Their "automatic filter" filters out good reviews from genuine customers so the bashers can take over the ratings. Then they come to you with the 600 dollar a month offer. If they are a company of equality and transparency, they would have allowed anyone to post properly. People can see what the real customers are, and who are the dramatic psychopaths. But that would ruin their business model.
FTC Complaints About Yelp Allege Extortion, Libel, More
Wednesday, January 23, 2013, by Paula Forbes
A Freedom of Information act request filed with the FTC has resulted in the release of nearly 700 complaints against Yelp over the past four years. The FTC blocked any identifying information from coming through, so it's unclear who filed these complaints. What is clear? Plenty of restaurant owners are really, really, really mad at Yelp. Restaurants filed complaints accusing the company of filtering out positive reviews (thus skewing their ratings), of harassing them to buy advertising, of refusing to pull libelous reviews, and a whole lot more.
Among the most common complaints were accusations that Yelp filters out positive reviews and allows negative ones through, particularly if the restaurant in question has refused to purchase advertising. Some even say sales reps promised negative reviews would disappear if the restaurant owner purchased advertising. (Do keep in mind that the FTC has not verified any of these complaints.) Other complaints include sales people who refuse to stop calling when asked, incorrect information on Yelp pages (including pages that say businesses have closed when they are still in business), and claims that Yelp refused to pull "libelous" reviews (the definition of libel changes per complaint).
But never fear, restaurant owners: Yelp doesn't dish out what it can't take. Do feel free to review Yelp itself on it's very own Yelp page. (They currently have three out of five stars because "Yelp is a home for trolls, run by trolls.") Below, some of the better quotes from the FTC complaints that specifically reference restaurants.
From the FOI Request For FTC Complaints Against Yelp
· "What yelp does is that they prey on restaurants with bad bogus reviews."
· "I am very afraid of this company because they have the power to make any restaurant go out of business."
· "Consumer states that [Yelp] told him to pay 300.00 for a "membership" t