Federal Trade Commission Releases 685 Yelp Complaints

Somebody did their homework and filed a Freedom of Information Act request

In light of the terrible extortion-like entitlement that has come to light with the ReviewerCard, MuckRock has released information from a Freedom of Information Act request to the Federal Trade Commission, asking for every Yelp.com complaint in the last four years.

The results? Pretty much what was expected. Out of the 685 complaints, plenty were about Yelp soliciting businesses to buy advertisements; if businesses declined, complaints said Yelp deleted positive reviews due to an updated "automated algorithm" for a "truer" sense of the reviews. According to most of the complaints, advertising fees cost anywhere from $300 to $350 a month.

Sample quotes call Yelp the "thug of the Internet" as well as the "Internet Mafia." While most complaints deal with the "pay-for-advertising-or-pay" deal, other business owners complain that they never wanted to be listed on Yelp in the first place. Owners also complained about false information, wrong addresses, and Yelp's refusal to delete faked reviews.

"I don't think it's fair practice," one business owner who bought the advertising membership wrote in. "If you don't pay for the membership you don't have a chance to rebuttal the comments. I am very afraid of this company because they have the power to make any restaurant go out of business." Head on over to MuckRock and Eater for similar complaints (or a giant Excel sheet of all the complaints, ever).

Be a Part of the Conversation

Have something to say?
Add a comment (or see what others think).

Comments 2

Like this story? Get updates by email, facebook and twitter
Get daily food and wine coverage

Latest from The Daily Meal

The Daily Meal Video Network
Strawberry Brie Grilled Cheese


Tim661's picture

I enjoyed reading your article, thank you.

Jeremy Stoppelman CEO of Yelp is a real winner. Well, no, not really. This man runs a company that not only thrives on negative attention, but refuses to respond to legitimate concerns.

I am not sure how he can sleep at night knowing that he is running such a joke of a company.

You can see here ON YELP ITSELF what others are complaining about:


SputnikHQ's picture

Yelp is run by a shakedown mob of losers and lazy asses. They. did this exact same thing to my friends dental biz after he declined their advertising "offer" and whammo, all positive reviews vanish! Amazing, no? Mafia sounds like.to me. Shut them down. Pls.President Obama!

Add a Comment

Upload a picture of yourself no larger than 3MB, please see Terms for details
Please answer this Captcha to prove you are human
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Please answer this Captcha to prove you are human