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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.

 

972 comments for “Tell Your Yelp Story”

  1. 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. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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?"

  6. 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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

    1. Try Wyngspan.com. They are rapidly moving up the SEO charts, they are the Trust company. One company just signed up, did their customer outreach and not only did they get 63 Trusts issues in hours, they are now the most trusted biz in San Jose. Be an early adopter, it’s a newsworthy angle, being the most trusted in your industry.

  12. 5 Things You Absolutely Need to Know as a Business Owner on Yelp | FiveStars Blog | Small Business Advice says:

    […] lawsuits that accuse the corporation of shady practices such as extortion and manipulated reviews. Horror stories of Yelp proliferate the internet, even inspiring an upcoming documentary about its alleged business […]

  13. I have been working in the computer industries for over 20 years and have never had issues with a company or its marketing team. I was told over and over again to wait for the work to get hits, well we knew it takes about 90 days for SEO to work and at the end of 120 days I knew we had an issue. I would call and get no one that knew my case as my case manager was never there. I am sickened that a business with yelps reputation would play games with a small business. I have stopped paying them and have been knocked by them at Duns and Bradstreet and will never attempt advertising like this again. Again I say I have worked with computers for most of my adult life, so I am not a business man but understand customer service and I have yet to feel I was told the truth or treated with the respect a customer deserves.

    Thank you
    Richard
    With Knowledge 12 Computer Systems.

  14. Yelp is the worst search engine for potential customers. It's quite obvious that they benefit the customers who advertise with them and not the ones that don't. I was glad to see how they are faltering now as they need to look at their business model. I get that everybody can say anything without any knowledge of the business they are critiiquing our how it's ran. How does that make them experts? I wonder how a restaurant who received 4 five star "yelps" this month and they were all filtered feels about this. Hop
    E they shut you down.

  15. How can Yelp still be around when they constantly downgrade small business and judge who should be posted and who should not. My small business through Yelp received 3 wonderful reviews and 1 wacko. Yelp "decided" 1 wonderful and the wacko…..other 2 positive customers, not up to Yelp standards. Tried to contact Yelp….they need to be shut down…..love to go back to word of mouth from real people…… or if I advertise with yelp better results????????

  16. Looking to get accurate info from Yelp about a company is like trusting an arsonist to put out a fire in your home! Do you want to know why? Just read along…

    This is a customer's opinion, I saw this blog was supposed to be for business owners mainly, but I believe that everyone reading this would benefit with some extra feedback from the other side of the fence 🙂 As we, the customers, are also mighty pissed at Yelp, and for a company whose business is feedback, they don't seem to care about it at all!

    Couple of weeks ago me and my friend were in Australia and used the services of a cleaning company. The guys were so nice, that we promised them to give a positive feedback for the job they performed. Naturally, with all the hassle of the move out and catching flight to Europe, we left that for later.

    Couple of days ago we finally got to do it, and lo and behold, our feedback got REJECTED. We couldn't post anything or make an account, their system just kept saying that they are "Busy at the moment, can't process the request, try again later". And we tried. Trough the whole day and the one after, and the one after that as well. Tried to post it during the evening as well. Same response. Tried to write them they have an issue with their system. No response from Yelp up to date.

    Then, a friend of mine that works SEO in UK based company explained me that this might be because of my IP address, as it's out of Australia and they treat it as a spam bot or something, so they are blocking my access.

    I wrote them a very angry email. 7 days ago. Guess what – I still have no response from them!

    THIS IS HIGHLY UNPROFESSIONAL! Do you even know on what standards today's businesses run? As you sure do not cover them yourselves.

    The moral of the story? Trusting to get info from Yelp about a company is like trusting an arsonist to put out a fire in your home. Do you really want to put your health, home, or lunch arrangement at risk by trusting them?

    Hope that you'll post this feedback 🙂

    – Dave Adams

  17. YELP SUCKs and we all know that. Funny how they don't post a lot of the reviews. If you censor the reviews and only pick and choose than HOW does the public get an accurate view. THEY are a SCAM

  18. I went to a local restaurant based on Yelp reviews. The food and service were horrible. I wrote a negative review, however, it was never posted – put in the filtered reviews. I tried again and again, with the same results. I never use Yelp anymore. I search reviews on tripadvisor and have never been steered wrong. Yelp sucks.

