Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP) runs for help post L.A town hall meeting
Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP) had organized a town-hall meeting in Los Angeles for small business owners. In a totally unexpected twist, the business owners literally slammed the review website, complained about its aggressive ad-sales tactic as well as its bogus reviews that ended up having an adverse effect on sales.
An idea gone bad
YELP was hoping at get rid of all the misconceptions and also ease all the concerns that business owners had about the popular site. This is just one of a series of meetings that has been organized by Yelp. These events are to be held across 22 major cities in the United States. This was the first of the meetings and had been held at Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre. Active advertisers, dozens of business-owners and also people who knew something about the site had been invited to the meeting.
When customers got aggressive
Yelp started with talking about the benefits of advertising and also about its service. It asked the panel of 5 people (2 business-owners and 3 frequent yelp reviewers), to share all their experiences about the company, with the audience. What started out as a promotion campaign for the company ended up in a major lambasting session.
Many people slammed Yelp for permitting reviewers to post any kind of inflammatory comments. Some business folk said that they had received aggressive advertising calls from the company while other said that some yelpers had subjected them to snide remarks. Reiko Roberts, a vintage clothing shop-owner said that the advertising pressure was so great that it bordered on extortion.
One of the main complaints that came through was the ones that revolved around the company’s review filter. This removes the unhelpful or suspicious posts and sets them on a different filter page. Many business owners complained that a number of their 5 star reviews that came from legitimate customers were filtered.