Tell Your Yelp Story

People Hate Us On Yelp StickerEveryone 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.


979 comments for “Tell Your Yelp Story”

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  1. Yelp continues to filter out positive reviews and highlight negative reviews. They then contact us to purchase ads. When asked why the filter behaves this way, they respond that the reviewers do not review enough to be considered salient. This explanation is, at best, inconsistent. See my site, and that of my group, below to confirm this:


    I hope one day we will be able to prevent large corporations from extorting and harming small businesses like ours — we have enough to worry about in a slumping economy.

    1. I know how you feel. Many people come to me and complain about the filter. And it IS inconsistent, which I believe is grounds for a negligent misrepresentation claim (I'm not a lawyer but many ask me for advice). Did you watch my Outsmarting Yelp videos? That can help…

    2. yelp has been a small thorn in our businesses side since we've opened. They have knocked off so many good reviews for us and have of course kept all the bad ones. Including the ones that are first post. I would love to see this website demolished. yelp sucks hard


    i am a small business owner who has run afoul of a competitor.

    the competing business has bombarded me (using YELP) with out and out fabrications, libelous accusations, and outrageous drivel via what i can only assume to be one writer with several pseudonyms or one (very unethical) 'on-line presence' service with a stable of (fiction) writers masquerading as unhappy clients.

    i have written to yelp on many occasions to explain. you have a better chance of finding God. i haven't found a phone # you can call (unless, of course, you want to buy advertising), and all my letters have elicited only (the same, word for word), boilerplate answers generated by some robot.

    i finally got so angry i called the FTC (federal trade commission), at 877-382-4357.

    they filed a complaint, and said if they see a pattern (meaning a lot of angry businesspeople filing complaints) they will go after them (yelp).

    the gentleman i spoke with seemed particularly interested in the "extortion for advertising" angle.

    so what are you waiting for??? if yelp has wronged you as it has me, CALL NOW AND FILE A COMPLAINT!!!


    1. Your experience is not unusual I'm afraid! I am so sorry to hear your plight. There is very little you can do about that other than getting Yelp to remove your listing from the search results. And each new negative listing, then you claim that business and it will vanish as well. It means you won't be getting any business from Yelp, but you will sleep better at night and can focus on Google where you get a more fair treatment.

      But, don't assume that your competitor won't follow you to your new listings…

      What you need is to dominate your keywords in your area. I think doing a Pizza Podcast, with expert commentary on how you do pizza right, and cute interwoven testimonials from customers… you just need a flip cam and some creativity. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. it's interesting that you can't filter malicious negative reviews but have NO PROBLEM filtering the nice reviews people post. you claim that you filter both negative and positive. its a lie. i have seen no eveidence of ANY negative reviews being filtered. it's because Yelp would lose leverage with its businesses. A customer will not purchase ads on Yelp so filtering negative reviews only hurts the end user. filtering the positive reviews forces a business to evaluate and possible become blackmailed by YELP to purchase advertising in exchange for less filtered positive reviews.

        ALL in ALL-Yelp is a scam. It too will fade….anyone remember Friendster??? Enough said.

  3. I posted a negative review of a daycare center that my 6 month old daughter was abused at. They filtered it. I got in touch and explained to them it was valid, offered to send pictures and the police report, and got no help. Today they emailed me telling me they removed my review! I am DISGUSTED! They told me my review wasn't detailed enough. I tried to keep it simple because we were advised by an attorney not to slander, as we are filing a law suit. I guess that's not good enough for them, and they apparently love child abusers!

    1. I know that NPR is looking for consumers like you! I know they would love to hear your story:

      Name: Sally Herships NPR/Marketplace
      Category: Business and Finance
      Email: [email protected]
      Media Outlet: NPR/Marketplace
      Deadline: 7:00 PM EST – 29 December


      Before spending a large chunk of cash, perhaps on a new dentist,
      a dinner out, a membership at a new gym, you did your research.
      You looked up reviews on Yelp. They were glowing so you handed
      over your credit card. Hindsight is 20/20. Looking back you can
      tell the reviews were too good – they were bogus and you got
      burned – bad, iffy or NO service at all. Is this you? Looking
      for consumers burned by seemingly good reviews.

  4. After refusing to their extortion tactics and us refusing to advertising on Yelp in September of 2011. Yelp systematically removed all of our reviews in October, November and December of 2011. I mean every single one! Good bad indifferent. Who will ever trust Yelp. We have 15 reviews and 39 filtered.

    We were unsuccessful at removing our listing so we renamed it to something more appropriate.

    Its worth a look.


  5. We were paid advertisers on Yelp and decided to stop. Our site had positive reviews removed and negative reviews remained leaving us with a 3 1/2 star rating. We have 79 filtered reviews that are unseen. Most of them are 5 star reviews. We have put our Yelp click through icon directly to our filtered reviews. I don't know what else to do. i agree with the businesses that cry extortion.

