Yelp Reviews… and why you should not rely on them.

Remember the day when you could look up a company on Yelp, read the reviews and be reasonably assured that you were choosing a good company based upon your “research”?  We do!  And let me tell you, we really miss those days!

Here are a few things you need to understand about the Yelp of today.

1.  In order for positive reviews to be shown, a business MUST pay Yelp or one of their affiliates a monthly fee of $300 – $1500 for them to “manage” your reviews.

2.  Most people who are completely satisfied with sales/service/product don’t leave reviews.  We have found that it is mainly the clients who are at one extreme or the other…. extremely HAPPY or extremely DISSATISFIED.

Let me tell you about OUR experience with Yelp.  We do try to monitor what is being put out there on the web about us, so we check different sites on a regular basis.  Recently we discovered that Yelp had our company listed several times, with several different physical addresses (ONE was correct), phone numbers and one listing even stated we were “CLOSED FOR BUSINESS”.  We also saw that even though we have more positive reviews than negative, the ONLY reviews being shown were the bad ones!!

We did what any responsible company would do and contacted Yelp.  We were informed that we needed to pay them a monthly fee or use their software (again with a monthly fee) to manage our reviews.  We were shocked!!  ALL reviews are helpful when someone is researching a company.. both good AND bad.  We didn’t even want them to remove the bad reviews.  If we mess up, we need to acknowledge that and strive to get better.  We also got the run around when we asked them about the multiple listings.

Bottom line is that Yelp is no longer the standard for getting good information about local companies.  They have become just another advertising site.  The companies with the most disposable income will pay the most for better presence on Yelp.  You will see only the wonderful glowing reviews and the negative stuff will be hidden (or at least very hard to find) from the public.

Our suggestion?  Research companies using the BBB, State License Board, local trade associations.  Ask for references.  Ask to see copies of their license and bonds.  Make sure you feel comfortable with a company before doing business with them.

Educate yourself!!  Understand that price should not be a deciding factor in choosing what company you do business with.  As a consumer I know and understand that I get what I pay for.  Is the item or service I’m purchasing one I expect to need again in a short manner of time?  Then I will go with a lower cost.  Is it an item like a new roof on my home?  Dang, I only want to replace that puppy once every 15-20 years!  I most certainly will NOT go with the cheapest quote.  I will go with the company that explains to me…..

  • What they are doing and with what quality of materials. ?
  • Are their workers people I am comfortable having literally working “ON” my home?
  • Is the company properly licensed, bonded and insured?
  • Is the license holder ACTIVE in the company?  (Many retired license holders will allow, illegally, others to operate a business under their license).
  • Is there a warranty?  Does the warranty cover ONLY materials or include workmanship as well?

There are so many things to consider when choosing a company.  Especially when dealing with companies that work on or in your home.  You home keeps you safe, it protects your family while they sleep.  Make sure you give it the quality it deserves when having repairs or maintenance done.

So often we go to homes where repairs were performed in the cheapest possible manner.  Now more time and money is being spent to repair the poor workmanship of others.

Choosing the right company to do the right job for a slightly higher price the FIRST time would have saved hundreds or thousands just a few months down the line.