• Report: #563685
Complaint Review:


  • Submitted: Tue, February 02, 2010
  • Updated: Sun, December 30, 2012

  • Reported By: Honost Abe — San Francisco California United States of America
Internet United States of America

Yelp extorts businesses and not Yelpers themselves are getting into the extortion business Internet

*Consumer Comment: Yelp is Very Dishonest and not Trustworthy

*Consumer Comment: Yelp CEO caught using drugs and using racial slurs

*Author of original report: To Jim in Fullerton from Abe

*Consumer Suggestion: To Honest Abe, he returned a nickel

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Yelpers are now extorting products and services from small businesses in exchange for not posting negative reviews.

I got involved with Yelp and populated my business page with info about our business, and for a while, I got great reviews.  Then one day, many of the great reviews disappeared, and a one point review appeared that was exceptionally mean spirited and vindictive.  The review quoted people by name, but the names were none of the names of my employees past or present. 

After some time, I discovered that other business owners have accused Yelp staffers of writing negative reviews and deleting positive ones.  I am a victim.


Then one night I received a call from an unhappy customer.  He had called the night before and we did not answer the phone.  We closed 15 mins early because it was more than just a quiet evening, it was entirely without business.  So we closed early, and he called and we were gone.  No biggie.

This customer then says that he noticed that we have a few bad reviews on Yelp.  And if we did not compensate him for his trouble, with free food, then he was going to post another bad review on our business.

I was speechless.  This was outright extortion.  I know who this person is, a young person who had visited us three times in the past.  But pursuing this was just not worth my time.

I have heard of members of the Yelp Elite squad politely telling business owners that if they host an "open bar for Elite members" night, that this could result in good reviews.  But I never imagined that an individual would take liberty to extort businesses on his own.

Yelp is a good idea gone bad. 

Yelp needs to attone for the behaviour of it's favored flock.

We need to get the word out.  Yelp Sucks



This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/02/2010 04:51 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/yelp/internet/yelp-extorts-businesses-and-not-yelpers-themselves-are-getting-into-the-extortion-busines-563685. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Yelp is Very Dishonest and not Trustworthy

AUTHOR: Notsupportingu - (USA)

I am a small business owner and A+ Rated BBB Accredited Business with no negative reviews anywhere. I have 8 positive reviews on Yelp and 1 negative review on yelp.


Yelp does not show any of the 8 positive reviews but displays the only negative review on line for all to see.

To make it worse, we have tried to prove to yelp that its impossible the negative review is legit and is an obvious fake review.

Our daughter passed away 1 week prior to this supposed yelp consumer posting this negative review. We took off 3 weeks bereavement leave and closed down the business for obvious reasons during this time.

Well here comes a supposed consumer that says we did bad service for her right in the middle of the bereavement leave when our office was closed and no one was working.


I have offered to show Yelp the death certificate, newspaper article depicting the death information and burial time and location which is proof positive we never serviced this Yelp customer


These cold heartless unprofessional you know whats insist the review must be legit and in the face of all proof offered up they refuse to take down the only negative review ever posted about us anywhere.


AND, although numerous customers review us on yelp with great experience and great reviews Yelp never ever ever depicts any of the great reviews and only shows this one fake review up front which is visible on line


I would never under any cirumstances do business with Yelp

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#2 Consumer Comment

Yelp CEO caught using drugs and using racial slurs

AUTHOR: jeremymolestedme - (United States of America)


Not sure if any of you saw the other reports, but apparently Yelp CEO  Jeremy Stoppelman has a cocaine problem, is a homosexual and is a racist.  See for yourself. Here is the report I found:


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#3 Author of original report

To Jim in Fullerton from Abe

AUTHOR: Honost Abe - (USA)

I believe that I understand what you are saying.  And in some ways, I do not disagree.

Closing early is a disservice to a regular customer, and by all means, this regular customer has every right to take corrective action and may never call us ever again.  In addition, if sufficiently motivated, that customer could call and speak with
the manager and register the displeasure and inconvenience, and inform the management that due to the disservice, this customer is now a former customer.  If further motivated, the customer is free to post a one star review to YELP and tell the true story, the whole story without exaggeration so that others may be fairly warned.

I do not disagree with this right and privilege of the consumer, and in some ways, it is the foundation on which my posting here
describes the disservice done by YELP to my business.  I am free to voice my concerns and warn others about the experiences I have had with the company YELP.

Where we disagree is where the customer assumes the right to demand compensation and threaten damage to the reputation of the business if the business does not comply with the demands.

This is simply extortion. It is a crime* punishable by 2 to 4 years of incarceration.

*California extortion laws are defined in Penal Codes 518 to 527

It is my observation that it has become a common practice amongst a minority of consumers to find any flaw, or if necessary invent one, and then demand compensation.  My wife has a work colleague who does just that.  Every time a lunch is ordered and delivered to their office, this co-worker calls the food vendor and complains and demands compensation. 

About half the time, she gets it in the form of a free lunch.  Which she takes for herself.  In response, some of the local restaurants now refuse to take their lunch order. 

Who gets hurt in this case?  The restaurant or the co-workers who are now prohibited from placing orders?

Apart from being grossly immoral, it is unfair to the other customers who frequent the food establishments because this activity cuts into the profits of the business, and subsequently the business is forced to raise prices to cover this extortion.  If you think it somehow hurts the business, then think again.  The customer pays all costs eventually.

As a consumer, I am opposed to any business that will give in to these extortionists.  They fuel the fire that hurts all consumers and business in general.

Jim, I would be interested to hear your opinions on using extortion to lodge a consumer complaint.  That is the subject of this posting.

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#4 Consumer Suggestion

To Honest Abe, he returned a nickel

AUTHOR: Jim - (U.S.A.)

Honest Abe, I am not involved in your business as a consumer or an employee. So I'm going to give U a real honest opinion as to how your complaint sounds. Yes Yelp sucks, it does shake downs even 20/20 did a report on it. Now as to your comment that you shut down early and it was "no biggie" that just goes to show how inconsiderate you R to your customers. The patron was actual repeat business. U inconvenienced him by not keeping hours. Any other business that does that loses business. Why should someone drive out to your business to find out U just didn't feel like being there? I don't believe it was just 15 mins. But the point is a job is a job. Its not something your volunteering at. Your patrons pay U to be there 4 your open hours. If you don't respect their time why should they respect your business? As 4 what U said about Yelp, yes that is true. But respect your customers and they will respect U. U obviously didn't care what your closing did to your customer's plan, and that is your fault!
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