    What do I do to delete my businesses completely from Yelp? I have a San Diego and Bay area web site.

    Thank you for your help,

    Teresa Holland

    1. I'm sorry to hear about your troubles with Yelp. I wish I could say you were unique but I've heard this story hundreds of times! Getting anything out of Yelp, even just getting a human being, is tough. If you are willing to play hardball there are options.

  6. To Yelp

    From Burbank Kawasaki Inc.

    Extortion Fraud

    Yelp has been removing Burbank Kawasaki Inc. and American business positive reviews from respectful citizen in their community and all over America. Yelp has been thriving on the negative reviews to extort American business owners to pay Yelp to get good reviews.

    If Yelp does not remove all the negative reviews and restore all the positive, Burbank Kawasaki Inc has no choice. and all of the business owners victims, to file a law suit. Yelp is the worst type of terrorist destroying America’s freedom and free enterprise. Yelp is attacking American citizens and forcing American business to lay off workers because of your “Mafia” tactics. Restore the truth or face the consequences like Obama to Bin Laden.

    Burbank Kawasaki

    1329 Hollywood Way

    Burbank,CA 91505



    We have recently implemented a system to outsmart yelp from hiding our filtered reviews, and it has worked very well for us (and some of the other businesses who have already done what we have done).

    Step 1- first of all, if you’re advertising with yelp, stop doing so and shift that money to optimize your own web site instead

    Step 2- have a graphic designer make a yelp badge that is placed on your web site. It should say “we have …… filtered and unfiltered reviews on yelp”. 

    Step 3- when a visitor clicks on the badge, it will go to another page ON YOUR OWN WEB SITE (instead of going to yelp’s. (why help them get traffic and rank higher anyways)? 

    Step 4- on this page have your graphic designer get a screen capture (picture) of all your filtered and unfiltered reviews and have them pasted together onto one page.

    Now, all your reviews (filtered or not) will be visible to all your web site visitors. 

    5- put a note on the top that says, “for your convenience we have placed all our filtered and unfiltered reviews on one page to see. If you’d like to go to our live yelp page, click here …………”

    Make the whole page clickable to your live yelp page  so no-one will say you’re trying hide something or to be dishonest 

    Advantages of doing this: 

    1- your visitors will stay on your web site instead of being directed to yelp’s

    2- your visitor can’t click on your competitors 

    3- no more being a slave to yelp’s algorithm

    4- yelp would not benefit from getting traffic from you and higher rankings on google 

    5- this whole process cost us less than $150 to implement 

    Just be sure to shift that $300 per month on yelp advertising and put it into KEYWORDS that people will search for. 

    Please pass this along

  8. I have 7 positive, five star reviews from industry people as well as clients. All are hidden yet 3 bad reviews are highlighted, including by one person that admits they aren't a customer but reviewed with me one star to retaliate for me giving a friend's massage business a negative review…which has nothing to do with my business at all since we are complete strangers. Unbelievable, I have no doubt lost business because of these phony reviews.

  9. We have over 60 positive reviews, only 2 good and 2 bad showing giving us 3 stars. When based on the simple math of 60 5 star reviews we should have 5 right? we've written 3 times to BBB, 4 times to Yelp and to our NY Senators and Federal Trade Comm. No help whatsoever. The joke is Yelp calls us to buy advertising!?!?!? We use to pay when we started 2 years ago but stopped. We have emailed so many complaints that we now tell our customers to only post or LIKE US on Facebook (which is more legit as you see the customer) and Google Maps or twitter. Yelp should be shut down or at least a business should be able to remove itself (permanently unlist themselves to this service). We don't want to be listed on Yelp. Two crappy customers over 2 years in business and they hold more sway than dozens of happy ones. BS

    1. Your story is the same as ours. Yelp banned me from posting because I told the same story on their crappy web site. We know our 2 bad reviews came from people that work for our competitors. They are so smug that no one at Yelp will listen to legitimate complaints. Customers have tried to post good reviews from their iphone sitting in a both. They got frustrated because yelp wants personal information and a picture and you have to post reviews several times before yours sticks. Who has time for that – let me guess the a-holes of the world.

  10. Our company wound up on Yelp! with no initiation on my part. The first review was posted 8/2011 by a person who never even did business with us! I contacted Yelp! who told me to contact the reviewer. I did so and she never bothered to respond. I then recontacted Yelp! who told me that the review would stand, referenced some congressional ruling from 1996 that pertained to 3rd party and internet providers and blew me off. I then asked a few of our past guests to provide reviews which they did. On 2/8 I contacted Yelp! again about the reviewer who never did business with me, again asking them to remove it or at least provide some assistance on how to correct it. Soon after I got yet another boiler plate response. I responded that this was ridiculous and I was going to contact the Attorney General, the Better Business Bureau and our personal attorney. That was on 2/8 and shortly after that all my positive reviews were deleted!! My customers that left the reviews contacted me asking why Yelp! closed their account!! I can't believe this place!! Its a goddamn racket that hides behind a outdated law passed decades ago. They need to be shut down permanently.

