When times are tough, it helps to have a punching bag on which you can safely take out your frustration. Whether it intended to or not, Starbucks has provided the world with a multicolored anger sponge: the Unicorn Frappuccino.
Pay-TV services might need to be a bit more careful when it comes to the messages they put out into the universe following an ad watchdog’s suggestion that Comcast and Dish revise some of the claims made against competitors in national ads.
Two months after a California appeals court attempted to put an end to a years-long dispute between a lawyer and a former client she accused of posting defamatory reviews by ordering Yelp to take down the comments, the Supreme Court of California unanimously agreed to hear an appeal of the case. [More]
TripAdvisor and Yelp, two of the biggest names in crowdsourced reviews, say that Google is using its position as the dominant online search engine to push Google-backed reviews ahead of links to review sites. [More]
Now that we live in a world where it seems everything can be rated — from your restaurant experience to your root canal — privacy issues are popping up in unexpected places. Like in health care providers’ responses to negative reviews from patients on Yelp, for example.
After a prolonged, seven-year process of drafting regulations for e-cigarettes, the Food and Drug Administration has finalized rules that treat e-cigs, hookah tobacco, pipe tobacco, and premium cigars the same as traditional cigarettes and cigars. [More]
Bar Replies To Customer’s New Year’s Eve Complaint Of Being Ignored While Fellow Patron Has Heart Attack
Often when we hear about a business’ response to a customer complaint spreading furiously on social media, it’s because people are shocked by the company’s response or because someone who works there was perhaps inappropriate in their reply. But when the manager of an Indianapolis bar replied on Facebook to a patron who slammed the establishment for ignoring her party’s questions about the bill to deal with an “overdosed junkie” — in reality, an elderly woman who had a heart attack — the Internet seemed quite pleased. [More]
If a company offers you a refund after you post a negative online review of your transaction, does that make your original comment any less valid? According to Angie Hicks of crowdsourced review site Angie’s List, once your dispute with a company is resolved, you should only be allowed to say nice things about the company. [More]
We’ve said before that star ratings for restaurants are often arbitrary and may not be an accurate representation of the review’s content or of other diners’ standards. You might think that critics who get paid to give such ratings would defend the practice, but at least one of them has come out swinging against the stars, bells, and other dingbats he and his fellow reviewers are often compelled to use. [More]
Earlier this year, Amazon did something that it had never tried before: it sued four websites peddling reviews to sellers on their site. Today, they’ve filed a new lawsuit [PDF] against people selling their services as reviewers through the site Fiverr. That means that the suit has 1,114 unnamed defendants. [More]
Google Adds Paid Home Service Provider Suggestions To Search Results For “Clogged Toilet,” “Plumber”
Less than a year after Amazon took on the likes of Angie’s List, Yelp and other companies that can connect consumers to professional service providers like plumbers, locksmiths, electricians and others, Google announced it would join the fray by adding prescreened service providers to its sponsored search results. [More]
Last year, we shared the news that a group of Yelp reviewers whose accounts had been deactivated were suing the website for back wages. The ex-reviewers claimed that they had performed the functions of an employee, with guidance and critique from Yelp management, by providing content that the site could sell ads against. U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg dismissed the case last week [More]
Last May, investigations by the Department of Justice and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation into student loans servicing resulted in a $100 million fine against government-contracted servicer Navient for allegedly violating federal laws limiting the amount of interest that can be charged on servicemember student loans. Following those investigations, the Department of Education undertook a review that found its four servicers – including Navient – weren’t cheating military personnel. With such conflicting reports, members of Congress are now getting involved, calling for an investigation into the Dept. of Education’s review process. [More]
Any Amazon customer is likely aware that the e-tail giant knows a lot about them. That’s how it personalizes product suggestions and customizes the marketing e-mails it sends. But some Amazon users are now finding out that the site knows — or at least it thinks it knows — who your friends are, and is restricting their reviews accordingly. [More]