Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Is Yelp's new tactic to "close" non-advertisers?

I've moved to California, and I see a lot more, because Yelp's business information supplier covers many more businesses.  Yelp also seems to be more responsive to advertising in reviews and 5 star "reviews" written by the owners.

However, I noticed something about a week ago--a Closed business that was actually open.  Later in the week, I found another one.

I'm wondering if the businesses refused to advertise and were suddenly "Closed" by Yelp, rather than being deleted entirely.  I really don't believe the banner that "Yelpers report this location has closed" actually comes from people using Yelp.  It seems that it's coming from employees of Yelp.

I've done business with both of them and found them to be quite good.

Once again, I get that Yelp needs to make money to stay in business, and I fully support that.  Trying to make money from people barely surviving, and then, trying to hurt their business when they can't afford advertising is just cruel.

Besides, we'll end up with a bunch of vapid, trendy places serving lousy products for too much money.

Yelp, if you're reading this, find a better way.  If you drive businesses out of business, you should receive the same treatment.

Update 2014.10.13: I've seen both businesses "re-opened" and the phone number of one of them was changed to what I suggested.  It bothers me that I continue to hear reports of forcibly Closed businesses on Yelp that are open and functional.

It is their business, though, not mine.

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