    1. I've been Yelpped says:

      Yeah, I didn't initiated my business being on Yelp either. And I was double shock when I was informed I couldn't take it off. Say what now!? I don't know what this congressional rule of 1996 was but if still sounds like Yelp is on thin ice especially if they are exploiting it and using it for purposes it was not intented. Sooner or later some jackass always use some good for bad. But I was thinking, if I'm reading what you wrote correctly that is, how can Yelp stand behind a 3rd party ruling when the fact that the person writing the review is a Yelper. Doesn't that constitute, if ever so vaguely, a relationship. I'm not a lawyer, just a thinker. I bet there is an argument to be made there, by some keen lawyer.

    2. Hi Karen. I am facing the same issues with reviews against my company for work we never contracted for or performed. I have the same exact story as you, contacted Yelp over and over and heard about constitutional rights and that I need to contact the reviewer. Let me get this straight, I am to contact the illogical Yelper and talk sense into them? I have tried it twice, business suicide. Nothing like having a business owner argue with a so called client in a public forum. So I tried the private reach out, no better response. Just mad people that want to assign blame no matter who they hurt. Why would they care, they are not the ones losing business. I am working with my attorney on the premise that if I have contacted Yelp and notified them that fraud has been committed on their website and they do act then they should be just as liable for the fraud as the blogger. We will see……

  11. My beef with Yelp is much different then most. I had Lasik at at a place and they destroyed my eyes. It has cost me in excess of 10k to have this fixed and I still my be looking at a trip to London for additional surgery.That will run me another 15k. I have a legitimate beef with the lasik center that did this to me. So I wrote a bad review of them and soon other people came forward and this place has no decent reviews. They haved maimed many people. I backed my review with facts and hyperlinks,as a matter of fact my surgeon is being sued for 10 million dollars. I cannot sue as where this happened to me, simpy you cant. To cut to the chase I figured that they would remove my review or filter it. Then people started voting and I got 72 Useful votes and people started contacting me about what to do about their maimed eyes. I was helping people. My review was not of a business that had bad service, it was about a place that was blinding people. It was legit and not like so many BS reviews or good reviews that were filtered. Do you know what did me in? One of the people who contacted me said that I should be a more active participant in yelp talk. On Sunday a troll attacked me and made nasty comments about my parents. I fired back and put the guy in his place. After saying what I had to say I finished with I'm done with this guy. Yesterday I sign in and it says that my account has been closed for having mutiple accounts. I had one. Evidently the troll flagged everyone who got the best of him. I guess my flag was for having more then one account which is BS. I have contacted yelp and they refuse to get back to me. So why they extorting legitimate businesses, the BS is a two way street. I pretty much told the guy to grow up and move out of parents basement. The thread had more more profane stuff about this guy from other people and since it was not flagged it stays. This guy went looking for trouble and I fell for the bait. Now I kicked of yelp forever and I didn't do anything except defend myself. I know this way diferent then businesses that have a beef because they wont pay yelps extortion. I will start my own website and continue helping people. This may be way different then what most of you have gone through. I went through something else and it was just as wrong as what they did to all of you. They want you to be part of their "social network" and when you do they close your account for a BS reason. If this place hadn't maimed me I would have never even thought of posting on yelp. Moral of the story, they screw everyone.

  12. So I own a small computer/game console repair shop and started using YELP because I was trying to get online exposure and get my business name on the internet. I signed up got a few reviews after about 10 or so I get a call from yelp saying they can help my business that there is 1000 searches for my category in my area and last month I only got 100 views so Im missing out on customers. I declined to sign up with them because I have used all my advertising money on other websites and printed material. Well the day after my conversation with them I noticed my reviews were being filtered I thought it might be because most of those filtered reviews where from people who have just signed up so didnt really think anything of it. Then I noticed a competitor's ad was being displayed right above my page when a search was done (obviously paid ad) and I click on his reviews lo an be hold only a couple of his reviews are filtered and none of the reviews from new users are being filtered? As of today 10 of my 13 reviews have been filtered out and only 5 of his 12 reviews are filtered. I guess I am lucky that I have no bad reviews otherwise Im sure new user or not that one would stay up until I pay up.

  13. Another story of filtered reviews. We are a new business with all 5 star reviews. 6 of the 8 have been filtered. I know these customers by name. One of my customers actually contacted yelp after their review was filtered several months ago, it was placed back on our page and now its filtered again. There really is not rhyme or reason to their filtering. I find it interesting that they feel they have the authority to determine the authenticity of a review, they obviously need a new formula.

