So, after I created the blog post about the Yelp advertising blunder, I sent the link to a Yelp employee I met a couple of months ago to let him know there was a problem. Never heard back from him so I don't know if it made it through to support.
Today I get an email from Yelp HQ telling me this:
We wanted to let you know that we've removed your review of Northeast Storage. Our Support team has determined that it falls outside our Content Guidelines (http://www.yelp.com/guidelines) because it lacks a firsthand customer experience.
We hope you will continue to participate on Yelp, while keeping in mind our Content Guidelines.
Nice facility. Will update when I have more details(they were closed when I got there.)
Yelp User Support
San Francisco, California
Ok, seems a little odd that for all the errors, duplicate listings and geo-location mismatches on Yelp in El Paso they would pull my review. I mean, it isn't like I didn't visit the location and I did take 5 pictures...and my review was a 3 star and was pretty fair based on what I could see. And really, the only reason I wrote the review is because in order to add a Yelp location to a list, you have to write a review! Those are Yelp's rules not mine.
Here is the location: http://www.yelp.com/biz/northeast-storage-el-paso
Here is my list of (now 19) storage facilities that I recently visited and took pictures of as well as reviewed, based on interaction with the staff.
I haven't read the Content Guidelines recently, but now I am wondering if I didn't rent a storage unit, does that disqualify all my reviews on the grounds of 'lacking a firsthand customer experience'? Also, now there is a list of storage units that this facility is not on, which makes it look like I excluded it. That seems counter intuitive to me...if I were a business owner I would probably want to be on that list.
I bet I could go find several dozen reviews that are of the "And when we got up to the line, it was so long we left" or "I would never eat at a place that serves baby chicken eyeballs" type.
Just seems odd that for all the neglect of Yelp El Paso, that they singled out this rather benign review of a storage facility.
I somehow doubt that someone flagged my review.
But, I did flag this review:
Because the guy didn't actually go here, but probably a barbershop in the same strip mall. I asked the owner who I have personally been getting a haircut from for years how long she has been there and she said 6 years. She doesn't even do nails, I even mention it in my review which I wrote 3 years earlier!
I am sure the Yelp filter will catch it eventually, just based on the fact that he has only written one review and it is a 1-star.
But as of this posting, it is still up.
This just smells like maybe I was singled out for blogging about how over-valued I think advertising on Yelp is. Or maybe it was just coincidence.
Well, I guess you get what you pay for. Go Yelp!