  19. Cristina del Toro says:

    My name is Cristina and I have a small photography business. My original Yelp account was deleted as well as my original business account with all its reviews. I called to update my business name and all the data was deleted versus just being updated. I started asking my customers to please review my Yelp account as I noticed that I was loosing customers and today people look at Yelp to make choices. I was able to obtain five reviews in a month so that I only had 7 reviews total and Yelp removed three of them just like that. These are legitimate clients that I have done excellent photos. I believe that they did this because they have been after me to spend $200 or more per month to advertise and I have refused for the past two years. I asked them to stop calling. Now all the reviews are disappearing. I think Yelp is just fraud. Not sure what to do except keep asking people to review my Yelp.

  20. My ex owns a plumbing company and three years ago while trying to downgrade his advertising package he was denied timely service and stuck in a contract two extra months than he wanted. So he accumulated debt with Yelp. For years they tried to get him to pay it back and he disagreed that he owed anything and so it was a moot point. In July I was contacted by Jordan Latore a Yelp rep out of NY here is a link to his LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/pub/jordan-latore/59/80/… and told that the debt was forgiven. He wanted to sign us back up on Yelp. We were very excited to be back on Yelp and glad they were finally being reasonable about the debt. I signed the $500 a month contract and gave them my credit card. I then emailed Jordan and said don't charge that card please call my ex for his card. He agreed. In a couple of days I was charged $2000. All of his bad debt. I was lied to directly by Jordan Latore and Christian Hansen here is a link to his LinkedIn profile. https://www.linkedin.com/pub/christian-hansen/b/6… Don't believe a word these kids say they run this company like children.

  21. I have tried to review Yelp several times and it resets my password EVERY TIME! Coincidence? Hmmm… don't think so. I can review the company because I can't log in, now I can't log in to my account and I have to ask for a new password. I suspected this was happening, but now I know for a fact. This is a very bad business model, if not fraudulent. I will no longer consider Yelp reviews to be viable or true. I had several clients review my business and none of them were accepted by Yelp's algorithm. Of course, when I contacted customer service I got the same explanation. Why would anyone use this service, much less pay for it?

  22. I had reviewed a business who had provided me with a dumpster to clear out my deceased mother's house.. To make a long story short, a person from the business decided he may not be there on the agreed date of pickup. I told him that I absolutely needed it removed by Saturday, due to the fact that I had sold the house and that was the last day. His response was that I was lying about my closing date, and that he may have agreed to Saturday, but so what. When I asked ' what kind of way is that to run a business" his response was " go f#$k yourself!". He actually said that. Then told me " I wasn't actually a customer" and hung up. YELP decided, that they was not going to print the review because it didn't meet the criteria in their computer program. Another reviewer, who posted that the same business was extremely nasty and used the word "retard'. Both of these reviews were put into the hidden category which doesn't not count toward their total score. So these bulling jackasses actually have a good rating, because these two were left out. A business that actually told a customer to go F#@k himself actually has a good average. Unbelievable. YELP is a SCAM

  23. I recently lost my job of five years which included a 401k and health insurance due to a negative yelp review that mentioned me by name. In order to have the review removed, my company reached out to the reviewer and terminated my position in order to appease them. The customer was also offered free services to have them remove the negative post. No person should have the power to defame another individual online and take away their livelihood.

    1. I am in a same position myself. I flagged the comment and explained that this comment compromises my privacy and Yelp responded that they "disagree." :-/

    2. This is exactly why Yelp should be in violation of US labor law. Its also why yelpers do what they do. They use it as a weapon. The real problem is your employer though. No employer should take Yelp seriously anymore. No employers that respect their employees should EVER take Yelp seriously. Its such a bogus format.

    3. Better yet look yelp is free to join do what they did to me if you know that when a review of a business is posted its in all search engines with the star system how they call it start a business and start posting reviews about yelp what they are doing to business let their own software take them down you can put links to comment pages let the world know that yelp is why our economy is the way it is the i star review is whats ruins the UNITED STATES Name you business in yelp something to do with what people want to know

  24. I can't unsubscribe from Yelp. They have me, and every business. Yelp's slogan is
    "claim your business page". I can't, it was claimed by a twisted delusional
    "visitor" to my business who damaged something, and believes I owed him some gold
    stars or trophy for doing so. I became aware of Yelp when a customer asked me about
    this situation as related on Yelp.

    There is no real process to refute mean spirited lies by predominantly device
    obsessed "visitors", whose actions I have to deal with. When I protest "reviews",
    Yelp auto reply says all is good and I am locked out from any follow up. The all
    knowing Yelp algorithm has me like a gator on the edge of a dirty smelly swamp and
    mindlessly drags me in, inch by inch. Sorry, wrong metaphor. Like a black hole
    devouring everything in its path.

    I have found I can breathe under the filthy black water. In the black hole of empty
    space between some over connected ears I still draw deep breaths. Business is up as
    Yelp ratings plummet. But yet, after 40 years what is represented online as fact and
    is false regarding who and what I am, I cannot accept quietly.

    I have taken to offering up to $5,000 for some Yelpers to take a polygraph to prove
    their purposefully damaging false accounts of me and my business, I will do the same
    test. No Yelp takers. It might as well be a million dollars, I am in no danger of
    paying. I received one threat via Yelp personal communication from a person only
    known as "KS", the first "Yelper" who claimed my page. He said he would come back in
    to my business on a "lark". Its all a "lark" to him. One Yelper couple returned to
    mess with me, taunting me by taking photos, and daring me to react. I didn't,
    knowing that they would Yelp what Yelp's algorithm cannot process. Yelpers don't
    even need to ever have been in my business to post whatever they want to, to damage
    me. All is fine says auto reply, you cannot respond and you are locked out, but do
    you want to buy some advertising in Yelp? Operators are standing by.

    Many Yelpers are children kicking over other's sand castles. I know now my sand
    castle has a pyramid just underneath with a huge base constructed over decades. Kick
    away and stub your toes, children.

    Another metaphor alert. Crapping, drooling, snotty, pissy 3 year olds in a Yelp sand
    box. I am facing them from behind reality, as weak little arms fling filthy sand
    that can't make it past the self confining borders of the Yelp sand box. They scream
    and whine "you are dirty poo poo, asshole gorilla miserable pompous servant of
    ours." (Yelp descriptions of me) What's the app to prevent that? Can I? Do I need to
    if other 3 year olds, self contained in their sand box, are the only ones that can
    possibly relate to them?

    Business is up. I haven't ever sold anything to a crappy pissy yelping 3 year old.
    My most recent sugar coated Yelp cyber bully "Windy" did share that she had diarrhea
    recently. Fascinating stuff to a self absorbed fibbing 3 year old. Too much
    information to those outside the sandbox she chooses to play in. Don't get any poo
    on the other children. Too late, they are self covered.

    I could easily make Yelp a non issue by slipping in a request for my actual
    purchasing customers to rate their experience on Yelp. Please don't. My customers
    have full lives and apparently don't Yelp, or are filtered out as the website
    Yelpsucks.com explains. I don't want to ask real customers to wade into the filthy
    swamp/sand box/black hole and contribute to Yelp's free and faulty data base. It's
    what the gator lives on. Free data. Unchecked data. Lowest overhead. No reply auto
    response my only option, unless I want to buy advertising. Personal help is
    available then.

    The connected increasingly need other connected to tell them what their experiences
    will be, saving them from many actual experiences, good and bad. These
    individualized experiences are what make up all of our
    individual data bases, in our own unique minds. Soon "your mind is in the cloud(s)"
    will have new meaning.

    Out of 150,000 visitors from the general population, the same you all dodge on the
    highway texting and talking, we have 5 bad one star reviews. Yelpers who read other
    "reviews" try to out do what the last alleged "Yelp visitor" came up with. I believe
    at least one has multiple identities, or friends to chime in. Please check out the
    Yelp page I am forced to have, which is more like an attempted gang rape of my
    reputation. Use your brain, not Yelp. Its the best app you will ever have.

    My recent post The Value of a Yelp Elite to your Business

  25. I can't unsubscribe from Yelp. They have me, and every business. Yelp's slogan is
    "claim your business page". I can't, it was claimed by a twisted delusional
    "visitor" to my business who damaged something, and believes I owed him some gold
    stars or trophy for doing so. I became aware of Yelp when a customer asked me about
    this situation as related on Yelp.