    Additionally I was accosted by a Yelp sales person. He was demanding and became verbally aggressive during our conversation. I called him out on it saying that he was brusk and rude. He tried to backtrack. It was very uncomfortable and I felt bullied. Needless to say I did not even consider advertising after that encounter.

    Prior to opening a business I regularly used yelp. I will now take all yelp reviews with a GIANT grain of salt, maybe an entire container. I don't trust Yelp, they do not have my best interest, or any other small business, in mind.

  14. We have a small business. Yelp has allowed bad bogus reviews of competitors (we assume) to stay on Yelp while good reviews are filtered. We have ALWAYS been reputable and had glowing response and reviews from helping out clients but Yelp is destroying our online presence.

  15. Gail Lazzinnaro says:

    Yelp continues to filter out positive reviews and highlight s the negative reviews. They then contact us to purchase ads. We have been in business over 21 years, without any problems. The economy is hard enough on small businesses – we do not need YELP to add to our situation… What can we do to stop them?

    1. You can outrank them in the search engines. I'll bet most of your ideal clients aren't the kind that look at Yelp in the first place, but see it on Google. Yes? So put more great stuff on Google for your potential clients to find.

  16. Over the last two years it seems Yelp has continued to have unethical business practice tactics. We were contacted multiple times by the "sales" team to purchase advertising and even had one of them commend us on being so responsive to our yelp reviewers. At first we thought this was just part of the game online, but then when our happy clients came in and said they were so excited they posted a great review we all went to look for them in anticipation and guess were they all landed. …..filter filter….. then some negative ones were on the top always. Some of the negatives were not our clients and that was strange… also, two were from "clients" that came in and wanted some discounts and freebies, when we didn't agree with them they posted a whiney negative review. I refuse to be blackmailed by these kind of people and a place like Yelp that allows such unfairness, hog tie the business owner and coerce us to pay them…sounds like an old mafia tactic.

    I am happy to see it backfiring now and love the sticker about "Hate us on Yelp". it really makes if funny and turns it around . the customers will soon see through this and all the credibility will be lost. I spend my dollars on Citisearch, local business networking, Utube and good old facebook to get the real word out.

    As business owners we are not upset with negative reviews in general, they come with the ride, but it is the overall extortion, unfair business practice and stranglehold they put on any way to provide real feedback and have better relations is the issue. If they are in such support of small business then why all the negativity? Citisearch works with us to help build our businesses and offers fair review trafficking. I am Anti Yelp and who cares about them anyway. People need to make up their own business minds….

    1. Totally the right attitude: Who Cares? That's right! Make Yelp irrelevant to your business model, out rank them with Google Reviews and other high ranking sites, and you won't feel the pinch.

  17. Adryenn, love the name of your website. In regards to your post, I am not even a business owner but I am thinking about boycotting them all together. Yelp needs to figure out their bad vs. good reviews, I wrote a single review for two separate companies I like and use regularly but both reviews were declined. Yelp's bogus review filter is causing good companies I know and like to look like criminals.

  18. So disturbing to read the same concerns over and over again by business owners. We had never had any reviews and then we received our first which was horrendous. Ironically it arrived on the tails of terminating an employee, which is who wrote the review in hopes to damage our business in retaliation. In fact, she even refers to herself in the review which is outrageous. She just joined Yelp, and we were our first review. I complained and tried to have it removed but of course they are keeping her review even though we have had positive reviews from legitimate sources after hers which of course have been filtered. They have told me that if I were to join a membership with them or advertise they will "help" us. This is such an illegal practice, it is unreal. Funny they think everyone should have a voice yet they filter their voices. It is saddening that there is no protection for business owners who are the few taxpayers and job suppliers in this economy. PS: is anyone else disturbed that Yelp does not have a phone number?

    1. Just be sure you understand that when Yelp says they will "help" you that they don't mean fix the problem. They mean they will try to spray golden paint over the pile of poo that is their review filter. They are banking on the fact that biz owners think they can buy back their good reviews out of the filter because that was the scandal. You can't do that. They won't fix the problem, you can't buy better service, and no matter what you do, if you are on a downward swing on Yelp, chances are it'll just keep heading south. Focus on Google. They'll be around long after Yelp has shuttered it's doors.

