It can be difficult for businesses, especially restaurants with limited digital marketing skills, to handle bad online reviews. One restaurant in Cleveland social-media stalked and ranted at a bad reviewer, and a hotel in Hudson, New York, supposedly charges guests extra if they leave bad Yelp reviews.Adding to the pile of “how not to handle Yelp criticism” is this years-long argument between a Yelp reviewer and his local tavern, who really, really wanted him to take down a negative Yelp review.
This story, picked up by Consumerist, has not been confirmed, so proceed with caution. Yelp reviewer Mark S. left a negative review of a local tavern in 2013. One year later, he was contacted by the new owners of the tavern, saying, “Hey Mark my name is Joe I own [redacted] I just bought it in April 2014 trying to clean up my yelp any chance you could take your post down.”
Mark did not respond or delete his review, but one year later the new owner contacted him again — and again. His subsequent communications became angrier and angrier, ending with “I just didn’t want to be held hostage by Yelp and have to pay to have your review taken down not to mention I was just bored that day like I am now. There are some very legitimate bad reviews about the [redacted] unfortunately yours is a fake.”
Owner “Joseph S.” also claims he was contacted by Yelp to pay for a negative review cleanup, a practice which Yelp has thoroughly denied in court. Mark S. has not responded to the latest Yelp messages.