Is Obnoxious Advertising A ‘Firsthand Customer Experience’ You Can Yelp About?

A construction company coated Bryan’s neighborhood with leaflets, and he wasn’t happy about it. He tried to complain right to the company, and only got an answering service. So what’s a dissatisfied consumer to do? He turned to Yelp. Yelp, in turn, took down his review because it violates the site’s Content Guidelines for reviews, as it “doesn’t describe a firsthand customer experience.” Since when is having your neighborhood coated with flyers not a firsthand experience? [More]

(Alan Rappa)

Amazon Deletes My Feedback About Questionable Marketplace Seller

Consumerist reader Wade recently bought a new Alpine Car Stereo from a third-party marketplace seller on Amazon. Or at least he thought he had. [More]

The ReviewerCard will set you back $100, though you could probably make one at home for less.

Does Having An ID Card Saying You’re An Online Reviewer Make You A Savvy Consumer Or A Jerk?

With the growing popularity of — and the culture’s growing reliance on — online review sites like Yelp, a small subset of reviewers have tried to dangle the sword of a negative review over the heads of business-owners in order to not just get good service, but get preferential treatment. [More]

This is the book that has gotten so much hate from MJ fans.

Michael Jackson Fans Attempt To Crush Book With Negative Amazon Reviews

Is it an exercise of free speech — or an attempt to quiet someone else’s speech — to express your opinion on a book based solely on its subject matter and what you’ve heard is contained therein? This question certainly predates the Internet, but it’s the issue surrounding the response by some to a recent Michael Jackson biography. [More]

NastyClient.com describes itself as the opposite of AngiesList.

Landscaper Starts Website To Turn Tables On Bad Customers

With the rising popularity of crowd-sourced review sites like Yelp and AngiesList, a number of business-owners feel like they are being unjustly slammed by a small number of very vocal, unsatisfied, customers. So one landscaper decided to turn things around with a site calls out problem clients. [More]

The pain of spoons.

Dramatic Readings Drastically Improve All Yelp Reviews

Used carefully, Yelp can be a great resource to learn about the best local dining establishments and other businesses and keep up-to-date on new places that open. One thing has been lacking on the site for a long time, though: a sense of drama. Fortunately, the YouTube channel Real Actors Read Yelp is here to fix that gross oversight on Yelp’s part, hiring talented stage actors to get across the true agony of an improperly prepared sandwich. [More]


Virginia Supreme Court: Businesses Can’t Censor Yelp Reviews Until They Prove Statements Are Libelous

As we’ve covered numerous times, online review sites like Yelp can become a nasty battleground between unhappy consumers and business owners who take issue with what they claim are overly negative, sometimes malicious, comments. Last week, Virginia’s highest court ruled against one such business that had tried to squelch a customer’s reviews. [More]

If you have to pay for nice reviews, you don't deserve them.

Hotel Claims Overzealous Employee Posted Sign Offering To Pay For Nice Online Reviews

Earlier today, we told you about the Texas hotel that offered guests up to $5 if they posted positive reviews on any number of popular travel sites. A rep for the hotel has since responded to say that this was a case of an overzealous employee acting on their own. [More]

If you have to pay for nice reviews, you don't deserve them.

Dallas Hotel Blatantly Offers To Pay Guests For Positive Online Reviews

UPDATE: A rep for the hotel confirms to Consumerist that the sign — since taken down — was posted by an employee who got overly creative in their attempt to boost the hotel’s social media profile.

Here’s a tip to hotel managers around the world — Paying for reviews is bad enough. Advertising that you’re willing to pay for positive feedback is only going to communicate to your guests that you run a bad hotel and that you expect them to not have anything nice to say about your establishment. [More]

Many PoPville readers were not impressed with the restaurant.

Restaurant Owner Posts Completely Reasonable Response To Negative Online Feedback

No, that isn’t a sarcastic headline. After being lambasted by readers’ comments on his recently opened eatery, a Washington, D.C., restaurateur did what some of his foodie kin could not — issued a restrained, thoughtful and apologetic response. [More]

Filtered reviews can be more revealing than the published ones.

Here’s Why You Should Ignore The Yelp Star Rating And Always Read Filtered Reviews

Small business owners around the country have a very love/hate relationship with Yelp, and which side of that fence they fall on probably has something to do with the community review site’s filtering system. Depending on which reviews the site hides behind the filter-wall, consumers may be getting either a very honest or very skewed version of the truth. [More]

A little Yelp from my friends...

Shop Owner Drives To Customer’s House After Bad Yelp Review

After receiving his first negative Yelp review, the owner of a California store made repeated attempts to contact the disgruntled customer in the hopes of turning him into a gruntled customer, and ultimately ended up at the Yelper’s doorstep. But before you go looking for the shop owner’s mug shot, this is actually a good thing. [More]

Restaurant Owner Gets Revenge On A Customer With A Fake Sex Site Profile, Hooks Up With Libel Conviction

Restaurant Owner Gets Revenge On A Customer With A Fake Sex Site Profile, Hooks Up With Libel Conviction

We’re constantly amazed at businesses that just don’t know how to take criticism. No, it likely doesn’t feel good to read negative reviews about your establishment on the Internet, but getting revenge by posing as a customer on a site for adults looking to hook up is not only childish, it’s going to have some legal repercussions. Just ask the co-owner of two eateries who retaliated in this manner against a customer she felt she had maligned her. [More]

Who Dares Visit A Restaurant Without Reading Online Reviews First?

Who Dares Visit A Restaurant Without Reading Online Reviews First?

The best satire is deeply rooted in reality. That’s why an article from this week’s issue of the Onion shook us to the core. “Brave Woman Enters Restaurant Without First Looking It Up Online,” the headline blared. At Consumerist HQ, we asked each other: is there really anyone out there who is so bold and reckless that they would do such a thing? [More]

Is It Still Wrong To Buy Reviews Even If They Aren't Necessarily Positive?

Is It Still Wrong To Buy Reviews Even If They Aren't Necessarily Positive?

If all you want is for it to look like someone is at least reading your book and is willing to talk about it on the Internet, does it matter if it’s a good review or a bad review? Not to some self-published authors, who have turned to companies willing to write book reviews for a fee. All they want is that air of credibility that comes with having a real live person talk about their work. [More]

Some Companies Apparently Pay Attention To Your Online Complaints

Some Companies Apparently Pay Attention To Your Online Complaints

When you go to Twitter, Facebook, an online forum or any other form of social media to voice a complaint about a product or service you’ve purchased, one can understandably be left with the feeling that no matter how loud they shout, no one is listening. However, some businesses say they are monitoring all those negative posts and reviews and a few claim to be making systemic changes in response. [More]

Statisticians Sniffing Out Fake Online Reviews Using Scientific Methods

Statisticians Sniffing Out Fake Online Reviews Using Scientific Methods

Online reviews can make or break your decision to try out a new hotel, check out a restaurant or even influence your choice of medical care. Unfortunately, companies desperate to be perceived as awesome sometimes try to sneak in their own positive reviews, posing as fellow consumers. Good for us, then, as science has come up with yet another way to help sniff out the fake reviews. [More]

Diner Demands $100 Gift Card To Not Post Negative Yelp Review

Diner Demands $100 Gift Card To Not Post Negative Yelp Review

We’ve written before about companies offering free stuff or discounts in exchange for positive online reviews — or for removing negative comments — but a restaurant in California says a disgruntled diner tried to use the threat of a scathing Yelp review to squeeze a $100 gift card out of the eatery. [More]