So I sign on for the $500.00 per month advertising after being ground on by a boiler room salesman,and all seemed OK, then comes the Video guy and all seemed OK then I get an email saying the Video is $50.00 per month and I decline then get ready for this I have 2 negative ratings out of my 28 ...the negative posts re-appear on my ratings. This model is going to drive away any future long term advertising. Now they want to charge $1400.00 to cancel the ad's which I will fight them in court over but this is what you are getting in this Company....pure thuggery at best...good long term short.
My wife and I own three chain restaurants. I am not going to say what the restaurant is but there are over 1400 locations nationwide with another 220 units planed for 2013.
We had our national convention in October in Las Vegas. The franchisor franchisee relationship is very strong. At our convention there is a meeting for owners where we can complain to our franchisor about anything we chose, as long as it is constructive.
This year the number 1 complaint was Yelp and their tactics, some of which you stated above.
Several weeks later all owners received a email from the company president telling owners NOT to deal with Yelp, or ever pay them a dime.
Yelp is not going away anytime soon, but time will tell if they can become a profitable business.
It's the worst kept secret in the business community that Yelp is nothing but a scam. I own a small business and am an officer in our Chamber of Commerce. Our group has over 2000 members and Yelp is a recurring topic of VERY negative conversation. I will not repeat the well known stories of their mafia sales tactics but will add that it is simply crazy to think that this company will grow or even survive in future. How do you sell ads (or most anything) to people who despise you? They don't make money off users but through advertising from small business.Don't be dazzled by how many people visit their website. Ask yourself why their marketing costs reliably outpace their revenues. Yelp is a scam that's going to hurt a lot of unwary investors.