Social Media Marketing

Must Read: Even Internet Review Sites Are After Your Internet Reputation.

SOURCES:

http://www.eastbayexpress.com/ebx/yelp-and-the-business-of-extortion-20/Content?oid=1176635

http://www.Yelpscam.com

http://wwww.complaintsboard.com

http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2009/02/yelp-extortion-true-or-false.html

Think Yelp.com can only hurt or help you based on customer reviews?

It might be time to think again.

Recent articles and exposure pieces have begun to emerge on the morality of Yelp.com’s practices. Particularly, in their practice of repeatedly calling businesses offering to “fix” their negative reviews.

According to many news sites, the Yelp “scam” goes down like this:

Yelp.com will read negative reviews about a certain business on their site and call that business to make them aware of the reviews. Yelp will then offer to hide the negative reviews for the business, if you pay them $299-999 a month. A no, maybe, or any response other than a yes will simply shut Yelp up for the day, but the calls will persist incessantly until you cave.

East Bay Express, a website dedicated to San Francisco news, recently conducted an interview with many local businesses in the San Franciso area and asked them about Yelp. Many of the businesses confirmed the rumors of Yelp’s negative practices by stating that Yelp personally offered to hide negative reviews, in exchange for purchase of advertising on their site.

Some even went as far to say that negative reviews would instantly appear about their business the moment they declined advertising from Yelp.

The “Yelp Scam,” as infographed by Yelpscam.com and reported by many businesses and sites: