Thursday, January 24, 2013

Real Remodeling Reviews, False "Filtering"?

And speaking of online reviews ... does Yelp have something against small companies? 

A remodeler writes:
"We as a company have been asking our clients to review us online at various sites like Yahoo, Google, Houzz and Yelp. We have had two new reviews on Yelp's website in the past couple months, only to find that those reviews have been “filtered” by Yelp because they say these are fake or “less relevant” reviews. Although I have responded to Yelp with the clients' information (phone, address, project pictures, etc.) I cannot get even a response back.
"Some companies have noticed that only companies who pay to advertise on Yelp get to 'keep' all their reviews. This website has a link to a petition for the attorney general to investigate Yelp. Could you could rally the troops and gain some support for us and other remodelers around?"
Here is how Yelp describes "filtering," by the way.

So, what say you, remodelers:

Has Yelp filtered out any of your "less trustworthy" reviews? How have you responded? Please comment below.

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Shawn McCadden said...

I have been seeing a lot about this concern with both Yelp and Angie's List in discussion groups on LinkedIn and stories I have been reading related to the Dietz Lawsuit.

At what point is the consumer being mislead about finding a good contractor in their area if the site they use to do so is now filtering who is there based on who pays to be there and who doesn't? If these sites claim contractors "don't pay to be on the site", they are technically not lying, but perhaps are misleading the consumer.

Perhaps these sites should say "Contractors don't have to pay to be on the site but if they don't pay you probably won't be able to find them and the reviews for business who don't pay us will be limited so we can steer you to the businesses who pay us to be here and to enhance their listings through manipulation of what you get to see".

Shawn McCadden

I think these sites have gone from being there to help the consumer find a good contractor (for a fee)using social media (reviews) to now they are in the business of advertising, but giving consumers the impression that its still a social site. If these businesses filter reviews, they are manipulating the information they want consumers to see. That's not social media, that advertising.

Anonymous said...

Great words Shawn...could not say it better myself! We have found challenges with Yelp in these regards and other challenges of "grading" with Angies List. Frustrating to say the least...hopefully consumers will find out and move elsewhere. Take care..
Trent K.