Many of us rely on Yelp for advice on restaurants, dry cleaners, retailers, handymen, gardeners, real estate agents and so on under the assumption that it is a democratic site that supports all comments, good and bad, without bias.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Yelp filters results according to certain arcane rules that are not even disclosed to the reviewers who donate their time and efforts to the website’s benefit. When a business patron writes a review it may or may not remain on the Yelp site according to these rules. There’s no real way of knowing what will stick and what won’t.
I found this out when I posted a glowing review of South County Process Service. This company, which was recommended to me by a close attorney friend had but one Yelp review at the time, and it was scathing. As opposed to that reviewer’s experience, my dealing with them was laudatory, warranting a very positive review.
When I notified County Process Service that I had posted a good review (my first on Yelp), they replied: “We’ll see if yelp filters the review. All of our good reviews get filtered. I’m not sure why yelp thinks our good reviews are fraudulent.”
When I checked a week later, Lo and Behold! My review had been removed. Did Yelp tell me about it? Not one word!
My wife, a Realtor, had a similar experience: “They seem be wary of first-time reviewers. If your first review is negative then they let you post other reviews, but if your first review is positive then they remove it. The same goes if all your reviews are positive.”
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