  19. , 2012

    YELP 5 STAR ***** Burbank Kawasaki I shopped all over California for a new Kawasaki motorcycle prices and Burbank Kawasaki was the lowest price. I went to 3 dealers and they where not very friendly or helpful. I am a new rider and Leon took the time to show me everything about the bike. We made the deal over the phone and when I got there I was very happy and he kept all the promises. I bought a Kawasaki motorcycle @ Burbank Kawasaki. They did not have it in the show room and Leon personally when and pick it up at the storage place. Delivered it quickly, and even lowered it for me. I couldn't be happier. I am a major stickler when it comes to buying a vehicle, 9 times out of 10 I don't like the dealers I have had to work with. This time I was 100% satisfied. I highly recommend this dealer

  20. We have a few good reviews that have been filtered. The bad reviews, which seem to be from competitors (we are a restaurant/bar business in Chicago) are still there. We have reviews of our place and telling our customers to go to their places instead. We even have one that just popped up a few days ago, stating while at our restaurant, we drugged her aunt, and went over to a nearby hotel where we stole all her belongings. No one at the hotel or at the Police department has heard anything about this incident. We tried contacting Yelp but to no success. They will not take it down. I am furious since this is far above a bad review on food, but involves drugs and illegal actions which are false, and makes my restaurant look bad to all of our visitors on Yelp.

  21. My girlfriend used a groupon for a resume review service about 1 month ago. It was horrible, and she was able to get her money back. Because she's an avid user of Yelp (mainly researching places she's interested in going, not providing more than 3-4 reviews per year), she posted a very negative review on Yelp. Hers was the first one. Then suddenly, a positive review pops up, from someone in the physical area of this business (San Francisco). This positive review was the only review this person had written, listed the full name of the customer service person (even though only first names were ever used during my girlfriend's correspondence) and their profile had only been created in the past 8-9 days. Nothing screams fake quite like that. Then three or four more negative reviews pop up over the next week. Followed immediately by fake positive reviews. Now, a month later, only her posting is up. All others are gone.

    This destroys Yelp's credibility in my eyes. I don't have a problem with Yelp keeping the positive reviews up (I can't "prove" they're fake, but they certainly don't pass the smell test. Just post the negative reviews as well.

  22. My situation is a little different. I left a negative review on Yelp regarding one of their advertisers. Not only was my review removed, but I also received an e-mail cancelling my Yelp account and stating that I could no longer write reviews.

  23. We have a similar Yelp experience. Our auto repair business has been in SoCal since 1923. We did not even know about Yelp until someone wrote us a bad review. In an effort to fix the problem we decided to advertise. And we asked our customers to write reviews. Business traffic did not increase so we stopped advertising. Now all our good reviews are filtered. The ratio is: 54 filtered (all good) and 2 non-filtered (not good). http://www.yelp.com/biz/ward-service-auto-repair-

    It is absolutely amazing that this can happen. YELP-SUCKS. Thank you for this website.

  24. yelp team kept calling me for advertising with them but the price is very hight so I said no and one day after they they took my 7 good review out of the review and go to the filter ๐Ÿ™

  25. We have had 12 yelp reviews. 8 of them are terrific. 4 are pretty bad mostly from people who do not want to pay their bills. Yelp surprised the good reviews and does contact me to advertise with them. We have excellent google reviews and droogle reviews but yelp continues to come up first on a web search. This is harming our small business and I don't know what to do about it.

  26. How do you remove your listing from Yelp??? I've emailed them requesting to be removed numerous times and they refuse! I even tried changing my business name to disassociate my business with the negative comments and Yelp went in and changed my name back! Now i heard they will lock the edit screen so i can't edit the name again- There's no way out of a doomed Yelp listing- Please help!

    1. I just had a very long conversation with them expressing many of the sentiments written here and as I predicted, they didn't care. Their view is that anyone who has bad reviews is bad and anyone who complains is trying to game the system. They are not oblivious to the collateral damage, they simply find it acceptable to protect consumers. I'm still working on a faster method, right now, it's one at a time, by an attorney.

  27. If you guys want to fuck yelp up why dont you do this:

    I am not condoning this and if you do it you do so at your own peril.

    Slander the absolute crap out of really wealthy people on there website like bill gates, zuckerberg, buffett, ect….

    Slander say 100 of the worlds wealthiest people really bad.

    Then sitback and watch as yelp goes bankrupt from trying defend itself from court action against people with unlmited recources.


    1. I don't condone slander because it will come back to bite you, but that is a rather ingenius idea. Get people with large bankrolls pissed off at Yelp. OK, how about this, we go after every person who has been wronged by a Mortgage Company and have them tell their story on Yelp with a 1 star review, naming the CEO in the review. Now, that's not slander, but it has the same effect. What do you think?

  28. As a small business owner I have studied Yelp's business model for some time now. In my opinion, Yelp is just an online address book with comments. It's lacks content. I created an alternative model based on my needs based on relevant technology which includes:

    – Information

    – Visibility

    – Content

    – Social media

    – Networking

    Within a month I had more that 50 coupon downloads. Check out the features in the bottom right sidebar http://www.thatvideomagazine.com/newyork/business

  29. I have a slightly different issue with Yelp….as a reviewer. I can't check the exact review for a link now because it was a couple weeks ago and they have since DELETED my account.

