From CBS-5 KPIX-TV
September 18, 2008
Business Owners Raise More Complaints About Yelp
Jeanette Pavini reporting
Business owners are raising more complaints about the popular consumer review site Yelp. Some owners say they are not getting what they paid for, which is hurting their business.
Soni Pislor is part of a dying breed, the owner of a small mom and pop business, La Copa Loca in San Francisco. Pislor's gelato shop has been named the best place for ice cream by SF Weekly, and on Yelp was given a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
But when CBS 5 ConsumerWatch searched for La Copa Loca on the Yelp site, an ad for the Tuttimelon yogurt shop pops up, with directions.
Yelp has been trying to get Pislor to become part of their sponsorship program, which businesses can have more control over their page. The program costs $150-$1,000 a month with a one-year contract....
"I think that the money aspect starts to creep into what I would at least call perhaps not fair…" said Coye Cheshire of the UC Berkeley School of Information. "That can undermine the credibility of the site and it effects how people come to trust or not trust the information or the people who are supplying the information."...
"Real peoples' businesses are at Stake. So again if we're going to make these kinds of rules that are going to effect real people with real lives, with real money, real businesses I think we need to take those needs into account," explained Cheshire....