(chickendmb)

New York A.G. Investigation Uncovers 19 Companies That Faked Positive Yelp Reviews

New York’s Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman offered up a doozy of an accomplishment yesterday, revealing that 19 companies had agreed to pay fines for writing fake online reviews for their businesses, and will be shelling out more than $350,000 in penalties. And of course, since the practice of churning out false reviews is called “astroturfing,” the year-long investigation run by Schneiderman was called “Operation Clean Turf.” [More]

Another happy customer!

Yelpers Divided On Recent Management Change At Los Pollos Hermanos

As you may have heard, Albuquerque-based fried chicken chain Los Pollos Hermanos has recently undergone a change in management after the departure of longtime company figurehead Gustavo “Gus” Fring, and some shakeups at corporate parent, Madrigal Elektromotoren GmbH. Now some Yelp reviewers claim the restaurant hasn’t stopped dishing out some addictive eats, while others say it just isn’t the same anymore. In related Albuquerque news, folks seem pleased so far with the new owners of the A1A car wash across town. [More]

(Rich Rogala)

Yelp Sues Law Firm Over Allegedly Bogus Reviews

The folks at Yelp have decided to get tough with what they believe are businesses that post fake reviews on the site in order to appeal to customers or to counteract genuine, negative feedback from actual customers. The company has sued a small San Diego-based bankruptcy law firm, alleging that it filled its profile with false, positive reviews. [More]

A screengrab of what Yelp's new online-ordering system looks like.

Is Yelp’s New Food Delivery Service Cause For Concern?

Earlier today, Yelp announced that it is rolling out online ordering functionality for a handful of restaurants, obviously with the intention of making it available to more businesses on the crowd-sourced review site. But now that Yelp has a vested interest in the success of some of the businesses that users review, it makes us wonder if the site is ultimately doing damage to its own reputation as a source for honest reviews. [More]

(Secgeek06)

Criticize Dentist On Yelp, Get Threatened With Felony ‘Internet Business Defamation’

A Texas mother took her child to a dentist who only works on children based on the referral of the family’s regular dentist. She didn’t really like the specialist, and wrote a relatively short, clear Yelp review explaining why. That got her a letter from the dentist’s attorney ordering her to take down her review, OR ELSE. [More]

Amy of Amy's Baking Company on My 103.9 in Phoenix this morning.

Owners Of Amy’s Baking Company Say Yelpers Are Endangering Their Lives

After their appearance on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares catapulted them from being the cranky owners of a Scottsdale, AZ, restaurant to worldwide infamy, the owners of Amy’s Baking Company haven’t really been talking to the media, except to occasionally shout at the cameras that they can’t talk to the media. Then this morning Amy and husband Samy sat down for a local radio interview with another person who has Gordon to thank for her few minutes of fame. [More]

"I think the show just brought out Amy's inner demonic soul," says former waitress Katy of the famously defensive owner.

Waitress Fired By Amy’s Baking Company Tells All

In less than a week, Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale, AZ, has gone from a local eatery with a reputation for a touchy owner to an Internet sensation (of the worst kind) after appearing on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and then apparently going a bit bonkers online in response to all the negative feedback. Now one of the waitresses fired during the making of that Kitchen Nightmares episode is telling all. [More]

"I think the show just brought out Amy's inner demonic soul," says former waitress Katy of the famously defensive owner.

How Not To React To Internet Criticism: The Epic Facebook Meltdown Of Amy’s Baking Company

It appears that the owners of Amy’s Baking Company in Arizona expected an appearance on celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmares” program to vindicate them. They believed that they serve quality food, that they have been unfairly slandered by the entire Internet. Maybe they had never seen the reality program, which features last-ditch efforts to save failing restaurants run by people who are delusional or incompetent…and frequently both. [More]

Yelp Fights Against Outing Anonymous Reviewers In Lawsuit By Carpet Cleaner

Yelp Fights Against Outing Anonymous Reviewers In Lawsuit By Carpet Cleaner

When you write a review on Yelp, you are supposed to feel assured in your ability to keep your identity from being made public. But a Virginia carpet cleaner is attempting to compel Yelp to reveal the names of seven people who posted reviews about the company. [More]

Prisoners Have Opinions Too, Turn To Yelp To Review Jail Conditions

Prisoners Have Opinions Too, Turn To Yelp To Review Jail Conditions

Just because you’re locked up for dealing blue meth cooked up by a mysterious chemist in a pork-pie hat doesn’t mean you don’t have an opinion on the quality of your current accommodations. And where else better to share these sentiments than on Yelp? [More]

(colonelchi)

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]

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]

Here is an example of what the San Francisco health inspection scores look like on Yelp.

Yelp To Include Health Dept. Ratings For Restaurants In Some Cities

While restaurant owners and customers quibble over the veracity and worth of reviews posted on Yelp, the site will soon be adding some information that is both helpful to consumers and harder to dispute — health department ratings. [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]

You should probably never go on the record as saying you don't care about the quality of your food.

It’s Not A Good Idea To Tell Customers You Don’t Care If Their Food Was Inedible

It’s no secret that Yelp can be frustrating to restaurant owners, and that some in the business have made their hatred for the online review site very clear, but it’s probably a bad idea to go on Yelp to tell a diner you don’t care about the quality of your food. [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]

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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]

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]