    I posted a review for a bar/restaurant in response to a user who had asked about entertainment and gotten no responses. I have a FREE (not even ads on it) directory for karaoke and I posted a link to the show on my site to help someone. They deleted my account! It was my first post! I signed up THAT DAY to help someone find a venue and they deleted my account based on that single sentence.

    When I tried to contact them to explain there are no contact emails. The BOT that sends the reply saying "you're fired" is a no-respond email address and even "support@…" is a no-go. If you go to the "contact us" page it is a bunch of useless forms to fill out. They have a business account option that may have emails to try, but I'm not signing up with them simply to tell them how much they suck.

    I ended up on this page because I had considered buying yelpsucks.com (they own it) and when I tried yelp-sucks.com, I found this one!!

    Party on!

    1. I thought that was so ironic (and actually very savvy) that Yelp owned yelpsucks.com. Now I recommend all my clients buy that variation of their name, just in case some day they do! Although my clients usually rock!

  30. We should all start posting our own business names on yelp so that we can all go on each others page and post good reviews, Yelp will have no way of filtering all those postings and if they did then the FTC would be able to build a case on them. Post your Yelp page name, and lets get together and beat Yelp at thier own game.

    1. That's called Review Trading and it's explictly against the terms of service. They can track IP address and trust me, their filters are slick enough to figure that out. Heck, they filter real reviews now all the time, so it's set on super high. Someone suggested reviewing Yelp, and yes, you can. ๐Ÿ™‚ Now that is one I would highly suggest. But don't team up and trade reviews. It's pointless. And winning by cheating won't have the same great feeling.

  31. Hi Adryenn,

    Do you believe filing complaints with the BBB, NYS Attorney Gen. Office, FTC, & Consumer Affairs about Yelp's extortion tactic which has hurt my business will get anything accomplished? Will Yelp retaliate??? I have heard a story of someone getting all their positive reviews removes in retaliation once the person filed a complaint.


  32. Extorted by a Yelper; The Yelp extortion scheme

    I’m not writing this article to help those who wish to cheat business owner. But to expose a scheme which some Yelpers have used to victimize my small business. I and many other small business owners have been suffering for years under Yelp’s irresponsible regime. We’ve been extorted by both Yelp and Yelpers alike.

    Here’s how the scheme works. The Yelper uses your services, the business may be a home cleaning service, a plumber, doctor, mover, a dry cleaner etc…. The Yelper won’t complain to you directly, they know they’ll look foolish because they don’t have a good argument. Instead the coward will bash you on Yelp usually including statements such as “Don’t Go,” “Terrible,” “AVOID!,” “Horrible,” etc…. Worst of all the review stays up indefinitely. Four years from now it’ll still reek havoc on the bottom line.

    Businesses that ignore these comments will soon learn the power of Yelp. Customers will come in very timid, saying “someone wrote something bad on Yelp.” But what’s worst is you’ll never know how many clients you lose. Business will start to drop. Yelp has terrific SEO. Most likely they outrank the business’s web site for just about every keyword. Sometimes even outranking the business’s own name.

    Publicly responding to the Yelper via Yelp does not work. It won’t be prominently displayed. Potential clients can only see your first sentence under the Yelper’s review (they usually won’t bother.) They have to click “more” to read the rest. Most clients won’t waste the time. Most won’t even open your Yelp page if you have less than four stars. Would you want to use a service that only has one star on Yelp?

    The business owner who has already experienced the power of Yelp already knows the drill. Either contact the Yelper via e-mail or via Yelp and give a refund, offer additional free services etc…. Whatever it takes, otherwise risk losing dozens of additional clients and thousands of dollars monthly. After the greedy Yelper is satisfied he deletes the review. Yelp encourages this, they tell you to contact the client to resolve the situation. This is a very one sided fight, in which the business owner cannot win. Still trust Yelp’s reviews?

  33. http://www.spicyspirit.com/our-blog/social-media/

    We recently helped a San Mateo based law firm set up its business profile on Yelp. One can't imagine the amount of difficulties, problems and dramas we have encountered for such a simple task.

    1. Up-sell right away

    Once we set up the business account, Yelp's sales representative called the next day. She told us that free listing on Yelp basically would not get us any traffic and we had to advertise. This is extremely annoying. We just tried you out and without any proof of performance, you started to up-sell? We don't even know if getting a free profile is worth it yet. Very likely not as the following issues unfolded.

