Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Disappeared on Yelp?

I have had my curiosity piqued. Yesterday I got a call from someone at Yelp! for business, and was pitched this very comprehensive sounding (& quite pricey) advertising plan on Yelp!  Initially I understood it to be a plan with a 2 month minimum term.  

Turns out that's not the case, it's actually a 2 month cancellation fee, "like a cell phone plan", said the salesperson.  (make that Very Pricey) So sitting down to do a little research,  you immediately find all these Yelp! conspiracy theory kind of links... But,  ideally you'd like to find a real, live, local business that actually has one of these "enhanced" listings,  but so far in my casual perusal of Yelp!  I have not found one of these.  I did ask for referrals but got none. Perhaps I did not press enough.

Anyhow,  then I go in to take a look at my regular (as in free) listing, which currently gets an absurdly, measly one view a week.  (I know this from a weekly e-mail update I get from Yelp! business, but how do I know, really?  It is rather pitiful, for all the build-up Yelp! gets.) 

And LO, the reviews my business had are GONE! POOF! & DISAPPEARED, as if it was Argentina in the 1970's. Weird,Weird.

I am just really curious now, I would love to hear from any actual (especially NYC, local) businesses who have tried "enhanced" advertising on Yelp!  Seeing that my existing reviews have disappeared, does not bode well,  but BOY, do I wish I had a salesperson like the one from Yelp!

Update 1/14/10: Just got off the phone with Yelp!, and I was HUNG UP on when I pressed to find out why my reviews had disappeared and wanted a better explanation than "filters" to prevent spamming.  I am sorry,  a few reviews does not constitute spamming  (how come they weren't filtered immediately if this was the case? Why disappear months down the line?)  The excuse that the reviewers may not be "very active" reviewers does not hold water either,  since I ran across one review - indexed on Google - long, long  before I ever signed up for Yelp! business in March 2009.  Then too, if Yelp! is partial only to those users who post tons of reviews,  isn't that a bit skewed in and of itself?  It kinda becomes more of a popularity contest for the reviewers than a useful tool,  especially for smaller businesses.


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