1 star rating. fuck yelp and there automated system. I called and complained and all they said is there is nothing they can do. do not trust yelp. they are rude and only put negative reviews on peoples businesses. if you work for yelp I hope you are proud of yourself for being so stupid.

    sincerely,
    barcellos pizza

  7. AntiYelp

    Have you ever noticed that company's that pay Yelp for advertising have "not recommended low star reviews" and company's that do not pay Yelp have their High Star Reviews in the "not Recommended?"

  8. h8 yelp

    Out of fear I paid Yelp for advertising with my first business, mainly to take down the review that my business was run by drug addicts – a review I received from some psycho from across the country for a mail order that was 2 days late due to a medical emergency. Paying Yelp $300+ a month I noticed the amount of reviews actually lessening, making paying them absolutely pointless. When I politely quit, I told the rep I would never date someone with a Yelp account. She actually agreed, she wouldn't either. No stars were stolen.
    My new business, the very first review was that we were a front for illegal drug manufacturing. The cops investigated us. This was written by drunk hipsters we threw out for doing coke in the bathroom. My mom read that review (luckily she thought is was funny). When Yelp contacted me about advertising my new business, I told them to take down the review and they refused. I know they love to steal stars and fuck you, so I told them repeatedly I would "consider" advertising with them. Yelp (and Facebook) has enabled psychos and cowards to slander and feel empowered while fucking small businesses during a recession. Notice I put no personal details in? Because I'm paranoid enough that Yelp will read this and fuck me out of spite, because that's what they do. If their empire falls, I will drink and dance on their ashes.

  9. Smelly Feet

    Yelp stands for Yuppie Elitists Licking Poop. I mean who are these people? What a snarky bunch of rejects.

  10. Melissa

    My business has 5 star reviews. We were moving locations, so weeks before we did I tried to change the address with yelp. For over a month I requested an address change about 30 times. It FINALLY happened and lasted about a week. Now I have a duplicate page for my business for some reason with no reviews. I have requested a deletion of the duplicate page and just a change of address to my original page another 30+ times and still have received no contact. I am so disappointed in the service and communication. For this reason I'm very glad I didn't sign up for their OVERPRICED advertising ($300 a month for a year contract!?!) Every other website took about 5 min. to change our address on, I don't know why their IT department is so inept. At this point Yelp seems like they want people to fail- I mean I had nothing but 5 star reviews, why can't they stay on my page. I deleted my personal account as well, 'f that nonsense.

  11. stewart silver

    Yelp representative tried to sell me on the idea of advertising with them and they would help get all my bad reviews on the non recamended stats or off and help get the good reviews on my main page. That was a lie YELP IS BULLSHIT LA Discount RV Rentals

  12. Tester

    It's sad that in this day and age Yelp can get away with hurting businesses and be seemingly unstoppable.

  13. David Murray

    Help Your Yelp :

    Many companies listed on Yelp have a number of positive reviews from real customers that are stuck in the filter. If your business currently has 3 stars, for example, bumping a few 5-star reviews out of the filter and onto the main page could gain a full star or more. Yelp often filters reviews they think are spammy or fake. To avoid this situation and get those positive review out in the open there are a few steps you can take.

    First, follow Yelpers with positive filtered reviews. One way to help a Yelper appear more authentic is to make their profile appear more realistic. Follow the Yelpers stuck in your filter and it might be enough to make their reviews visible.

    If that doesn’t work, try reaching out through the Yelp messaging platform to those people who have left positive reviews that are stuck in the filter. Let them know that you appreciate their feedback and you hope they’ll update their review and hopefully get put back on the main page.

    If the above techniques have done nothing to boost your overall rating, your best bet is to message these Yelpers with specific instructions for making their review appear more legitimate:

    Ask them to add a profile picture. Images make a user look more engaged with the site and less likely to get filtered out.
    Ask them to “check in” on their mobile phones from a few local places. Again, this indicates to the Yelp algorithm that they are human beings who engage with the app consistently.
    Ask them to be active. Although your end goal is to get the review for your business out of the filter, it helps if the Yelper is a frequent user. If they write a handful of reviews, it is more likely to get the review of your business up onto the main page.
    These are the best strategies for moving positive reviews out of the filter and increasing the yelp rating for your company. Once you’ve accomplished this, there are a few other options for enhancing the reputation of your business.

    2. Turn to Friends and Family

    If you simply need more positive content in general on your business’ page, ask friends and family for positive reviews. In many cases, your close friends and family members are your biggest fans and most loyal customers anyway. Ask them to leave reviews that highlight some great things about your product or service. On a fairly new Yelp page, those first positive reviews have a lot of staying power. They’ll work to counteract the occasional negative review that pops up down the line.

    3. Look to Loyal Customers

    If you have customers you’ve worked with for years, or you frequently get positive feedback from a particular client, ask them to post those kind words on your Yelp page. Back before review sites were popular, shopkeepers and merchants would say, “tell your friends.” This is similar to today — only now, the way people tell their friends about a business is through sites like Yelp.

    4. Ask Your Vendors

    Your vendors often closely understand you, your business, and your work efforts. Although they may not exactly be customers, they are certainly well positioned to leave a review of their business dealings with you.

    Just ensure that they are honest in the review and have them talk about how they “worked with your company” rather than pretending to be a customer. There’s nothing wrong with explaining your relationship and leaving a high rating as long as it’s truthful. Each vendor you have can do this for your business.

    Yelp is a critical tool when it comes to gaining new customers. It’s not uncommon for a number of happy customers to be undermined by a single scathing 1-star review. Don’t let a low star rating cause a dip in profits. Try the above strategies for Yelp success.

    1. Adryenn Ashley

      I would shy away from asking Friends and Family as this could be seen as “review trading” or some other violation of the Terms of Service. Remember, they deleted a whole bunch of accounts from BNI, eWomen and Ladies Who Launch when we were all legitimately using each others services. Getting caught with friends and family reviews I think would be seen as basically reviewing yourself. love the other suggestions though.

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