Advice about Bad Reviews on Yelp
Berkeley Parents Network >
Working & Careers >
Advice about Bad Reviews on Yelp
My husband has a small business related to real estate,
and he has always had 5-star yelp reviews. Well, the other
shoe has dropped. Someone who contracted for his services
cancelled at the last minute. As per the agreement, this
person was asked to pay the cancellation fee. This guy,
his wife, and their agent were all very angry, even though
they were alerted to this fee 3 separate times during the
appointment process. When someone cancels at the last
minute, we are unable to schedule another client, and our
family loses money. My husband was bending over backwards
on the phone with this guy, trying to let him vent,
express himself, and be heard. I heard the whole
conversation, and I was amazed at how calm and considerate
my husband was. Well, this guy slammed our business on
Yelp, and he was dishonest and misleading with his words.
AND, this guy never even used my husband's services. Has
anyone had experience with untrue negative reviews on
Yelp? If so, how do you handle it? Is it better to respond
or to ignore?
hates anonymous Yelp slams
I have a small business as well and though I rely mostly on word of mouth.
Yelp has been helping me get business as well. I was very lucky to only
have 5 star reviews and I so appreciate them. Last year for the first time I
got really negative review. Like really negative 1 out of 5, because this
person had an argument with the front desk about scheduling. She was not
able to accommodate his schedule. He never made an appointment and
made bad reviews about me without even ever meeting me.
In the long run, I have asked my patients about that and they said that it
makes it look more normal to have a negative review mixed with the good
ones. And it seems to not have hurt our business. People read the reviews
they don't just look at the stars. So you'll get people that respect your
cancellation policy. Also, I recommend you write a comment back on Yelp
to that review, a nice polite comment that shows that you care. Good luck.
No one that I know pays attention to Yelp as it is totally skewed by solicitation of
positive reviews. Just continue on with your good business practices and you'll
yelp is fake
I am not a business owner, but as a person who uses yelp a lot to get a feel for a
business before I use their services, I would say to ignore it. If you say that you
get mostly 4 and 5 stars and have great reviews and there is this one totally
negative one, I would think others would read it and assess that some times
things go wrong, there is a miscommunication, peoples feelings are hurt, people
lie because they feel wronged etc. I would worry if you had a lot of bad reviews.
my two cents
The exact same thing just happened to my husband. He's in
the medical field, and has always had only good and
excellent Yelp reviews. But a guy (we know who it is) just
posted a terrible one, and my husband was so upset he
consulted a lawyer as to his options. The lawyer said
there's really nothing to do. Anyone can post on Yelp, and
you have to remember that reasonable people will look at the
big picture; the overall score, and understand that readers
will take an ''odd'' review with a grain of salt. Sour
grapes. Maybe another BPN-er knows more about Yelp
rules...there may be a way to hide the offending review.
If this person has never used your husband's services, contact Yelp directly and
the review will be removed. I believe the policy is that you can only make
negative comments if you have in fact used the service.
That's incredibly frustrating, and the part of Yelp that one
has to understand to use: certain people are just plain mean
and you can't trust their reviews. Personally I'd suggest
replying in a very calm manner with just the facts and that
this is a clearly stated policy, a brief apology that the
reviewer was disappointed and that's it. This (to me) makes
future customers see you care. Also, most people will see
all the great reviews, the one bad and be able to tell that
person is an anomaly. Don't fret!
Yes, I had a situation whereby I got a negative review on
yelp that was unfounded and the person, who I never met,
slammed me. I contacted yelp via email and explained the
situation and they removed the post immediately.
Ironically, while this was all happening, a former student
of mine had seen the review, unbeknown to me, and
contradicted her statement and backed me up. I know
another person that this happened with as well, and the
yelp moderators deleted the negative post so I'm sure you
will not have a problem.
If all other reviews are stellar, the negative one will be interpreted as
stemming from ''sour grapes'' and simply an outlier. That's the way I read
reviews; They are written by humans, we are all fallible. Focus on the next
I'm so sorry your business is dealing with this.
Unregulated ''review'' sites like yelp (which I admittedly
post on occasionally) can be terrible when abused.
I see a couple of options. You can again contact the
disgruntled party and confront him rationally about how
he's slammed you on the site. Or you can write a business
response via yelp that will be shown at the bottom of his
review. The ones that I've viewed as the most effective
are ones where the business has first apologized (again)
for how unhappy the client is, with a follow up explaining
their cancellation policy (etc., whatever it is that made
the person mad in the first place) and why the outcome was
the way it was (ie - when they cancelled at the last
minute, they were in breach of the contract, etc. etc.).
Or you can choose to ignore the whole thing if you have a
ton of great reviews. Usually when I browse yelp and find
a business with 50 great reviews and only a couple of bad
ones, I generally assume it says more about the reviewer
than the business. Anyway - that's my take. Good luck!
lover/hater of yelp reviews
My husband and I ran a competitive business for six years.
Because of the mixed nature of our business we had many good
reviews, some moderate and few downright angry ones. Yelp
has changed some of its options since then, and you as a
business owner, can and should respond to reviews, either by
posting under theirs as a response, or in a private message.
Our business wasn't hurt by the negative reviews, but I have
spoken with many, many biz owners who know that these
reviews do affect them. So, I would respond to negative
reviews as in ''I'm sorry you feel that way about our
business, but it seems you didn't actually use our services.
Please give us the benefit of trying our services, I think
you may be pleasantly surprised.'' or something like that.
ALSO write thank yous to those who write to positive or
neutral reviews; I'm a Yelp reviewer, and I can tell you
that I have reworded my reviews to be more positive when it
seemed warranted after a business owner emailed me.
One more thing I'd like to add for general purposes: I was
interrogated about our biz's neg reviews when I applied to
another job after we had to close (due to the economy). It
was horribly insulting that Yelp is taken so seriously that
it actually cost me a job -- not b/c I personally had been
negatively reviewed (in fact, I was positively reviewed),
but because the business had a few. I think answering those
negs can be a way to counter-act these kinds of problems in
Yelp isn't ''fake''. These neophyte reviews can cause a lot of
damage, in a variety of ways.
I am actually in business school now, and I took a class on services marketing
in which we looked at this very issue. The professor was very much in favor of
responding. A ''narrative apology'' -- i.e. you apologize and then explain your
side of the story, in very respectful terms-- is a good route. I don't know
about Yelp, but on Trip Advisor, there is no response to the response, so the
business owner gets the last word. It is a new world with customers being
able to air their gripes online-- it is best to engage with it, respectfully.
Companies that deal with it a lot (like hotels) actually have software that pulls
together reviews from all over the internet, like a dashboard-- and they can
write responses within the dashboard.
Another important thing-- the next time your husband has a happy customer,
encourage them to post a positive review. I stayed at a hotel recently that sent
me a survey after my stay, and when I rated them highly, the last screen of the
survey said, ''We're glad to hear we have your love, now spread the word!'' with
a link to TripAdvisor. You could do something like that. Good luck,
this page was last updated: Mar 13, 2012
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network