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Yelp now has court permission to manipulate ratings

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Joe, Sep 9, 2014.

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  1. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Last edited: Sep 9, 2014
    Christmas
  2. wellmel

    wellmel Low-Roller

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    Oh god. That's so disappointing to hear. I'm a Yelp elite. I had heard rumors of this before but I had hoped Yelp wouldn't sacrifice it's integrity this way. Well, at least they still throw awesome parties for us.
     
  3. dfalk

    dfalk VIP Whale

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    I was reading a guy's comments about this on another site. He said he had a small family restaurant that has always mainained a 4 star review on Yelp. A couple months ago Yelp contacted him and asked if he would like to advertise on their site which he politely said no and they kept calling him almost every week. After showing no interest what so ever he said he noticed a lot of his 5 star reviews vanishing which led his restaurant going from 4 stars to 3 even though there has been no negative reviews in those months.

    So he pretty much said if you don't pay yelp and advertise with then say goodbye to your high star reviews. Pretty shitty thing to do IMO.
     
  4. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    What a crock of shit.

    I don't use Yelp religiously but I do use it. How can they justify manipulating people's reviews? And not only that but shaking people down too?!
     
  5. broncofn

    broncofn VIP Whale

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    Same exact thing happened to me! A lady from Yelp kept calling me every other day and all of a sudden when I declined their promotional service, a lot of my 5 star reviews went away orthey said they could not verify who the reviewer is.
     
  6. broncofn

    broncofn VIP Whale

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    Because they are a "service" on the internet and I guess they do not make enough from their advertisers which like you said is a crock of shit.

    Stupid businesses pay good money to be at the top of their site for the city they are in so the ppl searching that particular city will see them first.

    For instance, if you are searching for food delivery in dc, they would be at the top.
     
  7. booker

    booker High-Roller

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    My two friends who own restaurants say Yelp is simply an extortionist.
     
  8. VegasDave

    VegasDave Addicted

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    Sucks to hear this, just confirms the rumors. I am a big Yelp fanatic, I have found many really good places because of Yelp, but then some have 4 stars and you still go WTH??? What is the best alternative?
     
  9. broncofn

    broncofn VIP Whale

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    Honestly? Word of mouth recomendations are the best. At least from my pov it is.

    My family has been in small business's since the early 70's and I guess I am also. My father has been on the front page and had a whole article written about him in the washington post. This was all before the internet and was all done by word of mouth.

    Patrick Ewing used to be one of my fathers customers while he was attending and playing for gtown. He used to call my dad "Mr. Sam the deli man".

    George Starke from the skins (early 80's) used to always come in and help around the place believe it or not. This was all before the internet amd it was just word of mouth from ppl to come to our places.
     
  10. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    Yelp extorts small business. That is as simple and true as it can be said. The more the public knows how they operate, the better.
     
  11. Someone

    Someone High-Roller

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    you always have to be careful with those review sites and Vegas seems to be one of the worst

    you will have 5 star "this place is fab" reviews and then if you actually read the review the people did not stay at the property they walked through the lobby and stared at the people and the chandelier and told themselves they would stay there one day...... almost as bad is the people that list 5 things that went wrong that most people would find unacceptable like billing disputes, dirty rooms, loud noise all night ect, then it is "but hey yea it is Vegas and they have a great view and lots of hip cool trendy dbag types here so 5 stars"

    then when you read the terrible reviews even the ones that are way over the top have the same issues as the ones that are not over the top and even the same issues as the 5 star reviews from people that will accept any level of poor service as long as they pay a lot for it and it is in Vegas with a lot of others around them with low standards and accepting of poor performance as long as it is wrapped in faux exclusivity

    really you have to look at what the people actually say not their rating and get a feel for the overall trend of what issues you might experience and then decide if it is worth it or not and make sure to see how those that had an issue were able to resolve the issue to their satisfaction or were they not able to do so

    if the food was great, but the wait was long and service was slow was it worth it

    was the food just bad and nothing made it worth it

    was the food great, but the service so terrible you had to alert the manager and the manager took care of something right there or did he tell you bug off we are busy and don't need you

    if you read a cross section of reviews it is pretty easy to figure out what is up and make a decision on WHEN to go and where to go and what to expect and how to respond

    but it sucks that the site scams businesses, allows stupid reviews from people that sat at the bar and watched others eat or that people that review often have such a low set of standards and expectations that they will accept a plate of crap thrown in their face as long as it is done with elegance and pretentiousness
     
  12. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    I have the Yelp app on my iPad and one of my frustrations is that I can't seem to get the reviews to appear in date sequence, I don't want to see a review from 2011, I want the latest then the next one and so on. The reviews appear in a sort that is done by Yelp.

