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This post is long overdue. As you’ve probably noticed, I’m incredibly passionate about the businesses and companies that I support. One of those companies is Yelp, and I have heavily promoted them over the last 6+ years. You can find my post here where I shared all about my experiences with the Yelp Elite program. I received so many free meals, tours, and experiences over the years through being an Elite. It was a fun and engaging program that I encouraged everyone to join.
As much as I love freebies, my goal is to remain open and receptive when I find out new information, even about companies and businesses that I strongly support. A few months ago, I discovered that Yelp regularly extorts small businesses by demanding that they pay for advertising and I’m now ashamed to have been associated with them in any way.
When a business refuses to advertise with Yelp, many businesses have noted that their good reviews disappear and bad ones show up first when people search for them. I hate that this practice happens, as we all know how much small businesses depend on word of mouth and honest reviews to keep their businesses going.
I know several people who own small businesses and have confirmed that Yelp employees have done this to them with nagging calls almost every day. It’s disgusting that Yelp resorts to these tactics to make a profit and preys on small businesses by threatening to hurt their livelihood.
In light of learning about these shady tactics, I’ve now completely stopped using the Yelp app, deleted my profile with them and have been using Google exclusively for my restaurant searches and reviews. I’m sorry for having encouraged so many people to be a part of this kind of organization and will definitely be doing more research in the future to hopefully avoid supporting any other unethical companies.
If you’d like to learn more about the deception involved in the Yelp organization, you can check out this documentary.
Have you had any experiences with Yelp? Please share in the comments.
Thank you for reading.