Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Yelp strong-arm tactics?

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:

Hi Daniel,

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 ( because it lacks a firsthand customer experience.

We hope you will continue to participate on Yelp, while keeping in mind our Content Guidelines.

Removed Content:
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:

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!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Yelp advertising gone wild!

This is classic! Not only is his review not helpful for Landry's, but it is also filtered on their page! I chuckled at this one.

Landry's Seafood, El Paso, TX