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Online business reviews can “destroy” your reputation – Need help with Yelp???

I opened my first Boston hair salon in 1991 and had my first website in 1995.
Like most websites in 1995, the site was very simple and nothing fancy.
My business grew with the internet and my website has evolved. My SEO
diligently markets my website and this is a costly necessity. I also
believe that customer satisfaction is a number one priority for any
business. I abide by the old adage “Bad news travels faster than good
news!” This being said, I literally bend over backwards for my clients.
I have a full service salon and our specialty is “hair extensions.” I
have been perfecting hair extensions for nearly 20 years and am certainly
a pioneer in the industry. My goal is to combine my expertise, creativity
with fine quality hair extensions at an affordable price. I have done my
level best to have a prosperous business and meet my clients needs.

One day I discovered yelp.com. There were some great reviews about my
business and I can not express my elation. It really does my heart good
to do the right thing by my customers. I checked “yelp” a week later and
all of these wonderful reviews were filtered. You have to go on the site
and search for these reviews because they are certainly not visible.

In the meantime, I was contacted by Yelp to advertise on their website. I
did have some stellar reviews and I thought “why not!” It is a popular
site and I could offer specials and reach out to a vast amount of web
surfers. I signed a year contract and Yelp promised to increase business.

Just one week later – I read my Yelp reviews and there was a HORRIFIC
review from a Dustin Todd R. a gentleman that had a hair extension
consultation for his sister. This man slammed my business on Yelp and
literally lied. Keep in mind, his sister never had her hair done at my
salon. Mr. Dustin Todd R. said that I had no idea about the hair
extension business and quality of hair extensions, he proceeded to knock
the look of the stylists in the salon and he said that I stated that I
never slept the night before and just went right into work. Anyone that
knows me, knows that I am a mother of a 12 year old and a “home body!”
This man defamed my business and me personally! In utter disgust, I
contacted Yelp and they told me that he had the right to voice his
opinion. I proceeded to state the facts – this review was untrue and he
was out to sabotage my business and me personally. Yelp offered no
support and this review has been on their website for months. I am paying
to advertise a negative review that is not factual! In addition, most of
the positive reviews have been filtered because they are not posted by
“Elite Yelpers.” An “Elite Yelper” is someone that has nothing better to
do than review anything – even an ant on the street! Therefore, if you
receive a review from someone that does not consistently review on yelp -
Yelp’s “algorithm” will filter it away into Neverland.

I reached out to the reviewer Dustin Todd R. to try and understand why he
said what he said. In fact, he never met me!!!! He accused me of
harassment. Now who is doing the harassing??? I believe Dustin Todd R.
(his alias) is getting paid to post reviews on Yelp, both positive and
negative. He literally has hundreds of reviews and it would not be to
anyone’s advantage to Yelp that often. In fact, he describes himself as a
man that is “recognized on the streets!” In my opinion, this man was paid
by my competition to post these disgusting lies. I can not tell you how
many people have commented about this poor review. My clients laugh about
this sick review, but when they try to post a positive review yelp wipes
it out.

As I previously stated, Bad news/reviews can kill your business and I
plead to business owners to check their Yelp reviews and please DO NOT
advertise with them. If more of us complain, maybe, just maybe, they will
change their policy!!!!

3 comments to Online business reviews can “destroy” your reputation – Need help with Yelp???

  • Yelp is the worst website for anyone looking for an honest opinion. People pay to have good and bad reviews written and its a sham.

  • Min Kim

    I know how you feel. Happen to me, and this Yelp doesn’t do anything to help the business owners. You know what they put? customers feedback is good even if this is negative, so I tried to write to yelp and there is no way to contact them. Why should I try to please all the #($*( weird so called “Customers” who happend to be a DIVA?? I’m thinking about contacting members of chamber of Commerce to find a way to banned yelp from using our business names. You should do the same. If yelp only wants to hear from the customber’s side, then as a business owners, we don’t have to deal with yelp.

  • Christen

    I agree with you! I have a business in Southern California and this site is trying to destroy it if did not pay them. I remember once two Korean sisters told me they working for yelp . At the time I did not think much about it! Now however, I realize that they were paid to write fake reviews,

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