For those of you who have not scoured this blog from top to bottom to find a link to my Yelp.com reviews may not know much about yelp. Before this goes any further, this is not an advertisement for yelp (just an advertisement for my wonderfully written and concise reviews ;-), I assure you that they don’t need my help to get 40 million hits in a month. In case you didn’t know, yelp is a site designed to give anyone the forum to write reviews of restaurants, spas, parks, hotels, you name it. You can even review someone else on yelp (its true). What makes it great, aside from the cool people you can meet, is that you might get stalked by a store owner. (just relax, I’ll explain).
Here is where the article/story I read comes in to play. An individual, Sean C., wrote a 2-star review of a small locally owned book store in San Francisco and was later sent several messages from the store owner, some of which were very offensive and even contained threats. Without getting too into the details (which can be found here), a few things are clear to me.
First, this owner is probably crazy.
Two, anything out there online, can and will be seen as offensive to some and loved by others (duh).
I’d like to think this is an isolated incident, which it most likely is, but I think it’s worth noting anyway. The more reviews out there on yelp, trip advisor, zagats etc., more opportunities business owners will have to take offense and berate said reviewer, or seek to have the review pulled by the yelp, or whoever (that actually happens!). No one is paying me, giving me free meals, telling me I’m great (well, I get that of course), so I’ll write what I want to about businesses. If these businesses, including the one which Sean C. reviewed, cared about improving themselves, they would ask someone “how can we make it better,” or “what would you change.” I’ve received messages from store managers/owners telling me they will consider my suggestions — that is good business.
I wont stop writing reviews, specifically negative ones if I choose to. I don’t work for the New York Times, and as long as I follow the rules of Yelp, its my opinion, and if you don’t like it, too bad. This blog wont be a forum for these types of rants (god I hope it didn’t turn into that), but I thought the story and my enjoyment for Yelp, warranted this post.
Thank you for your time, you can now go about your day.