Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Yelp, update listings already, instead of sending snarky e-mails (better now!)

I find Yelp to be a good resource, especially when listings are up-to-date.  However, the company gets paid by advertising, and may not care how listings look if those companies don't advertise.

In this town, Richmond, IN 47374, where I'm currently stuck, a number of businesses closed last year, or in general, several years ago but getting Yelp to acknowledge that is problematic.  I finally posted a photo of the Domino's store with spray-painted graffiti on the building to make the point.  I've posted real estate signs at times but they ignore them.

I was searching for Jungle Jim's in the Fairfield/Cincinnati area and noticed a duplicate.  When I returned home, I filed a duplicate listing alert, and received a thankful but snarky e-mail about it:

MAY 22, 2013  |  05:35AM UTC
We love hearing from you, whether you're sharing an awesome idea or have a problem to report. We want to make sure your Yelp experience is great, and we're looking forward to doing what we can to help! For now, we just wanted to let you know that we've received your email. One of our agents will take a look and respond to your inquiry, typically within 5 business days.

Please do not send multiple emails about the same issue. This will slow down our ability to respond. If you've written in to request a simple listing update and we agree with the change, we will most likely make the change live without getting back to you.

-The Yelp Support Team

Original Message:


Same location, but the city should be Fairfield.

Perhaps, I sent another report a year ago, maybe two years ago but if they would make the changes, there wouldn't be a problem, would there?  If I'm sending multiple reports within a couple of years, how can I be slowing down their ability to respond?  These multiple listings remains the same today.
In a different example, I went to a camera store in the Dayton, OH area.  The Click Camera stores were bought in 2006 by Dodd Camera, and the names of all stores were changed in 2008 to Dodd Camera.  It's 2013!  There is a photo of the store front with the Dodd Camera sign, but has the listing changed?  No, of course not.
Mind, if they're a year or two behind in processing changes, they need to find a better method because they're hurting the people who use Yelp, and possibly hurting their advertisers.

Yelp is better for me than the other such review sites, even with a huge grain of salt.  It's just rather frustrating.  If the regional managers are doing the advertising sales, reviews, and updating listings, I feel sorry for them.

Update: No news is no news.  I was at a small diner the other day wondering why it had no reviews.  Did my review at home and didn't see that on the mobile app.  I did a search and I got 2 listings: one listing with 4 reviews and the listing I used, which still didn't show a review from the outside.  I thought about sending a duplicate report and finally, I left it alone.  Whatever happens, happens, right?  If the company can't handle their data, it's not my fault.  All I know is that when I do database development, I don't have duplicates because the database won't allow it.

Update: 2013.06.15: The Yelp area manager for my area apparently refuses to acknowledge me now.   I had made a suggestion to another one and she replied quickly and graciously, but when I asked her something about updates, she has gone silent.  Perhaps, they're just busy.

This was odd.  I added a truck stop restaurant, which is trying to make its presence known.  They have a few sandwiches and some homestyle cooking, and they call themselves Stop 1 Cafe.  Suddenly, instead of the categories being pizza and sandwiches (as I added them), which they do.  The category was changed to Cafe, which they really aren't.

I was reading about the new version of the iOS version of the Yelp app, which I feel is quite good (as long as the data is good).  It's improved a lot since I started using it in November 2011 and the company should be proud of the progress.  However, I was reading comments and someone mentioned the problem of getting up-to-date data, mentioning Foursquare.  I haven't used Foursquare, but my impression was that Yelp encompasses more functionality with tips and reviews.  Check-ins and deals are something but do I really care about being a Mayor or Baron or whatever?  Why do a check-in alone?  I tried that with the Checkpoints app way back before I saw a Yelp app.

Anyway, I hope that they'll improve the difficult parts because I'd really like to use what they have.

Update 2013.10.04: They're sending much more polite messages about updates that they have or have not performed.  Could it be that this blog entry got them thinking?  I hope so because all I'm doing is trying to help them, listed businesses, and people using Yelp.   Why is that not a good thing for everyone?

I'm a bit surprised that this latest update.  I tried to update the hours of an orchard.  Considering I took a photo of the board with the hours on it, I thought that this would be enough.  They supposedly could not confirm it, even though I mentioned the photo and the hours are quite clear in the photo.  At least, the message was worded politely.  I sent the change one more time with a note explaining the hours.  They could not confirm.  I added a tip with the hours.  :-D  Perhaps, they're reading this blog entry because they have updated the listing with the hours.

Update 2014.02.21: Updates seem to happen within hours of my changes now.  I had one message that not all of the changes could be implemented, yet it seemed that they were.  I didn't document each change, but there could have been something minor that didn't make it.  However, the overwhelming attitude has changed greatly, and is positive.  Of course, it's always interesting to see a listing that's so wrong and people complain about it, but don't bother to change anything.  When I went to a camera shop the other day, they had moved and the listing hadn't been changed.  I changed it with the help of one of the sales people because the area traffic was so painfully troublesome.

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