We've written about Yelp many times before, most notably in this post. Well, it appears a lot of people are fed up with Yelp to the point where Prost Productions has a kickstarter campaign that was funded at 150% of the goal of $60K. In one of the articles about the documentary I found this from the producer:
Milliken told The Bold Italic, "I was inspired to do this project after speaking with my doctor, who told me of flat out extortionist behavior by Yelp salespeople."
The documentary seeks to investigate claims of "...extortion, review manipulation, and review fabrication" by Yelp!. If this is true, then I'd say we have a serious problem....or do we? It's an interesting debate. If a website/app becomes the number one source to find restaurants, doctors, plumbers, etc....Are they subject to regulation? I have to admit, I've used Yelp on several occasions. For sure, I've used it for restaurants in cities I don't know that well. For the most part, I've found the reviews to be fairly on point and I'm able to find what I'm looking for based on reviews. Sometimes I want a pub to catch a game with the locals to blow off some steam after a long day onsite under high stress. Sometimes I'm looking to wow clients with a high end experience and fantastic wine selections. Yelp has truly helped me find that where in the past it would have been more difficult. On a different level, I have always had issues with finding good plumbers, electricians, handymen, etc. In the past they've taken money, done poor work, not returned calls, disappeared off the face of the planet completely. I haven't seen their behavior really change, but the threat of a negative review on Yelp seems to get them in gear almost immediately. I've not left a negative review, because just the threat of it gets people into action. I love that. As always, we are interested in the truth here at ShiftZen which is why we constantly seek your feedback (firstname.lastname@example.org). We would really like to hear from our customers about their feelings and experiences about Yelp! and if we get a lot of negative feedback we'd like to make a donation to the kickstarter on behalf of our beloved customers, YOU! Shoot us an email and we'll share the results right here.