    2. Massive duplicated listings

    The firm has been through a few rounds of partnership reformation, thus, the names at different times are different. Surprisingly, there are seven old profiles on Yelp about this firm, all with wrong or outdated information. We tried to merge them with our newly created page where everything is up to date. Guess what? Yelp doesn't care. It took us TWO WEEKS and multiple reminder emails to get everything merged! One of the emails was going through the sales representative and obviously she was reluctant to help as it was not her business.

    3. The ultimate nightmare – review filter

    On a Thursday afternoon, we saw the seven old listings and their reviews finally being merged with the new listing, we felt relieved. Now it was perfect. However, the nightmare came shortly – Yelp filtered all of our 9 reviews the coming Monday! Why??? Just because the reviewer does not have any friend or a profile photo on Yelp??? So they are deemed as fakers? Well – to be honest, from consumers' perspective, we'd love to leave true reviews but we don't want to show our face. And why we should make friends on Yelp when we already have our needs met on Facebook.

    We can imageine how many small businesses would be turned off by the poor services from Yelp. Not to mention the rumor about Yelp's threatening to lower a business' ranking if it doesn't advertise.

  34. Thanks Paul,

    I am calling the FTC as we speak! I am having the same troubles with YELP and seem to get the same typical response when I email them my concerns. I don't know how many times I have been told to watch their video on "filtering", but it does not answer any of my questions. It simply contradicts what they are saying from the reviews they post. There is NO method to their madness. I have filed a complaint with the BBB as well which again lead no where.

    When I called into the FTC just now they basically enter your info into a database where investigators have access to. They do not garauntee anything will be done, but if there is numerous complaints filed against someone or an organization they will look into it. The woman also urged me to go to http://www.ic3.gov where law enforcement has access to and will look into a complaint you file there as well.

  35. Yelp is playing the same game with my company. They contact me about 1-2 times per month and ask me to sign up for their sponsorship/ad program. I have and will continue to refuse to do so. However, I know that my reviews will CONTINUE TO BE FILTERED.

    I am doing everything in my power to make sure my clients know the truth about yelp. I have started a Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/yelpisafraud .

    Please Like the page, and along with blogs and posts like this one, hopefully yelp will be shut down sooner than later.

    Thanks so much everyone for continuing the fight against YELP!

  36. Yelp sucks period we were fine until a disgruntled nonpaying visitor leaves a fake review and sure the filter doesn't do anything to that and neither do they but over 30 five star reviews are filtered making us look like crap under there site with three stars. But here's how you fight back hurt yelp in the pockets. SInce it appears that they rely heavily on there adsense program if you are a victim of yelps UNFAIR business practices by not giving careful consideration to negative reviews especially ones that are overly biased and malicious with obvious intent to discredit a business go on there adsense program which would be any google paid links under there page and click away until they are booted from the program. A little F U from businesses all over the world that are losing money because yelp wants to be malicious they also state in email replys don't bother trying to sue them cause they will lose. Well don't buy any of there services, click multiple times on there adsense programs until google software bans them hit them in the pockets until they restore the filtered positive reviews you gonna keep fake bad ones better keep them all or filter them properly. CLICK AWAY FOLKS AND F U YELP ENJOY YOUR FREE RIDE ON ADSENSE WHILE IT LASTS!!

  37. I have been having problems with yelp have you heard about this from anyone else ? My problem is they filter out all my positive reviews and only post the negative and the negative reviews are from my competition and I can prove it Mario the mechanic has his customer post bad reviews about my business if you go to my yelp page you will see 2 negative reviews and 12 filtered reviews the negative reviews also wrote positive reviews for Mario the mechanic there is one negative review that was filter and he is also a customer of Mario the mechanic.

    My yelp page: http://www.yelp.com/biz/a-to-z-transmission-and-a

  38. First of all, Thank you Adryenn for inviting us to share our stories and for building a great website where we can go to vent, learn, and know that we are not alone. I also built a website. Like you I want folks to understand that this company is not going to be around forever with the tactics its pulling…..amazing it has been around as long as it has……my site is areviewofyelp.com.

    Bottom line i had a 5 star average. 1 psycho lady who i never performed services for and never charged her anything wrote me a bad review. She was dissapointed that i would not assist her with my services, but she was talking down to my contractor and myself. She's taken upon herself write hateful things about me throughout the internet including yelp. I sued her in small claims for libel where I won, and the won again on appeal. Psycho woman is still at it drafting hateful and false statements about me and my services…

    Back to yelp….after about 5-6 months, and getting an attorney involved they eliminated her reviews on yelp, but she wrote another within 20 minutes as if she was constantly checking the review. Yelp refused to eliminate what she wrote because the court did not declare this one libelous. I am currently trying my own version of reputation management based on my knowledge of SEO…….I'll let you know whether it works….very time consuming. Yelp – go to hell

  39. I have emailed '60 Minutes' and '20/20' news shows asking then to investigated and expose YELP and their illegal/unethical practices. It's easy to do and only takes a couple of minutes. They them your story. I'd like to see these guys EXPOSED on a national level. I'd like to see them interview the CEO of YELP and have him do some explaining!

