Ordinarily, if I have a beef with a company, I deal with it and move on. But this isn’t ordinary. Yelp has injured hundreds–if not thousands–of small businesses with their wicked “recommendation engine,” and they seem unwilling–and downright cavalier–about not doing anything about it. But make no mistake, there is no let up in the aggressiveness of their advertising sales efforts.
A few days ago, I located Yelp’s “Director of Local Business Outreach” on LinkedIn. With a handle like that, he seemed uniquely positioned to interact with an aggrieved business owner. I sent him an “InMail” message and to my surprise, he actually responded. Alas, having consumed vast quantities of the company “kool-aid,” his response was not a surprise, though he at least used his own words, not company boilerplate. Here is his note to me, and my reply. I replaced his name with initials, but if you want to find him, he’s right there on LinkedIn.
I received no further communication.
My advice to anyone contemplating using Yelp for their business: Don’t. You won’t get ANY cooperation from Yelp to help you do anything but buy ads. If you are in the restaurant, hospitality or other types of retail businesses, it may be a necessary evil, but if you are in the service sector, tread lightly. Apologies for the long rant — twice — but if I help one other business owner better understand the machinations of Yelp, it will have been worth the time and effort.
Now back to doing what I love…shooting and editing video!