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Re: “Yelp Does the Right Thing

My small business can be added to the list of Yelp Victims. Our good reviews have disappeard and some very strange negative reviews have shown up, naming employees who do not exist, and making vicious personal attacks against our business that are not reviews at all. And in a totally new dimension, we recieved a phone call yesterday from a "customer" who said he would be posting a negative review on Yelp, if we did not give him free food. The yelpers are becoming bolder, and are now eager to personally share in the extortion rewards that Yelp appears to have made it's business model.

All media companies have the power to criticize business. TV, Radio and Print have long ago stopped giving voice to the angry consumer who is intent on inflicting damage (whether deserved or not) upon businesses large and small. Ultimately, it is business that pays their bills, and I suspect that Yelp is soon to learn this lesson. My business will never advertise with Yelp. In time, they will get bolder and raise their extortion demands, and lose more advertisers. Soon, the angry yelpers will polute every business listing with rants, and honest readers will begin to see through the personal attacks and manufactured false bad reviews. Yelp will lose relevence and the investors who have poured money into this criminal enterprise will find that they too are victims as the company shuts down.

CitySearch should sieze upon the opportunity and work more closely with the listing owners to offer better service to the business community. All of the advertising dollars will then flow to CitySearch, and Yelp, the competition, will fade into obscurity as the Review site of Pissers and Moaners.

Posted by Timothy Burt on 04/15/2009 at 11:11 AM

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