It is an undisputed fact that almost every consumer who takes their shopping seriously will agree that informed decisions about products or services that they buy are mostly based on information or reviews found on the internet. It’s amazing today how the internet has revolutionized the world and made very bold strides in virtually all facets of the business world. Having the peace of mind that one is getting a legitimate product or service and the true worth of their buying price is always the desire of any consumer. It is mainly for this reason that the Yelp review filter has come under intense and very historic attack by not only business owners, but also consumers in general.
Yelp continuously sticks to its claims that it is an online urban city guide that helps all kinds of shoppers to find the best places to take their business. Whether its eating out, drinking, relaxing, visiting a doctor, finding the right vet for one’s pet, looking for a pharmacy, dentist, consultant or virtually any business, one can read up on the opinions of previous customers and associates, and make up their minds on the best way forward. This is quite a big deal for all stakeholders in any business given the fact that some consumer studies show that 4 out of every 5 consumers actually make their buying decisions based on reviews and information on the internet. So the next pertinent question that logically follows in this scenario is how credible the reviews are.
On the Yelp’s website, pretty much anybody who can open a free account with them can actually leave a review of their own choice. It could be a disgruntled customer with a malicious intention to bring down a particular business without any legitimate cause. It could also be a competitor with a similar intention, interested in tarnishing the name of innocent victims in order to gain an unfair advantage. Yelp claims that they have a review filter that checks these false and repulsive reviews keeping them out of their system, but it has been clear for a while that the opinion of a good part of the public is contrary to their claims.
For starters, even in the height of these attacks from businesses and concerned consumers, Yelp has still kept their review filter system a secret even from those who have challenged them in the courts of law. Other business owners claim that their good reviews don’t stay on the Yelp website for a long time, and only their bad reviews stay on the website even for years. Yet still, other business owners claim that Yelp offers to remove bad reviews about them if they opt for a paid membership subscription to them. There is definitely an issue of credibility here and even if the courts have ruled in the favor of Yelp, they have a long journey to travel in the court of public opinion. To save their reputation, coming forthright and amicably addressing these claims is necessary.
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