When you own a bar, especially one like Rhythm & Booze, you have to deal with all kinds of issues: staffing, customers, inventory, safety, vendors, etc… you also have to deal with bad reviews. Back in the day word of mouth was all you had. We used to say make 1 person happy and they will tell 3 friends, make 1 person unhappy and they will tell 11. Today, everything is online.
Happy people rarely give reviews or share and check in…but pissed off people, oh they post on your Facebook page, on your Google Business Page, they give bad reviews, and they slam you on Twitter (or every social media platform they play on). The worst one for any bar or restaurant owner is Yelp! Everyone thinks they are an expert critic and reviewer on Yelp, which is a nightmare because there is no way for a business owner to respond without paying Yelp hundreds of dollars for “ownership” of their Yelp account.
We can respond to a review or a post on Facebook or Google. But not on Yelp! Anyone can post whatever they want. They can create a business listing with incorrect info and then bitch that all the info is wrong and the actual business owner would have to PAY Yelp to correct the info. Did you know that?
We, Rhythm & Booze are now dealing with Yelp! OMG what a crock Yelp.com is! Seriously!!! Long story really short – our Yelp page was not made by us (anyone can add a place to Yelp) and whoever did make our page got a lot of our info WRONG. People see us on Yelp and our info is wrong and they complain. We don’t like this. We contact Yelp and want to correct the info. They want us to pay a fee for that. WHAT??? Hell no! Why would Rhythm & Booze have to pay to change info that was added by someone we don’t know? We have a website, FB, G+ and Google Places…why can’t Yelp verify my info without charging me?
We decided to not worry about the Yelp stuff and then the other day we get these emails – wanting to know if Rhythm & Booze wants to pay to get bad reviews removed, good reviews added, and improve our star rankings. WHAT? Yelp just admitted they will add a star and “fix” our reviews if we pay them. Anyone else thinking extortion!?! Fake reviews and fake ratings so we look good, better and best to Yelpers. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!?!?! (We have attached the actual email screen-shots below, in case you don’t believe they actually said this.)
My info is wrong cause you let unauthorized people add my info, then you want to charge me to change it, and now you want to offer me an expensive deal to get top ratings that are fixed and fake? WOW. What is worse, our customers (or potential customers) have no idea that the shit they read on Yelp is fake! FAKE REVIEWS people! Next time you see a good review on Yelp, you might want to rethink your decision.
Rhythm & Booze spends good money to be online! We want to be found. We want people to find our Rhythm & Booze Downtown, The Batcave, and Rhythm & Booze Shawnee locations on Google Maps. We want people to see our website and get a feel for our bar atmosphere. We want people to giggle and share our crazy Facebook posts. We don’t like bad reviews but we are proud that our reviews are honest and we try to address all of them honestly as well. We do not want to feel afraid of losing business if we don’t pay Yelp for FAKE NEWS!!! LOL Sorry couldn’t resist.
We found out that we are not alone. There are groups and forums of people and business owners just like us. (https://www.yelp.com/topic/hollywood-why-i-hate-yelp, https://www.facebook.com/IHateYelpcom/, https://munchies.vice.com/en_us/article/gvm37w/as-a-chef-i-wish-yelp-didnt-exist, http://thebitchywaiter.com/2014/04/restaurant-owner-calls-out-yelp-reviewer-and-its-wonderful.html, and there are a ton more just like this!!!)
Please People…don’t believe everything you read on Yelp! They are robbing businesses and scamming you!