    There is no real process to refute mean spirited lies by predominantly device
    obsessed "visitors", whose actions I have to deal with. When I protest "reviews",
    Yelp auto reply says all is good and I am locked out from any follow up. The all
    knowing Yelp algorithm has me like a gator on the edge of a dirty smelly swamp and
    mindlessly drags me in, inch by inch. Sorry, wrong metaphor. Like a black hole
    devouring everything in its path.

    I have found I can breathe under the filthy black water. In the black hole of empty
    space between some over connected ears I still draw deep breaths. Business is up as
    Yelp ratings plummet. But yet, after 40 years what is represented online as fact and
    is false regarding who and what I am, I cannot accept quietly.

    I have taken to offering up to $5,000 for some Yelpers to take a polygraph to prove
    their purposefully damaging false accounts of me and my business, I will do the same
    test. No Yelp takers. It might as well be a million dollars, I am in no danger of
    paying. I received one threat via Yelp personal communication from a person only
    known as "KS", the first "Yelper" who claimed my page. He said he would come back in
    to my business on a "lark". Its all a "lark" to him. One Yelper couple returned to
    mess with me, taunting me by taking photos, and daring me to react. I didn't,
    knowing that they would Yelp what Yelp's algorithm cannot process. Yelpers don't
    even need to ever have been in my business to post whatever they want to, to damage
    me. All is fine says auto reply, you cannot respond and you are locked out, but do
    you want to buy some advertising in Yelp? Operators are standing by.

    Many Yelpers are children kicking over other's sand castles. I know now my sand
    castle has a pyramid just underneath with a huge base constructed over decades. Kick
    away and stub your toes, children.

    Another metaphor alert. Crapping, drooling, snotty, pissy 3 year olds in a Yelp sand
    box. I am facing them from behind reality, as weak little arms fling filthy sand
    that can't make it past the self confining borders of the Yelp sand box. They scream
    and whine "you are dirty poo poo, asshole gorilla miserable pompous servant of
    ours." (Yelp descriptions of me) What's the app to prevent that? Can I? Do I need to
    if other 3 year olds, self contained in their sand box, are the only ones that can
    possibly relate to them?

    Business is up. I haven't ever sold anything to a crappy pissy yelping 3 year old.
    My most recent sugar coated Yelp cyber bully "Windy" did share that she had diarrhea
    recently. Fascinating stuff to a self absorbed fibbing 3 year old. Too much
    information to those outside the sandbox she chooses to play in. Don't get any poo
    on the other children. Too late, they are self covered.

    I could easily make Yelp a non issue by slipping in a request for my actual
    purchasing customers to rate their experience on Yelp. Please don't. My customers
    have full lives and apparently don't Yelp, or are filtered out as the website
    Yelpsucks.com explains. I don't want to ask real customers to wade into the filthy
    swamp/sand box/black hole and contribute to Yelp's free and faulty data base. It's
    what the gator lives on. Free data. Unchecked data. Lowest overhead. No reply auto
    response my only option, unless I want to buy advertising. Personal help is
    available then.

    The connected increasingly need other connected to tell them what their experiences
    will be, saving them from many actual experiences, good and bad. These
    individualized experiences are what make up all of our
    individual data bases, in our own unique minds. Soon "your mind is in the cloud(s)"
    will have new meaning.

    My recent post The Value of a Yelp Elite to your Business

    1. polygraph tests are just about as reliable as tea leaf readings and Astrology charts.
      Yelp does suck. Very unfortunate that you have to go through all of this. I hope Yelp crash and burns.

  26. I am among those masses whose reviews have been dumped into the "currently not recommended section." My reviews are legitimate, accurate, well-written and do not use inflammatory language. Some are negative and some are highly complementary. The latter bothers me the most since people will not learn about some really fine small businesses – where the owners work really hard and are scrupulously honest in dealing with customers. Many perfectly legitimate reviews by other people are likewise censored by this mysterious brain-dead software. Yelp is a disgrace. Until it implodes upon itself and goes away, readers should always be sure to check the "not recommended" reviews. I recommend them.

  27. We did NOT open a Yelp business account, yet our business is on their twice, both with the wrong addresses, the same address as the Yellow pages had many years ago that we also did not open.
    I called Yelp and there is no name or email associated with the accounts opened in 2009. Then who opened them other than Yelp.
    How can Yelp open accounts in your name from bogus yellow pages listings? Is this not Identity theft opening an account in our name without permission? ? Is this against privacy rights? The lady at Yelp wanted me to correct the information. I refused saying those are not my accounts, we did not open them & I demanded to have them removed. She said they can't remove them.