  40. I am a small business owner of a Yogurt Shop in Salt Lake City Utah . I am shocked over the control that companies such as Yelp have. Think about it…They are using our name on their sites, for their financial benefit. I can't believe it's allowed as a business practice. I have many, many happy customers. But it seems as though it's the one's (and there are only a few), who don't get their way and end up posting the comments. I have asked Yelp, urbanspoon, and googlemaps to please remove one horrible comment that was very long and destructive from one individual. But they keep emailing me back rejection letters indicating that they can leave the posts up. I even told them to completely remove my business from their site. They again rejected. Because of this. I have a very low rating due to one individual. I would love to get any information from anybody out there who knows of a recent class action suit against any of the above mentioned companies. LET'S PUT A STOP TO THIS KIND OF PRACTICE!! It's hard enough to be a small business in the good o'le USA!

  41. I have experienced the same issues on my yelp site where my reviews have all been filtered! This makes zero since! The funny thing is that it happened immediately after a yelp salesman contacted my wife about paying 350.00 per month for advertising that we simply did not need for the very beginning of our business! We were haven't been members for a month yet! How can we afford to pay and we haven't been with yelp a month! It would be great if a representative would contact me regarding this matter! If I am contacted, I will post the results to all. Hopefully, yelp will realize they are hurting businesses and fix the problems soon!

    Thanks Waiting!

    July 22, 2012


    7:00pm Central time

  42. We are a local cover band playing private events and bars/festivals. I needed a place for clients to be able to leave reviews. I started Business page on Yelp. I was thrilled when 5 of our clients had left excellent feedback. I put a link to our Yelp page on our site and then one day I noticed we had 0 reviews. All of of our 100% REAL reviews had been filtered. Now Yelp is telling me that I can't take my business page down. I want nothing to do with this website, I understand their service is free, but their filter SUCKS!! I hope that something much better comes out and that company goes down in flames. Talking about their unethical practices to have businesses advertise on their site is a whole different conversation.


    Extremely unsatisfied Yelp customer.

  43. I found one way to get my site off Yelp. I removed all categories for my business, and now it doesn't show up in the search results. It's still on Yelp, just doesn't show in relevant searches….

  44. It seems that whenever a business declines to advertise on YELP they remove all their positive comments. I know a business that would love to join the class action law suit.

  45. Yelp has fraudulent information listed about our company because it clearly states we have (1 review), when actually there are 3, (2, both good legitimate reviews,from long time clients, being hidden). This creates a misconception for prospective customers that trust Yelp to give them an honest account of what reviews they have collected, (not just the bad and not just the good); just the reviews! If they are worried about fake reviews, they could have the reviewer initial an agreement stating that the information contained within is honest and forthright and that they are not a competitor (or acting on their behalf) to the business they are leaving the review for. There are so many ways in which to better manage this situation, if only they cared to make the effort… I have called and e-mailed many times without resolve. They are listed with the California BBB, with a good rating the last time I checked. I encourage all business owners to report their unresolved issues to them . Also submit to investigative news teams. This is information that many consumers, and business owners alike, would be interested in hearing about.


    Yelp is a website that claims to offer people a fair reviews of buisness, when in fact, they mislead people by only showing negative reviews, while 'filtering' all good reviews, UNLESS, that bussiness pays them money, then the show good reviews and 'filter' bad ones.That is very unfair to the public

    To fight back against this injustice, everyone should file a complaint against Yelp at the Better Business Bureau, https://www.bbb.org/file-a-complaint if enough people file, something can be done!!!

  47. To all:

    We have 20 reviews on yelp. 19 five star reviews. 1 one star review. 1 review is showing. Which do you think it is?

    So instead of waiting for the FTC, we've decided to voice our complaints virally. We hope you will enjoy these as we have designed them to not only point of the discrepancies of yelp but also to educate consumers.

    8 are coming: these are the first two.


    Get the word out – help us share these. Let's bring the issue into the public arena and see how the shareholder's appreciate a product that is fundamentally flawed – especially once it is common knowledge!

    – Maxwell

  48. Yelp filtered 75% of my reviews – all positive.

    I plan to broadcast on Linkedin articles that highlight Yelp's practice of suppressing positive reviews on non-ad paying businesses.

    We, as a community, can bring this practice to the attention of other businesses …. will Yelp listen?

  49. I've been contacting yelp for months now trying to get them to correct my business address. We moved offices in March, 2012. I've tried to correct the address on my Yelp business page, but with no luck. Now Yelp has "Locked" my address so I can't update it.

    I've set numerous inquiries to yelp to correct the street address- no luck, no results. I'm at a loss what to do about this.