Phoenix, AZ -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/27/2012 -- Many people who have taken the time to write reviews on Yelp! are surprised to find that Yelp! has been deceptively filtering their reviews. When they are logged into Yelp!, their reviews are shown on all the pages they have reviewed. When they are logged out, they are often surprised to find that their legitimate review is actually “filtered”, or not shown on the merchant’s page.
Yelp! has been accused of deceptive “filtering” practices by merchants in what amounts to extortion. Many merchants have complained that unless they pay Yelp! $300 to $450 per month in advertising fees, that all their positive reviews are “filtered”. Yelp! beat a class-action lawsuit in October 2011 that claimedYelp! removed negative reviews in exchange for paid “advertising”. Although the lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice (final judgment, filing party cannot refile). Although there have been rumblings of a lawsuit revival by other groups, one has yet to manifest.
Now consumers are becoming angered that Yelp! is deceptively hiding their legitimate reviews. Some have gone as far as to cancel their Yelp! accounts and use review sites that don’t filter or even delete their legitimate reviews. Yes, Yelp! is notorious for actually deleting negative reviews for merchants who have paid for advertising. Consumers should be outraged, and they should express their outrage by boycotting Yelp!
This outrage spurred the launch of a new consumer awareness website, http://www.YelpDeceives.com. Yelp! Deceives helps consumers determine whether their legitimate reviews are being filtered. It also provides a forum so that those who have had their reviews deceptively filtered or even deleted by Yelp! can share their stories.
What’s unique about Yelp! Deceives is that it provides merchants with resources to help educate their customers about Yelp! deceptive practices, and encourage them to make their online reviews at reputable sites that don’t filter or delete legitimate reviews. Failed lawsuits and ongoing merchant complaints have demonstrated that the carry no weight with Yelp! Merchants need to educate their customers on Yelp! deceptive practices, encourage them to boycott Yelp!, and encourage them to encourage all every they know to boycott Yelp! when making online reviews. While merchants have had no political pull with Yelp!, consumers abandoning Yelp! will help pressure Yelp! to change its deceptive practices.
Barbara Joyce, Founder
2942 N. 24th Street #114-464
Phoenix, AZ 85016