  28. The fact that I evn have to login or register to tell my story,limits my story. Ok, so I go to a car remtal place in Demver Airport. I get a nice car and I am stoked. The next day I see the license plate is severely bent and the car is very dirty–got it at night. I go to yelp and create a new account. I refuse to use my real name on any public wevsite. Do these peope even have a clue to the amount of psychos there are out there readng these reviews? Anyway, to make a long story short, I I never received a confirmation email and when I returned to yelp my review was gone from my account. Yelp is a fraud–a scam! My honest review was removed for reasons that prevent honest reviews! Forcing someone to use a real name online inhibits honesty. People should be allowed to make anonymous reviews to ensure integrity. Business owners just have to accept the fact that there will always be fabricated reviews. IMO, any person or business owner that expects integrity from a third-party website has issues with vanity and ego.

  29. I just started my battle with Yelp. After being told by existing and upcoming events that we had negative reviews, we sent out an email to our entire database of customers asking them to go to Yelp and give their honest opinions of the experiences they've had in dealing with us. Every single positive review was suppressed. It's mortifying. I called yelp, and spoke with Jeff in advertising, he told me that there is no customer service and nothing that can be done. He informed me that Yelp wants to ensure that all consumers are able to voice their opinions. I informed him that by not showcasing or giving fair visibility to all reviews, he was not allowing consumers to equally voice their opinions. I work 7 days a week. I love my business. I just want a fair shake at things.

    1. I too got a great review that was taken down. I called yelp and gave them a piece of mind. I was furious. Got the same answer you have posted. I hope some one does something to get rid of YELP. They are a horrible nasty company. THEY REALLY SHOULD NOT EXIST. What can we do as small business owners? Why doesn't anyone stand up to them and take them down?

  30. I am never business owner nor will be for this specific reason. In today's world there is a very slim chance a new business owner will survive with these giant corporations, while dealing with customers who are very demanding, agile, complex , biased, and cheap. Then you have to deal with big bullies like Yelp, Google, and Facebook, who on one hand ask people to review businesses and then also turn to the same businesses for advertising money! First of all, these review sites should not be charging a fee from these restaurants for advertising as it's unethical business practice and questions the credibility of these reviews. Are the government regulators and law makers paying any attention to this crap? Small businesses are the life line of any economy, and they employ majority of people! They provide stable jobs during all times, unlike big greedy corporations who are always cutting costs and sending jobs overseas.

    Also, I do not understand how sites like Yelp can demand $300 month for advertising? What sort of advertising they provide anyways other than the bulk of biased reviews? Do these guys or these new generation of reviewers even know the pains of owning a small business? The long 14 hour shifts, high rent, high overhead, ever climbing utilities cost, salaries, supplies, etc? Most of these small business owners if they are lucky will make $0.40 profit on a a client/day. And the minimum wage waitress who walks back and forth tirelessly for 14 hours a day? Not to mention the cooks who cook themselves the whole day in the kitchen, and the dishwashers who soak themselves in are soaked in water the entire shift.. All said and done, I respect all small business owners and their staff, because they all are trying to make a living without destroying the life of others, unlike the internet's shady bogus bullies and businessmen. I can tell you I have lost my complete faith in the ability of the internet to provide credible, reliable and relevant information to the general public.

    My advise to prospective small business owners, think 1 million times before you open any business, because it's not worth it, the losses and the harassment! Plus with these bad review you wont be able to sell your business and your investment is a guaranteed loss!! So don't risk your mortgage or do the line of credit!!! This way the banks who lend will also feel the pain of this Yelp fraud!!!

    All I can say is if things continue this way this will be the end to small businesses which will result in corporations predominately taking over and monopolizing the market to demand high prices for crap quality.

  31. Yelp lets this reviewer post this review: Ronaldo T.
    Ronaldo T.
    Hollywood, FL
    0 friends
    1 review
    Share review
    Compliment
    Send message
    Follow Ronaldo T.
    1.0 star rating 11/10/2015.As you can see no avatar,no friends and his 1st. review. Yet this review was blocked:::Monica S.
    Monica S.
    North Miami Beach, FL
    2 friends
    6 reviews
    5.0 star rating 5/27/2015,This lady has a picture of herself ,2 friends and 6 published reviews. The yelp elite admit the alogorithm is broken. How can anything on yelp be considered true?

