Report: Amazon Testing Marketplace That Connects Consumers To Local Service Providers

Report: Amazon Testing Marketplace That Connects Consumers To Local Service Providers

Move over Angie’s List and Yelp, Amazon is reportedly launching a new marketplace to connect consumers with everyday service providers such as plumbers, babysitters and magicians. [More]

(jdong)

Is Yelp Holding Positive Reviews Back When Restaurants Don’t Advertise? Nope

For more than five years now, we’ve reported on business owners’ allegations that review site Yelp makes shakedown calls, threatening to hide negative reviews if businesses pay up for advertising, and promising to hide positive ones if they do. A Toronto restaurant is just the latest business to make such claims, and took the allegations to that city’s subreddit. Only there’s no real proof. [More]

(Photo: Yelp user Maki K.)

Amazingly, Diners Didn’t Want To Eat At Toilet-Themed Restaurant

A restaurant whose entire bathroom-related theme — complete with toilets as seats, dishes with hilariously fecal names, and miniature toilet-shaped bowls for your food — seems to have been cooked up by a potty-obsessed two-year-old has closed down after an eight-month run, suggesting that most people would rather put foods in their mouths without thinking about how that food will ultimately exit their bodies. [More]

Is It Wrong For A Restaurant To Tell Diners To Remove Google Glass?

Is It Wrong For A Restaurant To Tell Diners To Remove Google Glass?

The culture war (more of a slap-fight) over where and when it’s okay to sport Google Glass continues. A Manhattan restaurant is the latest to get caught up in the fracas after it asked a customer to remove her Glass device while dining, resulting in a burst of negative reviews from those who think the eatery crossed a line… and a backlash from those who aren’t impressed with the headgear and don’t see why anyone would wear one to dinner. [More]

(jdong)

Can Yelp Track Foodborne Illness Outbreaks In Restaurants?

People tend to under-report food poisoning: generally, we don’t visit the doctor for a small digestive disturbance or report our illness to the local health department unless it happens to be part of a widely-publicized outbreak. What if there were another way to learn about these outbreaks, though? What if health departments could use Yelp? [More]

Because the world needs more hastily uploaded videos with strange aspect ratios, Yelp will soon be rolling out videos for reviews.

Yelp Adding Videos To Reviews To Put A Face To “Worst Falafel Ever” Rants

When you’re looking for a restaurant — or a dry cleaner, or plumber, or prison — and checking out Yelp on your mobile device, you’ve surely said to yourself, “If only I could watch video of this Yelper’s completely reasoned and not at all reactionary 1-star review!” Well, you’re wish may be granted with the news that the crowdsourced review site is adding video reviews to its mobile apps. [More]

9 Bad Consumers Who Make Things Worse For The Rest Of Us

(Photos, from l-r: Steve R.; Enokson; frankieleon)

Anyone who has worked in just about any job knows that this idea that “The customer is always right” is a bit of an overstatement; more of an ethos than a statement of fact. Most of the time the customer is simply mistaken and it’s a matter of finding the best way to set the record straight. But sometimes the customer is just a bullheaded jerk, or an egotistical ignoramus, or a scammer, and it’s these bad consumers who make it harder for the rest of us to get good service. [More]

Airbnb Pulls Thousands Of “Illegal” NYC Listings After State Attorney General’s Affidavit

Airbnb Pulls Thousands Of “Illegal” NYC Listings After State Attorney General’s Affidavit

In a battle that has been going on since last October, when New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a subpoena seeking data about thousands of renters, Airbnb has pulled thousands of NYC listings. This, after Schneiderman filed an affidavit yesterday in support of his subpoena. [More]

Yelp’s Controversial Business Tactics Contribute To 2,000 Complaints Received by FTC

Yelp’s Controversial Business Tactics Contribute To 2,000 Complaints Received by FTC

Consumers head to Yelp to provide and/or peruse the praise and criticism left by other users about local businesses. But the tables have turned a bit with thousands of people taking their complaints about Yelp and its business practices to federal regulators. [More]

(Stirwise)

