Last week, it was reported that Amazon is about to launch a new local review service, similar to Yelp. In the past, numerous companies like Grub Hub and Open Table attempted to compete with the giant review website to no avail and ultimately became successful by joining their opponent.
Yelp reviews are hurting people!
I’ve wanted to get to the bottom of this for some time now, but never had all the information to conduct a proper unbiased research. However, the complaints are all over and we hear all too often, “Yelp is unfairly treating unpaid clients.” There are no business owners that like negative reviews about their business, so it is understandable as to why there is frustration.. to a degree. However, taking into account the number of complaints, there is no smoke without fire and Yelp is doing something wrong here that is causing people to be incredibly angry towards them. In my opinion, their algorithm for screening reviews is simply not strong enough. Since no one knows the exact screening factors, it’s easier for Yelp to simply say that the process is automated and managed by an algorithm, not humans, in an effort to try and make all of us believe that it’s flawless..This is far from the truth! There is a lawsuit in California against Yelp and I hope a resolution is near to take all these small business owners out of their misery. The video below shows both sides: Vince Sollitto (VP) and the customers. You be the judge, but I’m sure many of you can relate. More businesses complaining and more insights to what Yelp is giving back as an answer:
Is there a solution in sight?
The fact that Amazon is coming into the picture could be the light at the end of the tunnel. Empires weren’t destroyed overnight, rather dissolved due to growing weakness and poor management. I’d rather see Yelp stay strong and be happy to see them fight to stay in business rather than have a monopoly on the market, which usually includes terrible customer service! Try to connect with Yelp and see just how difficult it is and often times, it can take over a week (if not more) for a response.
Why Amazon may be a more reliable solution:
Many people trust Amazon reviews because they have a much better filtering system, which allows people to buy with confidence. Bringing that to the local business market will be refreshing and many will agree that is much fairer for the suffering businesses instead of Yelp dictating the rules of the online local arena. Again, nothing against Yelp but being in that industry for over a decade now, I feel for small business owners. The weak algorithm Yelp is using to filter reviews makes over 20 million businesses vulnerable to unfair customer opinions and competitors trying to hurt them. I wish someone could find the time to reverse engineer their screening process and try to estimate the potential loss in business caused by Yelp in the US. I’m sure that number wouldn’t be pretty. I wish the best of luck to Amazon mainly to prevent Yelp from having a monopoly and keeping them on their feet in an effort to satisfy the clients. I also wish Yelp success with improving their review algorithm and overall customer service.