  32. I have 25 5 star reviews BUT they are all hidden on the back pages that no one sees unless they find the TINY, TINY, TINY button that says unrecommended reviews… Hit that button and BAM there they are. But on the front page is one good, one bad review. That is what everyone sees. I have had numerous conversations with yelp ( all while they were trying to convince me to advertise with them for 300.00 a month) Who are they to decide what is shown or not shown. They are not fair and are ruining businesses on a daily basis,

    1. Dee Yelp are scum. They have been calling me weekly for years trying to get me into a huge contract to advertise wit them. Since I just started hanging up on them now all of my 5 star reviews have somehow been shelved and are "hidden". They are lying scum when I called them on this their stock answer is we don't screen the reviews, our software does it. Well their software screens OUT people whom do not pay their sickeningly huge yearly fess in order for honest folks to actually try to post good reviews and help pass the word on a great co. In my case one of the best in Chicago but if you use yelp you never see my great reviews my clients from all over Illinois have posted..

      regards,
      Brian Loren
      Loren Carpet Cleaners LLC
      Carol Stream, Il.

    2. That is the worst part of Yelp. Sure they own the site and can technically do what they want. But how are reviews fair when they hide some? It's a terrible business practice and dishonest. I have noticed most of the hidden ones are positive reviews. Why? That is just so shady.

      I do not own a business I just review places fairly.

      I had 2 reviews that were positive removed. One because I defended a business because one of the reviewers had a personal spat with them and displayed information about their wife's medical issues and his kid's problems. I was appalled by this and in my review I mentioned how wrong that was. But yelp decided I was not giving a personal account because of that one sentence. Wouldn't it be nice if Yelp thought it was wrong to defame someone's character like that? But no. I have seen bigotry and racism in reviews that are still up and running. Weird how that works.

    3. Yes,I have had a similar experience. We advertised with them at $675. Per month and had next to zero in customer leads. With Yelp eather your in or your completely out. We paid the early termination charge and should have done it sooner.Yelp really does SUCK!!!

  33. I'm a very small massage business and encourage my clients to review my work. They all gladly give me a review. Only one made it through…and as of today they removed that one as well…

  34. There needs to be a class action suit against Yelp – atleast for advertisers. We are getting RIPPED off.. after getting promised that we will be paying around $3.50 cents per click and signing up for a 6 month contract (i refused to sign the annual one).. I checked my ad spend (daily status view) and was shocked to see charges of up to $14 per click!!!!!

    This is insane.. these guys are ripping us off left and right.. Anyone else running into this? Can i PLEASE post a screenshot of the thievery that i'm going through as we speak?????????????

    1. I have gone through their advertisement as well. I want everyone to hear my story. They RIPPED ME OFF TOO. The woman who calls non-stop and doesn't give up until sells you an outrageous advertisement package is Samantha. AVOID YELP IF YOU CAN.

    2. I just got scammed for $450 by Yelp. I set a daily maximum which is not a maximum at all but a misleading sales tactic. When I contacted Yelp about the issue they couldn't even prove where the 16 clicks came from. Total scammers..

  35. I declined their services and now we are stuck with 2 horrible bad reviews that are not even true. We asked our patients to give us reviews in yelp and they immediately place them in the "un recommended reviews" section which is SO HARD TO SEE, so our start rating does not go up. This has got to be illegal, If anyone is interested in Suing them, I AM IN.

  36. small business owner as many of the people on this page seem to be, and with a very similar experience. Yelp has continued to pull good reviews down repeatedly. In conversations with multiple people at Yelp it has become very obvious that if I want to have good reviews I will have to pay for advertising services. They have refused to pull a negative review that is nothing but "hate speech", to use a Yelp term. To have to keep checking in to see what is currently going wrong with my Yelp page is joke, to be forced to be on Yelp is a joke, to have any company in this day and age with no customer service, no responsibility to the consumer and no accountability to anyone, is an absolute joke. I agree with the other post above. Yelp sucks s***. If there was any way to pursue legal action against I would. They have even gone so far as to let a reviewer who they deemed not an actual person and have already pulled down a review from, post multiple reviews, so that I keep having to check back in, contact them, hear the sales pitch about how I should embrace Yelp. Absolute crap.

