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Yelp! -- Too Good To Be True?
Highly complimentary Yelp reviews written on behalf of small companies are routinely rejected by Yelp's automatic filtering program. Although Yelp acknowledges that some reviewers may be unfairly excluded they refuse to correct the situation.
By: Jeff Frank, Owner of Simplicity Sofas
Highly complimentary reviews for small, unknown companies, like Simplicity Sofas, are routinely labelled "untrustworthy."
Yelp arbitrarily assumes that highly complimentary reviews for small businesses are usually false and originate from the company itself or with the company's guidance.
On the other hand, although it is not spelled out explicitly, reviews for large, well-known companies are uniformly considered "trustworthy"
Yelp then takes the policy even farther by declaring that all customer reviews that were even "suggested" by the company should also be filtered out and deleted.
When a Simplicity Sofas customer receives their furniture shipment they are always contacted within a couple of days by a customer service manager or company executive asking whether everything is OK or whether there are problems that need to be addressed. Simplicity Sofas is probably the only company in the furniture industry to contact its customers after delivery to ask about their satisfaction with the product and customer service they received.
At this point most customers are very happy and highly complimentary. Some ask about how they can write a review about their experience. These people used to be provided with a list of several review websites including Yelp and were advised to choose only one of the sites.
According to the Yelp guidelines that action of providing Yelp's website address to their customers automatically disqualified those Simplicity Sofas customers from being able express their opinions on Yelp!
For those customers who were not completely happy with their furniture Simplicity Sofas promptly resolved the problem. Many of these customers were even more enthusiastic about the company than the customers with no problems but once again could not get their reviews through the Yelp filtering system.
Small company + 5 star review + 1st time reviewer = Spam according to Yelp's guidelines.
A customer who asks where they can post a review is also disqualified.
These disqualifications have been made only for highly positive reviews. Simplicity Sofas suspects that if negative comments were submitted they would not be filtered out.
In 3 1/2 years and more than 2000 customers served Simplicity Sofas has never had a negative review.
Emails sent to Yelp asking to discuss the situation were ignored.
A telephone communication with Yelp to point out the inequity in this policy was useless. The response was that the software program that filtered the reviews had automatic guidelines programmed into it that could not be changed. No exceptions to the computer's judgement are allowed even when a company can prove that legitimate reviews are being rejected.
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About Simplicity Sofas http://www.simplicitysofas.com
North Carolina manufacturer of custom-built sofas, sleepers and sectionals specifically designed to fit into tight spaces.
100% solid oak frames & a choice of 150 fabrics. 15 min. assembly with no tools.
Guaranteed to fit through the narrowest doors & stairways. Fits in RVs and boats.
Ships nationwide. 4 wk delivery.
Page Updated Last on: Mar 17, 2011