At the beginning of November 2012, our company was contacted by phone by a Yelp Representative, a Ms. Sahr Siddiqi (firstname.lastname@example.org
) to get us to advertise on Yelp.com. To learn about it, I agreed to an appointment with her at 2:00pm on November 6th.
We had our appointment, which lasted almost two hours where in she showed me a number of graphs and websites and briefed me on a marketing program for $350.00 a month.
Up front, both my husband and I expressed to Sahr (she called him first about it and he referred her to me as I take care of the advertising for our company) that we were not really interested -- that we personally never used Yelp, our company had one positive review on it and one negative and we didn't agree with the negative review (which is not the point of this report so I will not go into the details) and we also pointed out that our clients tend to go to other websites such as Kudzu. com when they wish to write reviews. In other words, I communicated that we did not freely use Yelp in our lives and our customers didn't appear to be using it either
During the lengthly phone briefing by Sahr, she gave me the impressing that she was offering a guarantee of 450 reaches from to our company from Yelp a month. Now it may have been a misduplication on my part, but this is what I understood during the entirety of the interview she was selling me, until afterwards I asked her to send me the advertising program in writing. The written program was different than I had understood and after going back and forth with Sahr another hour or so via e-mail asking more and more questions, I wrote her at 3:49pm November 7th and told her we were not interested but to check back with us next year.
Shortly after that, our two review, two-star rating went to a on review, one star rating, wherein the ONLY review showing was the poor review we had.
But on 11/8, the next day, our company received a lengthly positive, 5 star review on Yelp by a very satisfied customer, who called to tell us about it, but it never showed up on our rating
Then on 11/13 our company received another postive, 5 star, review from a long term customer of ours, and this also did not show up in our rating.
On 11/28 a customer of ours called and was rave about our Technician's service and he called to tell me he had just written a positive review on our company on Yelp as he noticed "we needed a little help there". But of course I have never seen this review at all, it is not in our "filtered reviews" so I am contacting our customer about this.
On 11/30 our company recieved a four star review from another satisfied customer, but this of course is being filtered as well.
So as of the date that we declined to advertise on Yelp.com to join their $350.00 a month ($4,200/year) ad program, they responded in spite by removing ALL (7) positive reviews of our company, leaving the one poor review as part of our rating, showing us as a one star company.
This is purely manipulative and seemingly "punishing" us for not advertising with them!
On there website they report to having an "algorithym" have on their website in place which proportedly seeks out and filters seemingly "false" reviews. Yet I have invoices with proof of having served each of these clients and am currently gathering attestations from them.
Meanwhile when I searched on Yelp.com yesterday in the following category "Handyman" for "Cumming GA" (the category one would find our business)the number 1 listed is "Dan the Handyman" who has five 5 star reviews but one is from someone in Hawaii and another from Knoxvill TN -- neither of which areas he services. It just seems to me that these are the types of things a filter would be looking for, but obviously not.
Anyway I have evidence and documentation from each of my customers who have written positive reviews on our company and they are authentic.
Yelp's action to treat us unfairly, hide and filter factual positive reviews is manipulative and dishonest. Meanwhile, only rating our company based on one poor review is equal to libel and slander and is hurtful to our family business.