  37. Infrequent Yelp user says:

    I use Yelp quite infrequently, usually when traveling or to check on a store's business hours. However I noticed in 2011 that numerous businesses (Restaurants), are incorrectly addressed, humorously so that they lead to trailer parks, dead end roads on the edge of a city, an address with no buildings or improvements on it, etc…. I had family with at the time and they commented on the Yelp app as not being helpful at all, due to the severe inconsistency in addressing.
    I have wondered in the past, if there were people posting false information about the businesses, now after reading some of the posts on this site I now wonder if the business owners didn't fall afoul of Yelp itself.

  38. i had a customer with my last job i quit, that not only called during our closing time the last 20 minutes non stop cursing me out on the phone stating “there better not be any lines, and how she refuses to wait her turn in line, and i better not give her a shitty car etc” all while on our way after hours to our location. Once she arrived there were 2 of our regular customers still inside that I was wrapping up, thus they are in front of her, and I was nice enough to unlock our doors and let her in for service. She came in and immediately began cursing out both of my male customers, making one very uncomfortable to the point he never returned to our location again, and the other customer came in the next morning to specifically speak to my manager about her yelp review and behavior towards myself and them to make sure i wouldn’t lose my job over her. Ms. Lauren Brown kept screaming and cursing at me, and without my permission or anyone’s knowing she sneakingly took a photo of me as I helped her (as my two customers let her cut ahead since she acted so insane) and told me I would always be a failure, called me several names, told me I was a disgrace, would never amount to anything, would never attend college (I am a college graduate little does she know) and I still gave her a complimentary upgrade into a BRAND NEW elantra with less than 10 miles on it, and the price tag was still attached since she booked our lowest category the economy car. she sat in our lot over 45 MINUTES typing the yelp review about me on her cell phone that is filled with complete lies. Once my customer stepped in and spoke to my branch manager, sales manager, and area manager, I showed the posts to my mother who tried to get help from an attorney to no luck, our managers contacted headquarters since they run our yelp account to see if it could get the review OR at least my PHOTO she posted removed, and yelp refused all of our reports of her post. The girl never came back (I assume due to her behavior and shame), all of my managers, coworkers, and customers have all reported the post multiple times and still yelp even though her posts violates their terms and conditions REFUSES to remove the post. I almost lost my job over her defamatory lies, and it seems like I will forever have my photo posted on their website attached with lies, which led to other customers coming in refusing service with me stating its because they saw her review, and other customers making it a point to post something positive about their experiences with me, only to have yelps “algorithms” delete all of the positive reviews about me. Not only will this haunt me forever, and potentially affect future careers and opportunities, but its even worse to know that someone violated your privacy and posted lies online, and yelp refuses to help me.

    link: http://www.yelp.com/biz/sixt-rent-a-car-beverly-h
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/sixt-rent-a-car-beverly-h

    I would pursue full legal action against her, but i can’t afford it.

  39. I am a retail manager and have been dealing with Yelp for years now. I would say that about 80% of the 5 star reviews many of which I KNOW are perfectly legit are taken down by Yelp. I can also say that dozens which I know for a fact have been either bogus reviews or even attempts by customers to get better deals by telling me "I will take the review down if you cut me a deal." When I mention these things to Yelp, they just come back at me by telling me they don't agree that the review should come down. I have even seen reviews which seem to only have the purpose of advertising for our competition. Yelp has even refused to take even those down.
    Bottom line, as others have mentioned, in this day and age of litigation, it is unbelievable that Yelp is allowed to get away with what they do.

  40. It's not over Yelp says:

    Yelp are blood sucking maggots! They have done to me just as of other business owners! They've hidden excellent legitimate reviews and left 1 bad and 1 good!! This is the kicker guys! The good review was from 5 years ago and when I commented on the bad review and told the viewers to look at the other reviews that Yelp has hidden then Yelp took off the only good review showing, now I'm left with only one star!!! I refused to give them $300 a month so now there playing God…one day they will meet God…and just remember we gotta keep fighting! I read a comment earlier about writing about the unethical abuse of Yelp on your website but still pondering that…someone has to help us from Yelp!!! Let's Pray!!

