Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Is yelp censoring bad reviews?

I went for fun and checked on a restaurant that I have never been to, nor will I ever go to.  The Jumpin Jupiter got on my black list last year for allowing one of their star performers to use a copyright photo, from my wife, on their website.  When my wife asked that it be removed, the owner of the Jumpin Jupiter announced that any photo on his site was his and that my wife is never allowed into his club.  We messaged him back that the photo was actually her's and he is at risk of being sued and after pointing it out again, he finally realized that he had been mistaken and had taken the photo down.  While this could have all worked out okay, having the owner complain and ban my wife from his club before it was even open because he was breaking the law, seems like a bit much for me.  So, I was curious as to how it was doing.  I went to yelp, since it was the first result in the search and found many good reviews.  This site listed 11 good reviews, in which people gave this venue a mix of 4-5 stars out of 5.

What got my attention though, was a link at the bottom of the page.  The link, was to the hidden 19 reviews that were "filtered out".  http://www.yelp.com/filtered_reviews/rifxI1dZRqMWrPWbKSdvyw?fsid=GXhCNKdyyIp42e-n57__Qg

Why were these filtered out?  3 out of the 19 filtered out, were good reviews, giving the venue a 4-5 star rating.  But the other 16 were all negative.  It made me wonder and ask: why were all of the negative reviews filtered out?

Okay, let me see if I can summarize all of the "filtered out" reviews:

1. cold food, expensive and slow service
2. cold food, slow and bad service
3. cold food, slow waitresses, bad service and a manager who never was seen
4. bad food, cold food, bad service, arrogant servers, manager never was seen
5. budlight is not a domestic beer, prices not explained, coupons and ads not explained, expensive, slow service, manager claimed to be a police officer and then became aggressive towards the guests
6. cold food and slow service
7. slow service
8. manager insulted them, the shows ran late and bad service
9. bad music
10.  This one was a 4/5 star rating, and they did say that the dancers were good, which is why it got 4/5.  But, the show ran late, manager look "high" and was unresponsive, slow service
11. loved everything about it, 5/5 stars
12. an $8 a drink "service fee" was added to the bill when using a Groupon coupon.
13. bad food, bad service, messed up reservations of 6 couples and then put them way in the back
14. food was never served after ordering and waitresses complained to the guests
15. food came in very small portions, dancers were cheesy, dinner was not worth $50
16. show was just okay, not great, the food was horrible
17. perfect service and good food 5/5 stars
18.  clown sucked, MC sucked, cheese plate sucked, some tickets were $100 and others were $10 for the same thing
19. thought the decor and show was good, didn't try anything on the menu though, 5/5 stars

Here is the thing though, I would guess that since the reviews that were not filtered, are all positive reviews, that the owners went through and requested that not a single mixed or negative review can be seen about their place.  This is sad, because it is false advertising.  They are making this place out to be something that it is not.  The sad part is, I cannot even get into this place nor do I want to spend my money there and see if any of these complains hold water.  As I said from the beginning, I already was yelled at from the owner before it even opened, for him stealing images that belonged to someone else.  Why would I give him money?

PS:  Farmhaus has 117 reviews, 10 of which were "filtered" and out of those filtered reviews, 6 out of the 10 were still 4 or 5 out of 5 stars.  So, I guess the answer would be to find out if Farmhaus has any bad or reviews of 2 or less in their "unfiltered" page.  Farmhause had 9 negative reviews on their page.  Nine out of 117 reviews isn't bad, and the fact that one restaurant had them "filtered out" and the other did not, makes me think that the property owner can request to have them "filtered out".  Farmhaus did not "hide" or "filter" out the bad reviews, they show them right on their main review page.  If my idea of true, then this can be why some places have great reviews when they hide their poor reviews.


  1. Yes, Yelp has begun censoring bad reviews. I often leave reviews for restaurants and clubs, but recently I left a review for a new veterinarian that I used in a pinch when my pet hurt her paw. They pulled a bait and switch when they gave me a detailed estimate of fees and then when they said they wanted to keep her overnight once more for observation (two nights were included in the estimate) they tacked on an extra $500 without any reasonable explanation. And, to make matters worse, my pet came home with a respiratory infection. So, I felt it was only fair to go on Yelp and let people know (in a very classy, friendly way). A week later, the review was removed. The same thing happened with a local restaurant that I had tried. The dine-in service and food were great, take out was the opposite and I let people know. That too was removed. I didn't say anything rude or nasty and I do not understand why I am not allowed to have an opinion when the vet cost me $1,500 and the restaurant experience was about $100. Knowing that the vet is a millionaire (we live in an affluent area and this guy is rolling in the dough), I would not be surprised if he bought off the bad reviews to have them removed. I am positive that Yelp allows business owners to pay to remove reviews so if they can afford it, they are able to make themselves look great. I think the club you are dealing with has done the same thing. I will never use Yelp for anything ever again and I think people need to realize that the website is a scam.

  2. I submitted a negative review to yelp about social worker Sean Grover LCSW because he was cruel to me at one of the lowest times in my life. He had it censored, which just goes to show, he does not have the character needed to help people. It's sad that he thinks silencing criticism is ethical; he would have made an exemplary despot.

  3. Social worker Sean Grover, LCSW in New York, NY has paid yelp to be able to delete any negative review from his clients. Yelp is indeed a corrupt and mendacious business, but much more frightening is the fact that Social Worker Sean Grover, LCSW claims to be an ethical therapist when he is using graft to silence the very people he pretended to want to hear. If this doesn't underscore his Machiavellian nature, I don't know what would. Mr. Sean Grover, first of all: shame on you. Second of all, seek work in areas more suited to your nature: used car salesman, tarot card reader, cult founder, or if feeling ambitious, notorious dictator of a small country.

  4. Yelp does censor reviews. I used to trust their website but not any more.
    I had a bad experience at a establishment and the review was never posted. They are being paid by business owners to remove bad reviews. I had a 5 star review from a client and Yelp contacted me in the following week to sell me advertising. After telling them no my 1 review disappeared.

    Total Scam

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. --Yes! Yelp is indeed the NEW FACE OF FASCISM that lauds internal, biased decisions while discriminating against legitimate, but negative reviews of businesses that genuinely concerned customers may submit.

    What a miserable business!!! This organization should be abandoned by all people who currently hold Yelp acounts. In other words, terminate your Yelp accounts and let this UN-AMERICAN, ANTI-FREE SPEECH organization deservedly fail miserably into its deceitful and fraudulent oblivion.

  7. Using Yelp, I gave a two star rating to a business that truly deserved this rating. Yet, Yelp...for some reason(s),...not only refused to publish it, they sent me some lame automated email claiming that their Software program may be a reason for my review not being recognized.

    If YELP doesn't represent the weakest form of a half-ass excuse and feeble justification for their wrongful actions, then I simply do not know any other organization guilty of such poor practices.