    This really sucks and I am disappointed to hear that they extort small restaurant owners, kind of like the mob coming weekly to wet their beak. As if the little guys don't have enough problems trying to compete with franchised operators, now they have to pay the black hand of Yelp.

    Tripadvisor is another one, I used Hotwire to make a reservation and was put into a small 2.5* motel near Atlantic City. Reviewers gave it a rating of 4 out of 5, but the place was a dump. Most of the reviewers had one or two reviews and they were heaping praise citing the same amenities. I sent Tripadvisor an email in an attempt to flag this place, but did not see any changes nor did I hear back from them.
     
  13. Bubbavegas

    Bubbavegas VIP Whale

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    Not news to me, the review I did on the Choctaw Durant Casino was completely deleted. The excuse? The casino said I never stayed there and despite me sending a copy of the bill to Yelp it was never reinstated, a place with enough money and connections can have whatever they want posted or not posted and a very negative review is seldom wanted. I was an Elite at the time and have never posted on there since.
     
    Cosmo Christmas
  14. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    It's always about context; the ratings game, that is. Always has been. The problem is context seldom is provided.

    As for Yelp: Maybe a good bit of consumer/reader rejection will turn the course, though I doubt it. Just way too many consumers out there willing to take stuff as gospel without remotely considering the source ... and the context, or lack thereof. That carries across most every act of consumption in America, from elections to TV shows to choosing steak places.
     
  15. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    So then could you technically sue them to have your business removed from their website? If they are not offering a true ratings service but rather extorting owners to pay or else suffer the wrath of their infantile business practice isn't that grounds for you having a case?

    Cool story about Patrick Ewing too!

    Agreed on the word of mouth trumping review sites. What I do usually is use the review sites to get a feel for a service I have never used or rarely use. I hired a maid service awhile back and used Yelp to help me find one that worked out well.

    The company I work for is pretty much all word of mouth because we deal with a relatively small industry (lumber, millwork, cabinets, etc).
     
  16. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    I think you have to look at review sites with a grain of salt. I heard about the Yelp "extortion" years ago. Check out the info on

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yelp

    There is a section on "astroturfing" and another section on alleged manipulation by yelp, including a class action lawsuit in 2010 that was dismissed (no physical proof).

    Even then, we have a number of "reviewers" with problems. Our local newspaper has a dining out section which gives us review on restaurants. It finally got out that the female who does the review takes her family out to a restaurant, if they give them a free or discounted meal then they get a good review, if not then she gives a negative review of the place. She has toned down her attitude but most of us still don't trust her reviews anymore.

    While tripadvisor is a decent place to read reviews, most of the time you only read from people who had a problem with a place or had a gripe about the place, you don't get a true feel about a place. I try to make a TA review on hotels I stay at to even out the field and give them an honest opinion about the place but like with Yelp, there can be bogus reviews to try to improve or bring down the rating of a place.

    As someone mentioned, you need to read the reviews and read what people say instead of looking at their rating.
     
  17. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    I've seen evidence of it too. I was looking at a restaurant and couldn't get a consistent picture of the place because Yelp had reviews appearing in no realistic chronological order. What at first seemed like a good place was really one with a lot of ownership changes that hadn't righted itself. Another time I was checking into the spa at Sun Coast. They had an outrageously bad review that didn't even jive with the way the spa was promoted. And when you looked further there were more reviews, all five star, that Yelp was hiding. I am wondering if their behinds are covered if a consumer sued them. Just because a business can't beat the extortion doesn't mean a consumer can't argue they were misled because Yelp manipulates reviews in favor of places that pay them.
     
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