  41. My hair dresser and friend has started up a new small business (Hair Salon) here in Arizona. She bought out the Salon where she had worked for the last few years. She's not very computer literate; so I have helped her out with a business Facebook page. etc. I also made the unfortunate suggestion that she setup a Yelp page and get some reviews.

    I have done a lot of Yelp reviews in the past – I usually only do reviews for the places that have done great work for me or that I really like and the odd place that really has gone out of it's way to give poor service. Anyways I posted a review for her business (it was the first review) and gave her five stars – since she does a great job with my hair, she is very friendly and has a nice clean Salon with good prices.

    Well the review went up and all was well for a few days. However a review was posted by a lady who is probably a friend of the previous owners. In the review she mentions that the prior owner has moved to a different location, that they do a great job etc. (which they probably do) , etc. And she ends up by giving my friends hair salon a 1 star review – when all the review is a report talking about how her friends new Salon and not reviewing my friends work at all. Logically if she was happy with the work she should give a 5 star review to their new business (not a 1 x star review for to this business) I will post the review below – so that you can make your own judgement. I have taken the names and locations out since I doubt the new owner would want to get in a mud slinging match. The one star review was by someone who had only done one other review
    However the kicker is that my 5 star has been removed s well ( i have made 48 reviews on Yelp with break down as follows 35 x 5 star, 7 x 4 star, 0 x 3 star, 4 x 2 star and 2 x 1 star. I don't know if my ratio is typical?

    Anyways my friend logged into her Yelp account and found that my review had been removed and that the 1 x star review which was not even a review of her business was now the first review. Interestingly when I log into my Yelp account, the review is still there, but not listed as the first review. My friend the new owner has also been asking her customers to write reviews. Actually I think most of them don't have Yelp accounts, but have setup accounts and written good reviews, but these are not being included either since the people writing them don't have a lot of review experience.

    All in all Yelp does suck for new business owners esp. if your clients are not really Yelp users or you have a competitor out there that wants to dis your business. I wish I had never recommended Yelp to her. Anyways the whole practice of allowing a 1 star review by someone who has only written 2 reviews and disallowing a 5 star review by someone with 48 reviews (me) and dis allowing 5 star review by real customers, but who are in reality actual customers is rather troubling to me about the whole Yelp model……..

    ok here is the one star review with names removed:

    "Just wanted to let everyone know this was formerly, S******. S******* has relocated to ***********. S******* and M******** look forward to seeing you there. Thank you. . . S******* has been doing my hair for over 20 years. She is an expert colorist and stylist. Great hair cuts for men and women. I can always trust her to do the right thing. Thanks S********** "

    Should this count as a one star review for my friends new Hair salon.?

    1. I believe the one-star review you mentioned is against Yelp policy. Your friend should "flag" it on Yelp, and there is a good chance that it gets removed (as many other reviews that are against policy do). I wish your friend good luck with her business!

      1. You are a big dreamer! I heard someone else say the exact same thing one day about a review that is similar on my own business page. I got a real good laugh out of that one! Are you CRAZY? All she has to do is call Yelp and next thing you know, that 1 star will be the ONLY review at ALL on her page!!! Do you SERIOUSLY NOT. KNOW HOW THEY OPERATE BY NOW READING ALL THESE TRAGIC REVIEW STORIES?

  42. I’m a part of a small business and we are also going through what thousands of others are facing. It’s sickening. Just wanted to leave link for my blog and hoping that I can link up with other businesses that plan on taking action through petitions and even getting on board with cyber-bullying campaigns. After all, Yelp is nothing but a bunch of bullies.

  43. Signed up for an $800 per month ad, now I get nothing but sales calls at $11 per click!! This has got to change. We are a small business and since we get really great Yelp reviews thought we should advertise through them. BIG mistake. Our ad went from costing $3 per click to $11 per click and do you know who these calls are from? You guessed it. Shady telemarketers who are too lazy to do some actual research to get our phone number. So now we pay $800 month to be annoyed daily. When we brought this to the attention of our sales rep she seemed unconcerned. That’s just wrong. We are pulling our Yelp ad and may return when this issue is fixed.

    1. I paid the early termination fee for Yelp and I would advise not going back to them let’s boycott them. I see no change in volume they didn’t do much for us. The crappy review and the mediocre review were still visible even when I paid the $600 a month. In the 60 good reviews were not seen. For a two and a half star rating. This Site’s got it right Yelp sucks.


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