No, Chipotle Will Not Be Adding A Breakfast Burrito To The Menu

Perhaps you thought that one time you stumbled upon a Chipotle breakfast burrito at the airport was some sort of delirious, travel-induced fever dream. It wasn’t — but the chain has decided to stop testing breakfast options like the egg-filled burritos and not bring them to the wider market. [More]

Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern Suggests “Crowdsourced Expertise” Over Generic Yelp Reviews

Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern Suggests “Crowdsourced Expertise” Over Generic Yelp Reviews

Andrew Zimmern, chef and host of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods, has never held back his feelings about crowdsourced review site Yelp, once calling it a “tremendous forum for a bunch of uninformed morons to take down restaurants.” It’s all well and good to slam the site, but what are people to do when they’re looking for insight on where to eat? [More]

3 Tips To Writing A Yelp Restaurant Review That Is Worth A Read

3 Tips To Writing A Yelp Restaurant Review That Is Worth A Read

As helpful as crowdsourced review sites like Yelp can be, not every write-up is of use to a consumer trying to figure out whether a restaurant is worth the trip. Sometimes it’s because the review is too vague (“The menu wasn’t amazing” is one I come across too often). Other times it’s too specific (“The napkins didn’t match the table cloths! Never going back!”). And many reviewers tend to let their emotions get the best of them, giving slightly subpar meals a single star or throwing a restaurant a 5-star rating without really thinking about what that score implies. [More]

9 Things We Learned From The Interview With Supposed “Tips For Jesus” Ringleader

9 Things We Learned From The Interview With Supposed “Tips For Jesus” Ringleader

Where there’s smoke, there just has to be fire. Which is why we’ve all been stymied by the mysterious rash of overly generous tips that have been popping up in restaurants, coffee shops and bars across the nation. On a lot of those receipts, there’s a unifying addition scrawled after tips of $1,000 or $3,000: “Tips for Jesus.” So who is this big tipper — or tippers — making the fires?
[More]

Teen Scams Walmarts Out Of $30,000 By Pretending To Be Manager From Another Walmart

Teen Scams Walmarts Out Of $30,000 By Pretending To Be Manager From Another Walmart

I once knew a guy who said that with the right outfit and enough confidence, you can get through any door. Looks like a 17-year-old in Oklahoma took that lesson to heart, walking into multiple area Walmarts and walking out with wads of cash in his pocket. [More]

Homophobe Restaurant Owner Shouldn’t Be Surprised His Eatery Now Touted As “Best Gay Club” On Yelp

Homophobe Restaurant Owner Shouldn’t Be Surprised His Eatery Now Touted As “Best Gay Club” On Yelp

If a local restaurant owner goes on local TV to talk about how he hates gay people and doesn’t want them as customers, it’s not a shock that people will get angry and boycott, protest, petition… the usual stuff. But in the age of Yelp, that owner should probably also expect to find that his business is now being written up online as the “best gay club” around. [More]

Chef Apologizes For Calling Yelper “Mentally Ill Raging Alcoholic”

Chef Apologizes For Calling Yelper “Mentally Ill Raging Alcoholic”

Oh Yelp, thou art a ceaseless font of stories about restaurant customers overreacting to bad meals and service and the chefs who make headlines by flipping the f&@! out on social media about a review that most people would probably have ignored to begin with. [More]

5 Things People Do On Tax Returns That Can Lead To IRS Audits

5 Things People Do On Tax Returns That Can Lead To IRS Audits

Can you smell it in the air? That’s the distinct scent of Tax Season approaching. So in these days leading up to everyone’s favorite time of year, here are some reminders about the red flags the IRS looks for when deciding whether to audit a taxpayer. [More]

Court Orders Yelp To Fork Over Anonymous Reviewers’ Identities In Carpet Cleaner Case

Court Orders Yelp To Fork Over Anonymous Reviewers’ Identities In Carpet Cleaner Case

You might remember, if you cast your mind back to last May, the case of a carpet cleaner who was perturbed by some negative reviews on his business’ Yelp page that he claims were written by competitors or other ne’er-do-wells who weren’t actual customers of his business. Yelp has been fighting to keep those reviewers anonymous, but it appears a court just put the kibosh on that fight. [More]